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Free-to-play is surging. In just a few short years, free-to-play has become the go-to mechanism through which studios broaden audiences, entice players, and build revenue. No other method of monetization has proven to be so lucrative and effective with such consistency, whether it be a monthly subs...

1 year ago 0 Comments
October 22, 2013 at 11:00AM
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I'm going to start this article off with a statement, and it's going to be divisive, but not for the reasons you might expect. A good chunk of you reading this are going to read the line, roll your eyes, and immediately think that I've just written the most obvious thing ever. Some of you might eve...

1 year ago 0 Comments
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Over the last few years, we have been witness to dramatic shifts in the way the video game business does its...erm...business. Crowdfunding appeared out of nowhere and turned people like Chris Roberts into money tornadoes. Digital distribution created an environment in which anyone with an internet...

1 year ago 0 Comments
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If you play MMOs, odds are good that you're familiar with the classic "kill ten rats" quest trope. Kill quests are one of the most fundamental elements of traditional MMORPG design, and a great deal of modern and classic MMOs would have little to no content without them. Whether it's ten rats, ten ...

1 year ago 0 Comments
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I've learned a lot from my time at Massively. I've learned that a team of writers can work together without being in the same office; I've learned that the MMO genre is one of the most interesting in all of video games, despite the negative stigma sometimes attached; and I've learned that people lo...

1 year ago 0 Comments
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In last week's edition of The Soapbox, Mike Foster argued that online gaming has evolved over the past few years and that the term MMO should be expanded to cover other online games like MOBAs. He examined the blurred dividing line between new online games and the classic MMOs of yesteryear, and he...

1 year ago 0 Comments
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You may not be aware of this, but Massively is a website focused primarily on massively multiplayer online games. It's kind of what we do. However, the world of MMOs in 2013 is far different from the world of MMOs in 2007, when the site was founded. The niche has changed and the games industry has ...

1 year ago 0 Comments
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When I was 21, I was miserable. I was stuck in a long-distance relationship with someone I couldn't trust and could barely see, I was stuck with no real career opportunities, and I had my entire lifestyle ripped away from me unexpectedly. I felt like I was willing to climb, but I didn't see any han...

1 year ago 0 Comments
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If there's one thing gamers love doing, it's insult games they don't play. Any news item, editorial, hands-on, review, or general pile of text dedicated to a few key games -- normally those with high profiles -- receives an instant and visceral response from a collection of commenters who seem to e...

1 year ago 0 Comments
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Video games are, by definition, an interactive medium. The entire point of playing a video game is that you get to explore the world, talk to the characters, slay the monsters, and reap the rewards. And you do all this with a keyboard and mouse or controller or futuristic headset or whatever. Playe...

1 year ago 0 Comments
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In last week's edition of The Soapbox, Mike Foster reminded us that the grim specter of death comes to us all and asserted that when your time comes, "you will not wish you had spent more time gaming." Mike took the stance that gaming provides temporary joys that can't replace real-life experiences...

1 year ago 0 Comments
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Spoiler alert: You are going to die. It's inescapable. Maybe you fall off a cliff. Maybe you grow old and fade peacefully into the nether. Maybe hawk-wolves pick the lock on your front door and attack while you're frying eggs and trying to remember what you had planned for the day. Maybe you sneeze...

1 year ago 0 Comments
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A few weeks ago we reported on a somewhat silly article in which the author advocated that studios could and should charge players real money transaction fees to trade items. I didn't see a lot of people in favor of this idea, but I definitely agreed with one thing that he pointed out: MMOs have be...

2 years ago 0 Comments
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Back in the golden days of video games, there was no such thing as a soft launch. Nintendo didn't send out test copies of Super Mario World to special "backers," and Sega didn't ship half-finished Sonic games with promises of further content updates. Games, for the most part, were played only after...

2 years ago 0 Comments
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The past few years have seen an absolute revolution in the games industry, with an explosion of studios securing funding through crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter. In a time when banks worldwide are tightening their belts, Kickstarter represents a lifeline for indie developers and a way for t...

2 years ago 0 Comments
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After his departure from the Diablo III development team, Game Director Jay Wilson released a statement that the introduction of an auction house "really hurt the game." While players predicted doom the moment the Real Money Auction House was announced, Jay argued that the gold auction house was eq...

2 years ago 0 Comments
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It's not often that my writings take a ranty slant, In fact, I don't believe I have ever expressed anything along those lines here in Chaos Theory -- although I have a time or two elsewhere. Blue moons come and go much more frequently than I don my Massively-standard-issue flame-retardant garb and ...

2 years ago 0 Comments
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I love MUDs. When I go through a several-hour long MUD session, I feel as if I took part in a greater story, and most of the fun was not based on stats or gear. MUDs let me escape into a world because they are about story first. I think I'm pretty rare, though. I can't find many other writers who s...

2 years ago 0 Comments
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There is no question about it: Bringing games online has fundamentally changed the way we play and interact with one another. Thanks to the web, we can share games with our friends from thousands of miles away. We can hang out with people who live in other countries and learn about human beings who...

2 years ago 0 Comments