I have to admit I was a little hesitant about how much CCP would have to talk about the PC-side of EVE Online at my E3 appointment. Their big news at the show is the launch of their big PS3-exclusive shooter, which ties into the EVE Online universe, Dust 514.
With the introduction of the Naga Epic, Razer has split its highest gaming mouse tier into two segments. The Mamba is still the top-of-the-line general-purpose gaming mouse, but it’s now joined by the Naga Epic, which runs the same high MSRP ($130) but offers features more tailored to MMO gamers. That’s a lot of cash—is the Naga Epic worth it?
A Canadian gamer suspected her ISP of throttling traffic for games like World of Warcraft, so she put her complaint on paper and sent it to the government's telecom regulator. Her action paid off, with the government ordering her ISP, Rogers, to look into the matter and report back. Rogers did look into it, and admitted that it's throttling WoW in some instances, but claims it's not on purpose.
There are now more World of Warcraft subscribers than there are people living in Ireland, New Zealand, and Jamaica combined. More specifically, the most successful MMORPG of all time now claims over 12 million users, a milestone that Blizzard says was reached in the wake of the mainland Chinese launch of Wow's second expansion.
"The support and enthusiasm that gamers across the world continue to show for World of Warcraft reaffirms our belief that it offers one of the best entertainment values available today," said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. "We are as committed as ever to taking the game to new heights, and we look forward to demonstrating that with Cataclysm in December."
WoW had been holding steady at 11.5 million subscribers for over a year, leading some to assume the franchise had peaked. Apparently not, and once the game's third expansion arrives in early December, we're willing to bet that number will surge even higher.
From the makers of the ill-fated 3DO game console comes the “Jungle” handheld gaming system. Let us rephrase the last line for accuracy's sake: from one of the four manufacturers of the … . If you haven't guessed it already, we are talking about Japanese consumer electronics company Panasonic.
With the 3DO debacle buried under tons of “time sand,” Panasonic is gearing up to invade the handheld gaming space on the back of an upcoming portable device focused entirely on online gaming and MMORPGs. The Jungle, as the device is called, reportedly runs a Linux OS, and according to Fudzilla, features a Tegra chip.
Not a lot is known about the Jungle. Even the official site only features a video teaser and a sign-up-to-stay-updated form at this stage.
As far as kid cartoons go, SpongeBob SquarePants easily ranks as one of the better ones, and at times is even a bit hilarious. But would we want to control the bright yellow fry cook in a massively multiplayer online game (MMOG)? Irrelevant, because whether we want to or not, SpongeBob is heading online.
That's the word from MTV Networks Asia and online games company GigaMedia, two entities working together to jointly publish the first SpongeBob MMOG.
"Partnering with GigaMedia on the development of a SpongeBob SquarePants MMOG allows us to bring the residents of Bikini Bottom into a whole new world -- one that is tremendously popular in Asia and presents unlimited creative and business opportunities for the franchise," said Jihee Nam, Vice President of Digital for MTV Networks Asia. "SpongeBob SquarePants is Nickelodeon's best known property within Asia and we're extremely proud to oversee the development of the MMOG with local business partners. We look forward to working hand in hand with GigaMedia on bringing SpongeBob, Patrick, Squidward, Gary and Sandy Cheeks to life in an entirely new and incredibly popular online world."
If aimed at adults, something like this could end up being full of win, but for obvious reasons, kids are going to be the target audience. MTV says the game will follow a free-to-play model with an online store where gamers can spend their allowance on a range of items. The MMOG will also feature a bunch of video and simple Flash-based games, but other than that, MTV doesn't plan to reveal much else until we inch closer to the 2011 launch.
Sometimes, Fallout 3 creator Bethesda does things we like – for instance, develop excellent videogames. But other times, Bethesda does things we’re not quite so gung-ho about, like attempting to halt the development of someone else’s potentially excellent videogame. With that in mind, we bet you can’t guess how we felt about the Bethesda’s lawsuit against Interplay, which aimed to nip the struggling publisher’s Fallout MMO in the bud before it’d even taken its first steps.
An overjoyed Interplay investor, however, recent let it slip that Bethesda had a change of heart for whatever reason, leading the publisher to drop its lawsuit altogether. Hooray!
“Bethesda dropped their appeal of the lawsuit with Interplay and a secret deal was struck (maybe they will release the terms of the deal soon, probably so). Anyways, this is awesome news for Interplay stock. The appeal by Bethesda was dropped yesterday. I'm assuming part of the deal was that Interplay drop their countersuit against Bethesda,” said the investor.
“At any rate, this will likely mean that V13 will be moving full steam ahead, terms of the new deal not yet known but the fact that the game will be made is nothing but good news for Interplay.”
Shame, though, that steam engines are still pretty darn slow. Oh well. At least we’ll have Fallout: New Vegas to keep us company while we wait.
The global market for virtual goods is already worth billions of dollars annually. In fact, several small countries around the world have smaller GDPs than the total worth of the virtual economy. But there are very few laws to regulate virtual commerce in its infancy. At this stage, it is only fair to expect the courts and lawmakers to only tackle issues related to virtual trade as and when they appear before them.
One such question came up for consideration before South Korea's apex court during a recent case where two gamers had been accused of illegally profiting by trading in-game currency for real cash, a practice popularly known as gold farming. The court not only acquitted them but also ruled that in-game or virtual currency is to be treated on par with real currency.
Set 30 years after Star Trek: Nemesis (the last film before the J.J. Abrams reboot), Star Trek Online puts you in the shoes of a captain in a newly sparked war between the goody-two-shoes Federation and savage Klingon empire. The promise of exploring the final frontier, massive space battles, and obscure Star Trek references fills us with geeky glee. We went down to Cryptic Studios’ offices to play the game and quiz Executive Producer Craig Zinkievich to ensure that fans of Star Trek and MMOs are getting the best of both worlds.
Craig had some interesting things to say about making a game for Star Trek fans and competing with World of Warcraft. Plus, we're giving away some invites to Star Trek Online's closed-beta!
A giant world of post-apocalyptic intrigue – bombed and obliterated to perfection by Fallout lead designer Chris Taylor, no less – seems like an excellent setting for an MMO, no? So it’s with a heavy heart that we bring you word of said MMO’s potential cancellation, courtesy of the dream-destroyers over at Bethesda – who may or may not be within their rights to drop the axe.
See, back when Bethesda first nabbed the Fallout property from Interplay’s hobbling, not-quite-dead-yet form, Interplay retained the right to develop a Fallout MMO – but only under the condition that it somehow amass $30 million and enter full scale development within two years. That agreement was made two years ago. Unfortunately, Bethesda’s calendars seem to be in working order.
“Interplay recently received notice that Bethesda Softworks, LLC (‘Bethesda’) intends to terminate the trademark license agreement between Bethesda and Interplay which was entered into April 4, 2007 for the development of FALLOUT MMOG. Despite the fact that no formal action is currently pending, Bethesda claims that Interplay is in breach of the trademark license agreement for failure to commence full scale development of same by April 4, 2009 and to secure certain funding for the MMOG,” reads an Interplay performance report.
“Interplay adamantly disputes these claims. Although the potential damages are currently unknown, if Bethesda ultimately prevails and cancels the trademark license agreement, Interplay would lose its license back of the ‘Fallout’ MMOG and any damages resulting therefrom are unknown at this time.”
According to a recent SEC filing, Interplay entered 2009 with little more than tumbleweeds in its bank account, so things aren’t exactly looking good. Then again, the potentially penniless publisher recently entered into a partnership with Masthead Studios, so at least something’s brewing over there.
Here’s hoping – and really, this is about the only time we’ll ever come to our deity of choice with this particular wish – this terrifying vision of the nuclear apocalypse eventually sees the disheartening, gray light of day.