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The Future of Online Gaming


by David McDougall Feb 23, 2010 4:06 PM CST
filed under editorials, features

Online gaming has come on leaps and bounds over the years, and it has many guises. My first online experience is born from when I jumped into a multiplayer game of Halo 2 in 2006, and I was impressed. Gone were the days of my boredom taking over as each AI-controlled enemy followed a predictable and predetermined course of action. If they were designed to be a difficult opponent, they simply fired more frequently and with improved accuracy.


Blizzard: WoW Has Stopped Growing

by Evan Volmering Feb 10, 2010 5:14 PM CST
filed under industry, news, pc

During an investor call following Activision Blizzard's financial results, CEO Mike Morhaime revealed that only a third of new players to World of Warcraft make it past level 10 - the tipping point at which the majority of gamers will then go on to become dedicated players.

Morhaime also revealed that the game still had a stable subscriber base of 11.5 million players, the same figure as that released when numbers were last discussed in July last year. With that drop-out rate in mind, Morhaime noted that with the release of Cataclysm, due later this year, the Blizzard team was redesigning the whole classic game world in a bid to bring all of the original content up to "current design standards".

[via gi.biz]

Cryptic: ‘No Game Will Topple World of Warcraft’

by Tyler Treat Jan 27, 2010 12:32 PM CST
filed under news, pc

With over 11 million monthly subscriptions, it's no surprise World of Warcraft is one of the biggest games of all time, certainly the biggest MMO. With that said, will any game ever surpass it? According to Star Trek Online developer Cryptic Studios, no.

"No game will topple World of Warcraft," Cryptic's COO Jack Emmert told MCV. "Many companies try to replicate Warcraft's gameplay, but that's just silly. If someone wants WoW, they'll play WoW."


World of Warcraft Hacked

by Tyler Treat Jan 24, 2010 2:51 PM CST
filed under news, pc

An Adobe Flash exploit was recently discovered in World of Warcraft that targets players and their accounts. Some players have woken up to find their account suspended due to spam from gold farmers and keyloggers, while some guild banks have been drained thanks to the exploit. Blizzard has discovered the issue, which is apparently addressed in the newest version of Flash.

"A recent vulnerability has been discovered in popular web-content delivery program Adobe Flash, and it could potentially be used to target World of Warcraft players and accounts," wrote a Blizzard moderator on the game's forum. "The newest available version of Adobe Flash, version, does not contain this vulnerability, and we recommend that everyone upgrade their Flash player as soon as possible...."

One user had his account hacked when it wasn't even activated, but lucky for him, he wasn't using a credit card to pay for his subscription.

Bethesda Working on a ‘Secret’ MMO?

by Tyler Treat Jan 20, 2010 11:24 AM CST
filed under news, pc, ps3, rumors, xbox 360

DAC has learned that Bethesda is working on a World of Warcraft-style MMO game. Apparently, Bethesda let slip details on the game in its court case with Interplay, and so it had to redact those statements so their competitors don't find out about it.

There are allegedly "tens and tens of millions of dollars" invested in the project and "close to a hundred people" working on it. It's been in development since 2006. According to testimony, the development timetable for the game is about four years, so that means we should be seeing it in the not-so-distant future.

VG 247 is reporting that the game is an Elder Scrolls MMO, and it's "very close to reveal by now."

[via DAC]

Blizzard: Warcraft is ‘not so different to Tolkien fantasy’

by Tyler Treat Jan 18, 2010 3:02 PM CST
filed under news, pc

According to VP of creative development at Blizzard, Chris Metzen, the Warcraft franchise shares much of its "DNA" with Lord of the Rings and "other Tolkien fantasy." When asked by PC Gamer what Metzen thought people connected to in World of Warcraft, he answered, "It's hard to say because there are so many cool fantasy settings out there. In terms of its DNA, I don't know that Warcraft is all that different from a lot of Tolkien fantasy.


World of Warcraft Resolution Coming in China

by Tyler Treat Jan 5, 2010 6:39 PM CST
filed under industry, news, pc

The operation of World of Warcraft in China has been offline since November of last year thanks to the Chinese government. It looks like a resolution might be coming to this issue between the Ministry of Culture and General Administration of Press and Publications (GAPP). According to GAPP, the situation will be resolved "very soon." The statement on the decision is likely coming in mid-January.

This is significant because it could possibly mean the switch could be flipped back on for WoW in China, and Blizzard could launch The Wrath of the Lich King expansion there.

[via Industry Gamers]

It’s Either the Orc or Me

by Tyler Treat Jan 5, 2010 6:11 PM CST
filed under news

Robert Cushnie, 42, owns a six-foot-tall Orc from World of Warcraft. He's had it in his home for six years. His Canadian spouse is fed up with it. It's gotten to the point where it's either her or the Orc. She's willing to move back to Canada if he doesn't ditch the green giant. Incredibly, a rational decision came of this ordeal. Robert actually sold the statue.

"She said there wasn't any room for him in our life," Cushnie told The Scottish Sun. "I've had him for six years but Dee means more to me, so he had to go."

The Orc has been adopted by Michael Thomson, 61, and his wife Patricia, 55, both of which are avid World of Warcraft fans (shocking, right?).

Maybe my faith in humanity can be restored after all.

Cops Track Down Fugitive Using World of Warcraft

by Tyler Treat Dec 31, 2009 5:30 PM CST
filed under news, pc

Alfred Hightower, a fugitive of Howard County, Indiana for dealing controlled substances and marijuana. He fled the country to Canada to evade arrest. Hightower also happened to be a World of Warcraft fan, which led to his demise. That's because Blizzard aided in the arrest of him by releasing documents for World of Warcraft. With the assistance of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, he was soon apprehended.

"We received information that this guy was a regular player of an online game, which was referred to as ‘some warlock and witches’ game," said Deputy Matt Robertson. "None of that information was sound enough to pursue on its own, but putting everything we had together gave me enough evidence to send a subpoena to Blizzard Entertainment. I knew exactly what he was playing — World of Warcraft. I used to play it. It’s one of the largest online games in the world."

Information that was released included Hightower's IP address, his account history, and billing address, which evidently led to his arrest.

The Old Republic Will be the Most Expensive MMO Ever

by Tyler Treat Dec 23, 2009 2:20 AM CST
filed under news, pc

Star Wars: The Old Republic will be the most expensive MMO ever created. Period. With complete control of the Star Wars license and by providing a fully-voiced MMO in three different languages, EA is clearly putting all they've got into this title. The BioWare team used as many voice actors as possible, giving each character a unique voice in the game. Not only that, but characters have different voice interactions, meaning you'll hear different things when different characters talk to each other. And did we mention the content? This game's got a lot of that too. We did some digging to see just how much effort is going into this seemingly mammoth game.

"We have literally thousands of roles which are voiced in our game," said Gordon Walton, BioWare co-studio director. "which are done by many, many hundreds of voice actors, so there's not like not one voice actor doing 2,300 people. They're doing a few roles, and those roles tend to be pretty damn different too.


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