The February Round-Up – by Sean “Blazek” Emes, edited by Jordan “Doomhammer” Kahn
Another month has passed and what a month it has been for the MMO world and for Competitive Gaming. The long awaited Action MMO Tera Online has been given an official release date; while the two year old title Aion shows signs of switching to free to play. At the same time MLG kicks off the year with the Winter Championship in Columbus and returning titles include the ever popular Starcraft 2 and Halo: Reach alongside their newest title for the main stage!
Tera Beta Launch in NA, Release Date Announced!
With the beginning of their North American beta test, En Masse Entertainment has announced an official launch date for the upcoming Action MMO game, Tera. The game is slated for a release date of May first, with four closed beta phases and an open beta scheduled between now and then. While everyone is able to sign up for the beta weekends, the pre-order will grant customers full access to all betas with saved characters between each phase. Tera is shaping up to be an exciting new adventure and with their action gameplay focus may still change the way play MMO games.
MLG kicks off winter season, Winter finals
Competition is in the air since Major League Gaming announced their first major event in Columbus, Ohio. Returning to the circuit are the two largest games from last year: StarCraft 2 and Halo: Reach, and in an interesting change of events MLG is bringing the fighting title Mortal Kombat 9 to the main stage, likely due to its massive success as a side event last year. Spectator passes are already available and competitor passes will open up on Valentine’s Day, February 14th. The event itself will span the weekend of March 23rd till the 25th. Game on, my friends!
Aion Goes Free to Play in Europe, NA to follow?
Following the successful launch in the fall of 2009, Aion seems to have fallen into the pit with every other MMO in the last 6 years. Over time the game has had many major improvements to graphics, content, expanded regions and even a PvP arena, but never managed to drive players back to the game in significant numbers. But European publisher Gameforge has recently announced their intent to switch Aion to a free to play model, following in the wake of Lineage 2′s massive success with the same move. Gameforge claims all content will be available for free, and will only use incentives such as better rewards more often and less waiting for instances as the drives to subscribe. While their free content is a bit more limited than the model set by Lineage 2, Gameforge does offer what may be enough to seduce players to return.
All that being said, there is no news whether or not NCsoft will make a similar switch for North American servers; however if Gameforge shows success we can always hope to see a similar change for NA.
Twisted Metal to be a competitive title?
In his online blog David Jaffe, Game Director for the Twisted Metal series, posted his excitement over gaining a page on the MLG Gamebattles website as a competitive title. Quoting David, “This new Twisted Metal [was designed] as an over the top, bloody, nasty, super violent E-SPORT!” From the demo alone, the game is challenging and has potential for strategy, intense action, and entertaining spectatorship, if a spectator mode can be implemented in the client. If successful, this will also be the first game of its kind to be seen as an e-sport, something we haven’t seen in competition in quite some time.
The best part of it all is that the year has only just begun! With all the exciting announcements so far things are looking great for gamers, and many more exciting this are in the works. Whether you game for competition or just for fun, one thing is clear: 2012 is going to be awesome!
Article written for Geek To Me and reproduced with permission from the author and vVv Gaming.