Subscription Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Subscription RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Square Enix Wants to Create a Digital Library of All Its Classic Titles Thu, 13 Jun 2019 11:04:34 -0400 Josh Broadwell

In an interview with Game Informer, Square Enix CEO Yosuke Matsuda said the company is exploring various options for making all of its classic titles available digitally.

In fact, SE is already working on a dedicated internal project to port many classic titles to a variety of platforms. Beyond that, Matsuda mentioned SE is considering a subscription or download-exclusive service that would give players access to the entire library of classic Square Enix games, saying "I think everyone is going in that direction, so we do want to be proactive in considering those options."

However,  NES games are Square Enix's particular focus right now, since, as Matsuda says, many other titles are currently still available in some form or another.

Which NES titles is another matter. Squaresoft's major NES titles, e.g. Final Fantasy I, II, and III, are available in multiple formats already, and the same goes for Enix's Dragon Quest games. It may be mobile availability is being excluded from these considerations, then.

There's also the challenge of dealing with code for older games — challenges such as the code being lost.

Rumors had been floating around for a long time about SE losing some of its original source codes, especially when it initially seemed like Final Fantasy VIII was the only PSX-era FF game not getting the modern port treatment.

Matsuda basically confirmed that scenario is true for many of its older games, saying that at the time, the dev teams never really thought about preserving code for future sales:

I'm embarrassed to admit it, but in some cases, we don't know where the code is anymore. It's very hard to find them sometimes, because back in the day you just made them and put them out there and you were done you didn't think of how you were going to sell them down the road.

Still, there may be ways around that particular problem. Despite some believing the Junction and Draw systems should never see the light of day again, Final Fantasy VIII is finally getting the HD remaster treatment this fall.

In some cases, Matsuda said the team is actually able to recover lost code by pure serendipity, noting one instance where a developer who had left the company years previously had the code for a game still stored on his PC.

This news isn't altogether surprising, either. A few years ago, Matsuda told investors SE would be leveraging its classic IPs extensively in the future, and the company even made almost every FF soundtrack available for streaming recently as well. It certainly seems Square Enix is following through on its promises.

Indies and Industry: An Interview with Jump Wed, 01 Nov 2017 11:19:30 -0400 Josh Broadwell

After slowly trickling onto the scene a number of years ago, the number of indie games and development studios in the market has exploded in recent years. They've changed the way people play, and businesses deliver, video games, and one site in particular aims to improve the delivery of indie games while getting developers the recognition they deserve.

You'd be forgiven if you haven't heard of Jump yet, since it launched only last month. To find out more about the goals behind the venture, I recently got the chance to speak with Mike Fischer and Anthony Palma, two of the key figures behind the new indie gaming platform, and they spoke about the platform itself, the curating process, and how they believe it fits in the current gaming market.

Background and Origins

Fischer and Palma are no strangers to the gaming industry. After graduating with an economics degree and getting his start "going developers in Japan," Fischer has been involved in the business side of companies ranging from Sega to Square Enix USA. Palma received a graduate degree in Entertainment Technology, and after a stint as an Imagineer, tried his hand at starting a small game development studio, but that wasn't quite working out either.

The commonality in these seemingly disparate backgrounds was the challenge faced by developers in getting their material out in the world. Fischer remarked that he:

"...couldn't count the times he saw an interesting project with a lot of potential fail to get the green light simply on account of not meeting the AAA marketing expectations of developers and retailers."

As a developer himself, Palma's experience was more direct. Particularly in the past ten years or so, he says, it's "almost impossible" for developers to get their material noticed. Since "the democratization of development" means the industry is full of startup developers.

"We want this to be good for developers financially, but we also want to make this a platform where great games can get discovered…It's incredibly hard to get discovered now, with the flood of games on mobile, consoles, and especially desktop."

What is Jump?

That's where they believe Jump fits in.

Jump is for a specific kind of consumer…the Laggard Gamer. The idea behind it is to benefit consumer and developer by providing a "platform that connects developers to the gamers interested in their games" and also giving gamers a chance to try out something new with little to no risk.

Jump is for a specific kind of consumer…the Laggard Gamer--Anthony Palma

The way Jump works is similar to a streaming platform, almost like the Netflix of video games, but Palma is quick to point out "it's not streaming." Streaming involves dodgy connections and lag and is generally inconvenient for the end user. However, the other end of the spectrum—downloading a game fully onto your hard drive—means you quickly run out of space.

Jump is something in between. Using the HyperJump technology developed specifically for the platform, a portion of the game is installed on your computer so you get the same convenience of streaming the game without having to deal with the hassle of lag or space issues.

Jump's delivery is designed to benefit gamers and developers alike as well. It's a curated platform, with games "chosen based on high ratings, industry recognition, or staff recommendations based on their experience playing the game." It's meant to filter out shovelware and ensure deserving developers have a chance to get their names and games known, since, as Palma says, industry recognition doesn't always translate to "the masses" knowing about a game.

Over time, players get a list of recommended games built up based on what they like, and they're encouraged to try new things too. The subscription fee is a flat $9.99 per month, with no penalties for trying and not liking a game.

Where Does It Fit?

Fischer and Palma say Jump occupies a unique place in the gaming industry. Tools like Unreal Engine and Unity make it exceptionally easy for anyone to make games, and the quality of many of these games merits attention. Despite the huge influx of indie developers, Fischer and Palma don't believe mainstream, traditional gaming is going anywhere or is in much danger of being diminished. Instead, they see indies as "a creative compliment to big developers," and Palma says there is the possibility existing of indies correcting negative trends, as fans make their preferences and wants known through supporting smaller developers:

"There's going to be an interesting struggle over the next five years to make the money back from these AAA games…they are going to have to adapt…to reach their customers, and indie games are pushing AAA developers to think outside the box."

The complimentary nature of indies is another way Fischer and Palma see Jump fitting in with the industry. According to Palma, "most gamers are likely to make maybe two big game purchases in a year, like Destiny 2 or Breath of the Wild...Jump is for a specific kind of consumer who doesn't have to buy a game on day one, what we call the Laggard Gamer."

"I want this to be an 'and' situation, not an 'or'"--Mike Fischer

Indies serve as the perfect way to fill out a gaming library in between those big purchases," and Jump in particular is a cost effective way of expanding a gaming library without breaking the bank. Rather than the situation between indies and Jump being mutually exclusive, Fischer was keen to say "I want this to be an "and" situation, not an "or"--in other words, an extension of their normal gaming habits that fits into their other platforms and interests, rather than vying for attention.


If you're interested in learning more about Jump, you can check out our review here.

A big thanks to Cindy, Mike, and Anthony for their time!

Top 7 Gaming Subscription Services for Your Money Tue, 31 Oct 2017 17:22:02 -0400 Sarah Elliman

We’ve all heard that cliché, the unavoidable "Netflix for gaming," phrase, but who can really take the top spot? There are surprisingly more gaming subscription services than you would expect that can offer you different services. But which ones offer you more bang for your buck? What subscription offers you the greater variety of games? We’re here to answer your questions and give you the top 7 list on gaming subscriptions.

7. OnePlay

This service mainly came in dead last for me as it felt less clear on what services it offered for your money. There are a variety of options from a basic package, to VIP membership, then to renting and buying. It appears you get some games for free as part of your subscription, but other titles you buy at a discounted rate. The distinction didn’t appear to be very clear when browsing through their site.

OnePlay does boast one of the most extensive list of video games with over 2,000 titles and new games added weekly. Furthermore, it is both a PC and Android games subscription, so you get games for both platforms within the bounds of your subscription.

The price is pretty good at $9.99 for the month which also gives you 10% off your purchases. If you’re not sure about the service than you have a 7-day trial to give it a go. However, the confusing nature of the website and the lack of clarity on what titles are playable, rent-able or to buy is worrisome. There are other gaming subscription services with greater transparency and with a similar number of games.


6. PlayStation Now

PlayStation Now is a great subscription service if you want to play PS3 classics or perhaps don’t have access to a PS4. PlayStation Now features over 500 games for PS4 and PS3 with more being added every month to the gaming subscription service. However, it is the price that lets this service down.

As you will see throughout the article, PlayStation Now is the most expensive service going. A one-month subscription will set your bank balance back by $19.99 and a three-month long package will take you back by $44.99. Compared to other gaming subscription services, PlayStation Now is incredibly pricey.

The saving grace for the service is being able to use it without owning a PS4. You can use PlayStation Now on PC and even on some smart TVs if you have a compatible controller. This is perfect if you want to experience those PlayStation exclusives like Uncharted or The Last of Us without investing in a console. Furthermore, for as long as you hold your subscription you have unlimited access to PlayStation Now’s library.

Sadly, with the higher price tag and the 7-day trial it puts PlayStation Now in second to last place. The range of games and cross platform play is fantastic. However, there are other services that offer a similar range for a less expensive price.

5. Xbox One Pass

The Xbox One Pass ranks slightly higher than PlayStation Now simply because of the pricing. The service is relatively new, which is why you have a much more limited selection of games. The service boasts only 100 titles, which is the second lowest of all seven.

Nevertheless, Microsoft are slowly adding new games to the roaster which include both Xbox One and Xbox 360 games. Additionally, when you have a 14 day free trial and a monthly subscription for $9.99, you get way more for your money.

You will receive unlimited access to the Xbox Games Pass library and get discounts on select games and season passes for Xbox One games. Fantastic titles like Halo 5: Guardians and Payday are already available with Xbox Game Pass, with more to be added along the way.

The Xbox Games Pass saves you money while still offering you the chance to play classic Xbox games. The price tag is on the lower end of the scale and once the games roster has been bulked out, it’ll be worth more than the money you pay.

4. GameFly

GameFly offers you a gaming subscription without having to buy an expensive console. No PlayStation, no Xbox, no PC? Don’t worry because GameFly has got you covered.

GameFly works through certain smart TV’s and through Amazon Fire. All you need is a compatible controller or your handheld device and you’re good to go. This is the perfect service for anyone who can’t purchase a console for any reason, but still loves gaming! The app is applicable to certain Samsung, LG and Phillips TV models, but if you don’t have that model then don’t panic. An Amazon Fire Stick will turn your TV into a smart TV and you can access the app there.

The subscription service is less than $10 a month with a growing list of games and unlimited access. It is one of the best gaming subscriptions out there. GameFly also saves your data to the cloud so you won’t have to worry about losing all the hard work you put into a game. There are already notable games on GameFly, such as Borderlands 2, the Batman series and the Bioshock series.

GameFly is the perfect middle ground gaming subscription service. It allows for flexibility without burning a hole in your wallet. You can play some great games as much as you want without having to fork out the cash for a console.

3. EA Access

EA Access is a personal favorite of mine, mainly because of the incredibly cheap price tag and the access to games you receive as part of your subscription. If you haven’t already guessed, they are all EA games which is why it is in third place. But, the type of access you get for the price is astounding to say the least.

For a one-month subscription you will pay $4.99--this is the cheapest subscription price yet! Even better is that if you invest in a year of EA Access it will only cost you $29.99. It feels like you're practically stealing from the company, especially when they throw in a further 10% discount on digital EA purchases on games not included as part of Access. You really get incredible value for money. You can access the service through Origins or through Xbox One, giving you more freedom of movement with the service.

When you sign up to EA Access, you will be able to play games from the EA vault. These games are free to play and for an unlimited period, as long as you keep the subscription. I personally downloaded all three Dragon Age installments for free and all the DLC’s came with them. It really gave me incentive to re-play this beloved series. If Dragon Age isn’t your style then other games in the vault include Mass Effect Andromeda, FIFA17 and Battlefield 1, with many more that I haven’t listed. You don’t just get old forgotten games nobody wants to play anymore, but hot new releases as well. If that wasn’t enough, you also get to try EA games before they are even released!

EA Access has incredible value for money with some fantastic AAA titles to keep you entertained. However, because it is simply EA games it won’t be to everyone’s taste and that’s why they only win the bronze.

2. Jump

Jump is a wonderful gaming subscription service if you’re mad for Indie games. Jump specializes in giving their customers access to award winning Indie games; you won’t find an 8-year old's attempt to make their Halo fan game here. It’s the perfect way to discover magnificent pieces of work that you may not have heard of before.

Jump offers you a 14-day free trial which then turns to a $9.99 charge after the trial period ends. With that subscription cost you get unlimited access to their Indie collection. The only negative is that their roster is just over 60 games. It is the lowest roster in our list, but is comprised of high-quality games. A lot of services may throw in a lot of titles that don’t give you the quality that Jump does. Some intriguing titles that have been added recently include Along the Edge, The Bridge and Always Sometimes Monsters. Furthermore, you can also submit a game to the company that you think should be added to the list.

Even though Jump offers the lowest number of titles, it is still a fantastic service. Indie games are the soul of the gaming community, and Jump brings the best together for you to play. Without any constraints as well. It may not be the most extensive, but the quality of the games is the highest.

1. Utomik

Last but not least by any means is the grand gaming subscription service Utomik. Combining a low price with a larger roster and a high number of quality games puts Utomik in the top spot. They have partnered up with companies such as TellTale Games, SEGA, Paradox and even Disney to bring you quality games at a low price.

 So how low can Utomik go? For one user you will pay $5.99 for the month and this will give you unlimited access to Utomik’s library. This consists of over 640 games, with 20 new games being added every month. You’ll never be able to get through them all! Even better if you’re in a family or you and your roommates want to join than there is a family plan. This is only $9.99 a month and allows 4 users unlimited access and for any family’s parental controls as well. You even get a 14-day free trial to test it out!

Saint’s Row, Dead Island, Borderlands are just some of the games you can access through Utomik. They also have a whole host of Indie games that are ready at your disposal. Kid’s giving you hassle? Roommate won’t budge from the couch? Throw in Utomik and you’ll be able to enjoy the gaming subscription service too.

My Verdict

Utomik, to me, is the best service out there. It combines a great price, range and quality of games with unlimited access to those games. Why not check them out for yourself? All services have been linked so you can see which one is right for you.


Do you agree with the list? Did I miss your favorite gaming subscription service? Comment below and let us know what you think!

Hasbro Launches Gaming Crate Subscription Service Mon, 19 Jun 2017 11:11:32 -0400 Dan Roemer

Today, Hasbro will be launching its first-ever subscription service, known as the “Hasbro Gaming Crate”. A first for the board and party game industry. This service will include access to new and exclusive games that can be delivered straight to your home, every three months, for a price of $49.99 per crate.

The subscription window for the current series of crates will run from now until the early fall. Each crate will include three games, along with related products that follow the specific crate's theme. Hasbro will offer two distinct crate varieties:

  • The Party Crate: Catered towards parents, college students, and young adults in general with adult themed games ranging from: Judgemental, Box of Rocks, and Speak Out: Joe Santagato Edition.
  • The Family Crate: Geared towards families with children, but with games designed still in mind for all age groups with titles like: Mask of the Pharaoh, Leo Goes to the Barber, and Tricky Wishes.

To pick either of these boxes up for yourself or a family member, you can check out Hasbro's official website for more information.

Will you be checking out Hasbro's new subscription service or game offerings? If so, let us know in the comments. And for everything board and party game related, stay tuned to GameSkinny!

Nintendo Switch Online Service Details Revealed Fri, 02 Jun 2017 10:16:58 -0400 girlwonder

It's official -- we'll be getting online capabilities for the Nintendo Switch in 2018. Nintendo just released details about its paid service and the compatible smart device app.

Let's dive in.

The Nintendo Switch Online service is indeed a paid service. So users will have to pay a monthly subscription fee to enjoy the benefits of this new system. The pricing will be as follows:

  • 1-Month Membership: $3.99 USD
  • 3-Month Membership: $7.99 USD
  • 12-Month Membership: $19.99 USD

Subscribers will also have the chance to download classic Nintendo games with added online play. Some of the titles include Super Mario Bros. 3, Balloon Fight, and Dr. Mario.

Also launching in 2018 is a dedicated smart device app that will allow users to invite friends to play online, set play appointments, and engage in voice chat during online matches (for compatible games). Users will have access to a free version of this app in Summer 2017.

Online gameplay will be free until the paid service launches in 2018. Subscribers will have access to the following:

  • Online gameplay
  • Online Lobby & Voice Chat app
  • Classic Game Selection
  • Nintendo eShop deals

The following features will be available to both paid subscribers and non-subscribers:

  • Access to Nintendo eShop
  • Register and manage friends
  • Share screenshots to social media
  • Access to Nintendo Switch Parental Controls App

This will be Nintendo's first-ever paid online service. Playing online on the Nintendo Switch is free until 2018. Users will be able to play compatible co-op and competitive games online by signing into their Nintendo Account. After this trial ends, players will be required to purchase a subscription in order to play online. Keep in mind, this service is only for the Nintendo Switch and will not effect the 3DS or Wii U.

With E3 just around the corner, stay tuned for more updates on Nintendo!

PlayStation Plus September 2016 Free Games and Price Increase Thu, 08 Sep 2016 00:08:29 -0400 ThndrMge

PlayStation Plus members have had their latest selection of free titles revealed to them. This month will be featuring two major releases for free to anyone who is signed up for the service.

First is Journey, the critically acclaimed adventure by the talented developers at thatgamecompany. You take on the role of a traveler as you venture through a world filled with breathtaking scenery as you search for your way to the mountaintops. It is a serene and relaxing game, with a unique online experience and a gorgeous soundtrack.

The next title we'll receive this month is Lords of the Fallen, developed by both Deck13 Interactive and CI Games and released late into 2014. You play as Harkyn, a man trying to end the war between humans and the gods. With a combat system that is often compared to Dark Souls, the game offers the player three classes to choose from, each giving a unique experience.

The full list of PlayStation Plus titles can be seen here:

PlayStation 4

  • Lords of the Fallen
  • Journey
  • Badland

PlayStation 3

  • Journey
  • Princes of Persia: The Forgotten Sands
  • Datura
  • Badland

PlayStation Vita

  • Badland
  • Amnesia: Memories

There is also however some sad news to go with this announcement. As of September 22nd the price of PlayStation Plus yearly membership will be increasing. The price of one year of service will be increasing from $49.99 USD/$49.99 CAD to $59.99 USD/$69.99 CAD. The price of a three month subscription will be increasing from $17.99 USD/$17.99 CAD to $24.99 USD/$29.99 CAD. Finally, the one month price of PlayStation Plus will not be changing in USD but will be increasing from $9.99 CAD to $11.99 CAD.

Sony had the following to say in regards to the price increase, blaming market conditions for the hike:

PlayStation Plus strives to enrich your PlayStation experience through a world-class service built for our fans. This marks the first time that PS Plus membership prices will increase in the U.S. and Canada since the launch of the service in 2010. The new pricing reflects the current market conditions while enabling us to continue providing exceptional value to our members. As a member, you will continue to enjoy the benefits and features that enable shared experiences, such as online multiplayer, free games, and exclusive discounts. You will also continue to get exclusive benefits such as online game save storage and discounts across the PlayStation digital services.

The price of the service had already gone up for Europe and the UK at a similar time last year.

Need for Speed and Unravel Arrive on EA Access Today Tue, 12 Jul 2016 04:51:00 -0400 Joe Passantino

EA has announced that Need for Speed and Unravel will be available on EA/Origin Access from today, July 12.

EA Access is available on Xbox One and PC, with the PC version being called Origin Access after EA's own digital distribution service, Origin. The services allows gamers to play their favorite EA games for $4.99 a month. Players can also try games before they're released and have their progress carried over after buying the game.

Members also receive a 10 percent discount on full games, pre-orders, and expansion packs, among other items.

Other games available via the service include Titanfall, Dead Space and Dragon Age: Inquisition. Members can also access several sports titles, including NBA Live 16, FIFA 16, NHL 16 and Madden NFL 16.

Those interested in playing Unravel can check out a GameSkinny review of the game, as well as nine minutes of Unravel gameplay, courtesy of IGN. 

EA/Origin Access members, are you more excited to play Need for Speed or Unravel? Non-members, might these games get you to subscribe? Let us know in the comments below!

Top 5 ways to save on PC games Sun, 19 Jun 2016 18:20:59 -0400 HavenHeart36

You might not always have the money to get a new game, because let’s face it, games are expensive. Most new games that come out are around $60, and older games are still expensive if they are not on sale. For PC gamers, buying used isn’t really an option. This article lists the top 5 ways you can save on PC games. It includes websites, subscriptions, and tips on how you can save some cash.

1. Humble Bundle

Humble Bundle is the best way to get new PC games for the cheapest price. Humble Bundle is a website that sells a collection of game bundles for PC, mobile game bundles, and digital eBooks. You can name your own price, and the bundles get swapped out for new games every two weeks. It’s for a good cause too, because a portion of the price goes towards charity. Humble Bundle makes the top of the list because they have the best collections of games for the best price.

2. Green Man Gaming

Green Man Gaming is a great website for getting discounts on games. They offer 20% off on all games, including new releases. You can buy a Steam key, and start downloading instantly. The only downside to the website is that they might not always have what you are looking for. For getting new releases though, this website is the best option.

3. Origin access

Origin access is a subscription based service through EA. For $4.99 a month you can have unlimited access to their vault of over 25 games. Some of the games include; Battlefield 4, Dragon Age Inquisition, FIFA 16, and Mass Effect. The subscription also includes First Play, which allows you to play new games before they are released. Origin access is a really good way to get a handful of games at a cheap price.

4. Beta Testing and Demos

It’s a good idea to sign up for beta testing on new games you’re interested in. If selected, you can play a new game for free while helping to test it. Also, you should download game demos if they are available. A lot of the time you get to play a good portion of the game for free. You can spend hours having fun with games from beta testing and demos. This gives you a way to test the game out for yourself, so if you buy it you’re not wasting your money on a game you won’t like.

5. G2A

There is some controversy over the G2A website, with some saying that it is not reputable. However, it does need mentioning because you can get some really great deals on their site. They sell CD-keys for Steam, Origin, U-Play, and more. You can get games up to 90% off on their site. But, be careful because G2A doesn’t sell the keys directly but is a marketplace for other sellers to sell their keys.

There you have it, some great ideas on saving money on PC games. Of course, sales are great. But, if you can’t wait for a sale, this list will help you out. Now that you know how to save, you can start playing!

Do you have any ideas on how you can save on buying PC games? Let me know in the comments section.

Why doesn’t EA combine their subscription services? Sun, 19 Jun 2016 17:29:59 -0400 HavenHeart36

EA offers two great subscription services; EA access for Xbox One, and Origin access for PC. Both services are $4.99 a month and offer great deals for players. I think that they should combine those services into one service, and one subscription.

EA access for Xbox One offers over 20 games in their vault that you can play instantly with their subscription. Some of the games included are Dragon Age Inquisition, FIFA 15, Battlefield 4, and Madden 15. The subscription also includes Play First, which allows you to play games before they are released. Subscribers also get 10% off all EA digital purchases.

Origin access has about the same deals, but for PC. You get access to the vault, which has over 25 games. Some of the games included are; FIFA 16, Battlefield 4, Dragon Age II, and The Sims 3 Starter Pack. You also can play games before they are released, and get 10% discount on all Origin purchases.

Both EA access and Origin access are $4.99 a month. I think the subscriptions are a good deal. But, if you are a gamer like me and play on both on your PC and Xbox One, you might not want to pay for both subscriptions to have access to all games.

This makes players like me have to make a choice. I don’t want to pay $10 a month for both subscriptions and have two separate memberships. I think that EA would benefit if they combined their services and had one membership for both EA access and Origin access.

The price of the two subscriptions is about $10 total. I am not suggesting that they combine both subscriptions and only charge for the price of one, or $4.99. But, if they were to combine services and then reduced the price by a dollar or more, so that it was less than $10 for one subscription, I think more people would want to buy it.

With one price and one subscription, players might be more inclined to subscribe because they would have access to all games across both platforms. EA needs to make it simpler; they could even give a discount for players that have both subscriptions now when they switch.

EA has a good start; they just need to build on it. I like the direction they are taking with subscriptions.

Sony vows to extend PlayStation Plus subscriptions due to server crash Tue, 05 Jan 2016 20:14:13 -0500 Garrett Gooch

PlayStation's servers have seen their fair share of crashes, but Sony is usually able to make quick comebacks and get their gamers back into action. But yesterday (January 4) they had a 12-hour delay due to their servers crashing.

A 12-hour delay might not seem so bad, but try telling that to millions of PlayStation network users. Due to this, Sony is trying to make up for its mistakes by promising to add free extensions to the subscriptions of current PSN users. Sony has not specified when or exactly how much of an extension will be provided, but has said it would give current PlayStation Plus, PlayStation Now, and Video Rental users additional time on their current subscriptions.

As of now, it is suspected to be a 24 hour extension of Plus to make up for the 12 hour loss, but nothing is certain yet. Below is PlayStation's response through Twitter, asking us users to remain patient as they explain what will be done to ensure the happiness of all PlayStation Plus members.

YouTube subscription service starting October 28th, but is it good for YouTube? Wed, 21 Oct 2015 17:38:49 -0400 Daniel Williams_2179

A new post appeared today on the YouTube official blog revealing their new subscription service, YouTube Red. YouTube Red is going to be a subscription service that allows people to watch video's ad-free and save them to their devices to watch them offline. This service is going to cost $9.99 a month and will start on October 28th. 

But is this a good step forward for YouTube? It is obliviously Google's attempt to compete with other streaming services out there, like Netflix and Amazon Prime. But why do this? Google is offering a subscription service to a website where all of its content is free to watch. What they're offering for the $10 subscription is not really impressive, for right now. 

In the blog post, it was also mentioned that starting in 2016, there will be exclusive content uploaded for YouTube Red. One of the shows they have announced is a reality show based around PewDiePIe

This is not good for YouTube's future

YouTube was originally set up for people who like making videos as a place to share them. A place where communities were allowed to grow and connect over the content they made, like gaming videos. YouTube's whole gimmick is that anyone can start making videos, and upload them to the website where anything that is uploaded can be watched for free, not locked behind a pay wall. 

Google could easily turn the whole website into a subscription service. Not overnight, of course, because the backlash would be immense, but slowly. It starts with making a couple of videos exclusive to the service, but before you know it, whole YouTube channels will be locked behind YouTube Red.  

 At the moment the service doesn't seem like it's worth the money, unless people want to help contribute to their favorite content creators. But a lot of them already have Patreon accounts for that purpose. Right now all we can do is to wait and see what happens.

Will Google make this work and our worries were for nothing, or will they turn YouTube into their own version of Netflix? Only time will tell. 

10 Games Worth Offering in Xbox Live's Games with Gold Mon, 08 Jun 2015 02:30:01 -0400 Elijah Beahm


Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell


Gat Out of Hell is a standalone spin-off to Saints Row IV. Similar to inFamous: Festival of Blood, it works both as a singular game and as a DLC expansion. While many gamers played Saints Row IV, not many have tried Gat Out of Hell. So let's fix that. It has two player co-op, so we once again get to highlight online capability, on top of a sizable open world. There's also a musical number like out of Disney, sung by the devil. I don't know what else needs saying after that.


Well, that's my list, but are there any games you'd like to see with Games with Gold? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!


Shadow Warrior


Shadow Warrior took everyone by surprise. It was a really fun, smart first-person shooter full of "wang" jokes, yet also telling a compelling story. It also features one of the most detailed gore systems to date. Yet hardly anyone's bought it on consoles, and it's sitting usually around fifteen to twenty dollars. So, let's give shooter fans something to do with their fancy new consoles.


Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris


Remember how Badland was a great game that would utilize multiplayer? Well, so would Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris. The four player co-op shooter/puzzler/platformer hybrid is a perfect way to get players playing with friends, using their local controllers for something other than paper weights, and actually playing online. It also released only a few months ago, so it'd be a relatively new title they could put on offer.


Lords of the Fallen


With the Xbox One lacking Bloodborne, the closest competition, short of Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin, is Lords of the Fallen, which Microsoft should totally bank on. Offering a hardcore third-person action-RPG could bring in the crowd normally more interested in Sony platforms. It also would generate a lot of interest for the upcoming sequel, and make gamers feel a bit more inclined to get it on Xbox One.




What? Why is there a mobile port here? Because Badland is arguably one of the best games to come out on mobile in recent memory, and really should be on Games with Gold. It has local and online multiplayer. It has a simple yet deep and addictive style of gameplay. It is one of the most beautiful games in recent memory. I struggle to think of any reason not to offer it. Once again, a much better hold-over option than Pool Nation.


Goat Simulator


Let's face it, this gag has run its course, and it's time to be taken out to pasture. Anyone who was going to buy it already has, so instead let's make it a novelty game for Games with Gold on both Xbox One and Xbox 360. It will prove a passing interest, and at least be something more interesting than yet another month where Pool Nation occupies one of the Xbox One slots.


The Evil Within


The Evil Within was not the record-breaking, utterly mind-blowing hit that everyone expected. It was, however, a decently received third-person survival stealth/shooter hybrid. So, rather than just let it languish, now that all its downloadable content is released, Microsoft could re-release it as a Games with Gold game. They could even put the Season Pass and individual DLC episodes on sale, for those who find the game to their liking.




Another game that feels like a no-brainer for the Xbox 360 is Borderlands. GameSpy may be dead and gone to skag heaven, but that doesn't mean it isn't one of the best local-co-op games on the Xbox 360. Re-releasing it as a Games with Gold title could also hook players in so that they try the Handsome Collection when they upgrade to Xbox One.




Contrast is a rare game that could be offered for either 360 or Xbox One. Either way, the stunningly beautiful puzzle platformer deserves to be played by more gamers, and it's not like it is selling like hot cakes. It could also be released for both, if Microsoft wanted to emulate Sony's recent cross-buy focus with PlayStation Plus.


Splinter Cell: Conviction


I've already spoken at length about why Splinter Cell: Conviction is one of the best Xbox 360 exclusives. It's got a snappy, rock solid stealth-action vibe that rewards swift, decisive action, and manipulating your enemies. The portable EMP gadget is a neat little wrinkle, as is the Mark & Execute system that lets you take down multiple foes quickly. If Microsoft actually released it for free with Gold, you could even play the multiplayer again.


Sony's PlayStation Plus put Xbox Live Gold on the ropes a couple years back, but Microsoft's response with Games with Gold was a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, almost all of the decent games in the program have been on Xbox 360, and even then that's been stretched to the limit some months. So here's ten games that Microsoft should offer, both on Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

IndieBox Announces May Box: Dyscourse Wed, 06 May 2015 05:16:20 -0400 Amanda Wallace

IndieBox, the indie subscription service that brings boxed versions of indie titles to your home, has announced their May box. This month's box is Owlchemy Labs' game Dyscourse, featuring a collector's version of the box. 

The Dyscourse IndieBox will feature a USB game cartridge with a Windows, Linux and Mac version of Dyscourse. The box will be comprised of relevant artwork, the Steam key, a manual, newsletter, as well as other yet announced collectibles.

indie box may collectible items

IndieBox is a subscription service that offers independent games in unique boxed editions, complete with manuals, USB sticks with DRM-free versions of the game as well as a variety of collectibles. Past months of the subscription service have featured Risk of RainEscape Goat, Rogue Legacy and Steamworld Dig. Most of these boxes are still available for full price on the IndieBox store, though many of the popular boxes have sold out. 

Subscriptions to IndieBox start at $15.99 a month (+shipping). The deadline to sign up for a May box and receive the Dyscourse: Collector's Edition is May 23. 

SWTOR: If You Don't Subscribe, You'll Have Six Major F2P Penalties Mon, 27 Apr 2015 12:35:21 -0400 T.W. Francis

Star Wars The Old Republic went free to play in November of 2012 and the debate whether to go F2P or not began.  A person who first starts the game without a monthly subscription is considered F2P and if they make at least a $4.99 purchase off of the cartel market or previous subscribers become preferred.  "Preferred" status has better benefits than free to play, but is still limited.

Free to play is great for those who want to try the game, and they can even level all the way to 55 (or 60 with expansion) but at a cost.  There are many features that are different between Subscribing and preferred/F2P but these Six are the most prominent.

1. Experience Gain

One of the biggest disadvantages of being Free to Play is the Experience Gain Rate after level 10. All preferred and F2P players receive a -25% penalty to the experience they receive.  This is counteracted by using the consumable experience boosts you get from quest rewards, the Galactic Trade Network (GTN), and the Cartel Market, but you would need to buy them.  They last 1 hour or 3 hours depending on the boost you get.  

Preferred Players and F2P get double the experience on the double experience weekends, but they can not take part in the rare 12x experience events when those come around.

2. Credit Cap

Subscribers can hold as many credits as they want.  Preferred Players have a cap of 350,000 credits and F2P have a 200,000 credit cap.  You still earn credits above the cap, but it goes into an escrow account.

You can pay with cartel coins to pull more out and go above the cap temporarily. For example, if you have 200k and have 600k in escrow you can pay to pull it out. It would give you 800k, but anything you earn goes into escrow until the balance is below 200k. 

3. Flashpoints, Warzones, and Operations

As a subscriber, you can enter Flashpoints, Warzones, and Operations as many times as you want.

Preferred and F2P

  • Flashpoints - This is one of the main areas you get updated equipment from as you level. You can only receive full rewards from 3 flashpoints per week. You can buy a weekly pass from the cartel to remove this restriction.
  • Warzones - This is PVP and draws a lot of people. You can only enter 5 per week but can buy a pass to remove this restriction. Regardless you cannot enter Ranked PVP at all. Rank PVP is where the success of the team effects the rewards.
  • Operations - This is part of the Endgame Content and where you get the top tiered gear.  You must buy a weekly unlock to enter an operation.

All artifact level gear (purple outlined armor and mods) that you get in rewards require an unlock that can be purchased to removed this restriction.

4. Revives

Whenever you die in-game, you can either return to Medcenter (which can be far from the spot you're in) or revive right where you are, which requires Medical Probes.  Subscribers get an unlimited amount of probes but preferred and F2P players get 5 per week. Any more than that and you will need to buy more off of the cartel market.

It can be difficult when you are deep in an area and walking all the way back would take forever, but if you run out of your weekly medical probes you will need to do exactly that.  You may need to fight all the spawned enemies to get back to where you were. 

5. Mail

Subscribers can mail all the credits they want or up to 8 items to another player or one of their other characters (including opposite faction characters on their own server).  

As a preferred player, you can send and receive in-game mail with one attachment but cannot send credits.  F2P players can only receive in-game mail but cannot send it.

6. Inventory Space, Cargo Hold, and Guild Bank

Subscribers automatically get access to their inventory and can buy more space using credits or cartel coins.

Preferred and F2P have access but can only buy more space with cartel coins.

These may not seem like they are that bad, but when you are playing and want to do a certain thing these can put up a roadblock for you.  Sending mail alone is quite irritating as a preferred or F2P player.  Not having access to your cargo hold and having to keep EVERYTHING in your inventory makes it hard to level sometimes.

In the end, it's up to each person whether they can get past these limits and the other restrictions.  Some can stomach only being F2P, and that is all right, but others choose to be F2P, and those are the people you'll hear complain about all the restrictions in-game.

Transparency: Why Buy-To-Play Is The Best Option For MMOs Sat, 07 Mar 2015 15:26:17 -0500 Larry Everett

I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve had to decide between one MMO subscription and another. When World of Warcraft released, I had to decide between that subscription and Star Wars Galaxies. I was young and had no money, so I couldn’t afford two subscriptions. As a Star Wars fan, I picked SWG; clearly, the rest of the world picked WoW, but I don’t regret that. What I do regret is not being able to play both.

These days, I keep a suite of MMOs that I subscribe to or support financially in some way or another. However, I do have a limit. Most recently, I had to pick between WildStar and Elder Scrolls Online. Thankfully, I picked ESO. But ESO is changing its pricing model. On March 17th, ESO will launch ESO: Tamriel Unlimited, which will drop the subscription fee and allow anyone who buys or has bought the game to just jump in and play forever, without having to pay another dime for the base game.

Elder Scrolls Online KhajiitThis whole transition got me thinking about payment models for different kinds of online games. And I’ve come to the conclusion that, despite the many different types of payment models MMOs have, buy-to-play is clearly the best.

I should define what I mean by buy-to-pay

All buy-to-play games have an up-front cost to play, and there is no required subscription to keep playing. This does not mean that there isn’t a subscription for other benefits, or that there isn’t a trial of some sort so people can get a taste of the game for free. An example of this type of payment model can be found in Guild Wars 2.

Buy-to-play isn’t free-to-play; that gets confused sometimes. Free-to-play means that the base game is free. Usually that means that getting to max level can be achieved or a vast majority of the game can be played without spending a dime. League of Legends is a great example of a free-to-play game. The base game can be played without paying anything, but champions and other items have to be bought from the cash shop.

The subscription model seems to be pretty obvious. Players have to pay a subscription to play the game at all. Sometimes these games will have some sort of trial, but the vast majority of the game requires that you some sort of monthly fee. World of Warcraft is probably the prime example of this, but to be honest, nearly every other MMO on the market at the time of WoW used this model.

Beyond that, we see hybrids of these modes. Some are buy-to-play, with cash shops for in-game items, or there are subs where game time can be purchased in game. The list goes on, but the most common is usually referred to as the Freemium model. Essentially, this is a free-to-play model with an additional subscription that gives you access to the “whole game.” A good example of this is Star Wars: The Old Republic, but Lord of the Rings Online and EverQuest 2 used this model before SWTOR.

Elder Scrolls Online boss fight

Buy-to-play is the only one that works

However, out of all these models, the buy-to-play model is the only one that works well for both the consumer and the developer, and is therefore the best.

The free-to-play model seems to be great, right? You get a whole game, but have to pay for nothing at all. You can tool around, find what you want, and even play some content without paying anything. If you want something neat that you see someone else wearing, likely it’s in the cash shop for you to buy. It's generally great for the consumer, because you don’t have to pay for anything. Of course, gold spammers are usually horrific, but that’s a small price to pay for a free game, right?

On the developer's end, you only have small increments of revenue to work with. Of course, there are some games, like MOBAs, that have lower development overhead and can get away with having smaller purchases. But when you have a game with the scope of an MMORPG, the developer has to focus on keeping the cash shop relevant, while at the same time focusing on other aspects of gameplay development. I believe this is what's beginning to happen with Star Wars: The Old Republic. The expansion packs are getting less and less complicated, and they're catering to the least common denominator of player type.

Elder Scrolls Online ImperialI think we’ve all felt the woes of the subscription model of MMO. We have to juggle our subscriptions, because we feel that if we are paying for a month of gaming, we have to spend a month in that game. Subscriptions create an all-or-nothing scenario for the developers, too. They have to drop everything into the game without cost, or the customer will feel he’s being ripped off. And don't even think about making a cash shop. Most sub games that have real cash shops have received so much flak. Oh, and if the developer doesn’t release something each month, then the game will start to bleed players because they could spend their money on another MMORPG and get new content.

The best case scenario would be buy-to-play. Players will not feel slighted when you create a cash shop to keep things running. You can even have a part of the team focus on making things specifically for the cash shop. The rest of the team can focus on building the next DLC or expansion. Developers can even charge for that DLC, and players will not feel slighted. The DLC would also not be on a schedule, other than one that is within a reasonable frame of time to keep the players interested.

Guild Wars 2 has been running really well off this model. In fact, while other MMOs had major layoffs after a launch, Guild Wars 2 was actually hiring people. One key, however, is that you have to keep the box price at launch retail price for quite some time in order to recoup development costs and then make enough profit to build the following DLC.

I think the other two models can work in very specific situations, but we can talk about that another time.

IndieBox Review: Better Loot Than AAA Chests Wed, 17 Dec 2014 17:46:20 -0500 Auverin Morrow

I’m an avid player of indie games. Some of my favorite titles come from independent developers. (I’m looking at you, Stanley Parable.) I’m also primarily a PC gamer, which means a lot of my games, especially my indie games, are digital copies. While it’s nice to open my Steam library and scroll through all those game names, I often find myself wishing for physical copies. Because an expansive Steam library is a lot like an expansive shelf of torrented movies: it’s super convenient, but it doesn’t have the same “presence” that a shelf full of cases does. Aside from looking really impressive, a collection of physical copies is also a great conversation starter. I’ve made more than a few friends by noticing games on their shelves.

Enter the IndieBox.

It’s a new service that’s a little like LootCrate for indie games. Starting at $19.99 (plus S&H) a month, you get a boxed version of highly-rated indie games with a few extra goodies inside. I got to peek at two of these boxes: one for Brütal Legends by Double Fine, the other for SteamWorld Dig by Image & Form. And neither box disappointed.


The outside of one box had been signed by the IndieBox team, and the other had a big, silver-sharpie heart drawn on the underside of the top flap. Inside both boxes were smaller, limited-edition boxes for each game – which I learned later were hand-designed by the IndieBox team. The artistic choices for these boxes were very different from each other, and both fit the overall aesthetic of the game remarkably well. The boxes looked like they should have held a series of installation disks, but instead they were packed with all sorts of collectibles and an IndieBox newsletter. Here are the other goodies that came in each box:

Brütal Legends
  • Soundtrack and installation CDs
  • Instruction manual
  • “Exclusive Backstage Pass” (a lanyard with a “Crew” badge)
  • Specially-designed guitar pick
  • IndieBox newsletter #2
  • Leather-scented “Deuce” air freshener
  • BL-inspired IndieBox sticker
SteamWorld Dig
  • USB Drive with DRM-free installation files
  • Original soundtrack CD
  • Instruction manual
  • SteamWorld playing cards
  • Tumbleton welcome sign
  • Indiebox newsletter #3
  • SteamWorld-inspired IndieBox sticker

The SteamWorld Dig box was also supposed to come with a heavy-duty Gargantuan Pouch, but a delay in shipping forced the IndieBox team to choose between shipping the whole box late and shipping it without the pouch. IndieBox chose the latter, so the pouches were shipped separately.

The Revival of the Instruction Manual

Perhaps my favorite inclusion in each box was the instruction manual. Some of you may be too young to know this, but all games used to come with instruction manuals. These manuals often had maps, art, and other neat stuff inside of them. Instruction manuals are another thing that I really miss about physical game copies.

The manuals inside each box felt just like the ones from games I’d play when I was younger. They each had cool artwork, neat fonts, character photos, and helpful diagrams and tips. (They even had a few extra pages for notes – remember those?) The manuals added just a hint of nostalgia to each box. They didn't just feel like physical copies, they felt like the kinds of physical copies that abounded when physical was the only option. 

Good Quality & Better Art

During my unboxing, the first thing I was struck by was the quality of the items. Each one felt sturdy and well-made – easily the same quality you’d expect from AAA merchandise or a service like LootCrate. The SteamWorld Dig playing cards felt just as good as the decks I’d buy in a store. And the Brütal Legends lanyard is the same quality as one I got for ten bucks in a university bookshop

Each item also had a custom design, so no two things in the box had the same artwork. These pieces of art adhered to a well-structured visual theme for its respective game. The SteamWorld Dig box had a Western theme, so there were a lot of warm, sandy colors. The aesthetic was a clever mix of cogs and mechanical details with fonts that would be well-suited to a saloon’s “Wanted” poster. The Brütal Legends box was much darker, featuring lots of black/white contrasts, stained with hints of red. Hellish creatures and blazing fires abounded. The IndieBox team even revived an original piece of art from the five-year-old game to use on the Crew badge. Both boxes reflected an incredible amount of effort and attention to detail.


Overall, I’m really impressed with both these boxes. In the realm of quality and design, IndieBox is right on par with the merchandise from AAA stores and similar goodie-bag services. In fact, I’d be willing to argue that IndieBox surpasses those distributors in some regards, because they spend so much time choosing the items and creating brand-new artwork for the games. The IndieBox team is clearly trying to honor these games with their designs, and their efforts are paying off. Each item felt like it could have been part of an original collector’s edition.

Is IndieBox worth the monthly cost? Absolutely. These boxes are well-thought-out and beautifully executed. Not only do they contain great indie games, they also have soundtracks, high-quality collectibles, and limited-edition art. That’s a ton of stuff for around $20 – a lot more than I expected to get, honestly. I would definitely recommend giving IndieBox a try. It would also make a great gift for beloved gamers this holiday season.

Subscriptions come in sets of 1, 3, or 6 months. You can also buy past boxes from the IndieBox Store. Check out their website for more information on previous and upcoming boxes, or follow them on Facebook and Twitter for updates and photos from the IndieBox team.

Blizzard Appolgizes for World Of Warcraft Expansion Issues With Free Game Time Tue, 18 Nov 2014 20:49:52 -0500 Ryan Mayle

It's no doubt that World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor has launched with a number of issues. Issues stemming from the huge growth of player population, to DDOS attacks, to communities lashing out. Blizzard has noticed all these issues and is looking to set things right.

J Allen Brack, Executive Producer of World of Warcraft has taken to the official forums to write an open letter to the fans. He goes over the issues that people have faced and what technical changes occurred to ease the problems. J Allen Brack also came out with fantastic news for the World of Warcraft community.

In recognition of the difficulties so many of you ran into when trying to play over the first few days, we're adding five days’ worth of extra time to every subscription in the Americas, Oceania, and Europe that was active as of Friday, November 14. 

This is something you could only expect from Blizzard Entertainment. They have a track record of putting their fans first and this is a prime example of it. As time goes on, all the issues with this new expansion launch should reduce themselves, but it's good to know that Blizzard is still 100% standing behind their products and will continue to do so.

WildStar: Preorder & Business Model Wed, 19 Mar 2014 16:40:21 -0400 NorthwestGamer

Let me just start by saying, this is an extremely under-hyped game. If there is any game coming out in 2014 that I'm excited for, it is probably WildStar.

WildStar is an MMORPG developed by Carbine Studios that takes place on the planet Nexus. The company was formed by 17 former Blizzard members left to "do anything but WoW." I was originally going to use this article to tell you all about the features of the game, but then I realized you can learn about the gameplay easier by watching a YouTube video, such as the following:

Instead, I decided to use this article to talk about the one thing that most people do not know about, or are confused about.

Business Model

I know what you are thinking, "oh great, another MMO that's going to cost us huge monthly fees and a premium startup fee," but that is not the case. This is not just another Elder Scrolls Online that is about to try to come in and drain your wallet.

When you first buy WildStar, you have to pay a full $59.99 for the game, or $74.99 for the deluxe edition. Both versions get you 30 free days of playtime. So, we're off to a bad start as far as a "different subscription model" than normal MMOs, but here is where it gets better.

WildStar business model

You might have heard of this style of subscription before--it is not the first time it has been used, but it will be the first time seeing it for a lot of people. It's a pretty basic system: C.R.E.D.D. can be used as an alternative way to purchase game time. The C.R.E.D.D. can be bought with either real money, or in-game currency. See where this is going? If you play the game enough, and earn enough currency, you never have to pay real money for your subscription.

Now, if you do not want to use C.R.E.D.D., don't mind paying a subscription, or just went away for a while and can't afford it, then you can still subscribe the old-fashioned MMO way. The cost for a subscription is as follows:


Monthly Rate (USD)

Total Cost (USD)

1 month



3 months



6 months



12 months



Unanswered Questions

After looking through the information provided for Wildstar, I have still found that I have two questions about this system that they do not answer. So for those of you who want more details on this system, I have reached out to the developer for answers and have received feedback. They were not able to disclose much, but they gave me what they could.

Is there any other way to earn C.R.E.D.D. than the two ways mentioned?

The reason I have this question is that there are two sources of C.R.E.D.D. currently posted on their site: $20 per C.R.E.D.D. or buying them from other players for in-game currency. So every C.R.E.D.D. has to start with somebody paying $20 for it, there is no in-game store to buy it from? What is the motivation to make the seller want to spend $20 of real cash just to turn around and resell it for fake money? The only thing I wonder is that if this is supposed to be a source where players can buy gold for real money, but without breaking the rules. It still doesn't seem like there will be a lot of demand for C.R.E.D.D.

Answer: They have confirmed that these two sources will be the only two sources. They referred to their sample scenario, where one player has money, but not time, so he buys C.R.E.D.D. and sells it to somebody who does not want to pay monthly.

Will C.R.E.D.D. not be affordable until maximum level is achieved?

This is something that did not seem like it would be a problem until I realized you use the standard in-game currency. If the currency used to buy C.R.E.D.D. was earned simply from time played, then this would not be an issue; however, since it is the standard gold, won't low-level characters earn gold at an extremely slow rate and not be able to afford C.R.E.D.D.?

In a game like World of Warcraft, low-level characters do not even have a single gold if they are your first character, they just have copper and/or silver, but then your maximum-level character has thousands of gold. This would not be an issue after you have a single high-level character, because the C.R.E.D.D. is not on a per-character basis, but it still would make it a rough start.

Answer: They told me that they were not able to discuss the price of C.R.E.D.D. so no light has been shed on this issue.

World of Warcraft is Gaining Subscribers Regardless of TESO, EQN, and WildStar Hype Mon, 10 Feb 2014 11:04:31 -0500 GameSkinny Staff

Like some sort of terrifying horror film villain, World of Warcraft refuses to die.

According to a variety of sources, Blizzard's MMO has actually gained about 200,000 subscribers since the end of last year. Blizzard's 2013 Q3 earnings call reported 7.6 million subscribers and now the recent 2013 Q4 earnings call has reported a bump up to 7.8 million subscribers.

Yes, this is still much less than WoW's October 2010 peak subscriber number of 12 million subs. However, do remember that most MMORPGs struggle to even break 1 million subscribers. Neither the original Everquest, nor the recent Guild Wars 2, ever broke 1 million. Star Wars: The Old Republic peaked at 1.7 million and FFXIV is currently estimated to currently have 1.5 million subscribers. 7.8 is still an unfathomable dream for most developers.

What's the big deal?

Over the last few months we have been getting a ton of information from this year's world of upcoming MMORPG heavyweights. Between WildStar's huge streaming Class Drop hype train, tons of TESO beta keys going out for server stress tests, and hype from EverQuest Next and EQN Landmark alpha - it's hard to imagine WoW remaining relevant...

Or is it?

The exclusivity of beta and alpha access for these titles has only whet MMO gamers' appetites. Blizzard's strong showing in November at BlizzCon definitely pulled in plenty of attention and subscriber numbers. The steam train power of Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls, Hearthstone's open beta, juicy Heroes of the Storm information, and the Warlords of Draenor WoW expansion have only been building up Blizzard's everlasting flame. Oh, and let's not forget the highly anticipated WoW film adaptation now has a cast list and has begun filming.

Image from a February 2013 article.

WoW is dead? I've heard that before.

Most people love to brush aside WoW as old hat, but nothing is stopping this behemoth. Many journalists, even good friends and respected colleagues of mine, have been crying wolf over the death of WoW for years. The real question, the real test of WoW's staying power, will come over this next year. 

World of Warcraft has been well populated for the past 10 years (launch was in November of 2004) and it has survived many so-called WoW-killers. Will any of the new 2014 MMOs finally usurp WoW's throne? Will it be WildStar? The Elder Scrolls Online? EverQuest Next or EQN Landmark? In this fickle, high-risk industry that kills off most MMOs in 2-3 years, WoW has become exceptionally good at not dying. 

Questions Answered Regarding The Elder Scrolls Online Subscription Tue, 28 Jan 2014 09:42:18 -0500 Venisia Gonzalez

If you've got questions, I have some answers.

There have been many questions being asked by gamers regarding The Elder Scrolls Online.

  • Will I need a separate subscription for Playstation and Xbox to play?
  • Will servers be split between EU and NA, or will there be one megaserver?
  • Will console users be on the same servers as PC users?
I'm here to tell you not everyone is going to be happy.

Bethesda's upcoming Elder Scrolls Online has Zenimax Online Studios making one heck of a controversial decision on charging an additional subscription fee for the MMO.

Could this be a huge mistake on their part?

PS4 members will not need a Playstation Plus (PS+) subscription to play the game. Xbox One members, however, will be required to have an Xbox Live Gold subscription.

Will this be such a huge issue for Xbox One users since a Gold subscription is already needed for pretty much everything? Only time will tell.

News on the servers is that they will be split. PS4 and Xbox One users playing The Elder Scrolls Online will either be on the European megaserver or on the North American megaserver.

Console users will have their own ESO megaservers (European and North American). PC and Mac users will have their own as well. This can be good news as console players won't have to worry about higher-level PC players.

The Elder Scrolls Online is scheduled to launch for PC on April 4th, 2014 and in June 2014 for Xbox One and PS4. The game has an 'M' rating from ESRB.