Last week, DC Universe Online became one of the only MMOs on the Nintendo Switch, prompting many gamers to give it a look or even a relook. Now, I’m mainly a PC gamer, but I’m also a big Nintendo fan, so the Switch is the only current gen console I own. Previous Nintendo consoles have been mostly passed over by a lot of ports, so when an MMORPG or MMO does launch on my console of choice, I’m interested – and it’s paid off for me. For example, I actually ended up liking Warframe a lot better with the Switch controller than on PC (the keyboard setup in that game always hurt my hands for some reason, no matter how I remapped it). So I thought I’d give DC Universe Online another try. I say “another” because I played it on PC about five years ago and wasn’t a fan, but I’m always willing to give an MMO another chance. The great thing about our favorite genre is that games can grow and change over time. The frustrating thing is … [Read more...] about First impressions of DC Universe Online – on the Nintendo Switch
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This week’s Massively Overthinking topic is a submission from reader and commenter camelotcrusade, who takes the industry’s current fight over monetization in a different direction from lockboxes. “Are modern games too cheap?” he asks, probably slowly reaching into a can of worms with a wicked gleam in his eye. “When you think about it, many other things we buy have increased in price over the last decade but AAA games are still expected to be a maximum of $60, with many of us waiting for sales (or for free-to-play). Meanwhile, games everywhere are adding shops, post-release content, and DLC galore with increasingly aggressive pricing models. How much of this is to make-up margins they can’t capture up-front? How much should an AA game cost in 2017? $75? $90? Is there a price point where lockboxes, gambling, and in-game stores could focus on value-add instead of survival? And how did we get here? Whose fault is it? And how do we get out of this, or … [Read more...] about Massively Overthinking: Are modern games too cheap?
While I’ve had kind words to say about the potential for mobile in the past – particularly MMOARGs – I just haven’t been able to get into mobile MMORPGs. The point of view, the auto-follow, the lack of chat, and a generally cheap feeling leave me feeling a bit ill. However, I was fortunate enough to get my hands onBlack Desert Online’s mobile port this year at E3, which might just change my mind. Now, let me preface this by saying I am not an active player of the PC version of the game, and my brief time with the console version of the game only confirmed to me that Pearl Abyss has competently adapted controls and UI for console, but oddly enough, the work on the mobile client stood out to me as particularly superb. And as Pearl Abyss CEO Kyungin “Robin” Jung told me during our interview, the company is indeed considering porting the title to the Switch. While it sounded interesting (and a bit odd considering Nintendo’s general … [Read more...] about E3 2018: Hands-on with the superb (and hopefully Switch-bound) Black Desert Mobile
As this year’s GDC coverage is winding down, I am finally coming to the topic I saved for last: community. MMOs are more than just multiplayer. We attract the “alone together” people more than the “FPS hero” crowd in our comments section for a reason; MMOs are virtual worlds. They’re a digital space inhabited by other people. We may not talk to them, but we watch and listen. Maybe we engage, maybe we group, maybe we guild. We do stuff in a shared environment because we think, or hope, we’re part of a larger system. And this is why we need to talk about cross-platform communities and the strength of in-game, embedded community tools. As social media rises and mobile crashes against our PC fortress, increased console cross-play should be a reminder that we’re all gamers, and (some) developers are finally getting that. Bringing people together The panel on bridging cross-platform communities, held by Eric Cleaver (NetEase Games), … [Read more...] about GDC 2018: Bridging and embedding cross-platform online communities