Warhammer 40K: Dark Millennium No Longer An MMO

THQ announced that Warhammer 40,000: Dark Millennium is shifting from an MMO to a single-player game with online multiplayer features. At the same time, the company is also letting go 118 employees that were redundant with this refocusing of the game.

“As previously announced, we have been actively looking for a business partner for the game as an MMO. However, based on changing market dynamics and the additional investment required to complete the game as an MMO, we believe the right direction for us is to shift the title from an MMO to a premium experience with single and multiplayer gameplay, robust digital content and community features,” said Brian Farrell, President and CEO of THQ Inc. “Because we believe strongly in the high-quality and vast creative work that is in production, this is the right decision for both our portfolio and for gamers devoted to this powerful property.”

“We are genuinely excited about the new direction that THQ is taking with Warhammer 40,000: Dark Millennium, and we are sure that this will be a great addition to the ever growing stable of authentic and engaging Warhammer 40,000 video games,” said Jon Gillard, Head of Licensing for Games Workshop.

Assassin’s Creed III Pre-Orders Up Over Previous Entries

Ubisoft has announced that Assassin’s Creed III has seen 10 times more reserves than Assassin’s Creed Revelations had in the same time period, and the game has already reached Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood‘s life-to-date U.S. pre-order total. The game is set to reach the full pre-order figures of Revelations by June, which would make it the most pre-ordered game in Ubisoft history.

“On October 30th players will experience the biggest game launch in Ubisoft’s history with the highly anticipated release of Assassin’s Creed III,” said Tony Key, senior vice president of sales and marketing, Ubisoft. “With a development cycle of three years, Assassin’s Creed III is the true next-generation experience of the Assassins Creed brand. The production value of the game, combined with the biggest marketing commitment we’ve ever made, will make Assassin’s Creed III the highest-selling Assassin’s Creed game ever. Additionally, the new setting and hero makes this the perfect time to jump into the series for anyone that has not previously played an Assassin’s Creed game.”

For more details on the various Assassin’s Creed III pre-order offers available at participating U.S. retailers, please visit assassinscreed.com/preorder.

MapleStory Poll Shows Political Preferences Of Younger Gamers

Nexon released the results of the poll of younger gamers, and showed their preference among the presidential candidates if they had a choice. Of the 1,655 U.S.-based MapleStory players polled, over 40 percent are women and most consider themselves politically independent.


“Nexon America gave its players a chance to voice their feelings about the world inside of MapleStory,” the company announced. “The town in Maple World that most appealed to MapleStory players was Lefre, which brings players closer to nature. Meanwhile, 58 percent of players were most concerned about the evil that the Black Mage was spreading throughout their virtual world.”

MonkeyPaw Games And Gaijinworks Want To Kickstart Class Of Heroes 2

MonkeyPaw Games and Gaijinworks have announced a collaboration to help raise $500,000 for the release of Class of Heroes 2. Rewards for fans who chip in will include everything from a thank you note and a poster to a chance to be included in the credits and a flight out to Japan to meet the game’s creators.

“MonkeyPaw Games announced they are picking up Class of Heroes 2, created by acclaimed Japanese developer Acquire Corp., for release in the U.S. and Europe,” the announcement detailed. “They will use Kickstarter to fund additional improvements to the game as well as offer a premium Deluxe Pack physical release of Class of Heroes 2 on the PSP (PlayStation Portable) system. The campaign is a call to arms for all J-RPG fans with the hope of being able to bring even more import titles to Western markets in the future. The exciting campaign aims to satisfy hardcore game collectors with an old-school premium Deluxe Pack physical release in limited edition, which will only be available to Kickstarter supporters.”

Source: www.kickstarter.com

Game Of Thrones – Story Trailer

With the debut of the second season of Game of Thrones right around the corner, hype is also increasing for the upcoming RPG based around the universe. This new trailer gives snippets of the story and acting from the Cyanide Studio-developed title.


Max Payne 3 — Multiplayer Special

Max Payne 3 has multiplayer, addressing an element that players have been asking for in the series since the first entry. As this video shows, they address the issue of how bullet-time fits into the balance of the game, along with previewing some of the game’s multiplayer modes.


Asura’s Wrath DLC Burst!

Asura’s Wrath is seeing extensive post-launch DLC, including content that adds more context to what happens between chapters, along with a new four episode bundle. Most exciting, however, are battles between Asura and two of the most famous world warriors: Ryu and Akuma.

You Are A Hero!

Kinect Rush is an adventure game that puts you in charge of helping out your favorite Pixar characters like Woody, Lightning McQueen, and others. Your living room is the new playground and Kinect allows anyone to instantly become part of the action. On Facebook, fans can create their own Kinect Rush character from the worlds of The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Toy Story, UP and Cars. Take a quick personality test to get started and save to an album on Facebook or share with friends!

Feature: Rift — One Year On

In 2011, Rift seemed to be a game coming from a different era of gaming. Having a fantasy setting and using a subscription-based revenue model, the game seemed destined to dash itself up against the juggernaut that is World of Warcraft. However, instead of turning meekly from this fate, Trion embraced the role as challenger and launched the provocative “We’re not in Azeroth” campaign; one year later, the game is still going strong and Trion is looking to expand to future products. We talked with Jim Butler, Sr. Director of Global Marketing at Trion, about the one year anniversary of Rift and look back at the original provocative ad campaign.

The original advertising for Rift threw down the gauntlet to World of Warcraft. A year on, do you feel that was successful in drumming up attention for a then very new game?

When I first arrived at Trion, the challenge was in creating awareness around both a young company and a very new game. It was important that we delivered a message that got the attention of our core consumers and resonated within the audience. Our Effie-winning “We’re not in Azeroth” campaign worked wonders here, generating word of mouth and awareness that we couldn’t have achieved through a traditional media buy. We worked carefully in driving home the message across print, display advertising, social media, broadcast, and more. It definitely exceeded our expectations and was the right message at the right time.

How is the first year anniversary of Rift being celebrated?

We started things off by thanking all of our fans who have made this such a wonderful year. We couldn’t have done it without you. Oh, and there was cake. *laughs*

It’s hard to believe it’s already been one year, but the celebrations continue both in-game and out. We kicked off the anniversary events in late February with the start of a new world event that has erupted into the Carnival of the Ascended. Carnival games, loot piatas, subscriber bonuses, and much more are going on in Rift right now (you can check out the full list at http://www.riftgame.com/en/community/updates/carnival-ascended-events.php). The celebration also spilled over to the Rift Mobile app, where current and former players could win prizes with the Carnival Candy loot card game.

How has Trion been incentivizing people to stay, or even return if they’ve been sampling something else?

The development team has been producing high-quality updates at a rapid pace, and that provides a natural point for us to drive re-engagement with former subscribers and encourage existing subscribers to continue playing. We’ve capitalized on this by creating events around the updates, such as Guinness World Records for online marriages we set in February. We also leverage videos and arrange press coverage around key dates to continue to drive awareness.

Do you feel like your free trial up to level 20 has helped draw in new players?

The numbers clearly show that it’s working. Moving from a time-limited trial (7 days) to a level-limited one allows players to fully experience the game without worrying that a late night at work or a movie with friends will cause them to miss something. We re-branded the trial Rift Lite and allowed former subscribers to come back and play their low-level characters as well. More engagement is always better.

Rift is and continues to be reliant solely on subscriptions for revenue. Does Trion still feel that the quality of product dictates the necessity of the subscription model?

We continue to believe that there is room in the MMO marketplace for high-quality, AAA games that can command monthly subscriptions. I don’t think that quality forces us to a subscription model, as there are high-quality free-to-play games coming up. Like”¦End of Nations. *laughs* 

What has Trion learned from launching Rift in a marketing sense that you will likely apply to your future products?

Plan ahead. Iterate a campaign a few times to really make it shine. Go big or go home. Make sure everyone in the company knows what you’re doing . .  and when. This is fairly basic stuff at some level, but it’s easily forgotten.

Marketing an MMO impacts virtually every group in the company, from Customer Service and Finance, to Legal, Development, and Platform. Everything we do is so public that it needs to fire flawlessly with all hands on deck just in case something unexpected happens (and it will).

Everything we do is focused on the consumer and their experience with Trion and all our games. As long as we keep focused on exceeding customer expectations, both in terms of the quality of the game and in how they are treated, then we’re going to level up and do even more awesome things.

Jim, thanks.

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