15 March 2013
| | iTZKooPA
What’s that? IGN is claiming that TERA, the action-oriented MMORPG from En Masse Entertainment, has seen its playerbase drastically increase since introducing a free-to-play option? No, really?! Color me shocked!
After making the move to the increasingly popular freemium model in early February, TERA has gathered quite a following. It shouldn’t come as a shock to many, as the game featured incredibly enjoyable boss battles, computer-crushing graphics, a healthy amount of new content and all the features and gameplay elements gamers have come to expect from a AAA MMORPG. However, the subscription model just didn’t sit with so many gamers, especially with the consistent complaint of being a grindfest in today’s age of casual-friendly titles.
With the paywall removed and no monthly subscription required everyone interested was free to dabble in the world of Arborea. This caused an influx of over 500,000 accounts, bringing the total to over 1 million registered users and the addition of six new servers by publisher Gameforge.
The Elder Scrolls Online is the only major release coming out not firmly in bed with F2P, while Square Enix believes the relaunch of Final Fantasy XIV can demand a subscription in today’s crowded and F2P friendly market.
Granted, there was no mention of revenue increase or increased profit margins, so time will tell if TERA’s change is another feather in the F2P cap or a sign of its decline.
22 January 2013
| | iTZKooPA
April is fast approaching and you should be excited. Not just for the ridiculousness that the video game industry delivers to us at the start of the month, but because science fiction will be returning to the airwaves of Syfy by way of Defiance. The hybrid TV show/MMOG debuts on April 15, to be followed by the launch of the MMO shooter sometime in April.
Trion Worlds began beta testing in earnest this past weekend. The follow-up? Pre-ordering time. Fans of MMO shooters have one of five options currently available to them for the pay-to-play title. Those that like putting their mitts on something real can pre-order a Gamestop Exclusive Ultimate edition for $149.99. The major additions for the tidy sum are an exclusive messenger bag, the Pale Wars Ronin in-game title, a Lock Box, DLC Season Pass and 1200 Bits (in-game currency). If those perks don’t interest you, a more routine Collector’s Edition is available in digital or physical forms for $99.99, or a base copy of the game for $59.99. As you might expect, the physical forms include a few perks over their digital counterparts.
Every pre-order type will score the Iron Demon in-game title, a 3-day XP boost, a weapon and Outlander outfit and the coveted guaranteed beta invite.
Normally a sucker for Collector’s Editions, I’ve been swapping games too often to make such a steep investment worth it. Especially for a title without a subscription fee.
Console pre-orders remain unavailable.
15 April 2010
| | iTZKooPA
Believe it or not, Blizzard Entertainment has run a “hybrid” business model – subscriptions and microtransactions – for World of Warcraft for years. The company hasn’t been incredibly forthcoming about discussing it, let alone promoting the fact, but it’s made a non-negligible amount of extra money from this side business. I am speaking of the services it provides to players that are not happy with their current situation. Services include name changes, server transfers and now faction alterations and can range from a $10 to $25 charge. Blizzard charges players for these services to essentially penalize those that attempt to name change or move servers very often. A reasonable, if self-serving excuse.
Shortly before the new year, Blizzard altered its hybrid model policy by including the sale of in-game content. Yes, the in-game pets are frivilous items, offering no gameplay advantage, but it was the company’s first step towards paid content. Blizzard claimed that so much development time went into Lil’ KT and the Pandaren Monk that it had no choice but to charge for their creation. In truth, the companion pets are some of the most complex non-combat pets in the game, with multiple animations and, in the case of the Pandaren Monk, a unique skin and animations (and possibly model). To smooth over the transition from paid services to paid in-game items, Blizzard promised to donate half of the Pandaren Monk’s proceeds to Make-A-Wish. The sum ended up being a donation of a cool $1.1 million a few months later. That means 220,000 monks were sold at $10 a pop.
Read the rest of the editorial after the break. Continue Reading
14 April 2010
| | iTZKooPA
Have I informed you about the undead pirates yet? Because this one has an undead rat buddy to prove his swashbucklin' status.
Apparently, when a community of people unites behind one voice they really can make an impact. Turbine is axing the “Offer Wall” after the community spit acid and security concerns were discovered.
“Recently, we opened an Offer Wall with a selection of ads that got a strong negative response. There were also technical issues that raised valid questions about security. Overall it was a poor user experience that was not up to our standards, and for this we apologize.
Based on your feedback, we’re stepping away from the ‘Offer’ category for now. We’ll keep exploring alternate ways for players who want points to get them. We’ll also continue to innovate in pricing and accessibility because that’s who we are. As of today, the Offer Wall is coming down. We’ll collect all the feedback we’ve received over the last few days and will use it to guide future decisions.”
Trashing the project was the quickest and safest way to address the situation in a reasonable manner. Turbine’s tact and speed addressing (valid) community concerns is a shining example of how to deal with a PR gaffe in the MMOG industry. Are you following this Cryptic?
Read the full backpedal by Marketroid on the forum.
13 April 2010
| | iTZKooPA
Over the past two weeks I’ve been spammed with news coming from Turbine Entertainment. Topics have run the gauntlet of the company’s games, from Lord of the Rings Online to Asheron’s Call. Yes, Asheron’s Call, the game that started the company off on the right foot way back in late 1999. The title is still going strong despite its failed sequel, Asheron’s Call 2. Strong enough to warrant further development.
The company announced today that the ten year-old game is going to receive a new playable race and some further features. Asheron’s Call is not one of the MMOGs that I have ever followed, but it’s pretty cool so see the game getting some love this far out. Not many details were revealed on the Shadow race, but Turbine did create a teaser video. Perhaps the more astute Asheron’s Call players can fill us in on the hidden details and the potential impact?
Packed alongside the new race are a few other new features, including the addition of a new type of magic (Aetheria), multi-slot armor, Barbers and their ability to change hairstyles and tailoring. Tailoring allows characters to move the look of armor from one piece to another, which sounds pretty cool.
Hit the jump for the announcement from Turbine that has the MMOG-friendly Internet in an uproar. Continue Reading