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Mythic: Blizzard is in for a "lengthy battle"

Posted by magdalene08 Monday October 20 2008 at 5:42AM
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Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning has only just begun to compete with World of Warcraft, says Mark Jacobs, Mythic's CEO, who commented "It's a marathon, not a sprint."

Speaking to, Jacobs took issue with comments made by Paul Sams, Blizzard's COO, that over half of the subscribers who left World of Warcraft for Warhammer Online had returned, which Mythic's CEO interpreted to as an accusation Warhammer users were leaving the MMO.

"One thing about MMOs is that people play multiple games," asserted Jacobs. "That's one of the reasons I was very surprised by Paul's comments. He knows that people may play WoW and they'll play WAR and maybe even a third game at the same time."

He added: "Any comment along the lines of 'well if they're in my game they're not playing in another game,' flies in the face of all research that's been done among MMO players… The idea that you only play one is really kind of silly."

When asked if he was confident Warhammer Online could hold onto its subscribers when World of Warcraft's second expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, comes out, Jacobs assuredly claimed that Mythic are well prepared to fight back with its own content updates.

"We've known that Blizzard is preparing to launch in November. We just announced some of the things that will be going in our first major patch… that's one of the ways we're going to respond."

"This is the beginning of a rather lengthy battle with the guys at Blizzard," Jacobs explained. "We’re in this space to be successful and, when you have a competitor that is as successful and important to the games industry as WoW has been, you don't go into this space unless you're willing to spend money and spend time and really compete against them."

Jacobs further declared: "It's a marathon, not a sprint. We've got a lot of stuff going in, not only this fall but then there's spring and then after that."


Source :


Mythic fights BACK!

Blizzard: Warhammer players already returning to Warcraft

Posted by magdalene08 Thursday October 16 2008 at 5:15AM
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While a number of World of Warcraft users dropped the widely popular MMO to play EA's recently released Warhammer Online, more than half of those gamers have already returned to Blizzard's market-leader.

That's according to COO Paul Sams, who said the pattern of players leaving and then returning to Warcraft follows that of any major MMO release.

"We've certainly had some of that happen, which is the same thing we experienced with Age of Conan and each time an MMO has come out we've seen some amount of reduction of use," he said in an exclusive interview published today.

"The good news is that we've seen a significant number of people, well over half, that cited Warhammer as their reason for leaving - they've already returned."

Sams said he was surprised that Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning had a rocky start in Europe, but server troubles and registration hiccups are part and parcel of the MMO business.

"It surprises me because Mythic is a very good company and it doesn't surprise me at the same time because it's really hard, what they're trying to do and what we've done," commented Sams.

"We respect those guys over there a lot and certainly wish them well to succeed but having registration troubles, having server troubles, these are things that come with the territory when you're talking about managing a game as big as World of Warcraft or Warhammer or anything like that. So, it's not a surprise because it is really difficult."

It's not just respect for the team that Sams has – he's was keen to point out that if any other game can come close to the success of Warcraft, it's Warhammer Online, a game that has already notched up 750,000 registered users.

"I think Warhammer is best positioned to succeed out of the various products that have come out thus far since World of Warcraft has come out," he offered.

"It seems to be a good game, certainly a great company, Mythic and Mark [Jacobs] over there and his team, they're very, very talented.

"But I think without EA they would have struggled as well, because EA fortunately for them has a lot of money and so they were able to put forward a lot of marketing dollars and were able to support the huge infrastructure that they require for these kinds of games," added Sams.



Blizzard: Companies underestimate launching new MMOs

Posted by magdalene08 Wednesday October 15 2008 at 5:25AM
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Publishers and developers new to the MMO genre underestimate the difficulties of launching in the market, according to Blizzard's Mike Morhaime.

Following GOA's struggle to launch Warhammer Online, asked Blizzard's CEO if companies fail to anticipate the true logistics of launching a massively multiplayer online game.

"I think everyone who hasn't done it will probably underestimate the logistics behind it - we certainly did," he explained.

"You focus on the things you are used to but you don't necessarily realise how difficult it is to scale up quickly and with an MMO you have to factor in providing 24/7 customer service, multiple languages... and that's not just hiring all those people to do customer service because internally within the organisation you still have to support your employees and that's a whole lot of management infrastructure that doesn't exist before the launch."

Morhaime further revealed that the company still aims to release a World of Warcraft expansion annually but is currently on the "longer than a year plan" and following Wrath of the Lich King fans won't see another for more than a year.

"That's still the ideal goal," he said in response to, "but as with anything there is this underlying rule that trumps everything which is that we'll take as much time as we need until... it reaches the expectations of ourselves and our players."

"Right now we're on the longer than a year plan," he added. "The next one I think it is still unlikely that we're going to get it down to a calendar year. We're going to continue to try and decrease that but really the content of the expansion is more important and I think you guys are going to find with Wrath of the Lich King that it's going to be worth the wait."


James Lee 11:03 (BST)


Source :

Lord of the Rings Online to get social networking site

Posted by magdalene08 Monday October 13 2008 at 3:57AM
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"Speaking at the Tokyo Game Show this morning, Turbine chief Jim Crowley revealed that Lord of the Rings Online is to get a full-featured social networking site late this year, reports our sister site

Crowley showed a site that featured character profiles, friends lists and other data uploaded live from the MMO's game world, and YouTube-style video-sharing features.

He described it as "a version of Facebook or MySpace that sits directly on top of the gaming world. This is a fully-featured, rich, robust social network. It has every single feature that you would find in the major commercial social networks such as Facebook and MySpace."

The site will have live news feeds from the game world, with profile pages for all user characters. It will also feature friends lists, communication tools and the ability to upload and share screenshots and videos.

"A key element here is the face that the game engine needs to populate all of the game data directly into this social network, so you can share that across the world," Crowley said.

He said it would launch "at the end of Q4 this year".

He added that similar sites would launch for Turbine's other games, Dungeons & Dragons Online and Asheron's Call, in late 2008 or 2009.

In his presentation at the TGS Forum, titled "The collision of virtual worlds, online games and social networking," Crowley argued that MMOs were in an ideal position to take advantage of online social networking trends, and that a new generation of web-literate players would "demand" the openness and convenience of Web 2.0 networks attached to their games.

"Turbine believes that a closed eco-system will have to become an open eco-system," he said. "The MMO needs to learn... to adapt itself to the 'born digital' generation. The MMO needs to step out of its shell and start reaching a much broader and deeper audience."

Crowley argued that social networks like LOTRO's would solve a "business model problem" for MMO developers; how to take advantage of advertising revenues when in-game advertising wouldn't be appropriate.

"It allows you to inject advertising in a way that's not in conflict with the game world," he said. "It's natural to it, something you see across the web 2.0 space."

He also said that he expected the social network would help Turbine make more money by "extending the lifetime value of the customer" by involving them more closely in the game, and driving "viral customer acquisition". "





MMO Facebook anyone?

Top 10 Signs You Play Too Many Video Games

Posted by magdalene08 Monday October 6 2008 at 5:12AM
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There are many ways to know that you’ve played too many video games in your day. Some reasons are more obvious than others. Ever get that pain in your hands from holding a controller too long? Ever need to get up and go to the bathroom to see if your eyes still work? Ever refer to yourself in public as the “blue bomber”?

The signs are numerous for this phenomena, and in this list we will go through the top ten ways to know that you’ve played too many video games. This was a difficult list to make as there were numerous ways of knowing that you were knee deep in the video game world…and never coming back. Are you, like us, one of these people who are never coming back to “reality”?


Here’s how you can tell.


Full article

Can games make your child a better citizen?

Posted by magdalene08 Wednesday September 17 2008 at 4:21AM
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What's this? An article on a mainstream news site proclaiming that gaming will not turn our children into mini Charles Mansons? It's true!

According to a story published at MSNBC, the Pew Internet & American Life Project is discovering that online games are positively affecting our children's civic experiences. The research doesn't simply track how much time kids are spending in social games, but it's delving into what the children are doing with that time.

"Video games can provide hands-on learning opportunities for kids that can be much more meaningful than reading a textbook," this article states. It goes on to make an interesting analysis of social interaction in our favorite online games, "Helping a newbie get his sea legs in a game simulates the real-world experience of volunteering. And playing games online can expose kids to people with worldviews that differ from their own - in positive and negative ways."

source :

Could Activision Enter The Console War?

Posted by magdalene08 Thursday September 11 2008 at 10:37PM
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With the console market already a very crowded place with three different consoles serving the needs of three (mostly) different demographics, what would happen if a fourth company released another console? It seems like the answer simply would be that the market isn’t big enough for four consoles and it would be destined to fail. However, what if that company was already one of the biggest companies in gaming, and that already has a firm hold on a sizable percentage of the gaming industry? What if that company was Activision Blizzard?

Around since the late 1970s, and founded by defectors from Atari, Activision currently sits atop the list of third party publishers, and it just keeps getting bigger and bigger everyday. Since the completion of their merger with Vivendi earlier this year, the moniker Activision now adorns multiple franchises at the top of their genres - “Guitar Hero,” “Call of Duty,” “Tony Hawk,” and the biggest of all “World of Warcraft,” just to name a few. Take a look at your game collection, and see how many of your games either have Activision, Blizzard, or Vivendi on them, and then think back to the Atari 2600, and how many quality games over the last 29 years have been released by this one publisher.

What would happen if this time next year, as the industry was getting poised and ready for the holiday deluge, the sequels to all the games mentioned above were only available for one console - Activision’s? Their catalog might not offer the depth and diversity as the PS3’s, or the Xbox 360, but it would be the only place to get your fix for “Guitar Hero 5,” “Tony Hawk 10,” and “Starcraft 2.” They’re all quality games and they would only be found on one exclusive platform. Sure, Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo would have a wealth of other games from other publishers to fall back on, but when the biggest piece of the pie is gone, is there going to be enough left for everyone to share?

In addition to their library of franchises they would, no doubt, also have the capacity to produce their own, new, franchises as well. After all, there are ten separate development studios under them, including such heavy hitters as, Infinity Ward, Neversoft, and Raven. These studios would be able to increase their capacity from their current one title per year (or every other year), to more than that, because they would only have to commit their time to developing for one platform, instead of three separate ones. It might even encourage additional creativity for studios to venture outside their comfort zones. Red Octane to develop something that isn’t a rhythm game. TreyArch could make an RPG. Infinity Ward could make a platformer.

What if this mystery console had a low price point, and could offer great graphics? What if this mystery console was appealing enough to encourage at least a limited amount of third party support? If it launched with a host of great, and established, first party titles as well as third party support, and you could actually have a viable contender. When the 3DO launched in 1994 it was able to get commitments from a host of third party developers - everyone from EA to Konami (granted that didn’t really pan out too well), if this console could pull in one EA or Ubisoft, it might be able to compete.

I fully realize that there is very little chance of this actually happening, for a whole assortment of different reasons, but it would be a huge shake-up of how the entire industry operates. Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft would no longer be able to look to Activision titles to help move their consoles. It might be too late this console life cycle to happen, but, who knows what the future holds. All those analysts predicting a converging console future might need to start considering a wild card.

Some upcoming Activision Blizzard titles and ongoing franchises:
World of Warcraft
Guitar Hero
Marvel Ultimate Alliance
Call of Duty
James Bond
Tony Hawk
Diablo 3
Starcraft 2
Geometry Wars
Project Gotham


Article from


My comment : Maybe in the next 10 years? Who knows. It's a well-known company anyway.

Albright streams into Second Life

Posted by magdalene08 Wednesday September 10 2008 at 5:12AM
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Former US Secretary of State and US Representative to the UN under President Clinton, Madeleine K. Albright, will be helping the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin launch the school's new Master of Global Policy Studies degree with a public discussion on 'the emerging global and transnational challenges of the 21st century and how the next generation of young leaders can contribute to developing innovative strategies to meet these challenges' at 4PM Wednesday, 10 September (US Pacific Time).

Those of you not able to attend the Lyndon B. Johnson Library in Austin, Texas may, however, find it both convenient and particularly appropriate that you can view the event live via the 21st century transnational virtual environment, Second Life by visiting the amphitheatre at GSD&M's Idea City Island. Regardless of your political affiliations, the discussion should prove to be a lively and interesting one.

For those of you left wondering what the difference is between global and transnational, global is that which affects every nation, while transnational is that which affects multiple nations, but is not necessarily global.


Warhammer Online beta struggles in Europe

Posted by magdalene08 Tuesday September 9 2008 at 2:26AM
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GOA, the European publisher and operator of Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning, has issued a public apology for the false start to its open beta test yesterday.

Although servers have opened, and closed beta testers have been able to enter the new phase without any problems, account registration and authentication for new players is not working.

"I rarely address players directly, but I wanted to write you as too few of you have been able to access the open beta today," said GOA's chief executive, Ghislaine Le Rhun, on the European WAR site.

"We have not yet solved the issue of saturated Open Beta key activations that we're currently experiencing," Le Rhun said. "I am sincerely sorry for this, and I understand all the frustration the situation has spawned.

"Today was a dark day," Le Rhun continued. "We expected a massive influx of players, but reality was even harsher. I personally commit that we will communicate to you as clearly as possible on the resolution of these current issues."

In a previous post, it was explained that "serious problems" with the authentication system, "combined with an exceptional amount of traffic and a fault which was not identified during the extensive tests," had limited access to only a handful of new open beta testers. However, the performances of the servers, patcher and downloader for WAR's open beta were all "satisfactory".

The authentication system is expected to be fixed "late Monday morning", with an update promised mid-morning.

RuneScape in Guinness World Records

Posted by magdalene08 Monday September 8 2008 at 3:03AM
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Jagex Ltd. writes:

"RuneScape has entered the record books this week. The game has been recognised as the most popular free MMORPG in the world for the second year in a row, with a certificate awarded by Guinness World Records."

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