Ip  Tagged Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Ip  RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Are we ever going to get Warcraft IV? https://www.gameskinny.com/usrze/are-we-ever-going-to-get-warcraft-iv https://www.gameskinny.com/usrze/are-we-ever-going-to-get-warcraft-iv Tue, 31 May 2016 05:11:57 -0400 Eliot Lefebvre

Back in 2002, Blizzard Entertainment released Warcraft III. The fallout from that game would lead to a huge growth in the MMORPG field, the creation of MOBAs as a genre, and arguably a major revitalization of RTS games in general. The game had an impact, in other words.

It had an impact on me, certainly; I was a broke college student who could not afford a PC able to realistically play it, so I would scavenger for time with my roommate's PC to happily plow away at the campaign. We shared jokes and achievements in the game. When I finally got a better PC, I grabbed the game first thing, and our dorm room would feature many a night of us going back and forth, sometimes teamed up against the world, sometimes us on opposite ends, and sometimes both of us just coincidentally playing the game at the same time.

But that was nearly 15 years ago, and time has marched on. Specifically, it's marched on to World of Warcraft. But there are lots of signs pointing to the possibility that it might be time to ditch that prefix and release another real-time strategy game of orcs, humans, and the art of harvesting lumber. Warcraft IV, if you will.

The state of the world

Two big elements have kept Warcraft IV from happening: Starcraft 2 and World of Warcraft. The former has been receiving more or less all of Blizzard's RTS resources to build a bigger and better RTS than Warcraft III could have ever dreamed of being, and the latter poses a big roadblock to any new games in Azeroth or accompanying environs.

Let's start with the second point first: as long as we're going to have World of Warcraft expansions, any storyline in a single-player Warcraft game is going to run smack into those in about two minutes. There's certainly still space for things to happen, of course - we have plenty of stories that take place off-screen between expansions - but a game like Warcraft IV would almost inevitably be would have to be a big war. We already know how the wars in the game played out, and it seems weird to think that our characters would sit one out in the present game. Either way you set it up, it's going to have trouble integrating itself.

Meanwhile, Blizzard has been focusing pretty heavily upon Starcraft 2 in the RTS arena over the past few years. What's interesting about that is that Starcraft 2 abandons a large number of the elements that made Warcraft III so iconic -- gone are hero units, most of the quests, and some of the armor/damage interdependency that made its predecessor work. That's not to say that Starcraft 2 is a bad game by any means; it's just a very different experience, and it doesn't build off its predecessor in the same way that previous Blizzard RTS games built off of one another.

Still, things have changed. The main sequence of Starcraft 2 stand-alone expansions is done with; we'll still get a few mission packs here and there, but the game itself is finished. And then there's World of Warcraft, which is steadily waving farewell to its market dominance over MMOs in general. While there's still plenty of audience for MMORPGs, WoW has shrunk from its heights of nearly 12 million subscribers to a hair under 6 million, with the company announcing that it will no longer announce subscriber numbers.

And that's without noting the fact that there is a movie premiering in the not-too-distant future; critical reviews have been sharply negative, but that doesn't mean the film isn't going to be a success or popular (only time will tell that). It could be argued that this is the perfect time to release a single-player title to capitalize on interest, catching players who might eschew the demands of an online-only title.

But there's been no word of one. And perhaps that's for very good reason.

The face of the RTS

Even though World of Warcraft's subscriptions are falling, the game still makes money. It has made money quite consistently for some time. The stated reason for no further subscription numbers was simply a matter of not disguising that -- if fewer people are paying more money and the net profits are stable, there's no reason to harp on the subscriber numbers. Investors care about money brought in, first and foremost.

And make no mistake, World of Warcraft is part of a core part of Blizzard's overall business plan. Even though its fortunes are diminishing, the game has been part of a major sea change at Blizzard. While the company's games were always supportive of online play, its last three major stand-alone releases - Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, and Overwatch - have all been online-only affairs that emphasize interacting with other players and feature next to no actual in-game story.

This is a noteworthy change. Part of what sold people on Warcraft III was the fact that it was a complete story -- that even if you never played a single online match you could still get a full sense of the game. You could even use quick-play maps to make your own challenges, taking on computer-controlled enemies in endless additional scenarios or playing fan-created campaigns.

Blizzard is clearly more interested, at this point, in creating online experiences that can be monetized. Which is an understandable shift, but it also means that games which don't support that find themselves a bit less appealing to the powers that be. And that's pretty difficult to do with an RTS without creeping into unfair territory; no one's going to play a game in which your opponent has access to better units, or even units that feel better.

This is on top of the fact that the competitive RTS scene is much like the competitive fighting game scene -- it still exists, but it's no longer the powerhouse it once was. Part of what led to Starcraft's immense popularity as a competitive game (especially in Korea) was the fact that one copy could easily be installed on multiple machines in a PC gaming cafe; in other words, everyone could play it. That's not the case with Starcraft 2, and the result has been that its competitive scene has struggled to really get rolling. These days, the scene that used to center around RTS play has moved on to focus on MOBAs, which (ironically) were birthed from a Warcraft III map modification.

In many ways, the environment would make Warcraft IV a harder sell. It's not an easy free-to-play sell or a buy-to-play sell, and it's catering to a scene that's moved on in many ways both big and small. There are essays to be written about how Warcraft III's map editor created genres, while Starcraft 2's more powerful editor has really just been used to recreate existing genres... but that's a very different piece. The point is that it doesn't exactly spark eagerness.

Age and decisions

Of course, the obvious response is that it would be silly to let the Warcraft IP do nothing; World of Warcraft is suffering diminishing returns, and it's old enough that it can only bring so many people into the game at that point.

Except...that argument relies entirely upon the assumption that age is the primary element that's lowering WoW's subscription numbers. Which is certainly a theory, but we're also looking at those numbers after an expansion that was panned for its structure at the level cap and a content-light patch series. The live game has been unpatched for nearly a year, compared to the better pacing in earlier years. The game has also changed its endgame philosophy significantly since the game was at its subscriber height.

Assuming that WoW's fortunes are declining due to its age requires also assuming that all of the other facts that are going into that decline aren't really that important in the long run -- something that seems a bit inadvisable. It's far more reasonable to assume that while the game isn't getting younger, it's also remarkably good at reducing the barrier to entry for new players. Players can speed through the early levels now, and a free copy of the game is being given away at select theaters for anyone who chooses to go see the movie.

Online games in general and MMOs in particular have a long tail; there's certainly no talk about League of Legends being "too old" to attract players. Many have said before that WoW's biggest failing at the moment isn't age, but its misunderstanding of its core audience and decisions that alienate players once they hit the level cap. While correcting that is difficult, it's also much cheaper to do that than to spend the time and money to develop a new RTS game in the universe. Which also carries other problems along with it.

So it won't happen?

Despite all of this, I think it's a fair thing to say that some sort of Warcraft IV is not just possible, but even likely. But I don't think now is the time for it.

As it stands, Blizzard has just launched a rather ambitious title (Overwatch) and has very recently wrapped up the active expansion development for another (Starcraft 2). That means that the company is in the middle of shifting. There's time to decide where the programmers are going next, what the next priorities are, and more importantly, what sort of game models work better or worse than others.

I have little doubt that World of Warcraft will continue for the next several years with new expansions. But if we're going to hear about Warcraft IV, it's going to be a few years down the line, and it may very well not resemble the games that we have grown accustomed to. Quite possibly it will be a half-step between Heroes of the Storm and Overwatch as well as Warcraft III, with an emphasis on individual leaders and customized armies for a small array of personalities. No continuity, just leading well-known figures from lore in battles against one another, with a buy-to-play model alongside reasonable skin costs.

Of course, that's only a hop and a skip away from what the designers have already done with Hearthstone. So perhaps, at the end of the day, that's the simple reason why we haven't gotten Warcraft IV. The world of Azeroth has plenty of stuff to mine out... but none of it needs to be deployed in the middle of an RTS. That lore can be used in more straightforward fashions that produce bigger revenue gains while the MMORPG continues along in the background.

Either that or we'll be hearing about it at the next BlizzCon. You never know.

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FromSoftware already working on their next IP https://www.gameskinny.com/cw8ax/fromsoftware-already-working-on-their-next-ip https://www.gameskinny.com/cw8ax/fromsoftware-already-working-on-their-next-ip Wed, 27 Apr 2016 13:05:50 -0400 Eric Levy

Hidetaka Miyazaki, director of Dark Souls III, has confirmed that FromSoftware is hard at work on a brand new IP, reiterating that the studio will not be making a new entry in their popular franchise. 

"Dark Souls is over," Miyazaki stated in an interview with GGN Gamer, which has since been translated via Google Translate. He continued on to say:

"I think it's time we take a step in a different direction. Development of a new IP has already begun."

Miyazaki has stated in the past that Dark Souls III will be the final Dark Souls game, and he used this interview to reiterate that statement:

"There’s absolutely no plan right now for any sequels, spin-offs or tie-ins. But I can’t say for certain the possibility is 0%. For example, if a FROMSoftware developer come to me five years from now and beg ‘please let me make another Dark Souls‘. Then I will not rule out the possibility to let my subordinates start a new project. What is certain for now is, to me personally Dark Souls is over."

One can assume the same feelings apply to Bloodborne, which despite not being a proper Souls game, draws heavily from the Souls game structure.

There is one franchise Miyazaki is very interested in continuing, however -- Armored Core:

"Personally, I want to do it. After all I was involved in three games in the series. Armored Core is one of the pillars of FromSoftware's lineup, but I can't reveal anything at the moment."

Despite starting development on a new IP, FromSoftware is still hard at work when it comes to post-release content for Dark Souls III, with Miyazaki confirming two DLC packs will be arriving in Fall 2016 and early 2017.

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5 All-New IPs from E3 2015 Everyone Should Know About https://www.gameskinny.com/mopnz/5-all-new-ips-from-e3-2015-everyone-should-know-about https://www.gameskinny.com/mopnz/5-all-new-ips-from-e3-2015-everyone-should-know-about Fri, 19 Jun 2015 09:29:12 -0400 Bryan C. Tan

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Unravel
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Arguably the biggest surprise at EA's E3 press conference, Unravel is a physics-based puzzle platformer from Swedish developer Coldwood. The small team of 14 people has created a story not told through words, but through its tiny main character, Yarny.

\n

Yarny is made from a single thread of yarn that slowly unravels as he moves through levels based on lush, natural environments from Northern Scandinavia. The thread can be used to swing across a tree gap, attach to a flying kite, and even row a boat.

\n

Vastly unique from any other EA game, Unravel is about reconnecting the memories of a long lost family, and soon on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, we'll able to tie everything together as the lovable Yarny.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/3dcff9a5971a48b518cfe6e973a2e3ac.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/3dcff9a5971a48b518cfe6e973a2e3ac.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"6186","description":"
For Honor
\n

After some development material was leaked last month, Ubisoft's newest IP was finally revealed at their E3 press conference as For Honor, an action game apparently in a genre of its own.

\n

Developed by Ubisoft Montreal, For Honor pits The Legions (Knights), The Warborn (Vikings), and The Chosen (Samurai) against each other in all-out medieval warfare. Skill, strategy, and team play are mixed together with visceral melee combat for a fast-paced competitive experience.

\n

Players play as customizable warriors with distinct skills and weapons to capture control points and slaughter enemies using For Honor's innovative control system, the Art of Battle, which allows players to adapt to any fighter with a fast action-reaction technique.

\n

Ubisoft's undertaking of an all-new genre is certainly refreshing, but only time will tell if their innovation is a success when it releases on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in the near future.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/e5119572f2e6b4a9ab1692dbcb0de1e1.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/e5119572f2e6b4a9ab1692dbcb0de1e1.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"6188","description":"
ReCore
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Not to be outdone, Microsoft's E3 press conference had its own robot game up its sleeve: ReCore, an action-adventure game where robotic foes control the planet and robot companions are mankind's only hope at survival. 

\n

Developed by creator Keiji Inafune of Mega-Man and Dead Rising fame alongside the makers of Metroid Prime at Armature Studio, ReCore puts players in the shoes of one of the last remaining humans on the planet, where players progress by forging friendships with and utilizing the unique abilities and powers of a group of charming robot companions. 

\n

In ReCore, robots are on both sides of good and evil, and us humans can use that to our advantage in the Xbox One exclusive as early as Spring 2016.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/0da9637d00cc22857f26adeeeb6f7b80.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/0da9637d00cc22857f26adeeeb6f7b80.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"6190","description":"
Horizon: Zero Dawn
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First announced at Sony's E3 press conference, Horizon: Zero Dawn is a brand-new third-person action-RPG set in a post-apocalyptic open world. Robot dinosaurs are back to rule the roost on Earth, while mankind has gone back to its tribal roots.

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As female protagonist Aloy, players can use stealth, melee, or ranged combat to take down the machines. Players may also craft weapons, ammunition, traps, and tools using natural materials and machine parts.

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Beautiful environments present a breathtaking new take on a world where civilization is in ruins. Developer Guerilla Games, creators of Killzone, is on its way to striking gold with its first-ever RPG.

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PlayStation 4 exclusive Horizon: Zero Dawn is scheduled for a 2016 release.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/f11d0eac486c02fe3aa6ab60877b5d45.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/f11d0eac486c02fe3aa6ab60877b5d45.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"6189","description":"
Cuphead
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Although it was first seen at E3 2014Cuphead had another go at the spotlight at Microsoft's E3 2015 press conference, and it is safe to say it took a lot of it. The popularity of Cuphead has skyrocketed despite its very short appearance in Microsoft's Xbox montage, and understandably so.

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Inspired by cartoons of the 1930s, Cuphead is a classic run and gun action game with a focus on boss battles. Players can acquire new weapons, gain powers, and discover hidden secrets as they traverse the world in single-player or co-op mode. Fast action shoot 'em up stages with blazing fighter planes are also included.

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The two main characters, brothers Cuphead and Mugman, as well as everything else in Cuphead, are hand-drawn and hand-inked using traditional cel animation and watercolor backgrounds by developer Studio MDHR. Add in the original jazz recordings, and we quite literally have a masterpiece on our hands.

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Apart from being a complete nostalgic throwback to fond childhood memories, Cuphead is also an intense and challenging action game that will definitely kick ass when it hits Xbox One and Steam in 2016.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/8/c/b/8cb1ffeddfdd397040d95e761c53879c.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/8/c/b/tiny_8cb1ffeddfdd397040d95e761c53879c.jpg","type":"slide","id":"71032","description":"

It's the end of the week, and another E3 is finally in the books.

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Big games such as Dishonored 2Gears of War 4, and Final Fantasy VII Remake were announced at E3 2015, making millions of people drool with all the excitement.

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But while these well-established franchises are getting long-anticipated updates, there are those that want something new, fresh, and never-before-seen.

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These five all-new IPs managed to fulfill that desire, as they surprised us all at E3, and may be making us more excited than any sequel, prequel, or spin-off.

"}]]]>
Bandai Namco Opens Up the Rights to Their Games https://www.gameskinny.com/y3qnq/bandai-namco-opens-up-the-rights-to-their-games https://www.gameskinny.com/y3qnq/bandai-namco-opens-up-the-rights-to-their-games Tue, 31 Mar 2015 18:27:31 -0400 Featured Contributor

To commemorate the 10th anniversary of Bandai and Namco's merger, the company is planning on opening up the rights to their older IPs.

It was reported in Nikkei, a Japanese business newspaper, that Bandai Namco would open up the rights to their older video game titles, former arcade games that have since been remade for other consoles and handhelds systems. Similar to what Square Enix did with offering three of their older IPs for their Square Enix Collective, Bandai Namco wants to give other companies the chance to revive interest in these older titles.

No character supervision will be performed, so the companies that want to take advantage of new business plan can do nearly anything they want. Bandai Namco's willing to support and let companies use their works even if they modify the characters, story, or music. They're willing to accept any applications for this, but there's one main condition that must be met. That is that the content must not be offensive or damage the reputation of the original work; if it is, the application will be turned down immediately.

The company will start taking applications for this new endeavor on April 1st, but for Japanese companies only. They're thinking about extending the opportunity to western or foreign companies, but that will be done at a later time. Bandai Namco will receive a small percentage of whatever these games sell. The company's also planning an advertising plan that will allow them to receive a small percentage of ad revenue from free-to-play games developed from this new business plan.

The games that Bandai Namco is giving access to are:

  • Pac-Man
  • Xevious
  • Galaxian
  • The Tower of Druaga
  • Tower of Babel
  • Dragon Buster
  • Wonder Momo
  • Galaga
  • Battle City
  • Valkyrie no Bōken (also known as The Adventure of Valkyrie)
  • Yōkai Dōchūki (also known as Shadow Land)
  • Wagan Land
  • Dig Dug
  • Star Luster
  • Sky Kid
  • Genpei Tōma Den
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Riot Makes Obtaining Rewards Easier via LoL's Refer-a-Friend Program https://www.gameskinny.com/3ei8e/riot-makes-obtaining-rewards-easier-via-lols-refer-a-friend-program https://www.gameskinny.com/3ei8e/riot-makes-obtaining-rewards-easier-via-lols-refer-a-friend-program Wed, 15 Oct 2014 18:58:04 -0400 Ryan Mayle

There has been a long history with Riot's Recruit-a-Friend system. Some people have had success obtaining the riches it provides, but it has started to have a negative impact on regular League of Legends players. Botting and using programs that go against the Summoner's Code have turned the Recruit-a-Friend program into a money-making business. As of now botters create a sellable account, refer many other botting accounts, earn RP (which is normally purchased with real money) by leveling each bot account to 10, and sell the account that got the referral rewards.

Along with these rewards, it was possible to earn the very rare Gray Warwick and Medieval Twitch skins, both of which require an incredible amount of successful Recruit-a-Friend accounts to be made.

Because the number of botter exploits have increased, Riot is looking to change the system to something simpler. For every Recruit-a-Friend account that reaches level 10, the recruiting account will earn 1000 IP. Then, when you successfully recruit 3 players you will earn the Grey Warwick skin and after 5 players you will earn the Medieval Twitch skin. The rewards end after 5 successful new accounts have been created.

This is a great move by Riot, as this will shut down a big chunk of the League of Legends botting business. The change will also allow regular players a better chance at unlocking these skins as these two skins were previously set to unlock at 25 and 50 referrals. 

These changes haven't gone live yet, but Riot intends to get the new Recruit-a-Friend system active soon.

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Star Wars Attack Squadron Incoming? https://www.gameskinny.com/einyx/star-wars-attack-squadron-incoming https://www.gameskinny.com/einyx/star-wars-attack-squadron-incoming Sat, 27 Jul 2013 12:48:48 -0400 Corey Kirk

Disney may be preparing for a new Star Wars video game.  According to a report by Fusible, Disney has registered several domain names including attacksquadron.org, starwarssquad.net, and starwarsattacksquadron.us.

The domain registrations, while not specific to anything, sure does have that video game name feel.  If it is a video game, it will be among the first batch of new IPs that Disney is undoubtedly planning since its purchase of the Star Wars franchise, including famed game studio LucasArts, from creator George Lucas.

It would be interesting to see what kind of video game Disney would create now that it has control.  Will we see games tailored to adult fans of Star Wars like we see with DICE’s new Star Wars Battlefront, or will Disney use the tried and true method of making games for kids and pre-teens like the popular Clone Wars games.  We can only guess at this point, but we know that Disney can deliver an epic experience for older gamers. Let’s hope that this is one step in that direction.

Here is the full list of domain registrations made by Disney:

attacksquadron.org (WHOIS)
attacksquadron.us (WHOIS)
attacksquadrons.org (WHOIS)
attacksquadrons.net (WHOIS)
attacksquadrons.us (WHOIS)
attacksquads.org (WHOIS)
attacksquads.net (WHOIS)
attacksquads.us (WHOIS)
starwarsattacksquadrons.org (WHOIS)
starwarsattacksquadrons.net (WHOIS)
starwarsattacksquadrons.us (WHOIS)
starwarssquad.org (WHOIS)
starwarssquad.net (WHOIS)
starwarssquad.us (WHOIS)
starwarssquadrons.org (WHOIS)
starwarssquadrons.net (WHOIS)
starwarssquadrons.us (WHOIS)
starwarssquads.org (WHOIS)
starwarssquads.us (WHOIS)
swattacksquadron.org (WHOIS)
swattacksquadron.us (WHOIS)
swattacksquadrons.org (WHOIS)
swattacksquadrons.net (WHOIS)
swattacksquadrons.us (WHOIS)

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