If you’re like me and are pretty burnt out on Cataclysm right now and are looking ahead for a subsitute, or maybe just something different to try, check out some of these upcoming gems due to be released this year!
Starting 19th January the first IEM and major tournament of the year begins for Starcraft 2 and League of Legends.
Unfortunately, neither DongRaeGu or Fnatic will be able to attend and defend the titles they clinched in New York in October; but that leaves the competition open to new contenders.
Firstly, here is the current Starcraft Lineup:
Blizzard is going with a pay once and then “survive off in game purchases” system for Diablo 3. As you already know, World of Warcraft relies on box sales, in game purchases, and a monthly subscription to earn insane amounts of money. Looking at the two business models, there doesn’t seem to be a shot in Hell for Diablo 3 to beat out World of Warcraft (sorry for the terrible pun). However, I’d like to argue that Diablo 3 is going to blow WoW out of the water in terms of revenue, given enough time and the continuing of current trends.
Estimates are out in terms of how many players will try Diablo 3, and I’m guessing that in the first year it will sell just over 3 million copies. With 3 million players on the auction house at least once a week, spending let’s say $5 per week in fees on the auction house either selling or buying items. Remember, it’s 15 cents to post an auction (minus several post free weekly options) and 65 cents per successful auction. You get the 15 cents back if your item sells, but you lose that deposit if the item fails to sell. With around $5 in transaction fees per person equals $15,000,000 per week. In comparison, WoW makes around $150,000,000 per MONTH. With Diablo making $15 million per week, that means that it will really be making $60 million per month. It appears that WoW will win in this example, except for the fact that is losing hundreds of thousands of subscribers every few months, and the latest panda expansion appears to be more of the same failed formula that Cataclysm followed.
Could Diablo 3 really make more money than WoW? Yes, but definitely not until 2-3 years after its initial release. The previous Diablo 2 still sells, a decade later, and there’s potential for this game to have more longevity due to fixes in the economy (no more duping of items hopefully!). With WoW on the decline and other MMO’s starting to build momentum (like SWTOR), it is entirely possible for Diablo 3 to rise up and pass WoW’s earnings. Only time will tell, but I can guarantee that Blizzard truly wants to build a monetary behemoth with Diablo 3′s Real Money Auction House.
Perhaps these are ideal numbers for the system Blizzard envisions, but this example definitely shows the potential Diablo 3 has to overwhelm the coffers at Blizzard. It’s a bold, powerful move for gaming in general, let alone MMO’s where the subscription model seems to be fading. Companies just aren’t creating enough games WORTH paying a monthly subscription for. Just look at Rift and the slew of MMO’s that have been forced to go Free to Play in order to survive. These Free to Play games are making money from in game transactions, just as Blizzard plans to do with Diablo 3.
As of right now, there is speculation that Blizzard’s real money auction house and its in game purchases are slowing down the South Korean game board’s decision on whether to allow the game in their country. If South Korea says no, then Blizzard is going to take a huge pay cut out of their game’s sales.
If you want, you can view what various bloggers said on this same subject at the Diablo 3 Blogging Carnival.
Thanks for reading, and be sure to share your thoughts on Blizzard’s Real Money Auction House and micro transactions!
Markco of Diablo 3 Gold Secrets
War Inc is free to play MMOFPS game developed by Russian designers of the company Arktos Entertainment Group and published in 2011.
You are a Mercenary or Paramilitary commando. The global economic chaos from 2008 has caused the disintegration of nations and governments and international corporate powers now run the world. You have joined up with one of these organizations and that is how you earn a living.
The visuals and production quality are much higher than other free MMOFPS titles on the market. The graphics are realistic, the developers clearly didn’t want to make another cartoony looking game like those which populate the market. The environment art quality is amazing, the artists have put a lot of effort in to creating all the details around every map you play. As far as graphics quality goes it can compete with full price games and in this fight War Inc will not be a losing side. The music is nonexistent aside from menu music. Game sounds are realistic and good quality. Radio commands and shouts of team members gives the impression of being on a real battlefield.
The gameplay is more tactical and slow paced, it is more like real battlefield type of experience and it is less frantic then many shooters out there. The game offers a lot of interesting and varied maps to play on. You can crunch, sprint, jump, throw grenades, plant mines and of course aim and shoot your enemies in three available game modes:
For competing in the battle you are getting WP (War Points). They are awarded for doing game objectives, killing enemies, headshots, killing with explosives and many other. On top of that you are earning WP for doing weekly or daily missions like killing 10 enemies or participating in 5 games per day. You can use WP in game armory to get new weapons, armors and other commando equipment.
At your disposal, you will be given more than 150 models of weapons, and new ones will be added every month. You can obtain them for 1 day, 1 week, 1 month or permanently. To do so you must spend in game currency (War Point) or buy it with real world cash. There are some restrictions here though, as you cannot unlock every weapon with just WP, so if you want to unlock every weapon available you have to spend some real money. As far as customization of your character goes, you can equip it with armor that gives you either damage taken reduction or movement speed increase. Additionally the more game you play, the further you level advances and you can spend skill points in 8 of the character class trees, which will improve your movement speed, reload time, and many other attributes of your character. There are a lot of options for you to explore in this game, in both character development and game play.
Besides making new maps, weapons and armour, the developers are working on the implementation of vehicles to the game. Moreover there is a clan function yet to be implemented so you can team up with your friends and climb in a clan ladder instead of just solo player competitions.
Those players who are looking for realism and tactical approach to the topic of gameplay will not be disappointed, because both of these aspects can be found here with their application being applied very well. An additional advantage is the great graphics. War, Inc.. Battlezone is in many respects, a very attractive shooter, designed to appeal to gamers looking for a challenge over the Internet as well as more casual players. You can get this game at http://thewarinc.com/ or via Steam account.
Short video of War Inc review and gameplay (with Borat in it):
NCSoft announced a few days ago now that Aion Europe will be teaming up with new Publisher Gameforge (who are very familiar with the F2P model, yet have only done small games) to adopt the wholly free to play business model in February 2012, here is what they said.
For the switch-over, NCsoft has teamed up with the German publisher Gameforge. The Gameforge Aion-Team consists of 38 employees and they will soon be responsible for the running of the game across the whole of Europe. Together with NCsoft they will continuously further develop and create new content for Aion in order to offer you a unique gaming experience – and all for free.
Why are we switching to free-to-play?
Switching to free-to-play opens the lands of Atreia up to new adventurers. As more Daevas take to the skies, the increase in population will make for a more diverse and expansive community for newcomers and existing fans to enjoy.
As soon as there is more information on Aion and the switch to free-to-play, you will find it here. We will keep you up to date and we look forward to all and any feedback you have to give us!
Before you ask, no there isn’t a Cash Shop in sight, nor any other hidden costs. In fact, if you’re one of the people who joined in trying out the game back when it first launched, you should be entitled to a Veteran Account. More details about Gameforge and its free to play model can be found here.
Lord of the Rings Online, WAR, DC Universe…these are all massive games which launched with a fixed subscription based service, which we all know and have come to terms with over the years. Sadly, eventually their population dwindled, arguably for the same, reoccurring and numerous reasons, i.e. un-balance, grind and other ‘day 1’ flaws. RIFT stands out as the only MMO to me that can carry on with a subscription based service and get away with it, at least for a while.
So with Aion and most recently DCUO going F2P, I ask you, do you think this is the future? Or is it simply the last ditch attempt from the developers to gain those all-important statistics and actually earn some revenue? Those MMOs that launched with a F2P mind-set used to be a sign of low-budget and low production value, but recently we’ve seen a massive improvement in release-F2P games, remember that MOBA game with 15 million users? When hyped near launch, DC Universe boasted awesome character customization and a massive free-roaming world, these are both arguably present in the game but unfortunately; there just isn’t much to do. So it was predictable when they announced the game was going F2P and since announcing that, the user base has grown by a huge 1 million.
More people to play with can only be a good thing right? Albeit what kind of people are we talking about, those that may not be able to have afforded the game beforehand, i.e. minors, can now play. Oh, and those bots and farmers will even more common, yay…
World of Warcraft went semi-F2P earlier this year, wherein your level cap is 20. In my opinion this is just a big “thanks for playin’ lol and soz for changing BG levels oh and soz for heirlooms lol but at least u get arathi lol” to those Twinks that have been playing through 3 expansions just to stay at Level 19 with 5 different characters and one-shot people in 10-19 BGs.
Or, it could be so that they can advertise ‘PLAY WOW FREE’ in big bold capital letters on banners and adverts around the web, hint: read small print. Ah, Actard (the name I like to call Activision Blizzard) and their marketing ploys. So people, do you think F2P is the way to go or the way you go when the money sink has dried up and you use it as a last ditch effort?
Would you accept WoW as F2P if you had a Cash Shop for Mounts and maybe stuff like Materials for Professions? Let’s face it, Blizzard has no reason to charge us all 10 dollars a month, every other game franchise makes its money on Expansions/Map Packs/DLC/A Game a Year (EA Sports etc), why can’t WoW be like that too? You tell me.