MMO, Games

Jagex Shutting Down 'Transformers Universe' in January

December 16, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

RuneScape maker Jagex announced today that it is shutting down Transformers Universe, the company's MMO based on the popular Transformers franchise from Hasbro. The UK-based MMO developer proposed downsizing its team last month, noting that the free-to-play MMO game was reaching a "new stage of development in its life cycle."

But it turns out that the company decided that the game wasn't performing well enough to continue supporting it.

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UK ASA Agency Will Not Punish Gameloft Over Micro-Transactions in 'Littlest Pet Shop' Game

December 3, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The U.K.-based Advertising Standards Authority has decided pursue a complaint against Gameloft over one parent's complaint that its free-to-play mobile game Littlest Pet Shop is specifically designed to exploit children by "coercing them" into making in-app purchases.

While the ASA's ruling acknowledged that the Gameloft game targeted young children, it also noted that the developers of the game put enough warnings in place so that both parents and the player would know about the microtransaction scheme and could oversee their children's use of it.

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Crytek Shutting Down Warface Early Next Year

December 2, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Crytek is shutting down its online action game Warface in February 2015, the company announced today. This is pretty shocking news considering that the game launched in April of this year.

The game will be shut down for good on February 1, 2015 and Crytek has already closed off access for new sign-ups as of today. Existing accounts can continue to play but they will no longer have the ability to buy "kredits," the game's in-game currency for buying various digital bits and baubles.

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Apple Changes Labeling on 'Free-to-Play' Games in App Store

November 20, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Apple has kicked the "free" label in its App Store to the curb. Popular free-to-play apps that offer in-game microtransactions will now be labeled with "Get" instead of "Free." While Apple has confirmed the changes with Re/Code, the company hasn't said anything else about why it made the changes in the first place.

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Robotoki Hit With Layoffs

November 14, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Indie game development studio Robotoki has been forced to lay off some of its staff after abandoning the free-to-play model for its upcoming game Human Element in favor of releasing the game as a "premium product." This drastic change has also forced the company to abandon its publishing deal with free-to-play publisher Nexon, which in turn has led to a round of layoffs, according to Gamasutra.

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Avalanche: 'Just Cause 3' Is Not Free-To-Play

November 12, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Yesterday as Just Cause 3 was introduced to the world through some leaked screenshots, many came to the conclusion that the next game in the series would be free-to-play and contain microtransactions. Luckily it turns out that none of that is true according to developer Avalanche Studios. Christofer Sundberg, the co-founder of Sweden-based developer Avalanche Studios said that those leaked screenshots were very old.

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South Park Lampoons 'Freemium Games'

November 6, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

In the latest episode of South Park the gang get addicted to a Terrence and Philip "freemium" mobile game. The episode, "Freemium Isn't Free" aims some pretty harsh humor at the business model, with an executive in the episode explaining to the Canadian superstars that free-to-play games monetize every step of the equation and minimize the fun; the point being that players have to pay money to "make the game fun."

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Free-to-Play Version of 'Dead or Alive 5: Last Round' Rumored For Japan

October 21, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

A free-to-play version of Dead or Alive 5: Last Round is in development for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, according to a new report in Gematsu (as highlighted in this story over at Videogamer).

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Report: Tencent Making More Money Than EA, Activision

October 1, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

You might be under the impression that the video game company that make the most money in the world would be Electronic Arts, Sony, Microsoft, Activision, or even Google and Apple. But according to a new report from New Zoo that distinction belongs to Tencent.

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'Puzzle & Dragons' Downloaded Five Million Times in North America

September 24, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

GungHo Online Entertainment's popular mobile game continues to hit major milestones. According to an announcement from the company today, Puzzle & Dragons was downloaded five million times in North America last week (September 16). Puzzle & Dragons is currently available on Kindle Fire, Android devices, and iOS.

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Nexon Launches New Division, Shuffles Executives

September 22, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Free-to-play online games company NEXON Co., Ltd. has launched a new division within the company called ‘Nexon XP’ and shuffled some of its top executives. The new division will be dedicated to working with external development talent to bring their free-to-play games into the Nexon free-to-play games portal.

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Free-to-Play Game 'Warframe' Launches on Xbox One

September 2, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Digital Extremes has launched Warframe on the Xbox One console worldwide today. Warframe is the first free-to-play game to be released through the ID@Xbox indie game development program. Digital Extremes' game is a third-person action game set in an evolving multiplayer sci-fi world.

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'WWE SuperCard' Downloaded More Than 1.5 Million Times

August 25, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

2K Games' cards-meets-wresting mobile game, WWE SuperCard has been downloaded more than 1.5 million times. That number represents downloads during the game's first week of release on both the iOS and Android versions of the game.

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'Ascend: Hand of Kul' Pulled From Xbox Marketplace

August 21, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Free-to-play Xbox 360 online game Ascend: Hand of Kul has been removed from the Xbox Marketplace by Microsoft, according to developer Signal Studios. Signal Studios said in a post on the company's web site that Microsoft removed the game over the weekend. Why it was taken offline is unknown as of this writing.

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'Robocraft' Sees Big Boost from Steam Early Access

July 29, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Free-to-play MMO shooter Robocraft has managed to surpass one million registered players since its release on Steam Early Access. While an early build of the game was available prior to being released on Steam's Early Access, developer Freejam says that putting it on Steam has helped drive the game's user base significantly.

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British ASA Rules That EA's 'Dungeon Keeper' Can't be Advertised as 'Free'

July 2, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The British Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled that EA's free-to-play mobile title Dungeon Keeper can no longer be advertised in the region as being "free."

The watchdog agency said that timed in-game events that prevent players from progressing without micro-transactions are why EA needs to make changes in how it advertises the game, according to the ASA's website.

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EA Admits Mistakes Were Made With Free-to-Play 'Dungeon Keeper' Game

June 26, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

During an E3 interview with EA boss Andrew Wilson, Eurogamer asked the top man at Electronic Arts if he had learned any lesson from the free-to-play Dungeon Keeper mobile game and whether all the negative attention about the overuse of micro-transactions were heard at the very tip-top of the company. Wilson, who became EA CEO in September of last year began his conversation by promising "open and transparent conversations" on the subject.

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Report: 'Puzzle & Dragons' Generates Five Times More Revenue Than 'Clash of Clans'

May 16, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

According to new data released by Super Data, GungHo's Puzzle & Dragons beats out Super cell's Clash of Clans in mobile ARPU (average revenue per user). Super Data claims that GungHo's game generates around $12 per user, while Clash of Clans generates only around $1.31.

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'The Room' Creator Rails Against Free-to-Play, Cloning

May 12, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The co-founder of the studio behind successful iOS game The Room and The Room Two has some harsh words for the free-to-play space and cloning on mobile: it's not working.

Fireproof Games co-founder Barry Meade said recently in a Polygon column that since the 2012 release of his first game, The Room, his company has made over $5 million, and has sold 5.5 million copies of the game and its sequel combined. He says that publishers treat the game's success story as "an aberration at best" and continue to stick with the free-to-play model on mobile.

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Blizzard: Hearthstone Beta Test Validated Free-to-Play Model as the Right Choice

April 29, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Key staff members at Blizzard say that the free-to-play model used in Blizzard's popular trading card game Hearthstone was "validated" as the right decision during its beta phase, with Twitch playing a major role in the decision. Speaking to Eurogamer, the game's production editor Jason Chayes said that watching players stream the beta version on Twitch and do well without spending any money convinced the team that it wasn't being exploitative.

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Micro-Transactions Added to Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare

April 28, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Electronic Arts has activated in-game items purchases with real money in Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare. The micro-transactions allow consumers to purchase in-game money from the game's Sticker Shop that can be spent on new packs of upgrades. EA announced the move on Friday night at the end of a blog post detailing the recently released free updates for the game, such as the Wild West-themed Zomboss Down pack. More free content is on the way, according to EA.

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SOE 'All Access Pass' Delayed to April 29

April 23, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

It looks like those who were keen on playing Sony Online Entertainment's catalog of online games for a flat monthly fee will have to wait just a little bit longer. SOE announced today that it has delayed its "All-Access Pass" subscription plan to April 29. The company previously delayed its launch from April 6 to April 23, but this week it delayed it one more time. Why another delay? To ensure that the transfer to the "All Access Pass" subscription system is seamless, says SOE.

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Poll: Should All Games Adopt the Free-To-Play Model?

April 17, 2014 - Andrew Eisen

Earlier this week, King - known for such games as Candy Crush and... uh, Candy Crush - opined that all games should adopt the free-to-play business model.

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SOE Details All Access Subscriber Benefits to EverQuest II Players

April 17, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Sony Online Entertainment passed along a note explaining how EverQuest II players will benefit from an SOE All Access membership when it officially launches next week.

Some of the special benefits EverQuest II players will see in the game starting next week includes seven character slots, a "Member Benefits buff" that provides an additional 15 percent coin loot and 10 percent mount speed, double the alternate currencies earned in game, "members-only" Loyalty items and "all access" to broker, in-game mail, chat and spell tiers.

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King: All Games Need to Adopt Free-To-Play Model

April 16, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Candy Crush maker King says that all games need to transition to the free-to-play business model. This, the company says, will ensure that gamers can play their favorite games for a long time and developers can make a living keeping those games alive.

"The micro-transaction is so strong and it’s definitely a much better model," King games guru Tommy Palm told IGN. "I think all companies have to transition over to that."

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Help Save Little Worlds Studio

April 9, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Lyon, France-based indie developer Little Worlds Studio said that it is "playing its last card" and "places its fate in the hands of the public" with the launch of an initiative to save the company through what it is calling a "Kickfailer." Unlike a "Kickstarter," this initiative seeks support through its already established free-to-play mobile game Mana Crusher.

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Paid Mobile Version of 'Tetris' Downloaded Over 420 Million Times

April 8, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

In a recent interview with GamesBeat, The Tetris Company's Henk Rogers reveals that the mobile version of the classic puzzle game has been downloaded more than 425 million times. That figure does not include free-to-play versions of the game, which Rogers apparently is not a big fan of.

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WildTangent: Gamers Prefer Games With Ads Over Paid Games

March 27, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Research firm IHS Inc. and game network WildTangent released research today that indicates consumers are willing to put up with "value exchange-style advertising" in games. IHS describes "value exchange advertising" as a method used by advertisers to reward gamers for viewing ads with items such as in-game items or free game sessions.

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Bigfish Now Accepting Bitcoin

March 11, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Bigfish announced that it is now accepting Bitcoin as a means of payment for purchasing its online games and to make in-app purchases within its line-up of free-to-play game offerings.

"Being able to offer bitcoin payments to our consumers through Coinbase is just one more way Big Fish is meeting demand and setting the pace for the mainstream consumer and for the mainstream industry," said company CEO Paul Thelen.

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European Commission Tackles Free-to-Play Games

February 28, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The European Commission announced that it is holding meetings with member states and key players in the mobile app space like Apple and Google to enforce even stronger regulation of free-to-play games. The European Union's executive body said that it is concerned that a substantial number of games are marketed as free but contain in-app purchases that can prove to be very costly to consumers and that children are "particularly vulnerable" to messaging and marketing.

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Poll

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

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PHX Corp@Adam802 We'll break out the popcorn in June12/19/2014 - 9:23pm
ZippyDSMleeMaskedPixelante: I'm itching to start it too but I will wait till the patch goes live. >>12/19/2014 - 7:52pm
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
 

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