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WCG Gives up pc gaming for mobile

The World Cyber Games (WCG) are known as the largest international competitive eSports company in existence have dropped a bomb shell announcing that they will be moving away from covering PC and Console games anymore.

To give an idea of how long these guys have been around, they were formed in 2000 – In business this is a while, however on the internet and especially gaming it is the venerable Gandalf the grey watching over the hobbits of Cybergamer and MLG.

In a leaked announcement, they said the following in regard about their view for the future of gaming and how it relates to them:

In recent years, the gaming and IT trends have been moving so fast. In the current status of gaming and IT industry, one of the most remarkable information to us was the mobile shipments have exceeded the PC shipments.

As wide spread mobile devices, mobile gamer would rapidly increase as well. In this situation, the major PC game publishers have been expanding their investment and business in the mobile game development & publishing.

This information was very cruel to us since we had been committed to the PC-Based gaming event for long time. We have witnessed that there have been many companies and organizations who went out of business because they didn’t put effort to change. Therefore we concluded that we should create WCG’s new identity.

Under this circumstance, we made a hard decision that we should bring the mobile, new key sector in the game industry, in our event concept. Hence, WCG decided to start the Mobile Game-Based Festival.

To create the Mobile Game-Based Festival, WCG is under the discussion with the sponsors and game publishers regarding new event structure and the countries for new festival. Therefore, there will be no longer present event module, such as Pan Championship, and PC-Based National Finals. And, the official game titles of WCG will consist of mobile games.

Bolding by me for emphasis. The move for WCG to drop gaming is a dramatic one, however should have been seen coming for a long time. The previous years WCG finals were held had a $40,000 First place prize for the mobile racing game Asphalt 6. The prize for Counter-strike was $25,000 which is $15k lower than a mobile game (have a look at the full listing on the wcg site).

Competing in a mobile game has an shallower learning curve. This is for multiple reasons, the larger ones being the catering to gaming in a shorter timespan (quick fix gaming while you are on the loo or at a lunch break) as well as the input or control to the game needs to be simplified due to the control surface also being your actual screen of your phone/gaming device. While Asphalt 6 HD is an technically amazing game, for gameplay its depth revolves around unlocking newer models of cars, and upgrading your ingame steering and engine.

This pales to greats such as even the Wipeout series on the first playstation. Besides the analogue controls giving you an advantage, actual independent buttons to press left you with micromanagement options such as juggling weapon/shield powerups, shooting behind you and various forms of braking. The simplification of game mechanics hurts the ability to refine a players technique for longer term play.

The short term of this barbaric stripping of core mobile gaming by WCG may give trouble to event organizers planning their own smaller events – WCG themselves will not be supporting them for any events, impacting sponsorship and players attending for WCG in the first place (qualifying events for WCG were often held in gaming local area events, with the winner getting invited to go to the next level and flights to the relevant place).

Sponsorship is a risky business for promoters. They need to write up paperwork and prove that the money they are giving away to events is going to give a return in the investment. A common way to do this is to show prior examples and a strong area that they are going to sponsor – showing larger events and their return is a good way to give a comparative  judgement for people who may not understand gaming itself. With WCG effectively gone for pc gaming, that is both a big event you can’t use, and if they are following any news about competitive gaming, they will have noticed WCG going for mobile only.

We’ve talked about why Mobile based gaming is a bad choice for competition, but we havn’t discussed why the direction of mobile has been taken. Well, that’s simple – getting your game’s name in the media sells more copies. It’s difficult to get your game into the competitive region. It takes time, recognition and plenty of support from the developers themselves to foster a healthy community (which on a side note, DICE are messing up for Battlefield 3). Gaming companies can give the recognition an artificial kick by giving large sponsorship and prize money deals on conditions of their choice for the game. Samsung  proudly show off their endorsement for Asphalt 6, they make sales and more eyeballs on the game. Win for them!

The equivalent of this would be the offering of extra XP in games by buying soft drinks in store. That’ll never happen though

In the longer term, I hope for smaller companies to pick up the slack, and take competitive games to a new level. Streaming technology which I believe is the future of gaming currently is becoming cheaper and more accessible, leaving a large market to tap into. That market however will depend on a fully supported ecosystem – gamers playing together long enough to form well disciplined teams, which then have the ability to focus on long term tournaments with eventual payoffs in their time spent to make it worthwhile. That sounds a bit like every other sport doesn’t it?

Australian competitive gaming is currently on shaky ground, and we will see if and how much this will affect it. I look forward to healthy competition to come back and bring strong communities. But first, we will need new games to bring new gamers in… While it is silly to argue graphics over gameplay (gameplay should always come first), it is harder to sell an older game for sponsorship. Besides age and graphics, there are newer ad opportunities in recent games, which will only get bigger as the streaming wild card comes in to hopefully boost gaming into a golden age.

On the other end of the stick, we don’t ask for AFL 2.0 do we? It is up to the following of a game to dictate where it will be played, and I feel its a waste for companies to turn their back on LAN based play for reliable setup (and the preservation of hair on event organizers heads) and match making outside of a casual lobby.

RIP WCG, Your may your sugar filled mobile addiction give you peace before you die of malnutrition from the people that supported you during your beginning – the gamers.

BF3 PC Patch coming tommorrow

Straight from the horses mouth:


PC patch has a date which is tomorrow. Coming in hot we will go into maintenance mode from 9-11:30 CET. More details coming on the blog.
@zh1nt0
Daniel Matros

This means the patch will be coming out tommorrow, roughly 4pm in Australia time. This is great news, I was expecting it to come out during the next patch cycle on tuesday, this is half a week earlier!

More info to come when Battlefield update their own blog announcing this.

New Match feature in battlelog

Curiously spotted in the Battlelog update which just occured – there is a Match mode. You can see it by looking at the new shield icon, or in the multiplayer tab at the top of your screen when logging in to battlelog.

 

First impressions on it are limited – because when you attempt to create a match, you are greeted by the following screen:

You get the option to click to sign up for a notification when this feature finally is live as well.

As an idea, I welcome the idea greatly. A native “Scrim” format will encourage casual teams to play in battlefields strongest format – teamwork based matches due to the lowered barrier of entry to actually get in and play. If your team can see how easy it is to jump into a match, they’ll be more inclined to jump in. Shorter setup times will be welcomed. I think we all know about how tricky matches are to setup now – while it is good to have the ability to use server addons such as procon, it means players will take longer to get setup, players double juggling roles as admins during a match will be busy and distracted.

By clicking on “View matches”, you can see a layout of current matches in progress you can join, as well as completed matches. Although this is only the User Interface I could see the use of being able to see completed matches here – they could be classified different from a standard match, with stats in a round preserved much longer than the standard Battlelog for matches. When a team plays on a public server currently, they will keep those logs for 10 days. This is not long enough for bragging rights and statistics keeping and it would be welcomed to have proper matches held longer.

Some other noticed changes by some other members in the clan is that ribbons appear to be slightly easier to get. More information to come on that.

Lastly, the filter for searching for servers has been expanded – New Zealand and Australia are now currently different options. This replaces a grouping of the two called “Oceania”. The cries of ON3 Networks can be heard from over here in Victoria already! But I’m sure they’ll get plenty of local players to fill the gap.

Patch incoming March 27th

 

More info to come, however it’s been confirmed by multiple sources at Battlefieldo that the patch will be coming sooner than thought – on March 27th.


Still to come is the full list of extra things that will be making it to the patch, hopefully battlecorder for example, but it does mean we have big changes coming up soon!

 

*update*

With the patch officially coming out to  on the 27th, they shared a few screenshots as well, for example what the minimap will look like:

Ignoring the modes the happiest bit for me is that people/player icons are much smaller, so with many people around it should be easier to tell where things are.

The official blog from dice is also available for your reading with the full patch notes as well.

BFFs – First flight

please install flash

I’m sure many of us have run into a similar problem – you jump into a air vehicle only to find

Leave a comment on the forums if you liked it!

 

Ruin Short Animation

please install flash

A great animation just found, with a great chase scene and a brilliant post apocalyptic setting. Many of the comments are asking for this being a great idea for a game and I agree!

ECM Analysis

A comprehensive guide for the air veterans out there has been made, if you want to learn to how to avoid being shot down this will give you plenty of tips for both the Helicopter and Jets in Battlefield 3.

When I mention this is detailed I mean it – tests completed 30 times for multiple tests, and backs up what could be bugs vs how to actually dodge better.

Because the clip goes for 17 minutes I recommend you follow the link below to watch the entire clip

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fX_50yKynMA&hd=1

 

Artisti Della Morte 2

please install flash

Favorite – the mid air rocket at 2:56

A smooth collection of frags and kills .

Overall though it’s well worth checking out, good synching as well.

3 New expansions planned

So the Battlefield 3 Announcement appears to have been made, and according to their website, EA are revealing that there will be 3 Expansion packs coming out.

Following up with gameinformer:

  • ~June: Closer Quarters expansion which will be focusing on infantry with smaller maps as well as 10 entirely new weapons
  • Armored Kill will feature the largest map for multiplayer made yet, full of vehicles in it. Looking at the singleplayer campaign I think the latter section of operation firestorm would be ripe for this kind of material.
  • “End Game” There is no further information on besides it being the third expansion pack.

As a sidenote, due to the requirement of a expansion needing content, this has also given us a rough idea of the minimum amount of patches that will be coming out.

 

UPDATE:

More information has come through about the specifics of some of the expansions. “Vertical gameplay” will get a look in for the Close quarters expansion, which could be indicating a fight in a building with many levels to it. More assignments and dog tags will be added.

Armoured (yes I’m an australian, roll with it) Kill will feature new vehicles such as tanks, ATV’s and Mobile artillery (!)

This ties in well with the new studio they also recently opened in Sweden, built entirely to make frostbite 2 engined games

BF3: Retarded Madness

please install flash

This guy loves it when things go to plan, in this case when it involves parachuting down to steal a tank. I thought it was going to end there, but then he keeps chaining up the awesome.

Also..

Now Recruiting

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Register on the forums (it only takes a moment), and post in the Recruitment section. Having mumble in order to talk to us helps too!


Our Platoon page on battlelog is here


It won't take long before you'll be fragging away with us!

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