Forbes’ Paul Tassi recently wrote a piece predicting that Elder Scrolls Online, the upcoming MMO from Bethesda and ZeniMax, will be “the biggest game disaster of 2014.” He argued it could never recoup its rumored $200 million budget with its monthly subscription fee monetization model. “Console players, and hell, most PC players these days that aren't die hard WoW or EVE Online devotees, have no patience for the increasingly outdated monthly subscription model,” he wrote. Yesterday, Goblinwork’s CEO and former CCP CMO Ryan Scott Dancey wrote a detailed counter-argument over at mmorpg.com.
A dogfighting multiplayer game focused on the aircraft of World War 2 and Korea never seemed like a natural fit for mouse and keyboard. World of Warplanes faced an almost insurmountable dilemma: if it was easy to control, it wouldn't feel like actual flying and dogfighting, and if it did feel authentic, then it would probably exclude most of its intended audience.
New Zealand-based developer Grinding Gear Games has reason to celebrate. Only a month after launch, its free-to-play, clicky-click action RPG Path of Exile enjoys more than 250,000 daily users, and over 4 million registered users. 1.5 million unique players logged in following the end of its open beta.
There’s some consternation over Rift, the much-loved MMO from Trion Worlds, switching to free-to-play. While moving to a F2P business model can add life into drowning games, developers abusing the microtransaction system can quickly destroy the balance of the game in exchange for cold, hard cash.
Not the sobbing-at-a-funeral kind of misery, mind you. We're talking about Misery, an 85-ton Stalker battlemech that will hopefully leave your foes fully acquainted with the emotion in your wake. The mech comes with MWO's newest patch, which, among various other goodies and fixes, also comes with a new skin with skulls all over it, keeping with the theme nicely.
Like a robot Bob Ross, Piranha Games continues to slowly fill in the details around MechWarrior Online before it's ready to call the game released. After adding the beta's best map so far last month, this week's fresh paint comes in the form of improvements to MWO's in-match leadership and command features, which will be updated in a patch arriving tomorrow afternoon.
MechWarrior Online will stomp out of beta by the end of this summer, and the game's Vancouverian creators at Piranha Games are illuminating further what the free-to-play multiplayer game will look like when it hits its version 1.0 milestone. I spoke with Piranha President Russ Bullock and Creative Director Bryan Ekman last week in San Francisco to get more details about MWO's ambitious territory-control metagame, Community Warfare, ask about the status of this thing, and check up on other upcoming features.
During a talk at GDC today, Creative Assembly revealed a new direction for its Total War series: Total War Arena, a completely multiplayer and free-to-play combination of RTS and MOBA elements.
The first of three Assassin's Creed III Tyranny of King Washington DLC episodes releases next Tuesday, prompting Ubisoft to initiate tactical cross-promotion operation "Put Hoods in Ghost Recon Online." From today until March 1st, 11 Assassin's Creed-themed items are available for unlock or purchase in the free-to-play tactical shooter's open beta.
The Kickstarter page for free-to-play ARPG Akaneiro: Demon Hunters stated that American McGee's studio, Spicy Horse, ran "out of time and money" for final polishing. McGee evidently took umbrage with the media focus on that line, clarifying to Kotaku today that Akaneiro is "100 percent finished" and Spicy Horse has money to spare.
Spicy Horse, the Shangai developer founded by American McGee (of Quake and Alice fame), says it's "out of time and money" to finish polishing its free-to-play ARPG, Akaneiro: Demon Hunters. Money buys time, or is time, or something like that, so McGee is asking for $200,000 on Kickstarter to port the PC/Mac game to tablets, build in co-op multiplayer, add an equipment crafting system, hire dedicated community managers, and bulk up the game with other, smaller features before release.
After PlanetSide 2 launched, Evan and Tyler took to our foam-walled microphone palace to discuss the early days of the massive three-faction war: the battles, the guns, the certification grind, and the amazing things that happen when you pit 2000 knife, gun, and rocket-wielding players against each other at a time. See and hear what we love, and what we want from PlanetSide 2 after the break.
In our PlanetSide 2 review, Rich mentioned that the game “feels closer to the pricier end of acceptable in the free-to-play market.” Infantry and vehicle weapons are priced at $2.50, $5, or $7 (£2, £4 or £6) tiers. All of these can also be unlocked with certification points, the in-game currency earned by playing, but what if you had the silly idea to buy everything for a single faction—how much would PlanetSide 2’s entire arsenal cost?
I think I might start playing Sentinel again in Tribes. Though I was courted away from the sniper class by the speed and glory of the flag-capping Pathfinder, yesterday's Marksman update is wooing me. The patch gives Sentinels the SAP20, a more powerful Phase Rifle variant, a secondary shotgun, and speed-activated mines. I could be in the minority, but I quite like all of them.
Gazillion and Diablo luminary David Brevik's free-to-play MMO Marvel Heroes enters closed beta on October 1, allowing selected players to don the supple spandex of their favorite Marvel characters in the search for foes to vanquish, loot to gather, and role-playing sessions trading "Pow! Biff! Bamf!" over chat.
Experience gained from Tribes: Ascend matches in public and custom servers will be doubled starting tomorrow and lasting until Tuesday, a perfect excuse for some Labor Day CTF and a string of Shazbots directed at the nefarious moving flag in the recently added Blitz mode.
My warface is a Max Payne-style smirk with a hint of Nicolas Cage crazy-eyes. Crytek's Warface, however, is a CryEngine 3-based free-to-play war shooter. The game, which is curiously not called "WarCry," is currently live in Russia, and we've been hearing for a while that it'll come our way soon -- probably before the end of the year...
Unusually close to our bedtime, Valve has launched Dota 2's microtransaction shop as it formally declares the game free to play. Click here to read the fancy Dota 2 Store announcement page.
We expected Dota 2 to be a free-to-play game—that's barely news. But more noteworthy is the confirmation that all of the game's playable heroes will be free with no limitations, that Dota 2 will utilize Steam Workshop, and that, like TF2, the Dota Store will be putting player-made items on sale. 67 items are in Dota 2's section of the Steam Workshop now, and almost 200 are in the Dota Store.
Dota 2 will release on PC later this year, Valve says. Expect a big coming-out party for the game during The International at PAX Prime.
Weekends were designed for relaxation, catching up on chores, and dicing up the various spawn creeping out of the underworld. Path of Exile can help with two of these. The dark-and-bloody action RPG is throwing its first public event and that means you're just a click away from hours of demon-slaying entertainment at the beautiful price of free.