Valve Talks MMO Experiments With Team Fortress 2

Valve’s Robin Walker says that Team Fortress 2 was a way for the company to explore MMO business. When free-to-play became a trend, they were able to experiment again in Team Fortress 2 and apply those lessons to Dota 2.

“We were starting to feel the same way about micro-transactions as we did initially about MMOs: that our company was at risk if we didn’t have internal experience and hard data on them,” he continued. “In the end, TF2 has been ended up being one of the most useful tools we’ve ever built to reduce risk in our company’s future. The thought that if we hadn’t done it, we’d be here today without any data or experience with service based monetization strategies is quite terrifying.”

Source: Gamasutra

Obsidian Details Project Eternity

Obsidian Entertainment revealed that Project X is Project Eternity. Under the supervision of game designers Chris Avellone, Tim Cain, and Josh Sawyer, the Kickstarter project is being made in the image of classic RPGS like Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale, and Planescape: Torment.

Project Eternity aims to recapture the magic, imagination, depth, and nostalgia of classic RPGs that we enjoyed making – and playing,” reads the description. “At Obsidian, we have the people responsible for many of those classic games and we want to bring those games back . . . and that’s why we’re here – we need your help to make it a reality!”

The game will focus on a central hero that the player will create, which Obsidian implies they want to take through multiple adventures. The story promises depth and complexity with mature themes and sharp writing.

“We have wanted to go back to our roots and create an epic PC role-playing game adventure for years. But, it’s been almost impossible to get funding through traditional methods for a game like this. The great thing about Kickstarter is that we can go directly to the people who love to play RPGs as much as we love to make them. Plus, we don’t have to make compromises with a publisher. We make the development decisions, we market the game, and we don’t have to answer to anyone but you — our fans,” says Obsidian. “Our relationship with you can be even closer with Kickstarter. We can be more transparent with development and give you an inside look to what goes on day-to-day with the programmers, artists, and designers of Project Eternity. We want to give you a behind the scenes look at the game’s development, and we have fun stuff planned like developer blogs, web broadcasts, dev chats, and much, much more.”

“We need to raise $1.1 million to fund an experienced team to do this right. We are asking for more than a lot of the other Kickstarter projects and that’s because we are not only making a game, we are creating a whole new world. That means a new RPG system, entirely new art, new characters and animation and whole lot of lore and dialogue. We’ve also designed the game to have a flexible budget and scope, so if we reach our target budget goal, we have a list great stuff we can add into the mix through stretch goals. And, additional money we raise will go straight into the game to add new levels, companions, NPCs, features, and even entirely new parts of the world which will add hours and hours to the adventure,” concluded the pitch.

The company shot past its $1.1 million goal in 24 hours and is sitting at over $1.4 million after just a few days post-launch.



Free Games See Rise In European Game Time

GameTrack and Interactive Software Federation of Europe is reporting that the games market is still driven by boxed sales in western Europe. For the second quarter of 2012, the games market for four regions totaled just over $1 billion, with $351 million in Germany, $291 million in the UK, $256 million in France and ‚$107 million in Spain.

Free games were nearly half of all games acquired, with most of those free games being mobile apps. The study found that while online games ARE popular, it does not necessarily drive the market as far as revenue; overall, 51 percent of the French population have played games in the past 12 months, ahead of the UK with 37 percent, 35 percent in Germany and 31 percent in Spain.

“This data proves that GameTrack provides an unparalleled view on the market, but it will really start to show its true potential once we can compare year-on-year quarters and see trends emerge,” commented Simon Little, MD of ISFE


Mass Effect 3: Special Edition Gets ‘From Ashes’ On Disc

Mass Effect 3: Special Edition will release on Wii U with the “From Ashes” DLC on the disc. The content was available as day-one DLC for the PS3, PC and Xbox 360 versions of the game or free for those that purchased the collector’s edition of the game.

Other additions to the Mass Effect 3: Special Edition include special GamePad controls and the recent Extended Cut ending as standard. The Wii U game will also have a digital comic that will let users make decisions and review the major events of Mass Effect 1 and 2.


Facebook ‘Poked’ Users To Vote In 2010

During the 2010 election, Facebook posted a “Today is Election Day” prompt to certain users and not as part of a social study. It was found that those exposed to the message were 0.39 percent likelier to cast their vote than the other groups, amounting to an extra 60,000 votes cast by the “social message” recipients and possibly pushing as many as 340,000 people to vote because of the poke.

“Social influence made all the difference in political mobilisation,” said James Fowler, a professor of political science at the University of California at San Diego who led the experiment. “It’s not the ‘I voted’ button or the lapel sticker we’ve all seen that gets out the vote. It’s the person attached to it.”

“Such interventions also have the potential to promote positive social changes, such as increasing the rate of HIV testing, reducing violence, improving adherence to exercise, or increasing political mobilization and awareness,” said New York University academic Sinan Aral. “In this way, the science of social influence may have dramatic implications for products, politics and public health.”



MvP Invitational Announced By MLG, IEG

MLG, International eSports Group (IEG), and the Korean eSports Association (KeSPA), today announced the MvP (MLG vs. Proleague) Invitational. The event will feature 48 of the world’s best StarCraft II players including the top 24 ranked StarCraft II Players in KeSPA’s Proleague, 12 players from North America, six players from Europe and six players from Korea /Taiwan.

“We are excited to unveil the MvP Invitational as the next step in our multi-year global partnership with KeSPA, a collaboration that aims to further bridge the Western and Korean StarCraft worlds,” said Sundance DiGiovanni, CEO of Major League Gaming. “This flagship competitive program guarantees that top StarCraft II players from KeSPA’s Proleague will compete LIVE at the MLG Fall Championship in Dallas. We plan to expand MvP and roll out new programs in 2013.”

“IEG will continue to contribute to various events between KeSPA players and international players,” said Jae Myung Lee, President of IEG. “With the successful launch of the MvP Invitational, we will make an effort to provide high-quality content around the world.”

Broadcasts of the competition begin September 24 at with matches airing weekly.


7-Eleven Lets You Choose With The 7-Election

7-Eleven is offering blue cups for President Obama and red cups for Mitt Romney in a nationwide election promotion that’s been expanded over years past. They’ve released some low-budget promotional clips hoping to get out the vote . . . or, at least, get them to 7-Eleven.

Wii U – The Wonderful 101 Trailer

One of the most intriguing games from E3 for the Wii U was Project P-100, which has been re-branded The Wonderful 101. As was demonstrated before, players must team up and use their ability to morph into various objects to help them fend off an alien invasion.

Wreck-It Ralph – Official Trailer 2

The history of video game movies is not just littered with examples of failed adaptations, but also self-contained universes of fictional games that are off-key. Wreck-It Ralph, however, looks to do games right as both an adaptation of recognizable characters and as something that contains original (fictional) game characters.