MMO, Games

Blizzard: No Plans to Raise Level Cap on World of Warcraft Starter Edition

August 23, 2012 -

If you thought the makers of World of Warcraft were sitting around wringing their hands over the trend to rush towards full free-to-play models, think again. Blizzard Entertainment's John Lagrave, the producer for World of Warcraft, tells Computer & Video Games that the company has no plans to raise the level cap for free players above level 20. The company introduced the free Starter Edition of the game in June, which lets players fool around within the virtual world - without too many restrictions - up to level 20.

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Ubisoft Fighting Piracy with Free-to-Play

August 22, 2012 -

Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot says that the percentage of paying customers is about the same for free to play as it is for PC boxed product: around five to seven percent. Guillemot tells GamesIndustry International that using a free to play model in countries where piracy is a huge problem has proven to be an effective strategy.

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Nexon America: Consoles Could Go the Way of the Dodo

August 20, 2012 -

Nexon America CEO Daniel Kim says that console developers need to take a chance on the free-to-play market, or risk a future where consoles are no longer around as platforms they can rely on.

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Curt Schilling: Copernicus Was Going to Launch as a Free-to-Play Game

August 20, 2012 -

I wonder how the citizens of Rhode Island feel about free-to-play games... Ultimately their opinion is of paramount importance now that the state owns the rights to Curt Schilling's first MMO project, Copernicus. So what does free-to-play have to do with it? Well, apparently the plan for 38 Studios' first MMO was to launch it as a free-to-play game, according to Boston Magazine. At least that is what Schilling told the publication...

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Vanguard Saga of Heroes Goes Free-To-Play

August 14, 2012 -

Sony Online Entertainment has officially relaunched its fantasy MMORPG Vanguard Saga of Heroes as a free-to-play game worldwide. SOE claims that Vanguard Saga of Heroes' transition to a free-to-play model marks the beginning of an "exciting new direction" which will include entirely new game enhancements, regular updates and brand new content.

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Developer: Thirty Percent Player Retention Rate a Success for Free-to-Play Game

August 14, 2012 -

Former Empire: Total War designer Jan van der Crabben offered a dire prediction for companies thinking of swimming in the free-to-play pond: expect a 70 percent drop in initial registered users.

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Super Podcast Action Committee – Episode 15

August 13, 2012 -

In episode 15 of the Super Podcast Action Committee, Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about Harry Potter games, OUYA's Kickstarter success and pre-order, a dehydrated teen, piracy, free-to-play spending, and Nintendo and Sony's trouble getting third-party developers to love their hand-helds. Download Episode 15 here: SuperPAC Episode 15 (1 Hour, 5 Minutes).

Poll: What’s the Most You’ve Spent On a Free-To-Play Game?

August 7, 2012 -

Oddly enough, “How much money have you spent on free-to-play games?” is not a stupid question.

As more and more games switch over to the “free-to-play” model, we find ourselves wondering how much gamers are spending on these “freemium” titles.  Luckily, we have our very own poll so those sleepless nights we've spent pondering this topic can kiss their butts goodbye!

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Wargaming Acquires BigWorld for $45 Million

August 7, 2012 -

In a shocking turn of events, Wargaming has purchased video game middleware company BigWorld for $45 Million, according to a GamesBeat report. Wargaming is best known for its wildly popular online game World of Tanks. That game has more than 35 million registered users who can play for free or buy virtual goods to enhance their game experience if they so choose.

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Dead Trigger Developer: Piracy Can't Be Stopped

August 6, 2012 -

You can't fight city hall, and apparently you can't fight piracy online either - at least according to Dead Trigger developer Madfinger Games. The company made news earlier this month when it turned the Andorid version of its zombie shooting game "freemium," claiming that the Android version of the game had such a high piracy rate that the game needed to be free with micro-transactions.

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Dead Trigger Now Free on iOS Devices

August 2, 2012 -

Dead Trigger developer Madfinger Games has made the iOS version of the game free, following reports earlier this month that it would make the Android version of its zombie shooter a free downloaded due to "unbelievably high" levels of piracy. Today the company has taken the same action for the iPad and iPhone version of the game, though its claims about piracy on this platform seem to be slightly more subdued.

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Star Wars: The Old Republic Going Free-To-Play This Fall

August 1, 2012 -

While it has been hinted at for awhile today it's official: Star Wars: The Old Republic has gone free-to-play. EA made the announcement after revealing yesterday that the subscription numbers for the MMO developed by BioWare had fallen well below one million registered users.

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Microsoft Halts Development on Microsoft Flight and Project Columbia

July 26, 2012 -

Microsoft has confirmed in a statement this morning that it has discontinued Microsoft Flight and a children’s game for Kinect called Project Columbia. As a result the company has also laid off some staff at its Vancouver, Canada-based studio. How many employees have been given the axe we do not know as of this writing. Earlier rumors indicated that Microsoft had shut the studio down altogether, but those rumors turned out to be false.

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Russian Hacker's iOS App Unlocking Service Crippled by Apple

July 24, 2012 -

Apple has found a way to fight against a Russian hacker who made it so that users could circumvent the in-game purchase system to get premium versions of freemium games for free. Apple claims that it has found a solution to the Borodin App Store hack operated by Russian hacker Alexey Borodin.

Borodin admitted on his blog that the party is over for his hacking service.

"Currently game is over," Russian hacker Alexey Borodin said.

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RuneScape to Go Multi-Platform, Claims Jagex

July 24, 2012 -

Develop is reporting that Jagex plans to take its 200-million registered users-strong MMO RuneScape to the next level with some multi-platform versions of the game. Jagex CEO Mark Gerhard told Develop that the studio’s long-term plan for the game has always been to make it ubiquitous on any device that can connect to the Internet, and to make it available in multiple languages.

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Heroes of Newerth Goes Free-to-Play

July 20, 2012 -

Consider this a public service announcement. Developer S2 Games announced that, starting today, all players of its multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game Heroes of Newerth will have full access to all of the game's 107 heroes. Prior to today's change players had to pay money to have access to premium heroes. This change effectively turns the game fully free-to-play.

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RuneScape Over 200 Million Registered Users Strong

July 19, 2012 -

UK-based Jagex Software announced today that its free-to-play massively multiplayer online adventure game RuneScape has hit a major milestone: 200 million registered player accounts worldwide. Jagex claims that over the last 10 years, RuneScape has garnered the support of over 200 million players from more than 150 countries around the world since its launch as a 3D web based MMO in 2001. They say that, if RuneScape were a country, it would be the 5th largest population in the world.

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EA CEO Talks Free-to-Play, Investors' Lack of Understanding

July 19, 2012 -

In an interesting interview with CNBC, Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello says that the company's recent decline in its stock price isn't due to the business, but to a lack of understanding in how the business works on the part of investors. For starters industry's focus on NPD's packaged game sales numbers is "misguided," and ignores the current strong shift towards digital sales - which NPD doesn't have a handle on yet. He points to their success with games on Apple's platforms as well as on Facebook.

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SOE: 70 Percent of DCUO Players Prefer it on PS3

July 18, 2012 -

According to Sony Online Entertainment CEO John Smedley, 70 percent of DC Universe Online players prefer the game on the PlayStation 3. Speaking to GamesIndustry International, Smedley says that his company has proven that free-to-play gaming on Sony's console is a viable market, and one that's supported well. Smedley makes a good point considering that there are more MMO's on the PS3 than there are on any other console and the PS3 is the only console system that has successfully supported the free-to-play model in games like DC Universe Online and Free Realms.

BioWare Developing Free-to-Play Ultima Game

July 12, 2012 -

BioWare has announced Ultima Forever: Quest for the Avatar, a free-to-play action RPG coming to the PC and iPad later this year. According to BioWare, Ultima Forever: Quest for the Avatar will feature action RPG gameplay, BioWare-style storytelling, cross-platform play, and a whole lot of other features to be revealed at a later date.

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BioWare Offers Star Wars: The Old Republic Free Trial up to Level 15

July 11, 2012 -

While Star Wars: The Old Republic isn't free-to-play yet, BioWare and EA have made a move similar to what Blizzard did with its World of Warcraft trial version. BioWare announced today that the trial version of the game will let players try out the game free of charge up to level 15. Players will have access to all eight character classes, as well as access to player versus player and player versus environment gameplay.

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Bobby Kotick Acknowledges the Challenges of Bringing Call of Duty to China

July 6, 2012 -

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick admitted in a recent interview with CNBC Asia’s Squawk Box that bringing Call of Duty Online to market in China is a risky proposition. While Kotick expresses confidence in Tencent Holdings in making the game based on its popular first-person shooter series successful in Mainland China, Kotick also knows that there is a risk when bringing a Western game into a new market with different business models and player tastes.

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Vanguard: Saga of Heroes Going Free-to-Play This Summer

July 3, 2012 -

Sony Online Entertainment announced today that one of its last remaining subscription-based MMO's is going free-to-play. Via a Producer Letter, SOE announced that Vanguard: Saga of Heroes will be free later this summer. The company has actually been working on the transition to free-to-play for quite some time, but today's announcement makes it official and lays out some of the changes players can expect.

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Activision in Pact With Tencent for Call of Duty Online

July 3, 2012 -

Activision Blizzard has inked a deal with Chinese online games giant Tencent Holdings Limited to bring Call of Duty Online to Chinese players. In its announcement this morning Activision said that Call of Duty Online has been in development by Activision Publishing for approximately two years. Under the multi-year agreement with Activision Publishing, Tencent gains the exclusive licensing rights to operate Call of Duty Online in mainland China. The game is described as free-to-play and uses a monetized in-game store to sell virtual items.

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Crytek Boss: The Future of Consoles is Free-to-Play

June 26, 2012 -

Cevat Yerli, CEO and president of Crytek, recently said that after his company finishes up its current projects all future titles from the studio will be free-to-play. In a lengthy interview with Computer & Videogames, Yerli said that free-to-play gaming is the future of the industry and the reason we do not see free-to-play games on consoles is because platform holders have done a good job of not allowing them at the behest of retail partners.

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Ngmoco: Mobile, Freemium Will Kill Consoles in 5 - 10 Years

June 26, 2012 -

Ben Cousins, general manager of Ngmoco, recently gave a keynote at GDC Taipei where he offered his predictions on the five big trends in the game industry across the next 5-10 years. One of the big trends that will change the industry will be freemium and mobile, according to Cousins. In his keynote he claims that the combination of mobile and freemium games will ultimately kill off the home console.

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BioWare Considering Star Wars: The Old Republic Going Free-to-Play in the Future

June 15, 2012 -

BioWare’s Emmanuel Lusinchi, lead designer on the company's MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic, says that the company is looking into the possibility of switching the game from its current monthly subscription-based business model to free-to-play. Speaking to GamesTM, lead designer Emmanuel Lusinchi said that the MMO space is ever evolving, and acknowledges that BioWare must adapt to the changes.

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Habbo Called a 'Pedophile Haven' By Channel 4 News Report

June 12, 2012 -

Is Habbo (formerly Habbo Hotel) a despicable hang-out for pedophiles that are continually preying on its underage users? A report that will air tonight on a Channel 4 news claims that they have strong evidence that it is. The report claims that pedophiles are chatting it up in the graphical social game-like teen destination, asking them if they have a "web cam," if they will get naked on camera, and trying their best to engage under age children in sexually charged conversations.

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Crytek Boss: Our Future is Free-To-Play

June 8, 2012 -

Speaking to web site Videogamer.com, Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli revealed that - after the company is done wrapping up its currents projects - all of its future game releases will be free-to-play. Yerli also said that he has become a little bit sick of DLC and premium gaming services that are "milking customers to death."

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Nexon Buys Nearly 15 Percent Stake in NCsoft

June 8, 2012 -

A few months ago rumors were flying that Japanese MMO company Nexon was going to buy a gigantic company like Electronic Arts. Today we see a more realistic investment from the company responsible for Maple Story and other free-to-play games in the U.S. Nexon has bought a 14.7 percent stake in South Korean MMO maker NCsoft. Nexon purchased 3,218,091 shares from NCsoft CEO Taek Jin Kim for ₩804,522,750,000 (approximately $686.8 million USD).

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Poll

Is King right? Should all games adopt the free-to-play model?:

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IanCErm so they shouldn't sell edutainment at all? Why?04/17/2014 - 4:42pm
MaskedPixelanteNot that linkable, go onto Steam and there's stuff like Pajama Sam on the front-page, courtesy of Night Dive.04/17/2014 - 4:13pm
Andrew EisenOkay, again, please, please, PLEASE get in a habit of linking to whatever you're talking about.04/17/2014 - 4:05pm
MaskedPixelanteAnother round of Night Dive teasing and promising turns out to be stupid edutainment games. Thanks for wasting all our time, guys. See you never.04/17/2014 - 3:44pm
Matthew WilsonAgain the consequences were not only foreseeable, but very likely. anyone who understood supply demand curvs knew that was going to happen. SF has been a econ/trade hub for the last hundred years.04/17/2014 - 2:45pm
Andrew EisenMixedPixelante - Would you like to expand on that?04/17/2014 - 2:43pm
MaskedPixelanteWell, I am officially done with Night Dive Studios. Unless they can bring something worthwhile back, I'm never buying another game from them.04/17/2014 - 2:29pm
PHX Corphttp://www.msnbc.com/ronan-farrow/watch/video-games-continue-to-break-the-mold-229561923638 Ronan Farrow Daily on Video games breaking the mold04/17/2014 - 2:13pm
NeenekoAh yes, because by building something nice they were just asking for people to come push them out. Consequences are protested all the time when other people are implementing them.04/17/2014 - 2:06pm
Matthew Wilsonok than they should not protest when the consequences of that choice occur.04/17/2014 - 1:06pm
NeenekoIf people want tall buildings, plenty of other cities with them. Part of freedom and markets is communities deciding what they do and do not want built in their collective space.04/17/2014 - 12:55pm
Sora-ChanI realize that they have ways getting around it, but one reason might be due to earthquakes.04/17/2014 - 4:42am
Matthew WilsonSF is a tech/ economic/ trade center it should be mostly tail building. this whole problem is because of the lack of tail buildings. How would having tail apartment buildings destroy SF? having tail buildings has not runed other cities around the US/world04/16/2014 - 10:51pm
Matthew WilsonAgain the issue is you can not build upwards anywhere in SF at the moment, and no you would not. You would bring prices to where they should have been before the market distortion. those prices are not economic or socially healthy.04/16/2014 - 10:46pm
ZippyDSMleeYou still wind up pushing people out of the non high rise aeras but tis least damage you can do all things considered.04/16/2014 - 10:26pm
ZippyDSMleeANd by mindlessly building upward you make it like every place else hurting property prices,ect,ect. You'll have to slowly segment the region into aeras where you will never build upward then alow some aeras to build upward.04/16/2014 - 10:25pm
Matthew WilsonSF have to build upwards they have natural growth limits. they can not grow outwards. ps growing outwards is terable just look at Orlando or Austin for that.04/16/2014 - 4:15pm
ZippyDSMleeIf they built upward then it would becoem like every other place making it worthless, if they don't build upward they will price people out making it worthless, what they need to do is a mix of things not just one exstreme or another.04/16/2014 - 4:00pm
Matthew Wilsonyou know the problem in SF was not the free market going wrong right? it was government distortion. by not allowing tall buildings to be build they limited supply. that is not free market.04/16/2014 - 3:48pm
ZippyDSMleeOh gaaa the free market is a lie as its currently leading them to no one living there becuse they can not afford it makign it worthless.04/16/2014 - 3:24pm
 

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