Wednesday, March 19, 2014

EU to ban free-to-play unless games are actually free


The European Commission has indicated it wants to stop games calling themselves free if they rely on micrortansactions to make money.

Technially the terrm free-to-play is accurate: it doesn’t cost any money to play these games, but if you actually want to get anywhere in them or, you know, enjoy yourself then you’re going have to pay for in-app purchases and microtransactions.

But following a less than approving investigation by the UK’s Office of Fair Trading it seems as if Brussels is now also looking to tighten up regulations, especially when it comes to ‘misleading’ advertising.

As the European Comission points out there have been complaints from all over the EU, with German authorities already having banned advertising for some online games.

‘Misleading consumers is clearly the wrong business model and also goes against the spirit of EU rules on consumer protection’, said justice commissioner Viviane Reding.

‘The European Commission will expect very concrete answers from the app industry to the concerns raised by citizens and national consumer organisations.’

Ministers have already suggested that they will ban the term ‘free-to-play’ unless the game really is completely free, i.e. it makes its money from in-game advertising instead.

‘The use of the word ‘free’ (or similar unequivocal terms) as such, and without any appropriate qualifications, should only be allowed for games which are indeed free in their entirety, or in other words which contain no possibility of making in-app purchases, not even on an optional basis’, says a Commission statement.

As with the Office of Fair Trading the primary concern seems to be advertising to children, following numerous stories in the press of kids ‘accidentally’ spending hundreds of pounds on in-app purchases.

The Commissions other priorities are laid out as follows:

  • Games advertised as ‘free’ should not mislead consumers about the true costs involved.
  • Games should not contain direct exhortations to children to buy items in a game or to persuade an adult to buy items for them.
  • Consumers should be adequately informed about the payment arrangements and purchases should not be debited through default settings without consumers’ explicit consent.
  • Traders should provide an email address so that consumers can contact them in case of queries or complaints.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Top 10 earners in 2013 based on microtransaction

According to the report created by Super Data research, World of Tanks came in 4th place in total global revenue for 2013, with 372mil USD.
Top spot was taken by South Korean shooter CrossFire, which generated 957 million USD.
In 2nd place, Riot's League of Legends with 624mil USD.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Path of Exile - wishful thinking

I started playing the game quite a while back, I believe it was still in Open BETA, and I like it. It has his moments, but also makes you wonder why devs didn't implemented certain things.

What things, you may ask. Well .. let's see.

The number one issue, and I most surely am not the only one thinking the same, the lack of an Auction House - you have to rely on 3rd party external sites ( that index POE buy/sell forums to search for an exact item you want.
Yes, the game has a trade chat, but frankly, it's frustrating to use it. Imagine a few dozen players posting buy/sell requests at the same time .. it's a mess.

The number two issue that bothers me is the lack of a search filter while browsing your stash tabs.
Look at it:
it can hold 144 skill gems, and you have to manually inspect each and everyone to look for a particular gem(s) you might need. There's also no immediate indication that a particular gem has + quality. Duplicates? good luck! unless they have easy to recognize shapes, you have to inspect them.
A search filter would make storing your items and searching for them a piece of cake.

Another thing that slightly bothers me, is the search for a public party. Yes you can name search, but that's about it. Unless you join a party there's no way to see how the party leader has set the looting rule.

Zoom is rather limited, I play on a 1280x1024 display and believe me, the FOV is quite narrow. It happens quite allot that mobs can attack you from outside the screen area.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

WoT - what the fuck moment

Just watch the video:

Guess that if the server decides you need to die, you will die no matter what.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

WoT - view range is not a circle

In early Q&As with overlord and more recently in a translated post from RU forums by FTR blog, WG always stated "on record" that the view range in WoT is a circle / sphere.
It is not!

This particular issue has been around since CBT days but none really took the time to go deeper into it.
The view range and subsequently, the spotting range is a square / cube. Since most of the maps are pretty much played on approximately same level of height I'm gonna refer to the view range in form of a square.

The maximum view range, stated by devs is 600m, the problem is that it's 600 meters, but only diagonally.

If the maximum view range is "theoretically" 600m .. ever wonder why on Ensk, a 600mx600m map, you can't see from the base (from the red lines) straight into the other base?! Even from flag to flag should be around 510-520m.
Ensk - 600m x 600m
Let's take a concrete case:

if the view range is a circle, then how I can see the E-75 that's around 611m away and not the enemy tanks at E6 that are closer (~500m away)!
That's because the view range is not a circle! WarGaming either doesn't know the game they're making or simply they lie to hide their incompetence.

Why is this important? well, because on maps that are fought diagonally, from corner to corner and not vertically (up <-> down) or horizontally (left <-> right), the maximum view range difference has a huge impact - you can view further and you can also spot further.

Maps that are fought diagonally:

  • El Halluf
  • Karelia
  • Malinovka
  • Redshire
  • Sand River
  • Serene Coast
  • Swamp
  • Westfield
  • Arctic Region
  • Live Oaks
  • Highway
  • Mountain Pass
  • Pearl River
  • Sacred Valley

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Warface - sneak peek phase adds new settings, game modes

[Press Release]

London, UK - October 1, 2013 – Crytek have announced that their free-to-play shooter Warface will enter an exciting new "Sneak Peek" phase tomorrow. For a chance to join the action players can still register at

Players will have a wealth of new content to explore when the game update takes place, including new locations, game modes and rewards. The Sneak Peek phase will introduce a spectacular new Chinese setting that takes the fight against Blackwood forces to the Far East. Players will also be able to suit up as female soldiers for the first time, as well as trying their hand at the brand new Destruction mode – a fresh take on classic capture and hold gameplay. Further updates mean Warface will now offer five daily Coop missions instead of three, and allow players to earn greater rewards by setting pre-game challenges. Finally, a new tutorial system will be introduced so that everyone might be able to prepare for battle by undertaking short, class-specific training missions.
Before entering the Sneak Peek phase, character data built up during recent Closed Beta weekends will be wiped for the final time. The Sneak Peek phase will be open to everyone who is part of any Warface Closed Beta phase, and will be followed next week by the arrival of a Pre-Open Beta phase which remains restricted to invited players. Sometime during this Pre-Open Beta phase, the Warface in-game shop will be made accessible.
Players can experience Warface's updated Sneak Peek and Pre-Open Beta gameplay from the following times:

Sneak Peek
EU & Turkey:
Wednesday, October 2nd  9AM CET – Monday, October 7th 9AM CET
US: Wednesday, October 2nd  3AM EST – Monday, October 7th  3AM EST

Pre-Open Beta
EU & Turkey: Monday, October 7th- 9AM CET
US: Monday, October 7th- 3AM EST

Crytek are also in the process of finalizing localized versions of Warface in French, German and Turkish for its full launch in Western territories, where the game will be accessed through the game-centric social hub, GFACE. GFACE gives players easy ways to interact with friends online and in-game, and is designed from the ground up to maximize the experience of playing together.

Featuring four distinct character classes and engaging cooperative and competitive gameplay, Warface provides high quality FPS action for free. The game’s online universe will be constantly updated to offer new challenges for players; whether they’re enjoying a quick campaign in their lunch hour or delving deeper into all Warface has to offer.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

World of WarPlanes release postponed? [Update]

Treat this like a rumor until WoWp people post this on the portal(s).
Looks like WoWp release will be postponed (146% sure acording to serb). Surce: RU Q&A
There seems to be issues with WoT integration, a.k.a. account unification; and some other issues with the game itself.

In other news, there have been some problems discovered after release of 0.5.3 update on the RU server that put the patch deployment on EU and US servers on hold, until further notice.
There are people complaining (on RU) about having black screens when battle starts and many others (quite possibly all) report missing options in settings menu.


It's official!
The WoWp web portal has the news:
Vlad Belozerov, World of Warplanes Director of Global Operations:
We are committed to releasing a great title and are doing everything to ensure that World of Warplanes gets the final polish that we believe the game needsThe extra time will allow the development team to apply some last fine-tuning to the game’s balance and make sure that every feature is top-notch before launching the project.
The new release date is set to November 13th