Still hot out of the oven, World of Warcraft‘s latest expansion, Mists of Pandaria, didn’t quite meet the sales bar set by Cataclysm. Pandaria sold about 2.7 million copies during its first week – a significant amount, to be sure – but well short of Cataclysm‘s record of 3.3 million on the first day. These sales did, however, boost the game’s player base back above 10 million for the time being.
Say what you will about obscure Korean MMOs, but they come up with some catchy (if unrelated) promo videos. But I digress. News time! Here’s what’s going down:
- 38 Studios and Big Huge Games got shuttered this week, their staff laid off and Amalur now property of Rhode Island. Sadly, not too surprising given the money hole they were in.
- Conflicting sales goals hide the real issue of what those 300+ developers – and their shiny new second mortgages from relocating – are going to do now.
- Meanwhile, BioWare lays off some of its own people from The Old Republic team. How’s that $200 million development cost working out, guys?
- All this prompts Pachter to speculate that MMOs are dooooooomed! My take: maybe, if everybody keeps trying to imitate/defeat World of Warcraft. And speaking of which…
- Diablo III got hacked, with reports of stolen items, money, and even characters. Getting hacked in a single-player game has got to be some kind of record.
- The horrible, horrible contract between Activision and Bungie is revealed. Short version: 5 million sales of a new property in six months, and eight titles in eight years. Read it and weep.
- Sony patents a technology to interrupt your game with advertisements, Japan developers alternatives to kompu gacha, and more!
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Endless Online Phenomenon’ »
Hello and welcome, everybody! It’s that time again. GDC occupied a lot of the news this week, but among that we have the following:
- Valve’s marketing director clarifies that they are not working on a Steam box… for now. Actually they left off the “for now” part, but let a man dream :3
- Peter Molyneux leaves Lionhead and Microsoft to start his own company once more. Shine on, you awesome fibber. Shine on… or go on to develop social/iOS games like other gaming legends.
- Blizzard offers a rather hefty
bounty returning bonus for players who bring friends back to World of Warcraft…
- …which doesn’t quite distract from their announcement that Diablo III will not have PvP at launch.
- A quartet of big names – Will Wright, Sid Meier, John Romero, and Cliff Bleszinski – offer various insights on the state of the industry, ranging from concerns about self-referential development to homeless simulators. It makes sense in context.
- Tim Cain gives a postmortem on Fallout, sharing the dirt on how the now famous post-apocalyptic RPG almost never saw the light of day. Short answer: blame Windows NT. Watch the whole thing if you can, it’s enlightening stuff.
- Two men make more or less the same complaints about Japanese games, with vastly different levels of tact (and authority), I suggest the big picture might be a bit more complicated, and more!
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – There He Goes Again On His Own’ »
November is upon us, as is daylight savings time for those of us that practice it for some reason. I, for one, look forward to driving to and from work in perpetual darkness, only occasionally seeing sunlight through the office windows.
Let us proceed with the news, which includes the following:
- Groupon goes public, setting records not seen since Google’s IPO. Of course, it’s only been one day and doubts persist about the company’s long-term growth prospects, but I’m sure it will all work out just fine. (Note: I’m not a financial expert and my opinions should not be construed as advice.)
- Silicon Knights sees substantial layoffs, reaffirming what happens when you fail to make Technoviking: The Game look interesting.
- Richard Garriott warns that Blizzard “needs to watch out for the Zyngas of the world.” Yeah, I’m sure they’re quivering behind the giant forts they’ve constructed purely out of money.
- Grand Theft Auto V finally launches its official trailer, with not a single carjacking or crazy stunt in sight. I’ll bet Pepperidge Farm remembers when GTA games were fun.
- In truly unexpected news, GameStop plans to sell tablet PCs in stores. Preorder yours today for bonus exclusive DLC for Microsoft Office!
- Ultima takes a long, strange trip into BioWare, Spike TV’s VGA includes games that aren’t out yet, we learn the terrible secret of Bro Con, and more!
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Groupon to Buy Britannia Manor’ »
Howdy-howdy! Slowly getting back to a working schedule, though still suffering connection issues. Making some progress on my end, or at least narrowing down the problem. But enough about my griping, we’re here for the news! News, and the joy of shows about time-travelling quad bikes on YouTube.
Gotta love Klyka, man. Anyway, let’s get at it:
- Sony is reportedly beginning work on game concepts for the yet-unannounced PS4, with an expected release window of 2014…
- …while Microsoft looks to debut the “Xbox Next” at E3 2013. Also, Fable will get a chance to disappoint people on the Next.
- A Gamasutra interview on Rage sparks… rage. The writer responds, arguing that being potentially blacklisted for a pointed question or two is kind of an overreaction.
- Blizzard offers up a side of Diablo III free with $180 worth of World of Warcraft. Such a deal! Blizzard, throw in Warcraft 4 or the rest of Starcraft II and we’ll talk.
- Speaking of tie-ins, Mass Effect 3 teams up with Battlefield 3 to prop up the latter gain early access to the ME3 multiplayer demo. Maybe they’re hoping BF3‘s multiplayer mojo will rub off or something.
- Namco Bandai is set to publish Ni no Kuni in Rest-of-the-Worldia, Yoshida says more about FFXIV, Batman: Arkham City opens up fresh DLC wounds, and more!
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – New Generation, Same Tricks’ »
Blizzard has confirmed the latest expansion for World of Warcraft, titled Mists of Pandaria. Centered around the home continent of the bear-like Pandarans, the expansion adds these creatures as a playable race, along with the new monk job and a boosted level cap of 90. Other features were mentioned, such as challenge mode dungeons and a “pet battle system,” but given few concrete details.
In related news, Blizzard’s president Mike Morhaime revealed an Annual Pass for World of Warcraft, basically a year-long subscription. Sweetening the deal is a free digital copy of Diablo III when it releases, though a release date has not been set. Additionally, Pass holders are guaranteed access to the Mists of Pandaria beta.
At the Citi 2011 Tech Conference, Activision Blizzard COO Thomas Tippl stated that the company is expected to release six “proven property” titles over the next three years. Tippl confirmed that this includes both Starcraft II titles – the Zerg and Protoss campaigns – two World of Warcraft expansions, Diablo III and its own expansion.
Hello once more, folks! Hope you’re enjoying the weekend, and not too busy getting drunk and shooting bottle rockets at each other to check out the news. Quite a bit happened this past week, so let’s break it down:
- Zynga prepares to go public, and LinkedIn makes a surprising gain through no action of their own. Pay no attention to that Greece problem in Europe, that could never affect us!
- Facebook hires George Hotz, possibly for iPad or security-related development. So you know, this is the man himself. Feel better about yourself? I sure do.
- Resident Evil: The Mercenaries‘ save system prevents players from deleting saves. Capcom says no really, it’s not about the used market, please don’t be mad GameStop.
- Nintendo thanks its fans for their loyalty and concern over Xenoblade Chronicles, The Last Story, etc. before ripping their hearts out and stomping on them.
- Politics: SCOTUS rules in favor of game developers/retailers, while a Senate bill plays dueling banjos while eying up YouTube.
- IGN reveals the ugly truth about LA Noire‘s stay in development hell. Read the whole thing then wonder why there aren’t more fistfights in the office.
- World of Warcraft changes its subscription model, Namco-Bandai’s community manager retracts her statement re: Vesperia on 360, and much more!
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Free Market V. Captive Audience’ »
Hello everybody, and welcome back! Sorry to push the update back without notice, but a shortage of time this week really cut into the editing process. It’s a long story, but after careful consideration, What Happened This Week will now be uploaded every Sunday instead of Saturday. Again, my apologies. With that said, let’s get to the news:
- Zynga buys out yet another indie developer, then tries to bribe tax cuts out of San Francisco. Where have I seen this behavior before…
- Blizzard moves its MMO veterans to other projects. Negative projections may be premature, but a decade is a long time.
- Microsoft has something big coming up for 2015. Let the Xbox 720 speculation begin!
- BioWare: Our romances are for everyone, not just straight men. But don’t misunderstand, they are quite angsty.
- AT&T rolls out bandwidth caps in May, invests in a doom fortress, and hires a short man with a bladed hat.
- Portable gaming news, Metacritic rating people, and more!
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – AT&T Bills Zynga, Blizzard Gets Too Old for This’ »
Blizzard Entertainment finally set a date today for World or Warcraft‘s second expansion, Wrath of the Lich King. In fact it set several dates. Most on the ten million players will be able to get their copy sometime between November 13-18, though mainland China is still waiting for an official release. As for everyone else, the game will be available in stores on November 13 in North America and Europe (along with Mexico, Argentina, Chile, and Russia), and November 14 in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand. Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau will have to bide their time until November 18. Continue reading ‘Lich King Goes Global This November’ »
World of Warcraft continues to expand far and wide. On August 6 Blizzard Entertainment will release a Russian WoW and its expansion The Burning Crusade, making it the fifth European-language version of the game (already released are: English, French, German, and Spanish).
Continue reading ‘Blizzard Ventures Into Russian Realms’ »
Blizzard Entertainment announced today that World of Warcraft will be coming to Mexico, Chile, and Argentina on July 25. Players will then be able to pick up to WoW and its expansion, The Burning Crusade, as well as sixty-day prepaid subscription cards. Continue reading ‘Blizzard Turns Up the Heat in Mexico, Tries Not to Melt’ »
Blizzard announced today the beginning of the Wrath of the Lich King Opt-In program. For their previous expansion, The Burning Crusade, players for the beta were chosen at random. This time players who would like a chance to be part of the beta for the upcoming expansion can apply, and an undisclosed number of these applicants will be selected at random for the beta. Applying does not guarantee that one will be chosen, but if you happen to have won access to the beta in a promotion, have no fear for you’re still one of the lucky few. As for everyone else, players can apply on their account page here for North American players and here for European gamers.
Blizzard has reduced the required level to have a mount in its extremely popular World of Warcraft to 30, down from 40 in their latest patch. Training will cost 35 gold. Giddy-up!