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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Super Podcast Action Committee – Episode 18

September 5, 2012 -

Episode 18 of the Super Podcast Action Committee sees host Andrew Eisen team up with GP Managing Editor James Fudge, who sat in for E.

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Fans Fight to Save City of Heroes

September 4, 2012 -

Yesterday we reported that NCsoft was closing its Paragon Studio and shutting down its Super Hero MMO City of Heroes. Fans of the game, who are obviously not happy with the news, have decided to launch an online petition to protest the move. City of heroes Player Meggan Russell put together a petition. She says in the text of the petition that the community and the game's developers want the game to continue on as it has been:

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Guild Wars 2 Trading Post Launches

September 4, 2012 -

If you were wondering why ArenaNet seemed so heavy handed when it banned some 3,000 accounts for exploiting an in-game vendor, here's your answer: the Guild Wars 2 in-game Trading Post. Thousands of players being able to buy really, really, low and then sell really, really, high (whether it be the actual items or the components you get from breaking items down) probably mucks up the game's economy...

The Trading Post went live yesterday after a brand new update. Basically it allows you to auction off your little baubles in the game for in-game currency.

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Wargaming CEO: Publishers Don't Understand Free-to-Play

September 4, 2012 -

In a recent interview with Develop, Wargaming CEO Victor Kislyi said that most game publishers just don't understand how to create a successful free-to-play game. He also points out that most of those traditional publishers dipping their toes into the market have no idea how the free-to-play business model works.

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NCsoft Closing Paragon Studios, Sunsetting City of Heroes

September 3, 2012 -

NCsoft has decided to shut down its Paragon Studio and the continued development of its long-running super-hero-based MMO City of Heroes. The company said in a blog post on August 31 that it would halt all future development on the title, putting its focus on "sunsetting the title by the year's end."

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BioWare Unsure if Free-to-Play Can Save Star Wars: The Old Republic

August 31, 2012 -

BioWare's new General Manager says that shifting Star Wars: The Old Republic to a free-to-play model may not save the Star Wars themed MMO. When asked by Computer & Videogames in a recent interview if the transition would help the MMO, Matt Bromberg said with much frankness, "I don't know."

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Should 'Hatred' have been removed from Steam Greenlight?:

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Adam802Leland Yee and Jackson get trial date: http://sfbay.ca/2014/12/18/leland-yee-keith-jackson-get-trial-date/12/19/2014 - 5:24pm
MaskedPixelanteNevermind. Turns out when they said "the patch is now live", they meant "it's still in beta".12/19/2014 - 5:07pm
MaskedPixelanteSo I bought Dark Souls PC, and it's forcing me to log into GFWL. Did I miss something?12/19/2014 - 5:00pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/12/republicans-may-have-plan-to-save-internet-providers-from-utility-rules/ this is intreasting. congress may put net nutrality in to law to avoid title 2 classification12/19/2014 - 2:45pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.polygon.com/2014/12/19/7421953/bullshit-cards-against-humanity-donated-250k-sunlight-foundation I have to admit I like the choice o organization. congrats to CAH.12/19/2014 - 1:51pm
E. Zachary KnightIf you are downloading a copy in order to bypass the DRM, then you are legally in the wrong. Ethically, if you bought the game, it doesn't matter where you download it in the future.12/19/2014 - 12:06pm
InfophileEZK: Certainly better that way, though not foolproof. Makes me think though: does it count as piracy if you download a game you already paid for, just not from the place you paid for it at? Ethically, I'd say no, but legally, probably yes.12/19/2014 - 11:20am
ZippyDSMleeAnd I still spent 200$ in the last month on steam/GOG stuff sales get me nearly every time ><12/19/2014 - 10:55am
ZippyDSMleeMaskedPixelante:And this is why I'm a one legged bandit.12/19/2014 - 10:51am
ZippyDSMleeE. Zachary Knight: I buy what I can as long as I can get cracks for it...then again it I could have gotton Lords of the Fallen for 30 with DLC I would have ><12/19/2014 - 10:50am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/12/19/marvel-vs-capcom-origins-leaving-online-storefronts-soon/ Speaking of "last chance to buy", Marvel vs. Capcom Origins is getting delisted from all major storefronts. Behold the wonders of the all digital future.12/19/2014 - 9:59am
MaskedPixelanteSeriously, the so-called "Last Chance" sale was up to 80% off, while this one time only return sale goes for a flat 85% off with a 90% off upgrade if you buy the whole catalogue.12/19/2014 - 9:37am
E. Zachary KnightInfophile, Tha is why I buy only DRM-free games.12/19/2014 - 9:37am
MaskedPixelanteNordic is back on GOG for one weekend only. And at 85% off no less, which is kind of a slap in the face to people who paid more during the "NORDIC IS LEAVING FOREVER BUY NOW OR FOREVER HOLD YOUR PEACE" sale, but whatever...12/19/2014 - 9:28am
InfophileRe PHX's link: This is one of the reasons the digital revolution isn't all it's cracked up to be. There's also the flip side where Sony can block access to games you've bought if they ban your account for unrelated reasons. All power is theirs.12/19/2014 - 8:52am
MaskedPixelantehttp://uplay.ubi.com/#!/en-US/events/uplay-15-days You can win FREE GAMES FOR A YEAR! Unfortunately, they're Ubisoft games.12/18/2014 - 6:29pm
Papa MidnightAh, so it was downtime. I've been seeing post appear in my RSS feed, but I was unable to access GamePolitics today across several ISPs.12/18/2014 - 6:06pm
james_fudgeSorry for the downtime today, folks.12/18/2014 - 5:54pm
PHX Corphttp://www.craveonline.com/gaming/articles/801575-sony-refuses-offer-refund-playstation-game-fraudulently-purchased-hacker Sony Refuses to Offer Refund for PlayStation Game Fraudulently Purchased by Hacker12/18/2014 - 1:43pm
NeenekoMakes sense to me, and sounds kinda cool. One cool thing about Minecraft is the meta game, you can implement other game types within its mechanics. There are servers out there with plots, an episodic single player one sound kinda cool12/18/2014 - 11:07am
 

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