Vanguard Sets Out Into Free-To-Play Landscape

Sony Online Entertainment confirmed recently that Vanguard: Saga of Heroes has officially made the switch over to free-to-play. What this means is that players can choose from certain races and classes, with all classes are playable for free up until level 20, and a selection of others max out at level 55, with some other restrictions in bag slots, guild functions and character slots; those who pay the $14.99 subscription fee will receive access to all content and 12 character slots.

“SOE recognized the successful evolution of free-to-play online gaming early on and we were one of the first publishers to truly embrace the business model,” said John Smedley, President, Sony Online Entertainment. “We have a long history of providing rich and compelling content to our online worlds through the free-to-play model, and with Vanguard’s transition, we continue that legacy with one of our most popular titles.”

“Moving to a free-to-play model allows the opportunity to expand the Vanguard universe by adding and tailoring content to appeal to all types of players,” said Andy Sites, Director of Development, Sony Online Entertainment. “We have significant plans for new content that we cannot wait to share with the community. The development team is designing and implementing all new quests that take players through some of the most beautiful and challenging areas in the game.”

Find out more at www.vanguardthegame.com/free.

Nexon: Console Owners Must Make ‘Leap of Faith’ To Free-To-Play

Free-to-play is one of the most significant business disruptions to ever hit interactive entertainment. Nexon America CEO Daniel Kim reckons that console makers need to adjust to the new free-to-play reality or face extinction.

“Console developers are starting to realize that as well, that unless they make accommodations or think about changing their own business model they’re going to quickly go the way of the dinosaurs,” said Kim. “It’s really hard to beat free-to-play as an offering. The console guys are starting to realize that, but they also have a challenge in that they have a vested interest in an existing business model of packages. I know it’s tough for them to just cut off hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue to say ‘OK, we’re going to go free-to-play and make our bed here’ because that’s going to piss off a lot of people who they already have an existing business relationship with.”

“I understand the challenge but unless they’re being aggressively proactive about making that leap – it’s kind of like the Indiana Jones, taking that leap of faith – unless you do it there’s no other way to continue to grow,” he added.

Source: GamesIndustry International

Gamescom Sees Record 275,000 Visitors

Koelnmesse GmbH announced that Gamescom 2012 saw 275,000 visitors from 83 countries. There were 24,500 trade visitors from 83 countries experiencing new products and developments from over 600 exhibitors from 40 countries on an exhibition area covering 140,000 square meters – all increased over last year.

“Gamescom has once again demonstrated its international reputation in terms of business and entertainment,” said Gerald Bose, Chief Executive Officer of Koelnmesse GmbH.

“We have expanded Gamescom as an international business and innovation platform and at the same time we have considerably enhanced the quality of the experience for our consumers and the community,” said Katharina C. Hamma, Managing Director of Koelnmesse GmbH. “The innovative ticketing concept for individual days of the trade fair and the entry management system worked without a hitch and contributed significantly to the improved quality of the event.”

 

Exclusive: CCP’s Space Collective

CCP Games knows what it’s like to manage a well-connected and largely active player community. For nine years the Icelandic game maker has stewarded the player-driven experience in Eve Online, one of the longest running MMO games of all time. Eve is known to have a vibrant player base the same way the cantina on Mos Eisley has a vibrant bar crowd. Players live out their fantasies as interstellar empire-builders, rebels and pirates, and they have a knack for creating legendary game events that generate real-world response. Last year, they orchestrated in-game protests and blockades against the introduction of micro-transactions. They succeeded.

CCP is now expanding the Eve universe with Dust 514, a free-to-play game also largely driven by player experiences. Currently in beta testing, the PvP shooter is not only set in the world of Eve but connected to events in Eve Online.

In this exclusive interview, CEO of CCP Hilmar Petursson discusses how connected gaming and an empowered player community are what’s made Eve endure, and what should help Dust become its next chapter.

 

Crysis 3 – Hunter Mode

Become the hunter in a new multiplayer mode in Crysis 3. Two hunters stalk and exterminate up to 14 Cell troopers, who try to survive long enough to be rescued by the Evac Team in a heart-pounding test of strategy and survival.

 

Photobombed By Claptrap

A new promotional app has been released by publisher 2K Games for their upcoming first-person shooter Borderlands 2 called the Claptrap Photobomb App.

The new app is available exclusively on Facebook and allows you to upload a picture, use a current Facebook picture or use your webcam to capture a picture and then add the lovable Claptrap to the picture instantly. You can then download your new photo to share with friends over the social network. A new contest for the app is now available as well with the best submitted photo winning an Ultimate Loot Chest.

 

Hitman Absolution Level Altered Due To Nun Trailer

IO Interactive has changed Hitman Absolution in response to the negative reaction the action-packed “The Saints” trailer received with its PVC-clad nuns. They won’t be removed, but more context will be given to their presence.

“The Saints trailer is based on a level within the game,” said Hitman Absolution director Tore Blystad. “One way to go about that level is to go in all-guns blazing, but of course, it’s not the smartest way. We learned from the trailer that we really needed to give these characters some context and some backstory. We’re working within the game – within that level – to build these characters up before you meet them. That way you know what you’re getting and you aren’t put off by them.”

While hundreds of workers had seen the trailer internally, Blystad claims, they did not anticipate the negative response it would get publicly. “We were surprised by the reaction to it. We’ve been trying to find out, y’know, how could we not see this happening If we knew it would get such a negative reaction we would have done it in a different way,” said Blystad. “The game is inspired by Grindhouse-style movies, so for us the trailer was natural way to deal with that subject matter. We hope when people play it they have fun with it.”

Blystad argues that the Saints fit within the Hitman universe, which has had levels in a variety of places, including bondage clubs. “The Saints fit into that somewhere, but it is a more extreme level in the game than others,” he said.

In the end, IO Interactive is not expecting any truly negative impact on the release of the game from the trailer. “There will have been so long between the trailer coming out and the game being released that people will have forgotten about it,” Blystad concluded.

Source: Eurogamer

Cloud Gaming USA Exclusive Offer

The Cloud Gaming USA summit is extending an exclusive offer to [a]list daily readers. Use code AYZ200 when you register for $200 off the price of a pass. Register now {link no longer active} and get an additional $100 early bird discount. Early registration discount ends today, August 17.

Cloud Gaming USA 2012 is scheduled for September 11-12 in San Francisco. Find out more at www.cgconfusa.com.

Facebook Stock Hits New Low After Lock-Up Concludes

Facebook’s stock hit a hew low after a ban on certain early investors and insiders was lifted after the standard 90 days. Firms ranging from Accel Partners to Goldman Sachs, Zynga CEO Mark Pincus and Facebook board members James Breyer, Peter Thiel and Reid Hoffman were among those free to sell stock they own, after the was ban, known as a lock-up period, was lifted.

The stock for Facebook was 6 percent down, or $1.20, from Wednesday’s close and about 48 percent below its initial public offering price of $38. If the stock hits $19, it will have lost half its value since Facebook went public in May.

Though it is unclear how much stock had been sold, nearly 100 million shares had traded by noon, more than three times the average volume on a full day. It’s yet another blow to Facebook, which saw a botched public offering, where trading glitches marred its first day.

Investors continue to be concerned over Facebook’s revenue stream from increasingly mobile users. Those not eligible to sell stock on Thursday were CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who will be ineligible until November.

Other shareholders, including many Facebook employees, will be able to sell beginning in October and the last lockup period expires next May, a year after the IPO. In all, up to 1.91 billion more shares could flood the stock market over the next several months, or over four times the 421 million shares that have been trading since Facebook’s IPO; 271 million shares of those 1.91 billion became eligible for sale Thursday.

Source: The Associated Press {link no longer active}

Darksiders II’s Death Appearing In Metalocalypse

Adult Swim on Cartoon Network will run a two minute promo Friday night for Darksiders II. It will appear during a Metalocalypse marathon running from 11:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Adult Swim.

This isn’t the first time that Metalocalypse has done a promo for a video game. Back in 2009, Eddie Riggs from the heavy metal influenced game Brutal Legend made an appearance in the show, and a song from Dethklok (the band that Metalocalypse is based around) was included in the game’s soundtrack.

Source: MTV Multiplayer