As we bring 2015 to a close, it's always entertaining to look back at the year that was and what news items resonated with our readers. These items are the most trafficked, not necessarily the biggest, stories of the year, but sometimes sheer numbers are telling as well.
Here are the top five news stories of 2015 presented in reverse order:
There's no question that Blade & Soul has resonated with our readers this year as it prepares for next month's launch. As the information reveal began to pour forth, more and more of our site's denizens began to take note of one of the games that has been championed by many as it began its move westward. By the time the final quarter of the year rolled around, interest had reached an all-time high so the announcement of the closed beta dates generated a lot of notice.
The Original News:
During PAX Prime in Seattle at the end of August, we caught up with the NCsoft teams to chat about progress on localizing Blade & Soul, the Wuxia-themed MMORPG due out this Winter. During the show, we learned that not only is beta due to begin at the end of October, but the game is officially going to launch in the first quarter of 2016.
October 30th until November 1st will be the first English language test, with German and French versions scheduled to begin on November 24th.
Long time ArenaNet favorite Chris Whiteside garnered a lot of attention when he announced in March that he was leaving the Guild Wars 2 company, later announcing that he was joining up with Firefall developer Red 5 Studios. In May he wrote a special developer blog for MMORPG.com laying out the roadmap for the ailing game.
The Original News:
Without full details about the news, it appears that Guild Wars 2 Production Lead Chris Whiteside is leaving ArenaNet. The information was posted to his Facebook page with several sources sending word. As yet there is no word on the Guild Wars 2 site.
It came as a shock to many when it was announced that Sony Online Entertainment was being sold off by parent company Sony, later to be purchased by investment company Columbus Nova. Rebranded Daybreak Game Company, operations were shaken by significant layoffs of long-time employees including Dave George, Linda Carlson and later in the year, company president John Smedley. Others including Planetside 2's Matt Higby left Daybreak a short time after the purchase by Columbus Nova.
The news about the re-naming of SOE was a big hit with readers as were stories about employees leaving the company and the continuing development of games like EverQuest, DC Universe Online, Landmark, H1Z1 to name a few.
The Original News:
Several months after transforming from Sony Online Entertainment into indie studio Daybreak Game Company, the official site and logo have made their debuts. In addition, each game will be hosting a special live stream event this week, complete with giveaways, activities and more.
ArenaNet took another of our top stories for 2015 with the Battle for Lion's Arch. Developers had long promised that the game world would be a dynamic, living place. As Scarlett Briar and her minions closed in, the situation in venerable old city Lion's Arch took a desperate turn. By the time the battle was over, the city lay in ruins, luckily to be rebuilt in a new form later on through the help of players. Still, the carnage and wreckage of the once-stunning city shocked a lot of players.
The trailer released in February showed players what they would be up against as Scarlett closed in.
Secondary to the Lion's Arch news, the new World Atlas intrigued readers as it promised to give players a handy reference to read up on the story as it has progressed from GW2's launch through the current day.
The number one most-read story of 2015 surrounded an ostensible bug that allowed ArcheAge players to duplicate APEX. APEX is the real money currency that can be used in-game to gain 1250 credits each, traded to other players or sold on the ArcheAge auction house. To say that a storm of epic proportion seized the AA community is to do it a huge disservice. So loud were the voices citing mismanagement of the game that Trion Worlds CEO Scott Hartsman stepped in to offer a rebuttal to the accusation of "duping".
Scott's Original Response:
"There isn't a dupe bug. There were some instances where APEX could be used to yield more credits than one was supposed to get. Our investigation showed that this affected a relatively small number of people. We've temporarily paused their accounts and we're doing a targeted cleanup on them right now, then releasing them.
People who were found to have intentionally abused it appear to be around a dozen globally, and they'll see more serious actions taken against their account."
So there you have it: Our five most trafficked news items. As said, these are not necessarily the top stories for the entire year. In fact, most might not even come to mind immediately but for this article's reminder! If you haven't yet, be sure to visit Bill Murphy's Daily Quest from December 28th and weigh in on what you think are the top stories of 2015.