It has been a bruising month for Chinese gaming hegemon Tencent. First, their US based subsidiary Riot Games was accused of sexism which required major readjustments at the studio. These culture problems also brought to light Riot's declining profitability, with the company on course to run a deficit unless something changes soon. Closer to home, Tencent found itself on the wrong side of the ruling Communist Party's favor and had its license for Monster Hunter Worlds abruptly revoked. This forced Tencent to issue millions in refunds and left many gamers angered and confused. Worse still, the Chinese government followed up with a freeze on all new game licenses. That caught the entire industry off guard, but hit Tencent especially hard as the Chinese version of Fortnite was just getting ready to leave closed beta and officially launch. Reeling from these blows, Tencent responded by trying to be proactive in the face of new regulations that are undoubtedly on their way. The company … [Read more...] about The Weekly Raid: Will The Gaming Industry Finally Face Regulation?
Wizard101, the child-friendly turn based MMORPG by KingIsle Entertainment, is celebrating its 10 year anniversary this month. There are a bevy of new quests, pets, and giveaways to mark the game's first decade, but the most exciting news is the announcement that Wizard101 will be launching on Steam. Both Wizard101 and Pirate101 were listed on Steam Greenlight last year, powerful clues that KingIsle was serious about bringing their games to the platform. Over a year later, the official Steam page for Wizard101 appeared on August 20. Wizard101 is free to play, but access to most of the 'worlds' requires either a monthly subscription or can be individually purchased via crowns, the premium currency. Alternatively, players can earn crowns slowly in-game by completing daily quests, trivia quizzes, or by inviting friends. Heavily inspired by the Harry Potter franchise, Wizard101 was one of the most interesting MMORPGs of the 2000s. The bright colors and unique combat system made it appealing … [Read more...] about Wizard101 Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary, Launching On Steam This Month
Path of Exile's latest expansion, Delve, officially launched today at 1PM PST on the PC with the Xbox One launch set to happen sometime next week. Delve introduces the game's first infinite dungeon called the Azurite Mine which features randomized and progressively more difficult floors. The Azurite Mine will likely be the first of many infinite dungeons coming to the game which boast infinite replayability. Other new additions to the game include 7 new divination cards, 18 new unique items, and several new and revamped skill gems. "Delve is a unique expansion for Path of Exile because it takes player progression far beyond anything we had previously experimented with" said Chris Wilson, co-founder of Grinding Gear Games. "We are really excited to see how players react to some of the surprises that we have buried deep underground in Delve." Path of Exile is a remarkably popular isometric action RPG similar to games like Diablo 3. Since its launch in 2013, the game's playerbase has … [Read more...] about Path of Exile’s Latest Expansion: Delve Launches for PC
Earlier this month Kotaku published an investigative piece uncovering a culture of sexism at Riot Games. Interviews with dozens of current and former employees painted Riot Games as a hostile work environment for women. In the weeks following the Kotaku piece, several other former employees, including Barry Hawkins, have gone public with their own stories. On August 29, Riot Games finally responded to the allegations with a post titled Our First Steps Forward. The post starts with an admission of the the charges, with Riot putting up no defense of the culture that has helped it grow into the most popular PC game in the world: For the past three weeks, we’ve been focused on listening and learning. As a company, we’re used to patching problems ASAP, but this patch will not happen overnight. We will weave this change into our cultural DNA and leave no room for sexism or misogyny. Inclusivity, diversity, respect, and equality are all non-negotiable. While there is much to … [Read more...] about Riot Games Responds To Sexist Culture Allegations
On August 24, 2018 Daybreak Games announced that Just Survive, the survival based spinoff of H1Z1, will be shutting down on October 24. That leaves only the more popular Battle Royale mode to carry on the H1Z1 name on PC and consoles. Daybreak Games cites the games dwindling population as the primary reason for the closure. The rise and fall of the survival genre serves as a stark reminder of how quickly trends can change in the gaming industry. Popular titles like DayZ and H1Z1 (back before the Battle Royale spinoff) were seen as a hot new genre only a few years ago. Even Fortnite, now the undisputed leader of the Battle Royale genre, was initially inspired by the survival genre. The sandbox nature of Just Survive allowed for a far more creative gameplay experience than the more condensed Battle Royale format that quickly evolved out of it. Several games in the genre continue to thrive, including Rust and Ark Survival Evolved. While the Just Survive servers will remain open until … [Read more...] about Just Survive, H1Z1’s Original Survival Mode Is Shutting Down