Funcom Moves Forward With Restructuring Despite Success with The Secret World Free-to-Play Changes

January 11, 2013 -

Even though Funcom's The Secret World MMO found success after switching from a monthly subscription fee to a free-to-play payment model (more than 70,000 copies of the game were sold in the last four weeks, according to Eurogamer), the company is still forced to move ahead with restructuring, according to Develop.

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Tera Going Free-to-Play in February

January 9, 2013 -

En Masse Entertainment and Bluehole Studios announced that their massively multiplayer online role-playing game Tera soon be switching from a monthly subscription plan to free-to-play. While the exact date for this switch from paid subscription to free has not been revealed, the companies say it will happen sometime in February.

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Star Wars: The Old Republic Executive Producer Same Gender Relationships Delayed Because of Switch to Free-to-Play

January 3, 2013 -

In an update this week to the official blog for Star Wars: The Old Republic, Executive Producer Jeff Hickman detailed some of the changes that the next big update to the Star Wars themed free-to-play MMO will bring. Besides delivering changes to a special PvP area, the 1.7 update also sees the return of the Gree Enclave area, and details on why the inclusion of same-sex relationships has been pushed back slightly.

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Jagex Spends £500k on Ad Campaign for Runescape

December 26, 2012 -

Jagex Software has decided to spend about half a million pounds on a fancy Runescape TV and marketing campaign. The marketing campaign running in theaters for the 12-year-old MMO is running during showings of The Hobbit in UK and Australian theaters. Publisher Jagex has also bought spots on TV and digital channels for a campaign that runs until January 6th. The TV campaign is being run on E4, Dave, Sky, FX, and Disney XD.

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Family Guy Online Shutting Down in January 2013

December 24, 2012 -

Fox announced that it will shut down its online game based on the popular animated television series Family Guy. The company announced that Family Guy Online will be shutting down for good on January 18, 2013 and that some subscribers would get refunds. Anyone who made in-game purchases between October 22 and December 21, 2012 will receive a refund in early January.

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NCsoft Unloading All NC Interactive Shares, Launching New U.S. Subsidiary

December 13, 2012 -

Korean MMO publisher NCsoft will sell its shares in NC Interactive - the company's U.S.-based subsidiary at the end of this month, according to a Reuters report. NCsoft will sell its 809 million shares on Dec. 24 for 78,348,368,000 South Korean wons, or USD $72,926,269.

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Funcom Ditches Subscription Model for The Secret World MMO

December 12, 2012 -

Funcom has decided to ditch the $15 a month subscription fee for its MMO The Secret World. The company announced today that players can now enjoy the game for free, though they'll still have to drop $30 to buy the game. After that players can opt for a special monthly membership or play for free and buy items from an in-game store as they see fit.

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Trion Worlds Confirms Layoffs, But Does Not Disclose Numbers

December 12, 2012 -

GamesIndustry International is reporting that MMO developer and publisher Trion World has confirmed that an undisclosed number of developers have been laid off at the company. The news of the layoffs surfaced on Twitter with one tweet noting the firing of 30 people at Trion's San Francisco office. Later an affected source told Gamasutra that the layoffs were primarily at Trion's Rift development team. Trion Worlds later confirmed the layoffs, but would not reveal specific numbers.

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Unauthorized My Little Pony MMO Shut Down

December 10, 2012 -

When you develop a game without the permission of the copyright holder, chances are you will be in for some sort of legal action. Such is the fate of the My Little Pony MMO, which has been shut down after the developers of the game received a copyright and trademark infringement claim from Hasbro. The game was not approved by Hasbro. Fearing serious legal action the developers decided it would be prudent to just shut the game down.

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Report: Layoffs Hit NCsoft's Seattle Studio

December 5, 2012 -

According to what NCSoft PR director tells PC Gamer, the company has laid of an undisclosed number of employees at its Seattle office. That office is responsible for Guild Wars 2. Guild Wars 2 publisher NCsoft has laid off several staff as part of a studio "realignment," it has confirmed. Davis confirmed to PC Gamer that it has laid off "several" staff members, but did not reveal specific numbers.

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CCP Asks EVE Online Players for Help in Creating MOMA Presentation

December 4, 2012 -

CCP Games has revealed its plans to explain a typical day in the life of someone in the EVE Online universe as part of being included in The Museum of Modern Art's permanent collection. EVE Online was one of several games selected by MOMA to be on display for most of next year as part of an exhibit the explores and celebrates the history of gaming (more details here).

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Fitness MMO Company Gets Seed Funding from BVM Capital

December 3, 2012 -

BVM Capital announced that it has made a seed round investment in health and fitness gaming company Fitness Interactive Experience (FIX). FIX is dedicated to making fitness and health fun, accessible and socially connected using massively multiplayer online games.

WBIE Lays Off Some Staff at Turbine Games

October 25, 2012 -

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment (WBIE) has laid off an undisclosed number of employees at its Turbine Games studio in Boston, Massachusetts. The company laid off these employees even as it hired several veteran game developers including designer Ken Rolston (who was previously working for Big Huge Games- a company owned by 38 Studios.)

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2012 Game Developers Choice Online Award Winners Revealed

October 11, 2012 -

The winners for the 2012 Game Developers Choice Online Awards have been announced with Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies designer Raph Koster being named "Online Game Legend."

Other big winners included Riot Games' League of Legends and BioWare's Star Wars: The Old Republic (which won multiple awards).

The full list of winners (thanks GII) can be found below:

 

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Treehouse Sues Turbine over Patent Issued in 2012

October 11, 2012 -

Ontario-based web services company Treehouse is getting ready to rock and troll. The company, who was awarded a vague patent (United States Patent No. 8,180,858) for the "Method And System For Presenting Data Over A Network Based On Network User Choices And Collecting Real-Time Data Related To Said Choices" (or the 858 patent as they refer to it in their lawsuit) has decided to sue Turbine in Delaware for violating the patent with its game Dungeons & Dragons Online. Interestingly enough, the patent was awarded on May 15, 2012.

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Mists of Pandaria Pushes World of Warcraft Subscriber Numbers Back Over 10 Million

October 4, 2012 -

While many have been keen to point out the continued decline of Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft subscriber numbers, there's some good news for the company today: the latest expansion has given the game a boost past the 10 million subscriber mark. Back in August Blizzard revealed that its paid subscriber numbers had fallen to 9.1 million.

"It’s been gratifying to see the results of all of the work we put into this expansion and to hear all of the positive feedback from players so far," Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime said.

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New Book Promotes Game Mechanics as Best Model for an Efficient Workplace

October 3, 2012 -

A new book written by an executive for other executives uses gaming as a way to make workplace teams stronger. The new book is called "ENTERPRISE GAMES: Using Game Mechanics to Build a Better Business" (O'Reilly Media, October 20212), and is written by Michael Hugos. According to the PR for the book, which you can find on Amazon, managers and executives can learn better ways to manage teams from virtual worlds and the type of behavior needed to survive in them.

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Research: Playing MMO's Improves Important Workplace Skills

September 27, 2012 -

New research from the University of Crete comes to the conclusion that all those hours playing massively multiplayer online role-playing games can have positive real-world effects on behavior at work. The research is discussed at length by Dr. Savvas Papagiannidis, Senior Lecturer and Head of the Innovation, Entrepreneurship and E-business Subject Group in this Huffington Post UK story.

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Joel Bylos Named Director of Secret World's Post Launch Content

September 24, 2012 -

Funcom's latest MMO The Secret World continues to see an evolution as the company tries to do its best in spite of a bad start and some underwhelming performance of the title since launch. Today the company announced that lead content designer Joel Bylos has been named director for all of the game's post-launch content going forward.

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Star Wars: The Old Republic Servers Consolidated

September 19, 2012 -

BioWare Austin has begun consolidating Star Wars: The Old Republic servers together, leaving players with fewer world server choices, but providing a large population of gamers.

"By centralizing our player populations on these higher population destination servers, we feel that we can offer our players the best possible Star Wars: The Old Republic experience," wrote the SWTOR team on the game's website.

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NCSoft Prepares to Issue Refunds for City of Heroes

September 19, 2012 -

NCsoft informed subscribers to its super hero themed MMO City of Heroes that it will begun issuing automatic refunds to paid subscribers and players with other outstanding account balances beginning on September 26. The company announced, much to the chagrin of current subscribers that it would be shutting down the game as part of a company-wide focus. Customers with recurring subscriptions plans as of September 1st or who purchased in-game currency after August 24th will also receive full refunds through their "original method of payment."

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EVE Online Player-Government Honors U.S. Embassy Officer Killed in Libya

September 14, 2012 -

EVE Online's player-run government has honored US embassy official Sean "Vile Rat" Smith, who was killed during an attack on the US Embassy in Libya earlier this week (thanks to Eurogamer). Eve Online's Council of Stellar Management formally responded to Smith's untimely death at the hands of protestors angry about a film clip that depicted the Islamic prophet Mohammad as a child molester and cruel oppressor, among other things.

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Funcom Denies Reports that a 'Majority' of its Oslo Studio Has Been Laid Off

September 14, 2012 -

MMO developer Funcom insists that it has laid off just fewer than 50 percent of its staff at its Oslo, Norway studio, despite reports that the number of layoffs is higher. The company revealed late last month that it would be focusing on games that had shorter development times built by smaller teams. The move was a reaction to poor performance of its latest MMORPG, The Secret World.

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Jagex Hires Former Bigpoint Managing Director

September 13, 2012 -

RuneScape makers Jagex continues to shore up its executive team with high profile hires. The latest is Rob Ollett, the former Managing Director of Bigpoint. Ollett will lead the charge in Jagex's push beyond RuneScape into third-party publishing via a new publishing platform.

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RuneScape Gets a Security Upgrade

September 12, 2012 -

Jagex announced today that it has launched brand new security measures for its popular MMO, RuneScape. The new security measures are under the auspices of the Jagex Account Guardian system. The free system lets players add "trusted devices" to their accounts, while devices not validated through the program would require some sort of validation process for a user to connect to the game with it.

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President Barack Obama Beats Mitt Romney in Maple Story Poll

September 11, 2012 -

Nexon America has released data from its first Maple Story player poll - part of its "Great Maple Election Quest 2012" in-game event. According to poll data President Barack Obama was the hands-down favorite, garnering 80 percent of the vote, while Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney received 20 percent of the vote.

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ArenaNet: Beware of Guild Wars 2 Phishing Schemes

September 10, 2012 -

The Guild Wars 2 Wiki warns Guild Wars 2 users that they need to be on the lookout for phishing schemes pretending to be official emails from ArenaNet asking for personal information.

"Account Security Hackers have lists of email addresses and passwords stolen from other games and web sites, and collected through spyware, and are systematically testing Guild Wars 2 looking for matching accounts," reads a lengthy post on the Wiki. "To protect yourself, use a strong, unique password for Guild Wars 2 that you've never used anywhere else!"

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Nexon America Launches 2012 Presidential Election Event in Maple Story

September 10, 2012 -

Nexon America has launched a Maple Story quest event that puts an emphasis on participating in the 2012 presidential election. The vent is comprised of a number of in-game activities including polling registered players about which candidate for president they plan on choosing, along with a brand new set of quests and other in-game events promoting the presidential election. Players who take the time to vote will be rewarded with an in game item.

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11K Guild Wars 2 Passwords Compromised

September 7, 2012 -

UPDATE - In the original version of this story, we did not make it clear that hackers are accessing player accounts with user credentials stolen from outside sources.  We've reworded the story accordingly.

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Star Trek Online: To Boldy Go Where Someone Else has Gone Before

September 6, 2012 -

Cryptic Studios transitioned Star Trek Online to a free-to-play game recently and Perfect World Entertainment's wholly owned development studio revealed a little more on why they shifted the game from a subscription-based model to free-to-play in an exclusive interview with [A]ListDaily. Star Trek Online executive producer Dan Stahl and Perfect World vice president of business development and corporate communications John Young said the following:

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ZippyDSMlee.....win8 hates any left over hidden install partitions from other version of windows....only waste 5 hours finding that out...its ahrder than you think keeping up with 4 or 5 HDDS......03/03/2015 - 4:44am
Matthew WilsonI am going to pax east, any games you guys want me to check out?03/02/2015 - 11:23pm
ZippyDSMleeNo one remembers the days of Cinemagic and Cynergy eh? :P, meh even MGS is getting to film like....03/02/2015 - 8:44pm
MechaTama31I was about to get all defensive about liking Metal Gear Solid, but then I saw that he was talking about "cinematic" as a euphemism for "crappy framerate".03/02/2015 - 8:29pm
prh99Just replace cinematic with the appropriate synonym for poo and you'll have gist of any press release.03/02/2015 - 5:34pm
PHX Corphttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZQDFO2KEPo Jim Sterling Makes Fun of "Cinematic" Gaming03/02/2015 - 3:39pm
Matthew WilsonWOW is copping EVE. http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/18141101/introducing-the-wow-token-3-2-2015 I think its a smart move to deal with gold farmers in this way.03/02/2015 - 1:16pm
Matthew WilsonI guess epic is tired of having their lunch eaten by unity. https://www.unrealengine.com/blog/ue4-is-free03/02/2015 - 12:50pm
Andrew EisenNot much to follow. Kern is being silly and... nothing much else is happening.03/02/2015 - 11:40am
Papa MidnightI ask because, having only just heard of it, I have not, and I was hoping for some insight.03/02/2015 - 11:39am
Papa MidnightHas anyone been following this petition by Mark Kern regarding Kotaku, Polygon, and VG247? https://www.change.org/p/kotaku-lead-the-way-in-healing-the-rift-in-video-games03/02/2015 - 11:38am
ZippyDSMleePaypal shuts down Mega's payment system. https://torrentfreak.com/under-u-s-pressure-paypal-nukes-mega-for-encrypting-files-150227/03/01/2015 - 3:25pm
Matthew Wilsonvalvle planning to release a vr headset this year wtf http://www.pcgamer.com/valves-vr-headset-is-named-vive-and-htc-are-making-it/03/01/2015 - 1:05pm
ZippyDSMleeuuuhhhggg in other news been sick since last night.....uuhggg.....I iwsh it did not hurt so much when my tummy wants to leave my body..02/28/2015 - 11:39pm
ZippyDSMleeBrings me to the Q why alt costumes would be needed in competition anyway... http://www.eventhubs.com/news/2015/feb/28/dead-or-alive-community-aims-ban-over-120-overly-sexualized-costumes-dead-or-alive-5-last-round/02/28/2015 - 11:36pm
MonteThough from a business side, i would agree with the article. While it would be smarter for developers to slow down, you can't expect EA, Activision or ubisoft to do something like that. Nintnedo's gotta get the third party back.02/28/2015 - 4:36pm
MonteThough it does also help that nintendo's more colorful style is a lot less reliant on graphics than more realistic games. Wind Waker is over 10 years old and still looks good for its age.02/28/2015 - 4:33pm
MonteWith the Wii, nintnedo had the right idea. Hold back on shiny graphics and focus on the gameplay experience. Unfortunatly everyone else keeps pushing for newer graphics and it matters less and less each generation. I can barely notice the difference02/28/2015 - 4:29pm
MonteON third party developers; i kinda think they should slow down to nintendo's pace. They bemoan the rising costs of AAA gaming, but then constantly push for the best graphics which is makes up a lot of those costs. Be easier to afford if they held back02/28/2015 - 4:27pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2015/02/28/the-world-is-nintendos-if-only-theyd-take-it/ I think this is a interesting op-ed, but yeah it kind of is stating the obvious.02/28/2015 - 2:52pm
 

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