Still half-asleep and thinking quite strongly about coffee, I stumbled across a YouTube video this morning that—well—got me to thinking about the future of gaming instead, and how awesome it's going to be. Take a look.
Pretty, isn't it? That seems to be the theme for 2009. Making things pretty. And not just graphically either, as it's not only the visuals that make a thing pretty. It's a lot to do with the way it flows, too. The smooth animations, side-rolls, jumps and flips; the elegant swishing of sword through the air, and the pretty colours that follow its trail.
I’m not going to delve too deeply into the credibility of the video here, as I know that quite a lot of it isn’t correct. "Diablo 3," for instance, isn’t an MMORPG -- not by the gamer’s definition anyway. And I don’t think "Kingdom Under Fire 2" is, either. The maker of this video doesn't seem to be in the know when it comes to gaming terminology, but he's compiled for us a wonderful look at some of the treats 2009 intends to offer, and we should be grateful nonetheless.
Had you heard of those games before? I’d seen a few of them floating ar
At this year’s GDC, one thing became increasingly clearer to me: the next big trend in gaming is going to be free-to-play MMO titles. A few years back, we entered into the Age of the Military FPS; before that, it was the Age of the Animal Mascots. Now, though, we’re entering a time when you’ll see free-to-play online games popping up left and right—in the US.
Until now, the free-to-play market has largely been dominated by Asian developers, and on the Asian continent, with Western developers and players staying away; there’s no money or quality in optional payment games, obviously! With “Runes of Magic” and “Wizard101” putting up huge numbers in such a short amount of time, Frogster and KingsIsle have proven that notion wrong. Thanks to those titles, a wider number of the gaming public and industry are aware that free-to-play titles are a viable option. MMO developers are making free-to-play titles funded by optional microtransactions, and some are even looking at switching over their older, under performing games to that sort of model.
Even studios that have never touched an MMO before are working on their first. And their fi
AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands, Feb. 10, 2009 – Online gamers have a better place to call home. MMO Life Exploitatie B.V., operator of regionalized and demographically-targeted portals for massively multiplayer online (MMO) and role-playing games (RPG), today announced the acquisition of a 49% stake in MMOCluster GmbH, a multi-language network of portals dedicated to popular MMO games such as World of Warcraft, Runes of Magic and Warhammer Online.
MMO Life’s family of portals delivers news, reviews and rich-media demos for MMOs and MMORPGs throughout Western Europe and North America, and in several local languages. The acquisition of MMOCluster, now part of the MMO Life family of companies, brings more than 80.000 active users into the portal
AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands, [feb4, 2009] – MMO Life B.V., operator of regionalized and demographically-targeted portals for massively multiplayer online (MMO) and role-playing games (RPG), today announced a €1 million ($1.3 million USD) round of initial funding led by investors Klaas Kersting and Alexander Roesner of gaming pioneer Gameforge, and ex-Endemol media executive Pim Schmitz. The funding will allow MMO Life to accelerate deployment of its network of gaming portals, build its team and make strategic third-party investments.
MMO Life’s family of portals will deliver news, reviews and rich-media demos for MMOs and MMORPGs throughout Western Europe and North America, and in several local languages. MMOhub.org, the company’s first portal, launched in late 2008; other MMO Life-operated portals will go live in the coming months.
“Even in this challenging global economic environment, MMO and MMORPG games continue to be popular and financially viable,” said Simon Usiskin, CEO, MMO Life. “The experience and know-how of Klaas, Alexander and Pim will undoubtedly help MMO Life grow. This initial funding enables MMO L
Players of “Last Chaos” can now explore two all new dungeons featuring all new monster A.I, never before seen skills and weapon types, and new armor and weapons. Additionally, players can now use Phoenix Tickets to transform into the mythical bird to “do battle with the forces of evil.”
Named Quanian and Golem, the two dungeons, are the first piece of the two-part expansion pack, the rest of which will be delivered “over the next several months” and will include a PVP dungeon, a new level cap, and even more skills and abilities.
Although I have never played “Last Chaos” before, the idea of transforming into a Pheonix and reigning down destruction does sound kinda nifty.Posted by Kyle Stallock
After choosing between one of four “RPG style characters,” players can navigate a 3D world, interact with other characters and players, and form a party to engage in some traditional top-down shoot-em up gameplay. Of course, MMO staples such as leveling and item collecting are included as well.
The press release/colorful flyer indicates all potential applicants should head on over to http://www.valkyriesky.net to “join now,” but, as of writing, that site’s not working. Hopefully everything will be up and running by the time Tuesday rolls around.Posted by Kyle Stallock
Valentine’s Day is approaching fast and it means the same thing every year: millions of men scratching their heads while staring through the window of gift shops, at gift magazines, and online, trying to find a gift that won’t land them in the doghouse. Yup! That’s right. The world will be full of pink hearts and probably some broken ones, but what are you going to do? I know, a little bit of escapism in your favorite MMO.
Unfortunately for those looking to get away, Cupid has not missed out on our MMO worlds. He created an account in every MMO known to gamingkind, flew around and went berserk with those arrows of his. Now almost all MMO publishers and developers are coming up with ways on how to spread the Hallmark Holiday onto the online realms. Upon a quick look around the developers sites, I found dozens that are offering special seasonal updates and features for a limited time only. It’s like Christmas all over again; except this time, it’s a little pinker and a little less snowy.
IGG is offering a gift service and other features for their games, most notably in “Wonderland Online.” Some of the stuff they have come up with include cupid
It has been seven or eight years now since the first version of “America’s Army” flickered onto our monitors. (I mean that literally; there were many faults.) Since then, over nine million players have registered and given it a go. That makes America’s virtual army fifteen times the size of its actual military. Hmm… I smell a pinch of irony.
Anyway, recently the developers and the US Army have been praised with the announcement by Guinness that they have smashed through five world records.
The first of which is easily recognizable and definitely belongs in the trophy case of “AA” — it is that of the largest virtual army. Seems fair. After all, if we include real life armies here, this game’s force is still bigger than the worlds biggest land force, Russia. Many of these users still log on regularly and as a hardened recruit to “AA,” I can safely tell you that there can actually be times when you have to wait around for a spot to open up on a server so you can jump in. Good news for the “AA” developers.
The second award that was thrown their way was Most Hours Playing a Free Online Shooter. Well, with over n
Thanks to a deal between China-based Perfect World, the same company behind “Perfect World International,” and HI-WIN Co., Korean gamers can now enjoy the monster-catching/trading madness of “Pocketpet Journey West.”
Now, it’s time to commence the typical corporate back-scratching!
“We are pleased to establish this partnership with HI-WIN to present this distinctive game to game players in Korea,” said Michael Chi, chairman and chief executive officer of Perfect World. “I am also very delighted that ‘Pocketpet Journey West’ could enter Korean market within a few months right after its launch in mainland China. I believe that, with the game’s rich and creative content, ‘Pocketpet Journey West’ will bring an exciting experience to Korean game players.”
Yu, HaingJong, HI-WIN’s CEO, said “We are pleased to partner with Perfect World to bring ‘Pocketpet Journey West,’ a high-quality MMORPG, to the Korean market. We believe that, by combining our efforts, this game will become a success here.”Posted by Kyle Stallock
Version 1.9.02 of “Zu Online” will arrive sometime in the future (the official word is “very soon”), but until that time, developer IGG is teasing its players with a few of the snazzy new items included in the update.
According to their official site, the newest version will bring a new pet, the Aurora Tiger; a new minion called the Hades Fire Beast available only for level 240+ Summoners; the Pumpin-Q Head; weekly cards; monthly cards; and a daily regular reward system. As usual, the company notes “many game features will be adjusted, all the known bugs will be fixed and the max level requirements for receiving quests will be canceled.”
IGG notes more information will be made available at a future time concerning the update, but doesn’t indicate whether or not more spiffy-looking creatures will be added. If we hear anything more, we’ll be sure to let you know.Posted by Kyle Stallock