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Posts with tag the-old-republic

MMO News Roundup: Last week on Massively

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Sometimes, you'd like to know that there are other MMOs out there, right? It's not all WoW, all the time! Our sister site Massively can provide you with everything you need to know about all of the other MMOs around -- past, present and future.
The Secret World no longer requires a subscription
Early last week, the urban fantasy MMO The Secret World has officially dropped its subscription fee. Effective immediately, you only need to purchase the game itself to play. Subscription-free players are not restricted from accessing any content or gameplay features.
Turbine brings back Asheron's Call 2
Though Asheron's Call is still running, Asheron's Call 2, which launched in 2002, closed its doors in 2005. Now, nearly 7 years later, Turbine is bringing Asheron's Call 2 back. The game is currently in beta phase, and to access the game, you need to be an Asheron's Call subscriber.
EVE Online breaks the 450k subscriber mark
Between the recent launch of the Retribution expansion and a relaunch in China, EVE Online has accumulated more than 450,000 subscribers. EVE developer CCP partnered up with TianCity to bring the sandbox back into the Chinese market. According to a CCP press release, the game's business in China has surpassed expectations.
Did SWTOR make things worse by going F2P?
Star Wars: The Old Republic has caught a lot of heat over its approach to F2P gaming. With severely restricted gameplay for free players and exorbitant prices in its cash shop, The Old Republic may have done more harm than good for its game -- a surprise misstep in a market that has seen great success with F2P games in the past.
Massively's week in review
Don't let WoW Insider do all of the talking when it comes to Massively's best content of the week. The Massively staff themselves have picked out what they think is the best content their site has to offer in their own weekly roundup.

Filed under: MMO Roundup

Massively's guide to The Old Republic for WoW players

Our sister site Massively, which deals in the immense universe of massively multiplayer games that do not take place in Azeroth, has put together an informative guide for WoW players playing Star Wars: The Old Republic. With the number of comparisons being made between The Old Republic and World of Warcraft, one would think that there would be a sizable amount of overlap in terms of necessary skills and familiarity. As it turns out, there are a lot more differences in the minutiae than predicted.

If you're a WoW player heading to a galaxy far, far away while your raid takes some time off (or you just like seeing what's out there), you'll find some great tips over at Massively.

Filed under: News items

MMO Roundup: Massively's Best of 2011 Awards and more

Sometimes you'd like to know that there are other MMOs out there, right? It's not all WoW, all the time! Our sister site Massively can provide you with everything you need to know about all of the other MMOs around -- past, present and future.

Massively's Best of 2011 Awards
2011 was an interesting year for MMOs. Some of the most anticipated games were launched, one of the strongest MMO communities was left in the cold, and a seemingly untouchable indie developer quickly realized that it needs to listen to its players more than anything else. As is the tradition this time of the year, Massively has laid out its favorite moments of 2011 for you.
BioWare: Mac version of Star Wars: The Old Republic is something it's "looking at next"
BioWare label leads Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk are quite dedicated to their fans. At least that's a recurring theme for them when talking about their company's moves in new directions, to which both repeatedly referred during a recent interview in midtown Manhattan. "We know there's a big Mac audience of BioWare fans ... we know that's an important and large audience. And we want to serve that audience."
Bethesda vs. Interplay case finally settled
War. War never changes. And neither, it appeared, would the long-running legal dispute between Bethesda and Interplay over the rights to the Fallout IP. For years, it seems, we've been reporting on this courtroom tug-o'-war between the companies which has kept the fate of Fallout Online in limbo. Well it looks like it is finally over, one way or another. An administrator on the Fallout fan site Duck and Cover says that a settlement has been reached although the details have yet to emerge to the public.
Nexon takes Mabinogi offline indefinitely due to "malicious activity"
Nexon has since resolved the issue, but if you were looking to play a little Mabinogi on New Year's Day, you were out of luck. The game was taken down Jan. 1 and stayed down for 40 hours. It wasn't the first time this has happened to Mabinogi, and it may not be the last.
Massively's week in review
Don't let WoW Insider do all of the talking when it comes to Massively's best content of the week. The Massively staff themselves have picked out what they think is the best content their site has to offer in their own weekly roundup.

Filed under: MMO Roundup

How much is a brand name license worth? Part 2

Pop law abounds in The Lawbringer, your weekly dose of WoW, the law, video games and the MMO genre. Mathew McCurley takes you through the world running parallel to the games we love and enjoy, full of rules, regulations, pitfalls and traps.

My first article on the issues of brand licensing and Bobby Kotick's comments pondering the profitability problems that Star Wars: The Old Republic could potentially have due to the amount of money it costs to license the Star Wars franchise received some nice follow-up emails. Many readers sent in emails about why people hold their licenses to their chests and charge so much, when it would logically be better to get the brand name on anything and everything people touch. After all, more products with your logo on them is good, right? Well ... Not really, and not always.

Last week, I confessed to not knowing the amount of money Lucas was going to be paid for the Star Wars license for The Old Republic, but we could surmise that it would be a hefty fee. Readers pointed to an article by Eurogamer that interviews Michael Pachter, a games industry analyst many people know of. He believes that the cut LucasArts will be taking is around 35% of the revenue split after Electronic Arts makes back all of the cash that it puts into the game itself. If that's true, it's pretty astonishing, since LucasArts has so much faith in EA and BioWare to make this game have some intense staying power.

Where World of Warcraft is concerned, Blizzard lives in a different world where rather than have to choose the perfect partner to make the next StarCraft game, it has to operate as the LucasArts-like party, finding the right people to make everything associated with its brands. Where The Old Republic is another Star Wars product, Blizzard's most popular franchise is a game first and a world of products secondary.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Lawbringer

MMO Roundup: The Old Republic exceeds 1 million subscribers

Sometimes you'd like to know that there are other MMOs out there, right? It's not all WoW, all the time! Our sister site Massively can provide you with everything you need to know about all of the other MMOs around -- past, present and future.

BioWare stages SWTOR freeze mob event in New York City's Times Square
If you happened to be walking around Times Square on the night of Dec. 20, you may have witnessed one of the more unique MMO launch day promotions in recent memory. BioWare enlisted the help of Darth Malgus and a cadre of heavily armored Jedi (or at least, their cosplay equivalents) to stage a Star Wars: The Old Republic freeze mob event complete with lightsabers and bewildered onlookers.
Over one percent of League of Legends players have been banned
When your game has over 15 million registered players, it can be tough to to handle antisocial behavior amongst your playerbase. This problem is usually handled by hiring a massive roster of GMs, but League of Legends approaches things a little differently with its Tribunal system.
BioWare hints at new SWTOR content, tops 1 million players
Star Wars: The Old Republic is less than a week old, and many players are already wondering if and when BioWare is going to add new content. Yes, there are some 50s on the servers already, and James Ohlen has penned a post on the game's official website that should excite those who have already rushed through the game's content.
Trion Worlds customer database hacked, "no evidence" credit card info stolen
Trion Worlds has become the latest in a long string of MMO studio security breaches this year, as the company reported an intrusion into its customer database. At risk of compromise were customers' user names, passwords, birthdates, email and billing addresses, and partial credit card info. However, the company states that "there is no evidence" that full credit card numbers were stolen at this time.
Massively Interview: Guild Wars 2 game designer discuss the Mesmer
Now that The Old Republic has launched, Guild Wars 2 is next on the list of most anticipated MMO titles. ArenaNet recently announced its final class, the Mesmer. Massively sat down with one of the game designers to discuss both the class and the game in general.
Massively's week in review
Don't let WoW Insider do all of the talking when it comes to Massively's best content of the week. The Massively staff themselves have picked out what they think is the best content their site has to offer in their own weekly roundup.

Filed under: MMO Roundup

How much is a brand name license worth?

Pop law abounds in The Lawbringer, your weekly dose of WoW, the law, video games and the MMO genre. Mathew McCurley takes you through the world running parallel to the games we love and enjoy, full of rules, regulations, pitfalls and traps.

Back at the beginning of the year, I wrote a piece for The Lawbringer called The power of licensing, including a brief account of what licensing is and what effects and benefits licensing your product has on brand recognition and where you make money on your product. Licensing is essentially granting someone the right to make and sell stuff with your intellectual property on it. Usually, you're not allowed to sell "stuff," in the loosest sense of the word, with images, artwork, characters, and so on that are not yours. Ownership rights are a little weird to grasp.

Back in November, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick made some comments before the launch of Star Wars: The Old Republic concerning whether the game would be profitable at all, given the amount BioWare is paying to Lucas for the rights to even make a Star Wars game. Kotick's comments rang a very special bell in my brain, prompting me to think about the licensing contract that BioWare and Lucasfilm have over the Star Wars franchise, as well as the reverse Blizzard model in which the entire franchise is owned in-house.

George Lucas was a pioneer in the realm of movie merchandising, keeping the rights to all of the Star Wars characters and creating one of the most profitable toy and promotional brands in the history of entertainment. The Star Wars franchise is so incredibly far-reaching and part of our society that my younger brother knew that Darth Vader was Luke Skywalker's father years before he ever saw the movies. He was, however, very surprised at the whole Luke and Leia sibling deal. The reach, power, and control that Lucas exerts over his licensee partners is second to none.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Lawbringer

5 things WoW could learn from Star Wars: The Old Republic

One of the hallmarks of the MMO genre is the fluidity at which these games can change. New pieces are added on and entire game systems are revamped in ways that would utterly decimate closed games that ship on the disc and then that's the end of it. With the impending release of The Old Republic, I wanted to give a rundown of some of the features and game systems that I personally feel would be at home in World of Warcraft along with cool ways Blizzard could grow its own world. (Also, check out my previous article about other MMO concepts WoW could borrow from.)

AoE looting, redux

AoE corpse looting is the new hotness, and it's here to stay. The fact that Blizzard has not found a way to even make AoE looting an option in WoW yet goes beyond my capacity to understand. Rift made the concept part of the mainstream, and The Old Republic is solidifying the feature as a Day One expectation.

In both of these games, players can choose to loot all corpses in an area around them at once instead of having to click on each corpse individually. Not only is this a great quality-of-life change for players, since less clicking is usually a good thing, but it also helps many players with disabilities who have trouble finding that one corpse under a hundred.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

MMO Roundup: The Old Republic's beta pulls 2 million players

Sometimes you'd like to know that there are other MMOs out there, right? It's not all WoW, all the time! Our sister site Massively can provide you with everything you need to know about all of the other MMOs around -- past, present and future.

Star Wars: The Old Republic beta test attracts 2 million players
It's no secret that Star Wars: The Old Republic is one of the most highly anticipated MMORPGs in recent memory, and the game's recently concluded public testing phase confirms the hype. The game's publisher, EA, announced that the SWTOR test phase drew in over 2 million players, and of those 2 million, 750,000 unique players jumped into the game over the Thanksgiving weekend alone.
Diablo III game designers talk Inferno difficulty and twinking
Diablo III has a lot of expectations to live up to, several of which are discussed in a recent PC Gamer interview with Wyatt Cheng and Andrew Chambers. Both designers discuss the challenge level of the new Inferno difficulty, which is aimed at max-level characters in good gear who have already completed the Hell difficulty level. They confirm that while it's meant to be brutal, it can be played and beaten solo -- although having a friend won't hurt.
Neverwinter tempts your lust for glory with its first teaser trailer
Like any good Dungeons & Dragons session, Neverwinter's maiden trailer begins in a fantasy tavern, where locals and adventurers are mingling and swapping stories. Everyone is curious about a pitched battle that happened the night before on a bridge, but only one mysterious figure is able to tell them the truth.
Richard Garriott predicts the death of consoles as a gaming medium
Considering his influence on the realm of MMOs, many gamers would argue that it's hard to dismiss Richard Garriott's thoughts on development out of hand. A recent interview with the man includes him predicting the fall of traditional console gaming in favor of portable devices, and the end of MMOs as a major market share compared to social and casual games.
Massively Speaking Episode 177
Massively Speaking returns this week with hosts Justin and Rubi discussing the week's MMO news, including Glitch's unlaunching, Lineage II's move to F2P, EVE Online's Crucible update, Justin's love for Bobby Kotick, and much more.
Massively's week in review
Don't let WoW Insider do all of the talking when it comes to Massively's best content of the week. The Massively staff themselves have picked out what they think is the best content their site has to offer in their own weekly roundup.


Filed under: MMO Roundup

MMO Roundup: Kitties, galaxies, and more

Sometimes you'd like to know that there are other MMOs out there, right? It's not all WoW, all the time! Our sister site Massively can provide you with everything you need to know about all of the other MMOs around -- past, present and future.
Blizzard introduces RMT loophole in World of Warcraft
You've seen our take on the Guardian Cub and Blizzard's sanctioned RMT (and you're likely to see more of it soon.) Now check out what Massively thinks about the Kitty Economy!
Ten things to do in Star Wars Galaxies before it's gone
When SOE announced that Star Wars Galaxies would be sunsetted by the end of the year, many players despaired. They gave up. They saw their long years (eight years!) of play turn to dust. But others looked on the impending closure as incentive to do all those things they'd been putting off. Check out the top ten things you must do before SWG's closure.
Gazillion's president says MMOs are in a rut
"I think MMOs in general are in a rut. It's still mainly WoW clones. A lot of people have done these games, but it's been that same kind of gameplay, and that doesn't mean that's what it has to be," says Gazillion's David Brevik, who was also co-found of Blizzard North.
Devs reminisce on Dark Age of Camelot's 10th birthday
Dark Age of Camelot turns 10 this week, and if that doesn't make you feel old, well, you're probably not very old (and while we're at it, kindly remove yourself from our lawn). At any rate, Scott Jennings waxes nostalgic about the fantasy RvR title on his personal blog by posting a remembrance from original Mythic producer Matt Firor.
Massively Speaking Episode 168
Massively Speaking, Massively's MMO podcast, is back as Shawn and Rubi rant about the week's craziness. Topics include DC Universe Online, APB: Reloaded, Star War: The Old Republic, and Blizzard's next-gen MMO.
Massively's week in review
Don't let WoW Insider do all of the talking when it comes to Massively's best content of the week. The Massively staff themselves have picked out what they think is the best content their site has to offer in their own weekly roundup.

Filed under: MMO Roundup

MMO Roundup: Titan, why you gotta hurt me like this?

blizzcon logo
Sometimes you'd like to know that there are other MMOs out there, right? It's not all WoW, all the time! Our sister site Massively can provide you with everything you need to know about all of the other MMOs around -- past, present and future.

Blizzard's not talking about its unannounced MMO at BlizzCon this year
Remember that one time when Blizzard accidentally leaked some info stating that it's working on a new MMO (codenamed Titan), and we all got excited? And then BlizzCon happened, and we all thought the studio would tell us more, but it didn't? And then remember when that happened the next year, too? Well, it's happening again this year.
BioWare founders: We make the decisions, not EA
BioWare has a message for critical fans who blame the company's perceived inadequacies on its corporate overlords at Electronic Arts. "I always chuckle because we are EA, we're BioWare -- we're both, and we still have huge autonomy in terms of what we do," cofounder Greg Zeschuk recently told Eurogamer.
MMO impressions from Eurogamer Expo 2011
Some of the industry's biggest names were at Eurogamer Expo last week, including BioWare, NCsoft and Trion Worlds. Massively's Brendain Drain was on the floor at the expo to get some hands-on experience with several upcoming MMOs, including Guild Wars 2 and The Old Republic.
Not So Massively: Eurogamer Expo 2011 edition
Not So Massively, Massively's weekly column for not-quite-MMO multiplayer games, covers all the latest and great not-so-massive Eurogamer news: League of Legends, Dark Souls, Diablo 3, and more.
Star Wars: The Old Republic accidentally taunts potential testers
What's the worst thing that can happen when you're waiting for a chance to play a highly anticipated game? Being inadvertently taunted about the fact that you aren't in the beta.
Massively's week in review
Don't let WoW Insider do all of the talking when it comes to Massively's best content of the week. The Massively staff themselves have picked out what they think is the best content their site has to offer in their own weekly roundup.

Filed under: MMO Roundup

EA CEO won't share Old Republic release date because of "principal competitor"

E3 usually isn't a big news get for us here at WoW Insider, as Blizzard does its own thing with its own announcements and showing up to conventions. However, one piece of news really stuck out as interesting in relation to Blizzard. EA's CEO John Riccitiello made some interesting statements regarding Star Wars: The Old Republic's release date. The Old Republic is EA's MMO set during the fan-favorite Old Republic era of the Star Wars franchise. Riccitiello said:
Announcing a release date "would be irresponsible for two really good reasons", Riccitiello said. "One, the competitive marketplace. Putting a window out there creates a window of opportunity for our principal competitor to put out an expansion pack or an ad campaign et cetera around our launch window. Bad move at this point in time."
Now, while Riccitiello does not name Blizzard specifically, there are only a few potential "principal competitors" in the MMO market. Blizzard is definitely the biggest name at the table. What Riccitiello is saying is that announcing a release date for their MMO would give Blizzard the opportunity to move in on EA's hype, move its own release dates around, or prepare a patch or game release for the same time frame that The Old Republic would launch.

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Filed under: News items

The Joystiq Network's E3 coverage kicks off

Our network is abuzz with E3 news this week. Our friends over at Joystiq and Massively are hard at work in the convention coal mines, doing their best to bring us the best coverage they possibly can. If you're interested in gaming outside of World of Warcraft and want a rundown of the day's events, this post is for you.

We will be covering just the last 24 (or so) hours in this E3 roundup, so if you're interested in any of the information that came in over the weekend or early Monday, I highly recommend checking out the entirety of both Joystiq's coverage and Massively's coverage.

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Filed under: News items

MMO Roundup: RIFT referral program, The Old Republic launch confirmed, and more

Sometimes you'd like to know that there are other MMOs out there, right? It's not all WoW, all the time! Our sister site Massively can provide you with everything you need to know about all of the other MMOs around -- past, present and future.

Activision Blizzard posts record profits, WoW subs declining
Activision Blizzard hasn't just been surviving but thriving, posting a record profit for the first quarter of 2011 -- $503 million in net income, more than $100 million over the year before. To the surprise of absolutely no one, Blizzard Entertainment was responsible for a large portion of that profit, bringing in $170 million all by its lonesome. You may have already read about this on WoW Insider, but it's always worth checking out the perspective of the larger MMO scene.
Star Wars: The Old Republic launch window confirmed
EA's financial results report was released to the public last week, and alongside the various bits of fiscal information is one important tidbit for fans of Star Wars: The Old Republic. On page 17 of the document, you'll find "The Packaged Goods title release schedule excludes Star Wars: The Old Republic, which is expected to launch in either Q2 FY12 or Q3 FY12," where Q2 FY12 and Q3 FY12 correspond to July through September and October through December, respectively, of this year.
RIFT begins Ascend-a-Friend referral promotion
Beginning today with the advent of patch 1.2, RIFT subscribers will be able to Ascend-a-Friend into the ranks of the Defiant or Guardians, providing the newly Ascended with a seven-day free trial as well as linking the two players' accounts together. Referral bonuses include an adorable, corgi-like non-combat pet and a badass flaming horse mount.
Analyst predicts a Mass Effect MMO could top The Old Republic
Still having geek dreams about a Mass Effect MMO? Your flights of fancy have another advocate, as an analyst thinks it could be not only feasible but extremely profitable to boot. In a recent investor's note, Janco Partners' Mike Hickey predicted that a hypothetical Mass Effect MMO could make more money for Electronic Arts than Star Wars: The Old Republic will.
Massively Speaking episode 146
Massively Speaking, Massively's MMO podcast, returns this week as Shawn and Rubi discuss the week's MMO news. Topics include APB's open beta date, DCUO's "super servers," more Marvel Online details, SOE's hacker problems, and more!
Massively's week in review
Don't let WoW Insider do all of the talking when it comes to Massively's best content of the week. The Massively staff themselves have picked out what they think is the best content their site has to offer in their own weekly roundup.

Filed under: MMO Roundup

MMO Roundup: SOE's downtime, SWTOR subscribers, and RIFT's latest

Sometimes you'd like to know that there are other MMOs out there, right? It's not all WoW, all the time! Our sister site Massively can provide you with everything you need to know about all of the other MMOs around -- past, present and future.

Ethnologist researches the development of social skills in World of Warcraft
A lot of players probably think that World of Warcraft breeds social skills, to the extent that contempt for one's fellow human beings can be considered a social skill. But according to Peter Stenberg of Umea University in Sweden, there are some actual developments taking place when you play.
SOE acknowledges "external intrusion" responsible for downtime
Sony Online Entertainment has acknowledged an issue that has caused its MMORPGs and game-related websites to be sporadically unavailable since Thursday, April 21. SOE's Linda "Brasse" Carlson posted on the EverQuest II forums, attributing the trouble to "an external intrusion."
Massively's Easter event roundup
World of Warcraft isn't the only game celebrating Easter this week. Noblegarden is fine and dandy, but check out what the other MMOs have to offer, from EverQuest to Runescape and Vindictus. Everybody is celebrating!
Analyst says 1 million subscribers attainable for SWTOR
Gaming business website Gamasutra quoted Hickey as saying that Janco "suspect[s] a willingness from investors to believe [500,000] to 1 million Star Wars MMO subscribers is an attainable target." Hickey has been focused on games and the gaming industry for some time now, specifically on EA, so the rise and fall of EA-published Warhammer Online cannot be off his radar when he makes his predictions about SWTOR.
An exclusive look at RIFT's Update 1.2 and beyond
With almost two months on the post-launch clock at Trion Worlds, RIFT appears to be holding its own in the wild and woolly field of MMORPGs. With a major update and the first world event under its belt, RIFT is sailing into the future with the wind at its back and a hull full of subscribers below.
Top 10 MMO forum terms beaten to death
We're all familiar with the MMO forum culture. Everybody has favorite complaints, buzzwords, and acronyms. This week, Massively takes a look at the top 10 forum terms that really should be sent to retirement.
Massively's week in review
Don't let WoW Insider do all of the talking when it comes to Massively's best content of the week. The Massively staff themselves have picked out what they think is the best content their site has to offer in their own weekly roundup.

Filed under: MMO Roundup

Breakfast Topic: A little sumpin' sumpin' on the side

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com.

We've all been there before -- that magical moment when we let go of our loyalties to the object of our affection and simply give in to those inner desires for something new and exciting. Before we know it, we have turned away from our first love, leaving it huddled up in the corner feeling dirty and unwanted. Even if we don't personally engage in this abandonment, we are always anticipating the next story of someone else's doing it and the nitty-gritty details that come out. No, I'm not pulling headlines off the latest celebrity gossip columns again; I'm talking about your loyalties to WoW!

From old crushes like EverQuest and Star Wars Galaxies to newer flames such as Star Trek Online and Dungeons and Dragons Online, we all have games whose siren songs draw us into their grasp, away from our beloved WoW. With plenty of new and exciting MMOs on the horizon (we're looking at you, The Old Republic), now is the perfect time to start experimenting with a polygamous online gaming habit. While the frozen shores of Northrend have been nice, a trip into the Mines of Moria in Lord of the Rings Online may be the perfect thing to liven things up a bit and get that passion for your first love back.

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

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