Blade and Soul kicked off their Halloween celebrations with the release of the Blade and Ghoul patch last week. Most players, however, weren’t too happy with the patch which is why NCSoft has decided to make a few changes with the today’s update.
The update will cut down on the maximum number of players in Zaiwei Ruins and the damage contribution needed to receive rewards from NPC bosses in the zone. Demonic Master Warlock and Demonic Subjugator will now also drop Thriller Coins 100% of the time.
Bless Online has been through a rollercoaster journey over the past few years. Aeria Games, along with Gamigo, initially signed a deal with Neowiz in April 2016 to port and publish the game for the western market. Neowiz later took back the reins when Aeria Games backed out of the deal in 2017 promising to release the game into Early Access by May 2018. The fantasy MMORPG has finally transitioned out of Early Access and into Open Beta on Steam. And the icing on the cake? It’s now free-to-play!
“The day is finally here: Bless Online is officially released on Steam! As the game is leaving Early Access, Founder’s Packs are no longer available for purchase. However, to commemorate launch, we have several new DLC packs for you! Inside the Novice, Warlord, and Legendary Warlord Packs you will find incredible items to help you embark on your journey through the newly released Bless!”
Valve's Steam platform has emerged as an unexpected beneficiary of China's sweeping video game approval freeze. While Steam was never officially approved in China, it hasn't been officially censored either. The gray space the platform occupies has made it an attractive refuge for both Chinese gamers and developers who have grown frustrated with the ongoing game approval freeze which domestic platforms like Tencent's WeGame must honor.
While a variant of Steam does have Chinese approval, it only supports Dota 2. The global version of Steam took off in China only recently, with the explosive growth of Playerunknown's Battlegrounds(PUBG) in 2017. Since then, over 30 million Chinese users have registered and are active on the platform. That represents ~25% of Steam's total registered accounts and is a large enough pool to attract even Chinese indie devs frustrated with the local game freeze.
Confirming leaked rumors that appeared mere hours ago, Trion Worlds has announced that the MMO studio would be 'transitioning' to Gamigo Group. In a brief press release, provided in full below, Trion World states that not all of the studio's employees would be making the transition.
Theres no word yet on whether any of the 5 games currently offered by Trion would be shutting down. The studio is best known for the fantasy MMORPG Rift which started as as subscription game in 2008 and had its own 'transition' to free to play in 2013. Trion also develops Atlas Reactor, Trove, and Defiance 2050. They are also the Western publisher of Korean MMORPG ArcheAge.
Gamigo is a free to play MMO portal based in Europe that is best known for publishing Grand Fantasia and Last Chaos. The company purchased rival gaming portal Aeria Games in 2016. Previously, Gamigo purchased the assets of defunct North American portal Outspark. With its active track record in the industry, its...
En Masse Entertainment released the Dark Reaches update for Tera this week which introduced Apex skills for 6 of the game's classes along with 2 new high level dungeons. The new Apex skills are available for players after they start the Velika Banquet questline. The 2 new dungeons are Dark Reach Citadel and Grotto of Lost Souls, both of which are available to level 65 players.
Learn more about the Dark Reaches update on the game's official update page.
devCAT Studio, Nexon's wholly owned studio that developed Mabinogi, is apparently working on a brand new MOBA titled Ascendant One in South Korea and they revealed a new character trailer this week. The game seems to be sci-fi themed with inspiration from Greek mythology as all characters revealed so far are named after or based on Greek gods.
While I have a lot of respect for devCAT, I question whether making another MOBA is a good move for Nexon. Hyper Universe is shutting down and there have been countless failed MOBAs over the last few years. Games like League of Legends, Dota 2, and Heroes of the Storm have such a strong grip on the market that trying to get a foothold in the market seems nearly impossible. Still, we'll see how Ascendant One does. No word on a release date yet, but check out the gameplay below:
Zenimax Online Studios, the company best known for Elder Scrolls Online, is apparently working on a new MMO for PC and Consoles based on an entirely new IP. The company posted a job listing for a 'Core Tech Programmer' for their Hunt Valley, Maryland Office. The job listing requires applicants to have "strong technical knowledge of Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC" and "MMO development experience" under its desired skills section. Given that we haven't even heard an announcement for this game yet, it'll likely be at least 6 months before we get an announcement about it. Still, this is exciting news. A major Western game studio is developing an MMO for PC and Console instead of just churning out mobile games.
In a press release issued October 19, 2018 CCP Games and NetEase formally unveiled EVE: Echoes, a mobile MMO based on the Iclandic studio's Sci-Fi MMORPG EVE Online. The game is set to release sometime in 2019.
Previously known as EVE: Project Galaxy, Echoes will be built on NetEase's proprietary graphics engine NeoX. While details are scarce at this time, it seems likely that the bulk of the development for the Android/iOS title will be done by the Chinese studio NetEase with CCP offering design and other consultation.
Despite the change in platform and key developer, EVE: Echoes promises many of the same features that have made EVE Online standout for the past 15 years: a player-driven sandbox experience where users can explore a massive galaxy, form corporations and forge alliances, plot trade routes, and take part in epic space battles...
Dirty Bomb, the free to play tactical shooter once published by Nexon, is no longer in active development. Developer Splash Damage broke the bad news in an official announcement earlier today.
Despite regained publishing rights for Dirty Bomb from Nexon nearly two years ago, and hiring a slew of additional developers, Splash Damage couldn't manage to boost the game's numbers significantly. With the financials no longer adding up, the game will no longer be actively developed. To Splash Damage's credit, they are not shutting the servers down. The servers will be left operational as long as a viable playerbase exists for the game. Additionally, all Merc Pack DLC purchases will be refunded since no additional Mercenaries will be released for Dirty Bomb.
With active development ceasing, the playerbase will have to rely on tools such as Community Servers and FACEIT integration to keep the game...
Warframe's previously announced Fortuna expansion is set to launch in November on the PC and like all previous Warframe expansions, it'll be free for everyone. Keep in mind though that the November launch is for the PC version only, no word on when consoles are getting Fortuna.
Warframe remains one of the most popular free to play MMOs on Steam averaging a bit over 51,000 users online. I suspect this number will see a meaningful bump after Fortuna arrives this November.
Key Features in Fortuna Include:
The Orb Vallis, The New Open World -- Building on the success of Plains of Eidolon's earthen Landscape, The Orb Vallis is Digital Extremes' massive new Landscape. Volatile, mercurial clouds of blue and orange loom over a sci-fi terrain populated with seascape flora, giant mushrooms, alien rock formations, rare creatures, and more.
It's only been 1 week since MapleStory 2 launched and the game already hit 1 million downloads. While total downloads isn't a great measure of how popular a game is, hitting the 1 million download milestone this early is still impressive. Playerbase wise the game is regularly hitting a peak of over 30,000 users on Steam and likely has at least that many players off-Steam as well.
To celebrate the occasion, MS2 will be holding various events as a thank you to players:
Double Bonus Item Drop Event: Starting Friday, Oct. 19 and going until Friday, Oct. 26, players will be able to earn double bonus items from normal adventure dungeons.
Special Weekend Login Event: Beginning Saturday, Oct. 20 until Monday, Oct. 22, players with Lv. 60 characters will have the opportunity to receive two gifts. Players who login between Saturday, Oct. 20 and Sunday, Oct. 21 will receive a Style Crate. Players who login between Sunday, Oct. 21 and...
Halloween has come early for several Daybreak title including DC Universe Online and Dungeons & Dragons Online. The company has announced Halloween events for all of their titles, check them out below:
DCUO: The Witching Hour (Event Dates: Oct. 1 - 31, 2018)
All hell has broken loose in the streets of Gotham City and inside The Midnight Masquerade Nightclub! Players head to the East End safehouse in Gotham City and speak to the Phantom Stranger (Heroes) or The Tap Room in Burnley and speak to Tala (Villains) for information on the chaos. New Halloween themed feats, collections and base items are also available.
Dungeons & Dragons Online: The Night Revels Festival (Event Dates: Oct. 2 - Nov. 4, 2018)
The Night Revels Festival is back in full swing! This year players enter a redesigned Delera’s Graveyard, and battle evil ghosts, skeletons, wraiths, and more. Holiday-themed variations of beloved in-game quests will be unlocked by...
Blade and Soul's mobile adaptation Blade & Soul: Revolution will be launching in South Korea on December 6th, 2018. The game aims to stay true to its PC game as much as possible. It'll be launching with 4 playable races (Jin, Gon, Yun, and Lyn) and four classes (Blader Master, Kung Fu Master, Destroyer, and Machinist). Like the PC version, the mobile game will feature quite a few cutscenes - over 150 in fact to immerse players in the game's story. No word on whether Blade & Soul: Revolution will be launching in English, but if it does well in South Korea, I suspect NCSoft will bring it to the West.
Bioware revealed this last week that their latest story update 5.1: Jedi Under Siege will be launching in December, 2018 and will introduce quite a bit of new story content. Given that Star Wars: The new storyline will be playable from both the Republic and Empire side and will have some notable differences. Anyone with a level 70 character can experience the new story, so if you're not level 70 yet, get to it. The Old Republic has some of the best storytelling I've ever seen in an MMORPG, I suspect the game will get a surge of returning players when the update launches.
Nexon's latest mobile MMORPG 'Spiritwish' from their internal Neon Studio entered closed beta testing in South Korea. From the looks of the gameplay video below, SpiritWish is an isometric action RPG that looks a lot like Tree of Savior. Instead of adventuring alone though, players build a team of up to 3 characters at once and do battle in small groups (kind of like Granada Espada). As with any foreign game launch, there's no word on whether SpiritWish will make it to the West, but I suspect if the game is a hit in South Korea, we'll get an English version. Afterall, Nexon has emphasized in every single one of their earnings reports that they aim to grow their revenues from the Western market.
4v4 Sidescrolling action MOBA Hyper Universe is shutting down in its home market of South Korea on November 15th. While no closure has been announced in the U.S. market, anytime a game shuts down in its home market, it's usually a bad sign for it overseas as well. In fact, it would be surprising to see Hyper Universe survive the year in the West, as the game's playerbase numbers are dismal; its averaging just 26 players online at any given time on Steam. Just imagine those queue times!
The game's last big patch on the PC took place in July, 2018 and was the 4.6 update. There's been nothing new since. We don't know how well the game's doing on the Xbox One though, but given that it's been a major flop on the PC, I can't imagine it doing much better on Xbox. I suspect Hyper Universe will be joining the MOBA graveyard by the end of the year.
The latest ArcheAge expansion, titled Relics of Hiram, is set to launch on October 24th and will be the game's 5.0 update. The biggest feature of Relics of Hiram is the introduction of the first ever new skill set to the game called 'Malediction', which will add a total of 45 new class combinations. While 5.0's features were revealed before, we have a firm release date now. Along with the release, ArcheAge is doing additional server evolutions (mergers) bringing the total number of NA servers from 5 to 2 and European servers from 3 to 2.
Check out other key features of ArcheAge 5.0 Relics of Hiram below:
New skill set: Malediction
45 new class combos
Increased Ancestral Level Cap from 7 to 34
New Auroria Zone: Western Hiram Mountains
Ability to customize floors, walls, and ceilings for small and medium houses
Gamigo, the German company that owns Aeria Games as well as the European portal Gamigo, raised 32 million Euros in funding through a bond issue this week. It's interesting because the intended goal of the fundraising was to pursue mergers and acquisitions, which means they're looking to buy another company/game to continue their growth.
“We are very pleased with the interest and support that we have received from investors primarily in Sweden and Continental Europe. This bond issue enables us to continue pursuing our growth ambitions including further M&A”, says Remco Westermann, CEO of the gamigo group.
Interestingly, the terms of the bond weren't particularly favorable towards Gamigo. They're paying an interest rate of 3 month Euribor + 7.75%, which comes out to ~7.5% today, which is fairly high.
JANDISOFT, a South Korean game studio, revealed earlier this week a new gameplay video showing off some raiding content in their upcoming HTML5 powered cross platform MMORPG. Check it out below:
PvP Battle Zone:
Mad World is an ambitious title with one of its core features being multi-platform play. PC users will be able to play with those on mobile as well as other platforms. It'll be one of the only MMORPGs built on HTML 5 and is aiming for a release sometime in 2019.
Pearl Abyss was set to take over the Russian version of Black Desert Online from the local publisher GameNet, but apparently Pearl Abyss couldn't reach an agreement with GameNet and player data is lost. Pearl Abyss points the blame at GameNet while GameNet says they were ready to transfer player data, but Pearl Abyss wasn't going through the legal route to manage personal information in Russia. While we can't know who's exactly to blame, it looks like anyone who played the Russian version of the game were shafted.
I suspect Pearl Abyss will operate a newly launched Russian version of the game in the neat future, but no word on whether they'll be able to obtain player data or not. This won't affect other versions of the game, but it's sad to see players in Russia get screwed.