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  • Virtual world economies examined

    BusinessWeek Online interviews Edward Castronova, an economist who has become something of an authority of MMO / "virtual world" economies. He touches on World of Warcraft and Second Life, and it's always interesting to see knowledgable folks talk about the blurring line between reality and fantasy.

    As if that's not enough, do you have other concerns about online games?

    I'm also concerned that this commercial impulse could swallow up the separateness of these places. I would hate to see all that lost because of unregulated profit-seeking.

    I would like there to be some kind of provision, like a wilderness preserve sort of law, for these places. We would need to have a law saying that if you promise you will seal off this world so people can't money-launder with it and can't liquidate the returns, we won't come in and tax all the transactions, and we won't subject you to child labor laws.

    Check out this article on the macroeconomics of MMOs at BusinessWeek Online.

    News
    Mon, Apr 24, 2006
    Ethec
  • Cnet notes poor server performance of World of Warcraft

    You saw it first at TenTonHammer, then (oddly enough) the Chinese media picked up the banner. Finally, the mainstream internet media is calling Blizzard to task for poor WoW server performance, including rampant downtime and chronic login problems. This, from Cnet:

    Ito said the server problems have been particularly frustrating for him and his guild members because of the particular flavor of virtual "quests" they often run in WoW.

    "Difficulty logging in (and) servers going down--it's become a normal part of our lives," Ito said. "It really does suck for us because we're running higher-level (quests) where it takes us a few hours to get to the (goal) and sometimes the server suddenly goes down right near the end before we finish. And they are unannounced (and) you just see people on the server--guild list--start dropping off."

    Read the entire "WoW Battles Server Problems" article at Cnet.com.

    News
    Mon, Apr 24, 2006
    Ethec
  • 5 million x $15/month x 3 months = phat lewt

    VU Games, parent company of Blizzard and subsidiary of Vivendi Universal, reported extremely strong first quarter earnings. Thanks largely to World of Warcraft sales and subscription revenues, VU Games saw a revenue increase of 18.6 percent compared to last year. This from Next Gen:

    Subscription and retail revenue for WoW continued to roll in, driving sales of 134 million euros ($165 million) for the quarter. VU games also cited strong performances from Ice Age 2 and older releases including 50 Cent: Bulletproof and Crash Tag Team Racing.

    All your $$ belong to a French mega-conglomerate. Read up on Vivendi's massive earnings at Next Gen.

    News
    Thu, Apr 20, 2006
    Ethec
  • So soon, I'm shocked. Yes.. shocked. So what is it that they have in store for us this time? Find out here.

    # Guild Recruitment channel functionality has been improved to be turned off for players already in guilds, and turned on for players not in guilds by default.
    # Fixed a bug which caused players to drop from combat after destroying a totem.
    # Fixed a soft-lock bug that occurred under certain conditions when players were near ships, zeppelins, elevators, and the Deeprun Tram.

    Those are some to list a few.

    Check out our World of Warcraft Community.
    More World of Warcraft News

    On a side note... There is also a new wallpaper of Stratholme up as well as a Behind the scenes DVD. Take a peek at the official site for more details.

    News
    Thu, Apr 20, 2006
    Awenyddion
  • It's a famous landmark and now you get to see it through the eyes of the Turbine crew. See the Brandywine Bridge here. and read the lore behind it.

    The Bridge of Stonebows, as the Brandywine Bridge was once called, was built originally by the Men of Arnor as a causeway across the Barandúin River on the Great East Road. When the founders of the Shire were granted their land by the king of Arthedain, the price was simple: to maintain and care for the Bridge so that travel into the West would never be impeded. The Hobbits of the Shire performed their duty, even long after the North-kingdom failed, and maintained the great stone bridge, denying none passage, Man, Elf, or Dwarf. Though the river's name was changed to the Brandywine and the bridge itself became the Brandywine Bridge, the Hobbits of the Shire continue to care for and keep watch on the Bridge.

    See what's new on our Lord of the Rings Online Community Site!
    More Lord of the Ring Online News.

    News
    Thu, Apr 20, 2006
    Awenyddion
  • These guys are really ramping up. The game is starting to look pretty polished. I'm hoping that I can get in to see it for E3.

    Sooo without further ado - New screenshots are at Gamespot.
    New Developer Diaries in the form of movies at Onlinewelten.

    More news about The Chronicles of Spellborn.

    News
    Wed, Apr 19, 2006
    Awenyddion
  • Blizzard says "Nein!" to The9.

    Blizzard is shopping around for a new Chinese operator, according to a press release late last week. Methinks this says a lot about about how the company operates, but first: a quote.

    In a press release issued on Thursday, Blizzard said it is "actively exploring and discussing cooperation opportunities and further expansion of its business with local potential partners for mainland China".

    The reasons why Blizzard's dropping hints about a change in China: "poor customer service" and "overloaded servers". Poor customer service is always inexcusable, but over-crowded servers? Come on! Given World of Warcraft's historically unreliable performance on North American servers, perhaps they should reevaluate their US partnership with... themselves. Let's make the attempt to shift blame a little more obvious.
    Read the entire article at gamesindustry.biz.

    News
    Tue, Apr 18, 2006
    Ethec
  • There are new beasts to be had in World of Warcraft's upcoming expansion Burning Crusade.

    The orcs of Outland were not the only ones to suffer the Burning Legion's demonic corruption. The Broken, led by the great Akama, fell prey to the
    demons' sinister influence, and just like the orcs, they too were changed by the corruption. Though they lost some of their former powers, the Broken still present a clear danger to all of Illidan's enemies throughout Outland. It almost seems like a miracle that the Broken somehow managed to preserve their shamanistic heritage, yet no one can say for sure how many of their traditions are still intact. From the safety of the fortified villages the Broken hold in Outland, they lord over their lesser cousins, the wretched Lost Ones.

    Orcs always get a bad name.

    Visit our World of Warcraft

    More news on World of Warcraft.

    News
    Tue, Apr 18, 2006
    Awenyddion
  • Vivendi Universal subsidiary Blizzard Entertainment announced on Friday that it has invited Chinese online game company The9 (Nasdaq: NCTY) to negotiate the expansion set to World of Warcraft (WoW), The Burning Crusade. The9 is Blizzard's current partner for WoW in mainland China, and also owns 30 percent of the company operating WoW in Taiwan. According to the release the expansion is currently planned for 2007 in mainland China, whereas previous expectations had the expansion hitting China in late 2006. According to several industry analysts, The9's contract with Blizzard for World of Warcraft already gives The9 the rights to operate any expansion of the game in mainland China.

    I just can't think of any pithy comments on this one. Am I losing my sense of humor or is this just something that says meh to me? One can never tell

    See what's new at our World of Warcraft Community

    More news and info on World of Warcraft.

    Thanks to Pacific Epoch for the story.

    News
    Mon, Apr 17, 2006
    Awenyddion
  • Ok so my previous myth of Thursday screenshot day is busted. But that's good news for you! Mystics.de has some new Warhammer Online Screenshots for your happy perusal.

    The website is in German so if you find it hard to navigate... well you know why. Thanks to mmorpgdot for this one.

    Get your Warhammer Online Groove On!

    More news and info on Warhammer Online.

    News
    Fri, Apr 14, 2006
    Awenyddion
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