News and Reviews
CCP Games & NetEase Announce EVE: Echoes, A Mobile Spinoff Of EVE Online
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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 Developer Splash Damage Ends Development On F2P Shooter
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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 Open World Fortuna Expansion Launching In November
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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.
  • Solaris United and Fortuna -- The...
MapleStory 2 Hits 1 Million Downloads A Week After Launch
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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...
Daybreak Games Announces Halloween Events For All Their Games
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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: Revolution (Mobile) Launching in South Korea on December 6
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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.

SWTOR: 5.1 Jedi Under Siege Launching December, 2018
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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.

Learn more about Jedi Under Siege here.
Nexon’s Upcoming Mobile MMO SpiritWish Enters CBT In South Korea
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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.

Check the game out below:

Korean Version of Hyper Universe Shutting Down on November 15
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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.

ArcheAge’s Latest Expansion Relics of Hiram (5.0) Launching October 24
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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
  • Achievements for collecting ArcheAge mounts
  • New tempering system
  • Ability to quue for multiple arenas
Gaming Raises EUR 32 Million For Acquisitions
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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 Shows off Mad World Raiding Gameplay
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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:

Field Raid:
Boss Raid:
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.

Learn more on their official website - MadWorldMMO
Russian Version of Black Desert Online Shuts Down, Player Data Lost
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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.

Further reading:...
Elder Scrolls Online Kicks Off Halloween Festivities On October 18
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You’ve probably come across Indriks while wandering through the Summerset Isles in Elder Scrolls Online, you might have even slain one or two. Well, now you have a chance of acquiring the magical creature as a mount. All you have to do is participate in four holiday events running from Halloween through New Year’s, the first of which kicks off on October 18th.

“The Witches Festival kicks off at 10:00AM EDT on Thursday, October 18 and will run until 10:00AM EDT, Thursday, November 1. During this spoopy event, you can enjoy a 100% XP buff, become an undead monster, and acquire a creepy collection of Witches Festival-themed items. In addition to this, we’re also introducing the brand-new Dremora Plunder Skulls, containing a never-before-seen Motif!”
Aside from being a requirement to acquire the coveted Indrik mount, the upcoming Witches Festival will also feature the return of...
MapleStory 2 Officially Launches – Boasts Over 24k Concurrent Users On Steam
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The highly anticipated sequel to one of Nexon's most successful games, MapleStory, is finally here. MapleStory 2 launched today as a free to play game both on Steam and the Nexon launcher after being available for early access founders since October 1st. According to SteamCharts, the game hit a peak concurrent playerbase of over 24,000 users on Steam alone, which is impressive for a game available off-Steam as well.

I've personally already played a bit of MapleStory 2 on the Korean server as well as both closed beta periods and I'm optimistic about its chances to succeed in the West. As-is, it's already off to an incredibly strong start. The game's focus on stuff to do outside of core gameplay mechanics, like housing, mini games, crafting, customization, music, and more will help differentiate it amongst a sea of countless MMOs. If you haven't tried this one yet...
Combat Arms: Reloaded Launching on Steam
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While Nexon no longer publishes Combat Arms, the classic version of the game along with the revamped 'Reloaded' version are available through their affiliate company Valofe (which also publishes another old Nexon title, Atlantica Online). While no word on whether Combat Arms classic is launching on Steam, the Reloaded version is headed to Valve's platform in the near future.

No word on exactly when the Steam launch is happening, but the game is available right now on its official website.

The original Combat Arms game launched back in 2008 and quickly grew in popularity. It was one of the first mega popular free to play shooters from South Korea. Since launch it has reached 1.5 million registered users and still has a core active community.
Lord of the Rings Online Launches Update 23 ‘Where Dragons Dwell’
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While Lord of the Rings Online is certainly a bit of an oldie (2007 release), it's still getting updated regularly. Standing Stone Games and Daybreak released the game's 'Where Dragons Dwell' update today (Update 23) which increased the game's level cap by 5, introduced a new ironfold crafting tier, added new zones, and more. Take a look at the highlights below:
  • Exploration of new and expanded regions: Players can now adventure through iconic Middle-Earth locations including the Iron Hills, Grey Mountains and Erebor.
  • Increased Level Cap - Level cap has been increased by 5 for players along with an increased level cap for legendary weapon legacy.
  • Introduction of the Bassoon: The Bassoon is the latest addition to LOTRO’s acclaimed instrument system—a system that allows players to write and play their own music in the game, while maintaining the sounds of real world musical instruments.
  • Limited time in-game gift: All...
DayBreak Games Announces EverQuest 2 Expansion: Chaos Descending, Beta Access Available with Pre-Order
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EverQuest 2's latest expansion, Chaos Descending, is available for pre-order today and will be launching on November 13th, 2018. Anyone who pre-orders the expansion can begin playing the beta for it right away. The base version is available for $34.99, Collector's Edition for $89.99, and Premium for $139.99. Learn more about the different versions here. Check out the key features below:
  • Expanded Lore: Something is throwing the Elemental Planes of Order into chaos! Norrathians return to the planes to restore balance to the planes of Fire, Water, Air, and Earth to uncover a mystery of Celestial proportions.
  • New Elemental Planes to Explore: New zones, dungeon themes, signature adventure quests, raids, and more highlight a vast array of new story content for Norrathians to battle through. But will they gain the strengths and abilities necessary to defeat the ceaseless denizens of the...
WW2 MMOFPS Heroes and Generals Launches Biggest Update Ever
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Heroes and Generals from the Danish game studio Reto Moto launched their 'Deploy! Drive! Destroy!' update this week which is being dubbed by the developer as its biggest update ever. The update rebalances more than 70 vehicles as well as introduces a new armor system to the game for vehicles.

“In the ‘Deploy! Drive! Destroy!’-update we ripped out key elements of the game and rebuilt them for a richer and deeper gameplay experience. We not only wanted to make heavy tanks as badass as you would expect, we wanted to add value to ALL vehicles in Heroes & Generals and create a diverse and balanced battlefield,” tells Jacob Andersen, Game Director at RETO MOTO.
Heroes and Generals is a World War 2 MMOFPS game with persistent elements and faction war. Although games take place in lobbies, they impact a larger scale war happening in the background. The game averages over 3,000 players online at any given time according to Steamcharts, making it one of...
Legends of Aria Launching on Steam on December 4
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Legends of Aria, the sandbox fantasy MMORPG inspired by Ultima Online, is finally launching on Steam on December 4th. Anyone who pre-orders the game between now and December 3rd will gain access to a 7 day head start program and obtain all other founder's pack bonuses. Anyone interested in Legends of Aria should pre-order, as the game will be buy to play at launch anyway.

“It’s hard to believe it’s been four years since we began this journey,” said Citadel Studios Founder Derek Brinkmann. “So much has changed since then. We’ve gone from making a smaller scale online RPG to making the large-scale full-on sandbox MMORPG we’ve been dying to play since Ultima Online, Dark Age of Camelot, and EverQuest first made us all believers in the genre years ago. We’ve got even more content and additions planned for the future of Aria, but we’re just excited to finally open the doors and see what the players will do in our world this December.”
Legends of...