Has Blizzard solved the sequel dilemma? | Opinion

first_img 0Sign inorRegisterto rate and replySign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now. Edited 1 times. Last edit by Bob Johnson on 8th November 2019 9:38pm 0Sign inorRegisterto rate and replyKlaus Preisinger Freelance Writing A year ago I am not ready to subscribe to the idea that adding co-op gameplay to a competitve shooter constitutes a sequel.But the desire of publisher to construct games in such a way, that people only play that one game, while continuously spending money on it certainly allows for the compartementalization of those games. So instead of getting a Call of Duty with a Campaign, Co-Op Multiplayer, Competitive Multiplayer and a Battle Royale mode, you get each mode spun out as its own $60 release. This basically allows the publisher to charge $240 for a thing that used to be rolled into one $60 product, but now is a ‘quadrilogy’. In a sense, this is the AAA version of Early Access with extra bills.center_img Has Blizzard solved the sequel dilemma? | OpinionLaunching a sequel to a service-based game can easily lose player goodwill — but Overwatch 2 may have found a clever way to thread the needleRob FaheyContributing EditorFriday 8th November 2019Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareCompanies in this articleActivision BlizzardBlizzard Entertainment”A good day to bury bad news” is an infamous phrase, but its inverse is also true. A good day on which to bury bad news is, conversely, an absolutely terrible day on which to announce good news, because nobody’s going to pay much attention to that either. That notion applies fairly neatly to the most recent iteration of Blizzard’s annual jamboree, BlizzCon, which was held in Anaheim last week. The company pulled out the stops for the event, announcing not only a major new World of Warcraft expansion, a new Diablo game that looks pretty much like what series fans have been clamouring for, and a remarkable-looking follow up to Overwatch — of which more in a moment — but the company’s awful handling of the Hong Kong situation was the story of the week once more, overshadowing all the major announcements. Blizzard continues to manage the situation poorly, but it’s not really left with many better options. The company has painted itself into a corner, and it’s just going to have to sit there and huff the unpleasant fumes until the paint dries.”Launching a sequel to a service-based game actually creates a natural break-point for your players” While Blizzard as a corporation deserves this opprobrium, one can’t help but feel for the individual creatives caught up in the situation; some of their best work was on display last week and received far less attention than it deserved. The new Diablo game and WoW expansion both look good, for sure, but they’re both a ways off and will have their moments in the sun down the line. The really interesting announcement, from a business perspective at least, was Overwatch 2. That game is also a pretty long way off release, but it’s quite likely to start making waves in the industry long before it arrives — not so much due to its content as due to the smart approach it takes to solving a very thorny problem many game companies presently face.The problem is this; as games have leaned more and more into the service model — with most multiplayer titles and even some essentially single-player games being designed around the notion of regular, ongoing updates that hold players’ attention and create longer-term revenue streams for their creators — the question of how to approach launching a sequel has become increasingly fraught. The old-fashioned model of saying “well, we’re done with that game, here’s the new one” still works for some titles — Call of Duty seems to get away with it pretty well, for example — but for many of the most popular games, launching a sequel can actually end up undoing all of the hard work that’s been put into building up an active and engaged player base. If you’ve got a big, successful game with a strong service element, launching a sequel actually creates a natural break-point for your players. As you ramp down focus on the original title (or perhaps shut it down entirely) you lose their buy-in, the sense of sunk costs that kept them loyal when you had rough patches. You effectively give them permission to go and look elsewhere, see what other games might be interesting, and they can come back and give your sequel (which is New and thus instantly Suspect) a shot at some later date. Some of them will return. Many won’t.”Blizzard’s solution with Overwatch 2 is elegant and clever, combining the best aspects of many approaches” Different developers have tried to address this in different ways. Back when Bungie was working with Activision Blizzard on Destiny, it dramatically misjudged that transition. The shift from Destiny to Destiny 2 was a perfect example of everything that can go wrong, with the sequel effectively shedding much of the goodwill the original game had garnered. A couple of years of content updates were required to get Destiny back on an even keel, and while the most recent expansions have been fantastic, the recovery came too late to rescue Bungie’s relationship with Activision. Other games just dodge the sequel question entirely by simply focusing on an ongoing service offering. As far back as five years ago, Riot Games was adamant that there would never be a League of Legends 2, and Minecraft 2 seems pretty unlikely to ever happen either. Still others have taken to re-imagining the whole notion of what a sequel is; Epic Games, for example, freed from the commercial restraints of a paid-for sequel by the free-to-play nature of Fortnite, made a huge public event of briefly shutting down its enormously successful game and then relaunching it as “Chapter 2” with a significant content overhaul in tow.Fortnite’s black hole event took the game offline before it relaunched as ‘Chapter 2’Blizzard’s solution with Overwatch 2 is elegant and clever, combining the best aspects of many of those approaches — and avoiding a lot of their pitfalls. It intends to maintain a level playing field between the existing Overwatch and its sequel, with the core PvP game being playable between the two titles, and all the PvP updates to Overwatch 2 being rolled back into the original game free of charge. The sequel, then, will focus on expanding the Overwatch franchise to include elements it has only dabbled with so far — PvE modes and a story-driven game. “While you could call Overwatch 2 an expansion, it’s an ‘expansion’ in the broadest sense of that word” This approach is hugely generous to players of the existing game, which of course makes sense given that the last thing Blizzard wants to do is drive away players who continue to pay for microtransactions. But it also manages to step far enough away from the original title to justify its positioning as a full-priced sequel rather than a mere expansion.Indeed, while you could call Overwatch 2 an expansion — and some people are doing so, derisively or otherwise — it’s an “expansion” in the broadest sense of that word, and not the narrow sense (“some new levels and characters”) usually employed when talking about game expansions. It expands the reach and ambition of Overwatch in a whole new direction. By building this onto the existing Overwatch experience, it gives a glimpse of a model for this kind of game in which a successful title can become the basis for a much broader universe of experiences and gameplay forms, all constructed around the central pillar of a set of characters, a world, or some other unifying factor.Related JobsSenior Game Designer – UE4 – AAA United Kingdom Amiqus GamesProgrammer – REMOTE – work with industry veterans! North West Amiqus GamesJunior Video Editor – GLOBAL publisher United Kingdom Amiqus GamesDiscover more jobs in games This is the enormous strength of the Overwatch 2 model compared to, for example, Fortnite’s recent overhaul. It ought to keep players of the existing game very happy indeed, but it also gives Blizzard an opportunity to build a whole new side of the game that can potentially attract new players and people to whom the original title didn’t really appeal. Most service offering updates ultimately end up being designed to retain existing players rather than attract new ones, while most sequels that try to attract new players seem to end up pissing off the existing fanbase and losing goodwill for the franchise. If Blizzard can really pull this off, it will have threaded the needle nicely — simultaneously updating the game that its existing audience loves, and also creating a sequel that can appeal to a new and broader audience, infusing fresh blood into the franchise.This isn’t necessarily an approach that’s going to work for every developer, but as more and more games transition to a service model, this is the kind of lateral thinking that’s going to be required for companies to handle the new challenges presented by working on products that have no natural expiry date. If Blizzard can make it work for Overwatch, at the very least it’ll have their former stablemates at Bungie kicking themselves for not thinking of it first — and other companies which operate major online titles will no doubt be watching closely. In a sense, what Blizzard is doing here is asking a question that seems obvious in hindsight. Overwatch is already a hugely successful PvP game, so what else can it also potentially be, given the resources for a sequel? If the answer to that question turns out to be as insightful as it appears, Overwatch 2 will be a huge game not just for the company or the fans, but also in terms of the impact it will have on how sequels are handled for many years to come.Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Daily Update and get the best of GamesIndustry.biz in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesActivision Blizzard wins patent lawsuit after nine yearsThe judge ruled that the patents were “not inventions” of Worlds Incorporated, which was suing for infringementBy Marie Dealessandri 6 days agoCall of Duty, King push Activision Blizzard to record Q1 revenuesPublisher’s revenues jump 27% to $2.28 billion as Call of Duty Mobile’s Chinese debut helps drive Activision division sales up 72% year-over-yearBy Brendan Sinclair 7 days agoLatest comments (2)Bob Johnson Studying graphics design, Northern Arizona UniversityA year ago Yeah it’s decent way. It’s like they couldn’t quite sign off on making it F2P.And with Blizzard’s history, I guess it is a good fit. With Starcraft 2, they ran into that issue, at least for a long time of people liking the old game better still. And not wanting to reinvest their time in a new game. And the legacy esports scene.But I don’t know, doesn’t Apex and Fortnite solve the problem better? Paladins is a sort of an Overwatch on the surface at least to me and it’s F2P.But …who is going to argue with free I guess. All the new mp content is free for those that still have Overwatch? I guess in that regard it is F2P.last_img read more

Japan suffers 2nd loss to Russia in World League

first_imgRussia, a 3-0 winner over the Japanese on Saturday, and Cuba both have 2-0 records, while Japan and Bulgaria are both winless in Pool C.Japan, ranked ninth in the world, play away to Bulgaria in its next matches on June 20 and 21.Sixteen participating teams are divided into four pools, with each team playing their pool opponents twice over a weekend both home and away.The final round will be contested by six teams playing a total of 10 matches through July 22-26 at Belgrade Arena in Serbia’s capital city. TOKOROZAWA, Saitama Pref. – Japan crashed to its second defeat to Russia in as many days on Sunday, going down 3-1 to the Beijing Olympic bronze medalist in the preliminary round of the men’s World League.Yuta Abe’s effective serves helped pull Japan back into the match after it had dropped the first two sets, but the Russians, led by Yury Berezhko (14 points), came back to overwhelm the host 25-22, 25-22, 22-25, 25-12 at Tokorozawa Municipal Gymnasium. Kunihiro Shimizu was Japan’s top scorer with 19 points. GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMEScenter_img IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5last_img read more

UK Government following French lead for racing funding changes

first_imgShare Share StumbleUpon Vbet sponsors AS Monaco as Ligue 1 kicks off new season August 24, 2020 The UK Government will be applying for State Aid exemption to extend the horseracing betting levy to online bookmakers. The plans, revealed in today’s budget, show that rather than replacing the Levy Scheme, the DCMS is to attempt to alter it, following the line ploughed by the French authorities to introduce betting rights to sports.In a document responding to last year’s three consultations on the subject and published today, the Government revealed its intentions: “The Government is legislating to give racing new rights to funding from bets taken on British racing. We have noted the principles established in the French parafiscal Levy which secured State aid approval, and consider that approval provides certainty for all parties. We propose to seek State aid approval for these new funding arrangements.”The key aspect of all this is the rate. The Government said: “The amount payable by operators will reflect the degree of mutual interest between betting and racing. This is similar to the approach adopted in the French parafiscal levy on online horserace betting, where payments are based on common interest costs.“Through the consultation process it was argued that there should be more in-depth research, economic modelling and analysis to define and quantify the value of the common interest between betting and racing. The Government agreed the importance of ensuring a robust analysis, and in August 2015 commissioned an independent report of the funding of horseracing, which is due to report to Government later this month.“Over the next few months the Government will hold discussions with the betting and racing industries, and draw on the expertise of the Horserace Betting Levy Board, to inform a decision on the rate payable.”One of the key arguments of the betting industry is that an extension of scope should not mean an increased quantum going to racing. Bookmakers, particularly retail bookmakers, argue that the Levy can’t be taken into isolation when the industry funds the sport through many channels, most notably of late via media rights for showing racing in betting shops.The Government will have to make sure that bookmakers are all on board with this change in order to meet the ambitious timetable for implementation. It will only take one objection on the State Aid expemtion for this to be stuck in the European legal mire for some timeGovernment’s proposed timetableSpring 2016 – period of consultation with betting and racing industries to inform the level of contributions from betting.Summer/ autumn 2016 – State aid notification process with the European Commission.End 2016 – Statutory Instrument and full impact assessment published.April 2017 – new funding model comes into force. UKGC launches fourth National Lottery licence competition August 28, 2020 FDJ’s ParionsSport launches sponsorship programme for French amateur football August 24, 2020 Submit Related Articleslast_img read more

Levi’s

first_imgBerwick teenager Levi Casboult had an eventful Christmas break. By Ben HopeTHE father of Berwick teenager Levi Casboult, who was…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.last_img

Lucky number makes Davey’s day

first_imgBy Paul PickeringSEVENTH time was the charm for Kooweerup president and lifelong Demon Matt Davey. The 34-year-old all-rounder carried the…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.last_img

Home cooking can’t power Wildcats past Immaculata at KVC

first_imgBy Bruce Fuhr, The Nelson DailyThe weekend saw the Mount Sentinel Wildcats move up the competitive ladder, just not enough to capture the overall title at the Kootenay Volleyball Classic Saturday in South Slocan.Immaculata defeated the host Cats 2-1 (25-16, 23-25, 15-8) to claim the overall High School Girl’s Volleyball tournament at the Mount Sentinel gymnasium.“(This) was a good weekend for us,” said Sentinel coach Joe Moreira. “We had important contributions from a number of players who are beginning to play with more confidence.” “In particular Laura Soukeroff and Chelsie Van Brynen (both Grade 12s) who had limited roles last year but are now feeling more comfortable on the floor and are recognizing that as Grade 12s this is their time to take charge,” Moreira added.Immaculata finished on top of the table following round robin play and easily disposed of J. Lloyd Crowe Hawks of Trail 2-0 in one semi final.Meanwhile Mount Sentinel took second after pool play. The Cats defeated Kootenay rival Selkirk Storm of Kimberley during the round robin, then knocked off the Bavarian City squad in the other semi final, this time 15-13 in the third game of the match.“We had three important victories,” Moreira explained. “We beat Selkirk twice, both very close and in three sets, and also beat Fernie. Both teams are solid and athletic and we need to beat them both to advance to provincials.”Fernie finished fifth in the tournament followed by A.L. Fortune of Enderby and Osoyoos.Mount Sentinel has little time to relax as the team travels to Kelowna to compete in the UBC/O High School Volleyball tournament.“We sill have lots of work ahead of us to compete with the really good teams in the province,” Moreira explained. “At the moment “slow and steady” is a good pace for us (because) without Grade 11’s on the team we must rely on our Grade 10’s to play beyond their level of maturity.”RALLY POINT: Immaculata, currently second in the B.C. High School A Girl’s Volleyball rankings, may jump into the number one slot. Selkirk will most likely drop down the table from seventh to ninth while the Wildcats of Mount Sentinel could move into eighth [email protected]last_img read more

Bad News weekend for Nelson Leafs

first_imgSam Swanson, Nolan Percival and Peace sandwiched goals around a marker by Leafs Keenan Crossman to give the defending KIJHL Champs the one-goal advantage.Nelson sniper Ryan Cooper tied the game with six minutes remaining before Peace pieced the hearts of the Leafs with the late-game tally.Nelson outshot the Hawks 36-30 in the contest with Liam Coulter in the Beaver Valley nets registering a second win over the Leafs.Williams, who had registered shutouts in four previous games, took the loss in goal for Nelson.Despite the setback, Nelson remains tied for top spot in the Murdoch Division with Castlegar Rebels, each team with 57 points.Beaver Valley, which has won six straight games, closes the gap on the leaders and now trails top spot by eight points.Nelson will have a week to lick their wounds before taking to the road for a pair of Murdoch Division games.Friday, the Leafs travel to Spokane to meet the Braves before venturing west on Highway 3 to play the Border Bruins on Grand Forks.ICE CHIPS: Nelson bounced back after Friday’s loss to Beaver Valley by edging Grand Forks 4-1 Saturday at the NDCC Arena. Game Star Ryan Cooper scored twice while Ryan Piva and Logun Wullum added singles. Reese Tambellini scored the lone goal for Grand Forks, which trailed 1-0 after 40 minutes. Caiden Kreitz was in goal to pick up the win for Nelson. . . . After winning five consecutive games before the Prospects Games weekend in Kelowna, Nelson has dropped two of three. The good news, if there is any when a team drops two of three games during a three-game weekend, is the Nelson Leafs won’t see the Beaver Valley Nitehawks until the final game of the season.The bad news is the Hawks stole the Leafs thunder for the second time in three days, scoring the winning goal in the final minute of the game to edge Nelson 4-3 in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League action Sunday afternoon in Fruitvale.The game was rescheduled from December 29th when a power outage postponed the contest in the first period with Nelson leading 1-0.Morgan Peace provided the heroics for the home side, scoring an unassisted tally past Josh Williams in the Leaf nets.Friday, Beaver Valley ended Nelson’s five-game winning streak with a 4-1 victory in the Heritage City.Trailing 1-0 after one period on a goal by Leafs Sawyer Hunt, Beaver Valley outscored the Leafs 3-1 to grab a 3-2 lead after 40 minutes.last_img read more

Gaelic Games Coming Home this year

first_imgA total of 87 teams from 20 countries will travel to Dublin for a week-long festival of Gaelic games activity between August 7 and 14 at UCD’s Belfield campus, with the finals being played at Croke Park. More than 1,700 Gaelic footballers, hurlers and camogie players from 10 regions around the globe are bringing Gaelic games home to Ireland for the 2016 Etihad Airways GAA World Games in Dublin this August. Teams from as far away as Australia, South Africa and Argentina will be present, as well as teams from China, Canada, the Middle East, the US, Europe and Britain. It is expected that as many as 7,000 people will be involved in the Etihad Airways GAA World Games festival in Dublin between players, team officials, administrators, families and supporters.The GAA will host the visiting teams in a grand opening ceremony at Croke Park before the All – Ireland senior hurling semi-final on August 7, an event that will have a massive TV audience through RTE, Sky and GAAGo.More than 500 games will be played over the course of the week-long festival.The visiting teams will also take part in a major cultural heritage night and concert at the Helix Theatre in DCU and a dedicated coaching forum before a closing ceremony at Croke Park at the end of the week.Aogán Ó Fearghail, Uachtarán CLG, said: “The success of last year’s Etihad Airways GAA World Games in Abu Dhabi is still fresh in the memory and everyone involved in the GAA is very eager to see that we continue to develop this exciting initiative.“In the years immediately after the formation of the GAA in 1884, Michael Cusack described the growth and expansion of Gaelic games activity as “being like a prairie fire.” This event will showcase the extent to which the passion and participation for Gaelic games has now spread far beyond our shores and will acknowledge the keepers of this flame.“It is an event that simply would not be possible without the support and commitment of Etihad Airways which has played an integral part in making the dream of a GAA World Games become a reality.“It is also important to recognise the support of Tony Towell and all in O’Neill’s for ensuring that every team that competes here in August will really look the part.”Beatrice Cosgrove, General Manager for Ireland at Etihad Airways, said: “Etihad Airways is delighted to be a part of the continuing success story that is the GAA World Games. Through the Etihad Partners’ expansive network of routes we are constantly reminded of the global reach of the Irish diaspora and of the integral part that the GAA and Gaelic Games play in the lives of the Irish communities overseas.“Just as our sponsorship of the GAA Hurling All-Ireland championship is a chance for us to be part of something special, we are excited that the GAA World Games is a competition that will grow and has the potential to be an integral part of the GAA calendar.”The scale of the 2016 Etihad Airways GAA World Games represents a tripling in size of the inaugural GAA World Games which was hosted by Etihad Airways and successfully staged in Abu Dhabi last summer.It is planned to twin each of the visiting teams with a host club from Dublin, Kildare and Meath which will enable them to forge new links with Ireland and also gain expert coaching while they are here. It will also increase their support base.This event is being held in Dublin this August to highlight the phenomenal global expansion of GAA clubs overseas with more than 400 GAA clubs now in existence outside of Ireland.From Abu Dhabi to Zambia, the games that are played in every corner of Ireland are now being played in every corner of the world. It means that the GAA now has an active world-wide club presence from Montreal to Madrid, Mullingar to Moscow and Melbourne.A key feature of the 2016 World Games event will be that the  growing number of new GAA clubs made up of non-native Irish people who have discovered Gaelic games and have made it their sport of choice.Among others, this diversity will be evidence by a native Chinese ladies football team and a native South African men’s football team who have confirmed that they will travel to take part.The GAA will support the event with a major publicity campaign, as well as providing an army of volunteers who will help run the event over 10 pitches out in Belfield.The finals will then be played at Croke Park on August 11 in football, ladies football, hurling and camogie with eight finals covering the four codes and with a decider for Irish born and also non-Irish competing teams.print WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Emaillast_img read more

Baseball: Feb. 23 Scoreboard

first_imgLamar and Southeastern Louisiana concluded the baseball weekend with series sweeps against LIU Brooklyn and George Washington, respectively, as Southland baseball picked up five wins Sunday. Abilene Christian finished its weekend tournament with a win against NJIT while Sam Houston took the series against Dallas Baptist and UIW knocked off Gonzaga at the Irish Spring Classic. The state of Louisiana had weather issues Sunday, causing McNeese State and New Orleans to cancel its rubber matchesLamar 11, LIU Brooklyn 4BEAUMONT, Texas – Kevin Santana had a big weekend against LIU Brooklyn, and Sunday proved no different as the junior helped propel the Lamar baseball team to an 11-4 victory and four-game sweep of the visiting Blackbirds at Vincent-Beck Stadium.  |  Read MoreSoutheastern Louisiana 9, George Washington 3HAMMOND, La. – The Southeastern Louisiana baseball team completed a series sweep of George Washington with a 9-3 victory Sunday over the Colonials at Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field.  |  Read MoreAbilene Christian 6, NJIT 5ABILENE, Texas – Through the first two weekends, the ACU Wildcats have gotten production from up and down their lineup, from their bullpen and off their bench.Another example of that came up in the bottom of the eighth inning Sunday afternoon with their game against New Jersey Tech tied at 5-5.  |  Read MoreSam Houston State 4, Dallas Baptist 1HUNTSVILLE, Texas – The Bearkats rallied from a Friday night loss to Dallas Baptist to take the three-game series with Sunday’s 4-1 win. Sam Houston State moves to 7-1 overall heading into a tough stretch with Rice Tuesday and the Astros College Classic next weekend.  |  Read MoreUIW 11, Gonzaga 8SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Playing their final game of the Irish Spring Classic on Sunday, the University of the Incarnate Word baseball team rallied from an 8-3 deficit to defeat Gonzaga University, 11-8 on Trinity University’s baseball field.  |  Read MoreNo. 21 Alabama 3, Stephen F. Austin 2 (10 innings)TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – For the second time in three days the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjack baseball team took No. 21 Alabama into extra innings, but junior Wade Wass singled through the left side to deliver the game-winning run for the Crimson Tide in a 3-2, 10-inning decision on Sunday afternoon at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.  |  Read MoreTexas Tech 4, Oral Roberts 1LUBBOCK, Texas – The sixth inning spoiled the Oral Roberts University baseball team’s defensive efforts on Sunday as Texas Tech completed a three-game sweep of the Golden Eagles in Lubbock, Texas, 4-1.  |  Read MoreNJIT 7, Central Arkansas 5 (10 innings)ABILENE, Texas – A day after coming back from a 7-0 deficit to beat New Jersey Institute of Technology 17-7, the University of Central Arkansas Bears’ Sunday comeback fell short in extra innings in a 7-5, 10-inning loss to the Highlanders at Abilene Christian’s Crutcher Scott Field.  |  Read MoreMcNeese State vs. Texas-Arlington – CanceledLAKE CHARLES, La. – Sunday’s series finale between the McNeese State baseball team and Texas-Arlington has been cancelled due to inclement weather.  The game will not be made up.  The Cowboys and Mavericks split the weekend series 1-1.New Orleans vs. South Alabama – CanceledNEW ORLEANS, La. – The rubber match in the three-game set between the New Orleans Privateers baseball team and the South Alabama Jaguars has been cancelled due to inclement weather. The two teams split the first two games of the set with South Alabama winning 5-0 on Friday night and the Privateers taking a dramatic 4-3 victory. New Orleans was seeking its first series victory against South Alabama since 2009.last_img read more