This week was arguably one of the biggest weeks in gaming this year with a ton of MMO news and developments. First up, we got a bit of word that RuneScape: New World, the long-awaited sequel to the original RuneScape, has been delayed so that it can meet a November release date. Blizzard also showcased a lot of Diablo III: Reaper of Souls information including a new trailer, the Expansion Pass, additional in-game events and the chance to be one of the first to play the game with a new beta key, via the Reaper of Souls Open Beta.
As the world of online gaming continues to expand, it seems as if the most interesting developments are happening behind the scenes, rather than on the screen you’re playing in front of. Case in point: this week we have been treated to a delay for the still-unreleased New World, an announcement for another free-to-play MMORPG, and news that Blizzard’s Overwatch has been hit with a lawsuit.
Doesn’t it seem like J. Allen Brack’s departure as Blizzard’s CEO was a long time ago? But it was only Tuesday, the same day Activision-Blizzard released its quarterly financials, and we learned that Blizzard’s revenues were down, and the company had lost another 1 million monthly active users across all of its games, bringing the total number of players lost to 12 million, or 31%, since the beginning of 2018. Needless to say, the rest of the week was not much better for the Blizzard sexual harassment/discrimination controversy.
However, there’s plenty more MMORPG news, such as the fact that Bless Unleashed released on PC this weekend – with a significant increase in players – and that New World has been postponed for the fourth time, now until September.
Today, like every Sunday (since 2010!) in Massively Overpowered’s Week in Review, catch up on the best of this week’s MMO news and views!
THE MOST IMPORTANT NEWS THIS WEEK
Blizzard’s J. Allen Brack is stepping down ahead of today’s investor call – J. Allen Brack is out at Blizzard today ahead of the investor call this afternoon, replaced by a pair of co-leaders. Activision-Blizzard President and COO Daniel Alegre announced the news… Q2 2021: Activision revenues are up, Blizzard MAUs are down amid sexism scandal – Back in May, we got quite a bit of unexpected attention here at MassivelyOP as the headline for our coverage of Activision-Blizzard’s Q1 2021 financials – Blizzard has lost almost… Amazon Games just delayed New World again, now to September 28 – Amazon Games has just announced on Twitter that it’s postponing the launch of New World. “[W]e’re going to take a few extra weeks to smash bugs, improve stability, and polish… Vague Patch Notes: Blizzard may live on, but it will never be Blizzard again – If you want to chart the moment when Blizzard stopped being Blizzard, you got a really nice data point when J. Allen Brack stepped down yesterday. His replacements are not… Bless Unleashed formally launches on PC today, counting 40K players in final test – It’s launch day for Bless Unleashed – the PC version, that is – and it’s been a long, long time coming. Readers will recall that Bless Online originally launched in… Bless Unleashed’s PC launch is marked by 61K arrivals, server issues, region block, and rough Steam reviews – So, how did the PC launch of Bless Unleashed go? I guess we’ll say “bumpy” to start off with. The action MMORPG’s launch certainly saw a lot of early interest,… For Science: Men roll more female characters than women roll male toons, new survey shows – Do you play MMO characters who reflect your gender in real life? Apparently, the answer depends a bit on which gender and how old you actually are. That’s according to… WoW Factor: The ethics of playing on private World of Warcraft servers right now – There’s a problem to be found when it comes to World of Warcraft, and that problem is Blizzard Entertainment. That is a known fact at this point. You either don’t… The Game Archaeologist: Defining the eras of MMORPG history – With MMO history stretching back to the early 1980s (and even before), this genre has accumulated a whole lot of history over the years. Taking a bird’s eye view of… Diablo community manager recounts low pay, a sexually threatening culture, and mistreatment at Blizzard – Back in March 2020, we reported on the departure of Diablo III community manager Brandy “Nevalistis” Camel, who noted in her statement that she was not leaving “for any ill… Star Citizen opens up the landing zone of Orison, adds new ships and ship features in alpha 3.14 – Last night saw the Stanton system of Star Citizen expand by one more planet as the gas giant Crusader, and by extension the landing zone of Orison aka the city… Activision-Blizzard: Frances Townsend steps down from one studio post, Jeff Kurtenacker departs – It’s a day that ends in “y,” which means there’s another new development in the ongoing Blizzard sexual harassment and sexual discrimination scandal. This time the story revolves around Frances… New exposé reveals still more layers of sexual harassment and discrimination at Blizzard – Bloomberg has yet another piece up on the ongoing Activision-Blizzard sexual harassment and discrimination scandal, this one interviewing “more than 50 current and former employees” at the company and opening… Pokemon Go players intensify boycott over COVID rollbacks as Niantic offers only minor concessions – Anyone who follows our Massively on the Go column and its long-running Pokemon Go coverage knows that Niantic has faced years of criticism from everyone from accessibility advocates to non-urban… Activision-Blizzard sexism scandal day 17: More esports sponsors consider abandoning Overwatch League – In the course of our reporting on the ongoing Blizzard sexual harassment and sexual discrimination scandal that’s now prompted multiple lawsuits, we noted that T-Mobile had apparently pulled out of… Massively Overthinking: Are there any ‘blue oceans’ left in the MMO market? – Level Up Labs’ Lars Doucet recently penned a blog post practically begging people not to try to compete with ROBLOX by remaking it as ROBLOX-but-with-one-special-thing, like better graphics or higher… Guild Wars 2 teases logograms and elite specs as End of Dragons speculation escalates – [AL:GW2]Guild Wars 2 players have been busy debating the teases ArenaNet is dropping for End of Dragons. Last week, of course, we got the deets on the Mesmer Virtuoso, alongside… Massively on the Go: Niantic ditching Pokemon Go’s COVID benefits was a dangerous mistake – Recently I was forced into isolation since an untrustworthy family member hid COVID symptoms from the household and our vaccinated guests who were going above and beyond to stay safe.… Nexon drops videos and details for Project HP, Project ER, Project Magnum, and more – Nexon is taking the wraps off of multiple projects this week, and before we leap in, just know that we don’t know whether all of these will make it to… Perfect Ten: The top 10 non-traditional MMO fantasy races – Elves. Dwarves. Humans. Halflings. Gnomes. Hobbits. Dark elves. High elves. Half-elves. Wood elves. Keebler elves. Elvish impersonators. Are you as tired as I am of the endless regurgitation of stock… Square-Enix Q2 2021 financials: Final Fantasy XIV’s subs are up – Square-Enix has released its second quarter financial report for 2021, and it paints a rather middling picture overall. Net revenue for the quarter YOY was up only 1.8%, with YOY… Playable Worlds’ lead designer: ‘Our industry does not thrive on ideas’ – Raph Koster’s startup Playable Worlds is working on an MMORPG. A big one. A big one we don’t know much about yet, in spite of all the words the company… Activision-Blizzard Day 14: Brack and Meschuk exits, fraud lawsuit, proto-union, and Q2 financials – It’s been a helluva Tuesday in the swamps of the Activision-Blizzard sexism scandal: The day opened with the departure of J. Allen Brack from Blizzard and closed with the Activision-Blizzard… Corepunk delays its beta testing until December – Bad news to anyone who was heavily anticipating Corepunk’s previously planned first beta test happening this month. The developers made a short video today announcing that technical issues made it… The Soapbox: Pokemon Unite’s monetization is gross and threatens a competent game – By now, you’ve probably seen several articles about the poor monetization in Pokemon Unite, often based on Reddit posts or streamer hot takes. Most talk about pay-to-win play, though the better… Tencent reacts to Chinese state media calling online games ‘spiritual opium’ by adding new restrictions – Young online game fans in China are going to be facing some new restrictions from Tencent-operated games. That’s in response to an article from the Chinese newspaper Economic Information Daily… Choose My Adventure: Tearing through the colorful world of Trove at breakneck speeds – The idea to play Trove this month ended up being something of a needed breath of fresh air for me. With all of the miserable news surrounding the industry recently… Craig Morrison announces his departure from Blizzard – It’s time for the departure of yet another name you might recognize from Blizzard, but you might recognize him from other projects as well. Craig Morrison has announced via Twitter… Flameseeker Chronicles: The End of Dragons reveal didn’t wow people – and that’s OK – We finally have our first real peek at the features and story of Guild Wars 2’s third expansion, End of Dragons. It has been a long time since this game… The gamer in the infamous BlizzCon video says she ‘dodged a bullet’ by not working at Blizzard – When Xantia stepped up at BlizzCon to address World of Warcraft’s character design and ask that women in the game not all look as if they had stepped out in… EVE Online’s record-breaking World War Bee 2 has seemingly come to an end – In an unexpected twist, one of the largest and longest-running wars in EVE Online came to a close with a fizzle instead of a bang last night. World War Bee… Wisdom of Nym: What will Final Fantasy XIV add to its magical DPS? – The biggest issue that Final Fantasy XIV has with its casters, as a rule, is that casters in the series all basically work like Black Mage but have to work… Not So Massively: Magic the Gathering Arena is great, but it can’t replace Magic Legends – I’ve been playing a bit more of Magic: Legends lately — might as well enjoy it while I can — and two things have really struck me: Yes, it really… Crowfall launches The Shadow update, opens new recruiting campaign – This won’t surprise anyone who was already participating in Crowfall’s pre-launch recruiting programs, but it’s worth noting all the same that the live game is also embarking on a promotion…
THIS WEEK’S CASTS & STREAMS
Get caught up on the latest MMO news and Massively OP’s finest content every week with our MMO Week in Review! Do you want to see more content roundups? Try Friday’s Betawatch for MMO testing updates, Saturday’s Make My MMO for MMO crowdfunding updates, and Sunday’s The MOP Up for everything the news we didn’t cover elsewhere.
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