Trion Worlds’ Rift Goes Free To Play Along With MMO Trend

Over the last several years multiple MMORPGs have found themselves moving from the once universal pay-to-play subcription model to a free-to-play model where microtransactions act as the primary source of income instead of monthly fees. The likes of Tera, Star Trek Online, Aion, and Lord of the Rings online have all adopted the free-to-play model after once sporting monthly fees, and as of June 12 so is Trion Worlds’ MMORPG Rift. Rift still offers a system where players can pay a monthly fee for certain benefits, but reportedly the game aims to keep F2P and P2P players on the same level.

Notably, MMORPG gaming giant World of Warcraft still remains a steadfast pay-to-play game, though they have dipped their feet in the waters of free-to-play by allowing any account to play up to level 20 in game without paying any kind of fee. In a market where so many other MMOs like Rift are allowing players unrestricted gameplay without any monthly fees though, how long will Blizzard’s gaming giant be able to hold out

The recent reports that Blizzard has scrapped the design of its new MMO codenamed Titan and started over places additional pressure on World of Warcraft to continue generating profits. The news about Titan means it will be several years at least before Blizzard can expect revenue from the project. World of Warcraft may have to switch entirely to free-to-play in order to stay popular for several more years, and that would not be an easy transition.


Apple’s Ads Fail To Go Viral, Samsung And Microsoft See Success

According to data from, Apple’s videos were only shared a little over 183,000 times over the last year, while Samsung’s videos reached 2.37 million shares and even Microsoft saw 1.36 million shares in the same period. In fairness, both Samsung and Microsoft spend more on their campaigns than Apple, with Apple buying $1 billion in ads, Microsoft $1.6 billion and Samsung spending $4.32 billion.

Campaigns like Samsung’s ads which lampooned Apple customers and Microsoft’s ad which appealed to the 90’s sensibilities of today’s 20-somethings both saw a lot of success on YouTube and generated a lot of these shares and this success. Apple has maintained the same clean clear style of ad that has become a trademark of the Apple brand – but it’s not the interesting or funny sort of video that people feel compelled to share.

Games are increasingly being marketed with videos, usually taking the form of a trailer with in-game assets. Marketers might get more attention with live-action (such as the latest Sony Greatness Awaits video) or using other elements such as humor. Especially when game videos are being enjoyed primarily on the Internet rather than used as TV commercials, game marketers need to create videos with an eye to virality. Will Apple start thinking along the same lines?

Source: Mashable

Google Earns More Than Half Of Global Ad Revenue

As mobile devices become increasingly commonplace throughout all age groups, the importance of ads on mobile phones is becoming readily apparent. $8.8 billion was spent on mobile advertising worldwide last year alone, and global giant Google has been reaping the benefits. More than half of that money was spent on Google’s advertising services, according to eMarketer.

Next up was Facebook, which made almost half a billion dollars in ad revenue last year according to the study. Facebook’s revenue is expected to jump another 333 percent to over 2 billion dollars in ad revenue in 2013, becoming tight competition with Google. It all comes down to whether marketing will be more effective in internet searches, or on the social networks of the world.

Game publishers have already been exploring Facebook advertising with great success. Such advertising dovetails with the increasing Facebook presence for marketing purposes that game companies have been creating.


Chinese Gaming Companies Notch Massive Gains in 2012

The top six gaming corporations in China (Tencent, Netease, Changyou, Shanda Games, Perfect World, and Giant) pulled in over $2 billion in revenue in the first quarter of this year, setting another record. To compare, at the same time last year, the revenue for the entire Chinese games industry in Q1 last year was only $1.78 billion dollars. China’s game industry is experiencing fantastic growth, particularly among the largest companies.Â

Despite these numbers, Perfect World and Shanda Games actually experienced a year-over-year decline from last year. MMO’s are facing a rough spot in China, creating hard times for Shanda and Perfect World whom are both MMO developers. Perfect World will be releasing Neverwinter in a couple of months to try and rectify this situation, and only recently released the first expansion to their game Star Trek Online which may also have an effect on their revenue in the coming months.

China’s game industry has benefited mightily from regulations that prevent foreign companies from operating directly in China, forcing game companies to seek a Chinese partner. Such licensing arrangements have been a key driver in the growth of the Chinese game business. As Chinese companies reach larger size they are increasingly reaching out to other countries for investment opportunities and distribution of their games. Tencent’s investments in Riot Games and Epic Games have been only the beginning; we will doubtless see more such investments in the future.

Source: Techinasia

Watch_Dogs E3 Trailer Shows Off The Power Of Connectedness

In Ubisoft’s new open world game Watch_Dogs a cell phone is a powerful weapon and tool than can do anything from hack a bank account to ruin someone’s life. The newest trailer shows what main character and Chicago street vigilante Aidan Pierce can do with a cell phone, and that includes shutting down an illicit human trafficking ring.


Super Smash Bros. Trailer Shows Off Hectic Gameplay On Both 3DS And Wii U

During Tuesday’s Nintendo Direct numerous games were revealed to the public eye, but none garnered as much attention as Super Smash Bros. Wii U and 3DS. Showing off a new playable character in the form of the villager, a portable entry for the first time in the series and changes to gameplay in characters like Pit, the new entry promises to be a hectic step forward for the franchise.

Halo 5 Revealed In Mysterious Trailer

What opens with one man walking alone through a desert wasteland ends with the reveal of the newest iteration of Microsoft’s long-running Halo franchise, Halo 5. Master Chief walks solemnly through the desert happening upon a massive piece of alien tech which immediately faces off with him. The end of the trailer shows a 2014 release, so we will have to wait until next year to see what happens to Master Chief.


Final Fantasy Vs. XIII Becomes XV As It Moves To Next Generation

Much like at its original reveal at E3 in 2006, cheers were heard throughout the Sony press conference when more footage was shown of Final Fantasy Vs. XIII. All of the promised action-based gameplay and real-world Mafia undertones combined with the magic of the franchise was present, just as it was years ago. The real head-turner came at the end of the trailer, when it was revealed that the game is no longer a spinoff of Final Fantasy XIII, but its own title in the mythos, Final Fantasy XV, and would be released for next generation consoles.


Kid’s Site And Game Moshi Monsters Set To Have Cartoon Adaptation

Moshi Monsters is an adoptable pet game that has seen a lot of popularity to date in the 6-12 year old set, giving players the ability to adopt raise and care for little monsters similarly to Neopets back in the early 2000s. The game’s developer, Mind Candy, has decided to take the next step in a children’s franchise: Turning it into a cartoon. Moshi Monsters will attempt to burrow further into its target market with a series of 52 11 minute episodes, and plans for a feature length movie.

Moshi Monsters is far from the first company to make this transition from game franchise to cartoon, though. Rovio released a series of Angry Birds toons, Ubisoft announced its plans to turn The Rabbids to the silver screen, and numerous Japanese games from Pokemon to Persona 4 have made the jump to TV. While Moshi Monsters has seen great success as a game, whether this show will resonate with audiences in the same way is up to the creative staff of the show. If the show does find an audience, it could lead the way to becoming not only a popular game, but a successful media franchise in the minds of kids everywhere.


Source: TechCrunch

Apple’s iOS 7 Features Enormous Game Dev Support

Among the reveals for the upcoming iOS 7 at WWDC this week was the revelation of increased support for game developers on the new operating system. A wide range of third-party controller support was announced for the new version of iOS, including supporting controllers with up to two joysticks, a d-pad and six buttons. This increased support will make it easy for devs to design controllers and games for the controllers without having to find loopholes around the Apple system.

Also introduced was SpriteKit, which allows developers to easily develop 2d sprite-based games for the operating system. SpriteKit games won’t work on previous versions of iOS, which is problematic, but having a framework available for developers to make their own games and sell them on the App Store is a major step forward in independent development.

Source: TechCrunch