World Of Warcraft: Legion Release Date Revealed

Five months ago now Blizzard started taking pre-orders for the sixth World Of Warcraft expansion, Legion. The expansion pack now has a confirmed release date, with it set to release on August 30th.

The sixth expansion will follow on from the fifth expansion, Warlords of Draenor, with Blizzard stating that “all hellfire is about to break loose”. With the new continent, the Broken Isles, and a new class, the Demon Hunter class, players will be spoilt for choice as they wield new artifacts and encounter demon hunters, the disciples of Illidan Stormrage, a popular character in the Warcraft series.

If you can’t wait to join the action, anyone who pre-orders the expansion gets a single level 100 boost, so any new characters (or old ones) can join in on the Broken Isles action the second the game releases, while pre-orders will also get access to the Demon Hunter class before the expansion even releases!

With subscriptions for the online MMORPG falling at a staggering rate, could the new expansion be what the game needs to bring new life to the franchise or could the new movie bring in fans both old and new to the series in order to save the world?

Are you a fan of the game? Are you someone who used to play the game? Could this expansion interest you into giving the game a new go or are you more interested in the patch that Warcraft 3 will soon receive?

Blizzard Forces “Pirate” Classic WoW Server to Close

The largest “pirate” server hosting an early version of World of Warcraft that is no longer available via conventional means is being forced to close after WoW developer Blizzard Entertainment threatened the team responsible with legal action.

The server in question, Nostalrius, is running version 1.12 of World of Warcraft from 2006, before the “Burning Crusade” expansion was released. Nostalrius has 800,000 registered accounts and 150,000 active players, according to its administrators.

The existence of the private server was in violation of Blizzard’s Terms of Use for WoW, with the company adding (via Ars Technica) that it “isn’t an issue because of ‘lost’ subscription fees from players choosing these illegitimate servers over the real WoW servers—it simply boils down to the fact that private servers are illegal, and that’s that.”

The team behind the Nostalrius server has launched a petition, appealing to Blizzard to protect the ‘Vanilla’ version of WoW as a “legacy” server:

“We never saw our community as a threat for Blizzard. It sounds more like a transverse place where players can continue to enjoy old World of Warcraft’s games no longer available, maybe until a new expansion appears; a huge and powerful community of fans that remains attached to future Blizzard games, as we have in no other gaming company.

We don’t have the pretention to come up with a complete solution regarding legacy servers that you and your company didn’t already think about, but we’d be glad and honored to share it with you if you’re interested, still on a volunteer basis.”

The Nostalrius server is due to close at midnight on 10th April.

How to Reach Level 100 In WOW With Just Two Dance Mats

Remember when you start that new game and with every level you unlock new abilities and gifts with every level up? With some games reaching the level cap is both exciting and also upsetting, knowing that your character will never quite be able to advance anymore? Imagine if you wanted to reach level 100 on WOW, though? Well, Rudeism has proven you can reach level 100 in wow with just two dance mats.

Taking just 5 days, 11 hours, 48 minutes and 38 seconds, Rudeism has finally completed the achievement of dancing his way to level 100. The finishing move came after a 7-hour stream, the video of which you can find below (check out from 7:70:00 to find the moment of triumph).

[twitchtv url=”https://twitch.tv/rudeism/v/58332907?t=07h11m38s” width=”800″ height=”488″]

Dubbed “Dancecraft”, Rudeism has been working on this achievement for around a month now. With his moves being showed off both on the dance mats and in-game, reaching the staggering level in a rather impressive form.

With people doing everything from dancing their way through the World of Warcraft landscape to beating Dark souls with nothing but a pair of Donkey Konga’s Bongo’s, the world is a weird and wonderful place.

With the new movie coming out later this year this was the perfect time for Rudeism to show off his moves and we hope that he doesn’t stop there when it comes to dancing to victory.

World of Warcraft: Legion Now Available for Pre-Order

 


This week at BlizzCon 2015, Blizzard revealed that the sixth expansion to the massively popular MMO World of Warcraft is now available for pre-order. The latest expansion, Legion, comes with cool pre-order bonuses too, allowing players to boost one character of their choosing to level 100. You’ll also get early access to the brand-new hero class coming with Legion, the Demon Hunter, prior to the expansion’s release.

World of Warcraft: Legion is filled with features and content that will transform Azeroth’s heroes into Legion-slaying avatars of vengeance, including:

  • New Hero Class: Demon Hunter— Unleash the demon within as an all-new melee hero class gifted with preternatural mobility—and the ability to metamorphose into hellish new forms.
  • New Feature: Artifact Weapons— Smite the Legion with class-specific weapons of lore. Unlock awesome abilities and traits, and customize your weapon to suit your needs.
  • New Continent: The Broken Isles— Discover the fate of a lost night elf civilization, confront twisted fragments of the Emerald Nightmare, and hunt agents of the Legion in all-new zones.
  • Boost to Level 100— Come fully prepared to battle the Legion with a level-100 character boost, and fight alongside your friends in this epic new chapter of World of Warcraft—available immediately upon preorder†.
  • New Feature: Order Hall— Unite fellow NPC members of your class’s order to carry out missions at your command.
  • New PvP Honor System— Fight for fame, glory, and a range of new PvP-specific powers as you face the opposing faction in Arenas and Battlegrounds.

To celebrate, Blizzard also released the opening cinematic trailer, which you can view below. This follows on from the Announcement trailer which was released last August, which you can also view below.

“Setting the stage for the demonic Burning Legion’s devastating return. As the Horde and the Alliance battle against hopeless odds, heroes of both factions must seek salvation among the Broken Isles—ancient center of a doomed night elf civilization. There, they’ll take up mighty Artifact weapons and make a forbidden pact with the dread Demon Hunters of the Illidari—a final, desperate bid to save their world from falling under the Great Burning Shadow.”

“World of Warcraft: Legion is one of the most intense chapters in the Warcraft saga yet, filled with features and content that will push new and veteran heroes to their limits,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment. “Whether players want to boost a new character or get a head start on mastering a Demon Hunter, they’ll be primed and ready to battle the Burning Legion when the expansion launches next summer.”

Legion will be available in Standard Edition (physical and digital with an RRP of £34.99. There’s also the Digital Deluxe Edition at £49.99 which contains bonuses for World of Warcraft and other Blizzard games.

You can pre-order Legion at the official site.

Activision Launches its Own Film Studio

The cumbersomely-named Activision Blizzard, publishers of the World of Warcraft, Call of Duty, and Skylanders games, has decided to cut out the middleman and launch its own film studio, according to Deadline. Activision Blizzard Studios will use its gaming intellectual properties to create movies and TV shows, with children’s television action show Skylanders Academy, an adaptation of the popular Skylanders games, already in development, with Futurama’s Eric Rogers attached as showrunner.

Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard, promises that the studio will “approach film and television development with the same unwavering commitment to excellence we are known for in game development,” a sentence which will mean very different things to different people.

Predictably, the studio has a “near-term initiative” to create “a robust cinematic universe based on the Call of Duty franchise” which may include “the possibility of television adaptations.”

“We’re not in the film and television business, we’re in the franchise, intellectual property business,” Co-President Nick van Dyk said during a sales call, adding that “This gives us a terrific position to pursue partnerships,” making the studio “extremely attractive to financial partners.” It’s inspiring to hear that the move is all about the art.

The studio’s inception comes in the wake of the imminent World of Warcraft movie, the first trailer for which hit yesterday.

After Activision Blizzard’s recent $5.9 billion purchase of King, can we expect a Candy Crush Saga movie soon? Or maybe the underappreciated classic Farm Heroes?

World of Warcraft Subscriptions Falling at Record Speed

World of Warcraft has been exceptionally popular over the years and instantly recognisable, even to people without any MMO experience. However, reports from the latest quarter indicates a sharp decline in the game’s popularity and now only has 5.6 million subscribers, the lowest figure such 2006. This comes after a recent surge surrounding the release of Warlords of Draenor which increased the player base to 10 million. More specifically, the latest results signify a 44% drop within a 6 month period. Since 2011, World of Warcraft has struggled to retain its fairly large community and that was to be expected.

Players have either become bored with the experience or moved onto other alternatives. There’s so much choice nowadays when it comes to MMOs including The Old Republic, Guild Wars 2, TERA, Wildstar, Final Fantasy XIV and lots more! Realistically, Blizzard expected this and their current subscription base still accounts for a significant revenue stream. Obviously, a 44% decline in 6 months is rather drastic, but with future content updates, this could easily be reversed.

Another reason why Blizzard isn’t panicking, is the success of other products like Hearthstone and Starcraft II. Perhaps, they see World of Warcraft as a niche outlet but with people prepared to spend much more than the average consumer. As time progresses, it’s a cogent strategy to alter their business model to reflect the times. Will it ever become free-to-play? Only time will tell.

Thank you Forbes for providing us with this information.

Blizzard Announces a New Expansion for World of Warcraft

I’ll be honest: I recently gave up on World of Warcraft for a number of reasons, but mainly because it became too repetitive and it couldn’t keep me interested anymore. Apparently, many other WoW players felt the same, which is why we’ve seen a dramatic drop in the game’s subscribers lately. However, Blizzard could very well make things right again with its brand new WoW expansion, which was unveiled not too long ago at the Gamescom 2015 event in Germany. The new expansion is called “World of Warcraft: Legion”, and as its name suggests, it is focused primarily on one of the most iconic foes in the Warcraft universe – The Burning Legion.

The expansion will raise the player’s level cap to 110 and will include a new continent named The Broken Isles, which will be the center of a massive demonic invasion. Nine new dungeons and two new raids called Emerald Nightmare and Suramar Palace will also be included, but perhaps the most impressive feature will come in the form of the Legion’s Artifact Weapons, which include 36 customizable versions. The addition of a brand new class, the demon hunters, will probably be welcomed with open arms by players while the new and improved honor system will stir the interest of PvP fans.

If this expansion ends up bringing the game back to its former glory, will you consider picking it up again?

Thank you TechSpot for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Businessinsider.

World of Warcraft Subscribers Descend To 9 Year Low

Is it me or has World of Warcraft been around forever and a day? It certainly feels that way considering the game was released way back in 2004, since then it has spawned expansions to the excitement of fans, but it seems subscription numbers are not quite what they used to be.

According to the press release from Activision, World of Warcraft has 5.6 million subscribers to of the end of the second business quarter which for Activision is 30th June 2015.

Blizzard president Mike Morhaime stated the Warlords of Draenor expansion brought more returning players to the game than any previously. He also confirmed plans for the company to increases the rate of content to help attract new players while also retaining existing fans.

For a game which is nearly 11 years old, I do think it is an achievement to be able to attract 5.6 million subscribers, considering how current market trends will become obsolete in a matter of months. For me, this is the unfortunate by-product of listing your company to investors, yes it brings in much-needed revenue, but it does not take long for the market to react to any slight negative data which would impact on profits.

If you’re a regular reader to my articles for eTeknix then you know I like a tangent, and here it is, take a look at the WWE, Hulk Hogan was erased for two reasons, the obvious “open your mouth before engaging brain” with the second reason being that WWE share price lost $50 million dollars as the market reacted to the news. Investors call the shots and back successful trends and track record projects, any negative press effects company value. Investors wonder why they have not attracted more players; try 11 years with the same concept being rehashed within expansions. This is why you also have Fifa 2679 and Call of Duty Black Ops 12, the balance sheet conveys a track record of revenue to consumers.

Thank you Polygon for providing us with this information.

The Strong National Museum of Play Just Named Its First Video Game Titles

Have you ever heard of The Strong National Museum of Play from Rochester, New York? Well, if you haven’t, then you should know it now houses its first six games in the new World Video Game Hall of Fame. It’s really exciting to see that we now have a museum with a Hall of Fame just for games.

The committee, made of journalists, scholars and game historians, have named the first six games to be Pong, Pac-Man, Super Mario Bros, Tetris, Doom, and World of Warcraft. Fifteen candidate games have been considered out of thousands of public nominations, but in the end, the six were chosen for their “influence on the video game industry or on popular culture and society in general”.

“There were some very deserving games that did not make it this year,” he said. “There was a high level of competition with the first class, as one can imagine.”

But it’s not all that bad. While some games have been omitted this year, they may eventually end up in the collection next year. The Legend of Zelda, Space Invaders, Sonic the Hedgehog are still great games and deserve to be along the six nominated titles too, don’t you think?

Thank you Arstechnica for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of BirdAir

No Plans for Flying Mounts in Warlords of Draenor or Beyond

For everyone eagerly waiting to get to the patch that will allow flying mounts in Warlods of your hopes were just dashed! In an interview with Polygon lead designer Ion Hazzikostas made it clear that Blizzard is done with flying mounts, and they will not be in Warlords of Draenor or future expansions or patches.

Polygon was doing an interview that was to be about the upcoming 6.2 patch when Ion Hazzikostas made it clear that I won’t get to use my glider parachute.

Hazzikostas said,”At this point, we feel that outdoor gameplay in World of Warcraft is ultimately better without flying. We’re not going to be reintroducing the ability to fly in Draenor, and that’s kind of where we’re at going forward.” He went on further, “Having looked at how flying has played out in the old world in the last couple of expansions, we realized that while we were doing it out of this ingrained habit after we introduced flying in The Burning Crusade, it actually detracted from gameplay in a whole lot of ways. While there was certainly convenience in being able to completely explore the world in three dimensions, that also came at the expense of gameplay like targeted exploration, like trying to figure out what’s in that cave on top of a hill and how do I get up there.”

So now I no longer need to look at the flying mounts from the Blizzard store.

Thank you pcgamesn.com for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of mmosite.com

The Best Selfie in World of Warcraft Will Get You to Blizzcon

If you are a World of Warcraft fan, chances are that you have been at Blizzcon at least once by now. If not, then there might be a chance for Blizzard to send you there this year. What you have to do is get your best World of Warcraft selfie face on.

I know it sounds a bit odd for a selfie in World of Warcraft, but hey, Blizzard are known for cropping up weird competitions and getting you involved in the process. It looks like this competition will follow how players can work on making the best selfie in a lot of spots Blizzard picks for you.

So what Blizzard does is pick a spot for you each week. Then, you can go when you want during that week to the latter spot and try to do the best selfie you can imagine. The grand prize will be two tickets to Blizzcon this November, but that’s not the only thing you can win.

Blizzard says that each submission is eligible for weekly prizes and goodies, such as Blizzard branded gear, Battle.net codes and even an iPhone 6 to help you with your selfie problem in real life. Just kidding. In order to take part, head on over to the WoW Selfiel Scavenger Hunt website where you can find more details.

Thank you PCGamesN for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Millenium.org

World of Warcraft Moving Closer to Free-to-Play Model

Blizzard is introducing “WoW tokens” to its MMORPG World of Warcraft that can be bought from other players using in-game gold or from Blizzard directly for real money. The tokens can be exchanged for 30 days of game time. A token will cost £9.99 from the Battle.net store, or £8.69 each if purchased in bulk.

Since WoW tokens can be bought using in-game currency, it is conceivable that hardcore players who raise a lot of gold can now play the game for free, using in-game earnings to sustain their monthly subscriptions.

“The WoW Token was created to give players with lots of extra gold the option to use it to help cover their subscription cost, and give those who want to purchase gold a way to do so from fellow players through a secure, easy-to-use system. The Token will be making its début in an upcoming patch.” Reads the Blizzard website.

Blizzard hopes that the move will encourage new players who don’t want to part with money to play the game to sign up, and even to attract previous players back. Though still massively popular, World of Warcraft subscriptions have been on the decline for a number of years. The game hit highs of 12 million subscribers back in 2010, but in five years that number has nearly halved to 6.8 million.

Source: The Guardian

Shanghai Man Coughs Blood and Dies After 19-Hour World of Warcraft Binge

A 24-year-old Chinese man coughed up blood and died after playing World of Warcraft for 19 hours straight in a Shanghai internet cafe. Wu Tai continued to play after expelling blood from his mouth, but other patrons in the cafe noticed and called an ambulance. By the time paramedics arrived, Wu was collapsed in his chair, dead after a further, more violent coughing attack.

CCTV footage shows Wu going from playing happily to lurching into a coughing fit.

The gamers next to Wu are on their feet after calling for help, but it is too late. He is slumped back, motionless.

Paramedics arrived to find Wu dead in his chair.

Hsin Lo, 20, a fellow gamer who was sat nearby, said, ”I suddenly heard him groan and when I turned to see what had happened he was very pale and looked uncomfortable. ‘He was dabbing his mouth with a hankie which had blood on it […] I asked him if he was OK and he said he’d felt better and that he would be OK.”

“I called for an ambulance while my friend went to get some help from staff. But while we waited he just died in front of us, and was nothing for the staff to do,” Hsin added.

“An autopsy will determine the cause of death but there seems little doubt his playing on the computer for 19 hours instead of resting contributed to his death,” a police spokesperson said.

Source: Daily Mail

World of Warcraft 6.1 Update Features Racing Minigame

The upcoming World of Warcraft 6.1 patch will introduce a host of frivolous additional content – the best kind of additional content – to the world’s favourite MMORPG. Amongst the additions is a WoW S.E.L.F.I.E. camera for level 100 players and a race event on Darkmoon Faire Island.

The race is a timed event, asking the player to steer through checkpoints in a special racing mount as fast as they can. Obstacles include electrical wires that can slow racers, but pick-ups such as sprint boots, landing gear, and ‘jump to banner’ keys give players unique advantages.

Source: PC Games N

World of Warcraft Community Helps Dad Mourn his Gamer Son

Yesterday, a father who lost his son posted to reddit, asking readers to help him understand his deceased son’s favourite game, Blizzard’s MMORPG, World of Warcraft.

total noob. no clue what i’m doing.

So im older (late 50’s) and my son used to play lots of WOW while he was recovering after getting hit by a mortar in iraq. Recently he passed away and I decided that I wanted to connect with areas of my sons life I never understood. WOW is one of those areas. I am totally overwhelmed right now. I watched a youtube video and decided instances looked like a lot of fun. I “ran” 2 dungeons this weekend. Whatever druid kept resurrecting me – thanks. I had a lot of fun. I know what clicked with son and it clicked with me. I want to keep playing but right now I feel like a drain on any groups unfortunate enough to get stuck with me. Are there any guides on how not to suck? I’m playing a destruction warlock. I’ve poked around on google but ABP goes nuts whenever I click on a link so I am a bit gun shy. Where the hell do I even start?

Cue condolences, compassion, and help from an engaged WoW community:

The emotional father was understandably overwhelmed:

I got back from work last night and logged into reddit to see if any more responses had come in. I am in shock. The outpouring of support and condolences boggles my mind. I would like to thank all you individually for your support and kindness. That total strangers would extend their sympathies to me and that a game was the catalyst is something amazing. Since my son passed I have struggled tremendously coming to terms with the new reality I am part of. I am humbled at the collective love and kindness shown to me – a total stranger – by the members of this community. It’s been challenging to respond because I am overwhelmed.

The father left with a greater understanding of why his son loved World of Warcraft so much. “One of the biggest regrets I have was not doing more to meet my son in his world,” he wrote in a follow-up reddit post. “I can clearly see what was so engrossing about the game. Thank you so very much. This means so much to me I can’t accurately describe it.”

Source: Kotaku

World of Warcraft UK Subscription Prices Increasing

World of Warcraft has been around for a long time now, and despite the fact that the game has had a lot of long-term and loyal fans and is still making Blizzard a lot of money, they’re hiking up the prices in the UK. The 30, 90 and 180 day recurring subscription plans will be changing.

Current subscribers on recurring plans will not see any pricing changes for two years, but as usual Blizzard is giving everyone else two months advance notice of the changes to their subscription plan. Those who sign up to World of Warcraft after the changes take effect will no be paying the following rates:

  • 30 Days – £9.99 (up from £8.99)
  • 90 Days – £28.17 (up from £25.17)
  • 180 Days – £52.14 (up from £46.14)

The changes will take effect at the launch of Warlords of Draenor, which is currently penned for November 13th. Blizzard are blaming local and regional market conditions for the price increase, but it wouldn’t be such a bad thing to sign up early, prior to Draenors release and get locking in for two years at the current rate.

Thank you IncGamers for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of IncGamers.

World of Warcraft 2 Could Be a Possibility

Now not being a World of Warcraft player myself I’m not really excited by this news but there will be millions of players who are very interested about what Blizzard are saying. Game Informer asked WoWs game directer, Tom Chilton, if there was any possibility of World of Warcraft getting a sequel? To which Tom replied…

“Definitely. It’s something we have talked about. It’s something we have talked about for ten years. I think that there are a lot of challenges there in seeing how World of Warcraft II relates to World of Warcraft, do they live alongside each other, does one feed into the other, what is that product, etc. These are challenges that have to be figured out before that becomes a reality”.

So there you have it folks, Blizzard are discussing a sequel to the insanely popular ip, they’re just not sure on which way to take it. What are your thoughts on this? Should they make another game? There are obvious signs that the game has become a lot less popular then it was a few years ago, with player figures dropping is it wise to make another game? I think if a sequel does ever come around, it will either be a huge success and completely revive the series or it will end the series completely.

Thanks to Tweaktown for supplying us with this information.

Image courtesy of Tweaktown.

Activision Predict Strong Holiday Sales and Shares Jump

Activision Blizzard Inc has raised their full-year 2014 forecast, citing better-than-expected second quarter results and expectations of strong sales for upcoming titles like “Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare” and “Destiny.”

The California-based company said robust digital sales of its “Call of Duty” and “World of Warcraft” game franchises drove non-GAAP net revenue up to $658 million in the second quarter from $608 million a year earlier. It beat the $608 million expected by analysts.

Shares of Activision jumped 3 percent in after-hours trading after closing at $22.36 on the Nasdaq on Tuesday.

“Digital revenue represented 73 percent of the total for the quarter and that’s a record for us,” Chief Executive Bobby Kotick said in an interview. “We had over-performance in the quarter and we feel very enthusiastic about the products we are releasing for the back-half of the year. ‘Advanced Warfare,’ the new ‘Call of Duty,’ I would say that will be the most successful game of 2014.”

Activision raised its 2014 non-GAAP revenue forecast to $4.7 billion and said it expects non-GAAP earnings of $1.29 per share. It had previously announced a forecast of $4.67 billion in non-GAAP revenue and $1.27 per share of non-GAAP income.

The holiday line-up from Activision includes “Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare”, the new instalment from the franchise and “Skylanders Trap Team” from its billion-dollar game franchise for children.

On September 9, the new sci-fi shooter “Destiny” will be released, which has seen a whooping $500 million investment from the company. Gamers are responding well to the beta version of “Destiny” and pre-order numbers are encouraging, Kotick said without providing details. “The audience reaction on ‘Destiny’ has been extraordinary.”

Thank you Reuters for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of Activision

SteelSeries Siberia Elite WoW Edition Revealed

SteelSeries are back once again with their ever popular Siberia headset range, this time with their once limited edition Elite model, their current flagship PC gaming headset. Steelseries are no stranger to re-releasing hardware with new clothes, and the Elite is no exception, this time coming draped in World of Warcraft colours for fans of the long lasting Blizzard MMORPG. Personally I think it feels a little late to the party to launch a WoW headset these days, but despite the games age our recent report shows that it is still far from dead, despite lowering player numbers.

“Our partnership with Blizzard Entertainment to create unique gear for the World of Warcraft community has culminated in this bold new version of our premium and award-winning headset-a perfect complement to Blizzard’s upcoming Warlords of Draenor expansion,” said Tino Soelberg, SteelSeries CTO. “Players deserve the best quality audio to experience the music and sounds of Draenor; this exclusive edition of the Siberia Elite headset delivers epic audio quality in a beautiful World of Warcraft-themed design.”

The SteelSeries Siberia Elite World of Warcraft Edition will be available to pre-order right now from the official SteelSeries Web Ship for $219.99 / €219,99. Not cheap, but if you want the quality of a their flagship headset in the style of your favourite game, expect to pay a premium for it.

Thank you SteelSeries for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of SteelSeries.

In-Game Thieves Should Be Treated Like Real Criminals, According to UK Politician

Mike Weatherly, Conservative MP in the UK, is said to have brought up a new initiative. He wants to prosecute in-game thieves like real criminals, which is really disturbing news.

The UK Politician is said to be a World of Warcraft player himself and ‘understands’ that in-game items can be traded for substantial amounts of real world money. Therefore, he as called upon the parliament to consider prosecuting account hackers and in-game scammers like real world criminals.

It is said that the initiative is not outside the ‘realm’ of possibility, having game hackers being arrested and jailed in other countries before. Last year, a group of Chinese World of Warcraft account hackers were prosecuted and jailed and there is world that last week, a League of Legends hacker has been jailed for hacking in to Riot servers and stealing premium services, earning him around $1000 a day.

The Conservative MP has requested that the UK Justice Department consider establishing the law urgently to give gamers the same amount of legal protection over digital items as they already have in the real world. Weatherly added that only serious or repeated offenders should be targeted rather than just anyone found guilty of committing a minor felony.

Digital items are now considered to be in the grey area, but the fact still remains that some of them might be worth a lot of money and can take a long time to acquire. However, the law can also backfire and have gamers under surveillance and booked for just ‘having fun’. What the outcome from the above mentioned law will be is everyone’s guess.

Thank you KitGuru for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of KitGuru

World of Warcraft, Still Worth $1b A Year, Despite Decline In Subscribers

There have been many attempts to throw World of Warcraft from the #1 spot over the years, in fact, WoW has been out for so long now that I haven’t even heard about it in almost two years, having done my best to avoid it after my own little attempt at the massively popular MMORPG, which only lasted about ten hours playtime. I knew the game had always been big, but I honestly believed it had declined greatly over the last couple of years, falling into obscurity… I was wrong.

A new set of figures from SuperData Research shows that while subscriptions to online MMOs has declined over the years, WoW is still king with a 36% share of the market. Its closest competitor, Lineage 1, only has a 9% market share. WoW is still pulling in over $1 billion a year, an impressive figure compared to Lineage 1 which only draws in around $253 million.

Numbers may be dropping periodically, but steady updates and content packages have proven to keep people flocking back and while rumours of the games demise over the years have been plentiful, with many gamers that I know having long left the series, it’s clearly far from dead from a profit point of view. It’s certainly unlikely that the developers will be turning off the servers any time soon.

It seems this $1 billion is why we are yet to see anything of Blizzards Project Titan, their new subscription based MMO that was a potential replacement for World of Warcraft. Why on earth would they want to replace their own game when they’re raking in so much money… it would be financial suicide and until WoW becomes a waste of money for Blizzard, we’ll likely never see anything new from them.

Thank you Forbes for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Forbes.

Raptr Reveals The Most PC Played Games, They Are…

Which PC games were the most popular in June 2014? Well it is impossible to say for all PC gamers in the world, but using the Raptr statistics as a barometer reveals some interesting results. At number one is League of Legends with a staggering 16.76% of all PC gamers, that’s more than twice the share of second place game title DOTA 2 which has 8.15%. World of Warcraft, Counter Strike Global Offensive and Diablo III make up the rest of the top 5. The biggest gainers are WildStar, Watch Dogs, Battlefield 3 and PayDay 2 while the biggest losers include The Elder Scrolls Online, ArmA III and Star Wars: The Old Republic who all dropped significantly.

These figures compare fairly similarly to Steam’s Statistics, although many of the games in Raptr’s list are not counted in Steam’s statistics so making the comparison is difficult. Steam’s top 5 includes Dota 2, Counter Strike Global Offensive, Team Fortress, Football Manager 2014 and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

Raptr is an online gaming platform with 22 million users in over 100 countries. Raptr recently signed a partnership with AMD to provide the backbone behind the “AMD Gaming Evolved” app.

Source: Raptr

Image courtesy of Raptr

Blizzard’s Rob Pardo, Chief Creative Officer, Leaves the Company After 17 Years


Blizzard Entertainment will have a new executive position to fill, with Rob Pardo, Chief Creative Officer, announcing he is leaving the company after 17 years.

Pardo’s resume includes design credits with the following game titles over the years: World of Warcraft,  StarCraft, StarCraft: Brood War, Warcraft 3 and Diablo 3.

Here is what Pardo said in his good-bye post on the Battle.net forums:

“I’m looking forward to new challenges in my career, but I will always cherish the time I spent with you all and the amazing and collaborative teams at Blizzard.  It was both satisfying and humbling, and it made me a better developer and a better person.  I look forward to playing Blizzard games as a player for many years to come.  Most important, now I have plenty of time to learn how to build a competitive Hearthstone deck.”

Pardo didn’t publicly disclose what is happening next, except he plans to spend the summer with his family and finally catch his breath.  He also thanked the gamers for motivating himself and the Blizzard team to continue developing video games.

It will be curious to see where he ends up next, as game studios would greatly benefit from having a seasoned veteran available to oversee future game projects.

Thank you to Battle.net for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of gram.pl

New Malware Is Reported To Be Affecting World Of Warcraft Gamers

World of Warcraft gamers and other MMORPG players are subject to hacks and exploits that attempt to steal their user names and passwords, after which the hackers will either rob the character of all their gold, or maybe even sell it off. For those of you out there who are still playing World of Warcraft, Blizzard has recently identified a new malware that poses as a client for a popular World of Warcraft add-on site.

It has been classified as a trojan horse and it looks and functions exactly the same as the Curse Client, in which gamers use to download World of Warcraft add-ons and tweaks. Furthermore, when attempting to search for “curse client”, a listing of the fake website pops up and will look exactly the same as the official one, so for those who weren’t paying attention, you might have inadvertently downloaded a malware onto your computer.

Blizzard suggests that those who have downloaded the client to delete it and perform a scan on their computer to ensure that there are no traces of it left, using programs such as Malwarebytes. Blizzard has also provided instructions to those who might have been infected as well. Either way, Blizzard advices those who are downloading the Curse Client for the first time to double check and make sure it is from the official site based on its URL.

Thank you Ubergizmo for providing us with this information

NSA and GCHQ Agencies Allegedly Spying On Online Games

There is no escaping the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) from spying you, not even in games it appears. The NSA and GCHQ have “MMORPG Agents” infiltrated in World of Warcraft and Second Life. Why you may ask? To put a stop to terrorism (if any) that might go through the mentioned vast online multiplayer game worlds.

The The New York Times and the Guardian have detailed NSA’s and GCHQ’s point of view regarding online games as a potentially rich source of information, according to documents leaked by NSA’s Edward Snowden. The exact number of agents involved is unknown, along with the means through which they gathered information and the results gained, whether successful or not. The fact still remains that the World of Warcraft and Second life games were monitored, along with the Xbox Live.

But Xbox Live is a huge online service with a lot of personal information, IM features and even VoIP capabilities. We can only assume that, by monitoring Xbox Live, the agencies had access to personal data, private chats and “interesting” conversations. On top of all that, Microsoft did cooperate with NSA in the past.

The document’s main point of view is that the NSA and GCHQ, along with other agencies such as FBI and the CIA, turned eyes towards online gaming as an “opportunity” for potential terrorists to “hide in plain sight.” Blizzard denied in a statement made to Times and The Guardian about giving the agencies permission to spy on their users, while Microsoft and the developer of Second Life, Linden Realms, did not comment on the matter at hand.

The agencies however show no signs of interest in Sony’s PSN, though it is said that the most reasonable explanation for this is that Blizzard, Linden Realms and Microsoft are American companies, whilst Sony is a Japanese company.

Thank you Tom’s Guide for providing us with this information
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NVIDIA States That PC Is Far Superior To Next-Gen Consoles

According to Nvidia, the PC platform is the perfect gaming machine ever made. According to Matt Wright, consumer sales manager at Nvidia, “The PC platform is far superior to any console when it comes to gaming.” and this isn’t the first time that Nvidia has compared PCs to consoles.

What NVIDIA is trying to achieve is draw users who haven’t yet decided what to buy as a gaming platform. Wright spoke about the company’s plan during an interview at MCV:

“We are proposing small form-factor PCs to be a viable alternative to the next-gen consoles. Enthusiast players want the ultimate games system and that is the PC. We want to make PC gaming as simple as possible and we think that it’s already becoming much more relevant and appealing to casual gamers.”

It seems that NVIDIA has recognized that complexity is a real issue that separates PC and console gaming. Some people prefer a cozy and simple environment for gaming, leading to the Console preference where you just insert the DVD in the console and just play. Whereas the PC is for more enthusiastic users where gaming and hardware preference intersect, giving users a wider approach in customizing the gear and performance to better suit the individual’s gaming needs.

Wright went on to speak about Steam’s influence on the market as well:

“Steam now has more users than Xbox Live. There is a whole new generation who grew up playing on PC with titles like Minecraft or World of Tanks. There’s a huge community who love playing their games on PC.”

Wright is making a comparison here between the generation who grew up with Nintendo and PlayStation and the generation who were drawn to the PC’s gaming approach, with games such as World of Warcraft and World of Tanks. Having all that said, there are still ups and downs when comparing PC to Console.

First of all, the main issue with PC is exclusivity. There are some games you just can’t get on PC. Grand Theft Auto 5 and Dead Rising 3 are some examples, two big titles that can only be played on a console. But when it comes to performance, the consoles are capped at 720p with 30 FPS, whereas PCs are not. Who wouldn’t enjoy a 4K experience with 16x anti-aliasing?

The main point, for PCs at least, is that security measures for games are practically non-existent and all PC games are inevitably being pirated, thus the console exclusivity appearing. NVIDIA has a point here, why restrict gaming on some platforms, especially PC, where consoles can also be modded and users can still play pirated versions on their consoles as well? Gaming enthusiasts should be able to play their favorite games on the best platform ever made, and that is the PC.

In the end, the everyone decides what’s the best option for him or her, whether it’s the console or PC. But having more and more restrictions on PCs will really affect the platform and user choice in terms of gaming, despite what NVIDIA is trying to prove here.

Thank you TechSpot for providing us with this information