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4:46 PM on 12.10.2012

Pour One Out: Super Monday Night Combat

The Game: Super Monday Night Combat

Release Date: April 19 2012

Super Monday Night Combat, sequel to the moderately popular XBLA game Monday Night Combat, was one of the first major attempts to bring first-person-shooter elements into MOBA genre. Cruising off the surprising success of the first game, Super Monday Night Combat instituted major improvements in key areas over the first game. It brought the title over to PC, tightened up gameplay elements and balance issues to make Super MNC viable as an eSport, and adopted the League of Legends free-to-play model.

Considering the first game sold over 300,000 copies on a single platform, combined with the explosive popularity of MOBA games on PC, Ubernet's optimism in Super MNC seemed appropriately placed. Super Monday Night Combat had all the necessary pieces in place for a successful new MOBA game.

And succeed it did; for about two months. Early months seemed promising, as servers regularly saw ~4,000 concurrent players. Though the number seems low,it was actually respectable for a new MOBA game.

However, Ubernet had a tough time keeping players interested in subsequent months. Around June Super MNC started to see a steady decline in users. While not a great sign, the playerbase in new multiplayer games tends to shrink during early months as a game finds its dedicated fan base. So Ubernet started releasing new characters, items, and game types to encourage players to stick around as they waited for the decline in players to level off.

But the numbers kept falling. And falling. And falling.

When the player base finally leveled-off, it became clear that SuperMNC was beyond salvation. Servers queues increased with the drop in players, and it was common for players to wait more than 30 minutes to find a match. Even during peak hours, the number of concurrent players topped-off around 300.

Now a days, Super MNC only makes headlines for its desperate attempts to find an audience across every digital delivery platform imaginable. Super MNC is currently available on Steam, Amazon direct download, and even the new Kongregate download service.

And it still can't break 300 concurrent players.


What went wrong?
It's hard to pinpoint the exact reason for SuperMNC's decline; the developers could not have done much else to help out their game.

Ubernet updated the game every Tuesday with balance fixes and character rotations, par for the course for MOBA games, and they responded to player feedback in a timely manner.

Though Ubernet dropped the ball on the timeliness of their additional content. The first new characters was released in July, three months after Super MNC's launch. But by then just adding a new character was too little, too late. Over the coming months Ubernet added three new arenas and two new gametypes, but they released to the echos of an abandoned player base. The most-recent addition to Super MNC was Hobo Robo, who looks exactly as the name sounds, in October.

In addition to untimely support, Super MNC unfortunately shared some mechanics with other, more-popular games. People who play MOBA games passionately often focus their time on a single game. As a result, Super MNC competed with League of Legends and the Dota 2 beta for player attention. The free-to-play MOBA audience is so entrenched in its current games that they don't feel the need to branch out. League of Legends is a sport, and while Super MNC had eSport potential, the game never gained enough traction to break into the public's eye.

Though Ubernet played a large part in the failure of Super MNC to become an eSport. . There were very few, if any, Super MNC tournaments or special events. When Valve launched the Dota 2 beta, they held a public tournament with a $1,000,000 prize. This tournament helped Dota 2 gain publicity, and cemented its place as an eSports.

The most publicity Super MNC ever received was the occasional Twitch stream, and it was never seen on major eSport streaming channels.



Why does it matter?
Super MNC was a beta test for the First-Person-Shooter/MOBA genre. It had a substantial budget, a committed development team, and an attractive free-to-play marketplace. If Super MNC succeeded, other FPS-MOBA games would have quickly followed suit.

But it didn't. And the MOBA genre remains relatively unchanged, just as it has for the last several years.

And all the while the MOBA genre continues to grow stagnant. Each of the major contenders differs in relatively minor ways, and any newcomers who offer interesting takes on the genre are continually shut out.

Super MNC represented evolution and change in the MOBA genre, and its failure discourages other developers from taking major risks to change the MOBA genre and halts its evolution as a result.

If this lack of evolution continues, MOBA games may very well be on the same path as adventure games in the mid-90s and fighting games in the mid 2000s.



Grab a drink
Super Monday Night Combat was a fun game with an interesting premise, and made a solid attempt to evolve a rather stagnant genre. It's a damn shame that it couldn't find an audience.

Here's to you, Super MNC.



Pour one out is a bi-monthly column where I spotlight great multiplayer games that never found a community. If you have a suggestion for an under-appreciated multiplayer game, leave it in the comments!   read


12:40 PM on 12.06.2012

2012: The Dangers of Exploration [Spelunky]

I skid to a stop inches from a ledge, guided only by the feint glow of my torch. I've been in this section for far too long, the ghost will show up any minute and negate all my progress. It's too late to turn back and look for an alternate route.

I grab a hold of the nearby ledge and peak ever-so-gently downward. It's as dark as Satan's bowels, with no way to judge the depth of the jump. But time is running short. I jump down and pray for a safe lan-

SCHLICK.

Spikes. Of course it's the spikes. It's always the god-damn spikes.



I don't throw my controller across the room. I don't yell. I don't curse this game and all who made it.

I simply accept my punishment for failure, tap the X button and immediately start over from level 1-1.

See, unlike most other games, Spelunky could not give less of a shit about you. It doesn't care if you had a bad day at work. It doesn't care if you recently walked in on your significant other banging another person. It doesn't care if your dog just died.

Spelunky shows no mercy, and it will punish you for every mistake.

But in this difficulty, Spelunky holds more fun than any other downloadable game this year. Magical moments await in each playthrough. Every small accomplishment brings a feeling of profound joy, while every death comes with a funny story.



Spelunky brings out your inner masochist in all the best ways..

However, as a result of this extreme difficulty, Spelunky is filled with magical moments.

One particularly magical moment started with my friend and I playing Spelunky's co-op mode. In Spelunky's co-op mode, if one player dies they come back as a ghost. This ghost has the ability to affect various objects in the environment by blowing them. Though it seems useful, this feature often causes more harm than good. Thee ghost player can respawn if the other co-op partner comes across a coffin.

After a long 25-minute session, my friend found himself trapped at the very bottom platform in the ice caves arena. Alone.

The ice caves require players to make dangerous jumps from slippery platform to platform. Once players reach a certain depth the platforms stop spawning all-together and any missed jump will drop the player into an endless abyss. Players need to tread carefully to avoid sliding to their death.

Which of course, I didn't.

Earlier in the level, I had been tossed like a shotput by an angry Yeti like straight into an enemy mammoth. Force from the mammoth collision knocked me off the icy platform into the bottomless abyss.



Cut back to my friend, trapped on the last platform the abyss trying to plan his next jump as I circle around him in ghost form doing backflips.

The cave's exit sits only one platform over, but distance between the two platforms is much farther than the character can jump. With no remaining ropes or bombs, my friend has seemingly met his demise.

“Jump. Trust me, and jump,” I told my friend as I smiled. I had given him no prior reason to trust me, and in fact had “accidentally” caused his death multiple times during this playthough, but he had no other choice.

He sprints off the side of the ledge and jumps as far as his little character is able. While he's flying helplessly through the air toward certain death, I attempt to use my ghost's blowing to assist his jump. My small boost propelled him just far enough to reach the exit platform. He landed on his face, mere inches from the ledge of certain death, but very much alive.

We paused the game long enough for a raucous cheer and celebratory high five, and he went through the exit door to the next area.

Only to have his character's skull (and our hearts) crushed seconds later by a giant stone obelisk that fell from the ceiling after he accidentally stepped on a hidden switch.

A magical moment with an entire roller coaster of emotion in a two-minute span.

We were broken, we were defeated, and we immediately started again from Area 1-1 knowing another equally magical moment awaits in the very next playthrough.   read


12:25 PM on 12.03.2012

The Gamer Stereotype

I have this big secret in my life that, up until recently, I’ve never really felt comfortable sharing with others.

I say ‘secret’, but there were definite signs. Glimpses of my lifestyle occasionally slipped through the cracks in everyday conversation, but to the general public my big secret remained intact.

Sure my closest friends knew, and anyone else who picked up on the pieces, but I have always been afraid to share my lifestyle with my friends and co-workers. Afraid that they would judge me and look at my in a different way if they knew what I was hiding.

But today I no longer care. I’m tired of holding this in, so here it goes:

I play a lot of video games.

I know, shocking right? Most of you probably figured this out already (if not then I really don’t want to know what you meant to look up Google that led you here). My radiance probably set off the gamedar of every gamer within a five-mile radius; yet I still felt self-conscious about my hobby. Maybe I am alone in this, and maybe not, but it is something every gamer has to face at some point in their lives.

I remember my high school years during which I constantly repressed this bit of information. If I discussed my hobbies with friends, it was in hushed tones constantly checking over my shoulder for bypassing eavesdroppers that could out me on my dirty little secret.



I mean, sure, you could talk about Halo, Call of Duty, or even Assassin’s Creed to little consequence; but anything further is to commit social suicide.

See, I played RuneScape religiously for the first two years of my high school life. And for those of you unfamiliar with either RuneScape or the emotional state of high schoolers, if other students found out a person played Runescape, they may as well have had smallpox (if you don’t understand the reference, just replace every instance of RuneScape with World of Warcraft).

By nature, RuneScape encouraged discussion with your friends about obtaining items and boss strategies. Such conversations often included scary phrases such as “What level are you?”, “Buy rune armor” and “by killing moss giants”. Phrases that any teenager can pick up on from 70 feet away. To have these conversations with other people you had to first drop small hints in casual conversation that you played RuneScape, then find a way to talk about sneakily.

Personally, I switched all nerdy-sounding names and items to basketball terms. I know, not the best strategy when you still say that that you “made a few three-pointers in my game last night, but then I died and lost all of my basketballs”, but it avoided setting off any buzz-word nerd alarms.

When a person goes public with the fact that they enjoy video games, all other aspects of their life disappear in the eyes of the general public. The person is no longer “on the tennis team” or “the funny guy at the lunch table”; he is simply “that little kid who spends all his time playing video games”.



I would like to say the world changed as I got older, and attribute this judgmental attitude to the simple fact that most high school kids are dumb. But this isn’t the case.

Unless you work in the games industry or chose a field of study largely populated by gamers, these same social constraints still apply. Even a socially active person will be labeled as a basement-dweller the second they come out of the World of Warcraft closet. If you want to get invited to another company party ever again, be careful who you tell about that raid boss you defeated last night.

Because everyone knows that video games are for children right? It’s common knowledge that the largest portion of the largest worldwide entertainment industry only produces products that appeal to immature kids and people with no career aspirations.

Or so the general public believes.

I recently overheard someone say this exact phrase while talking to his friend on the bus, “…or the kind of people who play video games who, let’s face it, have never even touched a girl.”

Ignoring the fact that 38 percent of gamers are female, this man seems to have met enough of these poor terrified creatures to make a widespread claim about the social abilities of 70 percent of the world’s population.

Somewhere along the line, society developed the archaic notion that gamers are an anti-social breed whose very existence revolves around their hobby. These very same people who mock you for knowing the class benefits of rolling an elf mage can tell you the passer rating, workout plan, and favorite colors of every starting QB in the NFL. But they are not nerds, or geeks, or losers; they’re just really into football. Which in case you haven’t heard, is clearly productive to their life and will benefit them in the long run; unlike wasting your life playing video games.

These old dinosaurs make me sick. Video games are a unique medium that can constantly challenge its consumers and expand their minds in ways that no other form of expression can even remotely accomplish. Games challenge political actions, push social boundaries, expand people’s horizons and force players to confront issues and, as a result, grow as people.

But no, society is too afraid to admit these things. Gamers only love violence and chaos; didn’t you hear about the guy who murdered his wife because he played World of Warcraft?

And I say again, these people make me physically ill.

Can we ever change this terrible stereotype? Probably not, since we would have to break a stereotype firmly implanted in the minds of many over a vast span of years, but damn it we can try.

For those of you still doing so, stop hiding in the gaming closet. Don’t be afraid to shout your love for video games from the rooftops (you get bonus points if you record a video of yourself actually shouting your love for video games from the rooftops). Let the world know that you love video games and aren’t ashamed by this fact. It sounds ridiculous, but gamers have to be proud about their hobby. If we own it, then they can’t take that away from us.

So go post about your WoW character on Facebook, show your friends how video games tell engaging stories with compelling themes, and show the world that gamers are not some strange form of second-class citizen.

I’m Sam Neal, and I play video games.   read


1:45 AM on 12.03.2012

Metro 2033 Impressions Journal (In Progress)

I've started a new series of blog entries that I'm going to call Impressions Journals. In these articles, I will keep a faux journal of sorts in a stream of consciousness style as I'm playing through a game. It's very much a living piece, and this article will be updated as I get further into Metro 2033. The goal is to keep a record of how my feelings for a game evolve over time.


Session 1:

Wow. Metro 2033 is a much better game than I was expecting. An absolutely steal for ~$1.20 (five games divided by ~$6).

Metro does a fantastic job cuing you in to gameplay mechanics without having to spell out exactly how the work. The air filters stood out most to me as a “wow” feature. The player must replace air filters in gas masks in order to breathe, and the timer for the gas masks is the player's watch. When a gas mask filter starts to run low, your breathing gets heavier. This heightens the tension of the situation, and serves a practical purpose as it clues the player in to the condition of the gas mask. So far managing the filters hasn't been too much of a problem, but I have a feeling that will change as the game progresses.

Though I will say, the lack of explanation for the physical controls is a bit disapointing. The game tutorial seemingly forgets to cover essential game mechanics, such as how to change ammo types (hold the reload button) and how to replace filters on the gas mask (double-tap the gas mask button). The game's options screen was of little help, and a quick Google search confirmed my suspicions that this failure was not my own fault. One person even used the wrong ammo type for over half the game and as a result wasn't able to purchase any gun upgrades.

That must have been tough, Metro 2033 is difficult enough as is.

Session 2



I recall others saying Metro suffered from a general lack of polish, and jarring glitches. I have not yet run into many of these glitches. The only noticeable glitched I've encountered so far is the death screen, which keeps telling me I was killed by ghosts and paranormal beasts. Uh, no, I'm pretty sure I died because that bandit blew my face off with a shotgun.

Metro uses audio to create an atmosphere in a way few other games can, and I'm enjoying my decision to play with headphones. Every gut-wrenching sound and ear-splitting squeak leaves you constantly on edge, and occasionally questioning your player's sanity. This effect accentuates the environmental differences between the surface and tunnels, though neither one is preferable to the other.

Some may think the heavy Russian accents are a bit hokey, but I think the accents come right up to the border of cheesy without crossing it. The only clue as to the team's restricted budget comes in dialogue that is occasionally too on-the-nose, and loading-screen narration that sounds like it was recorded by one of the programers in their home closet through a webcam mic.

Man. The amount of tension in this game during fights on the surface is incredible. Packs of mutants surround your character and take swipes, as the cracks in your gas mask obstruct vision. If the gas mask fails, the character will take radiation damage until he clears out the enemies and creates an opportunity to put on a fresh gas mask. Times are tough out there.

Session 3



Unless you understand Russian, I wouldn't recommend changing the game language to Russian. It's extremely tempting, and seems like a good idea in theory, but subtitles do not lend themselves well to a survival horror game. Trying to read the bottom of a screen while being chased by mutant bat-creatures and reload a weapon is a bit like trying to read a book while running on a treadmill.

And I wasn't sure whether Metro was a survival horror game until this session, where they introduced ghosts. Which are shadows. That can only be seen with your flashlight on. And you have to manually keep the flashlight charged. And the ghosts kill you if they touch you.

The ghosts are extremely effective in storytelling, and provide an appropriately chilling way of quickly filling you in on the Metro's history.

And they're equally effective at scaring the shit out of you.   read


2:58 PM on 12.02.2012

Video: Why the Bioshock Infinite cover isn't the end of the world.

  read


3:52 PM on 12.01.2012

Colour Bind Video Review



A video review of the Indie puzzle/platformer Colour Bind.

Colour Bind is available on Steam for $9.99.
http://store.steampowered.com/app/208710/   read


2:40 AM on 12.01.2012

Giving Up: How ADD helps me critique games

I have never finished a Zelda game.

The Zelda formula loses its appeal over the course of a 40+ hour adventure, and I stop playing after reaching a point of contentment with the game's story and mechanics. Each new Zelda game in the series is a known quantity; they all follow the same basic design blueprint and have similar story arcs.

And I find that formula engaging for roughly 20 of Zelda's 40 hour play time. After 20 hours, the effort required to slog through the remaining 20 hours of adventuring is greater than the final payoff for doing so.



Why finish it if I already know the story? Link saves the world and rescues princess Zelda, and it will all reset for the next game in the franchise.

Of course, my Attention Deficit Disorder doesn't help. Dealing with ADD has been a haphazard adventure for most of my life, with a constant rotation of medication, lifestyle changes, diet plans, study strategies, and other forms of treatment. ADD makes completing any sort of task difficult, as I lose interest in tasks rather easily.

However while it makes certain areas of my life needlessly difficult, ADD has given me a unique perspective when judging the entertainment value of a game. I have a very low tolerance for repetition.

When a game fails to stimulate the player's mind in new ways, why should they continue playing it? Whether this stimulation comes through introducing new mechanics or compelling story bits, a good game should continually evolve from the second you press start to the second the credits roll.

When a game reaches the point of stagnation I put it on my shelf without a second thought, and rarely do I return. When someone tells me that a game gets better after x hours, I treat it as a presidential campaign promise. If a game can't hold my interest until that point, why should I trust that it gets better over time? In fact, I often assume that the person who gave this opinion is a victim of gaming Stockholm syndrome.



Many prestigious games have entered the perilous ravine that is my backlog, never to return. Examples include Borderlands 2 (60%), Deus Ex: Human Revolution (40%), Sleeping Dogs (30%), Dark Souls (30%), Assassin's Creed Revelations (10%), Dead Rising 2 (40%), Bayonetta (60%), Dead Space (50%), Fallout New Vegas (8%), Assassin's Creed 3 (35%), Super Meat Boy (35%), Darksiders (35%), and many others

Each of these games crossed the threshold of diminishing returns that made the necessary time required to complete them more valuable than seeing the game through to its completion.

When a game spends too much time forcing the player to revel in it's features, it reeks of arrogance on developer's part. Taking pride in hard work is one thing, but developers shouldn't treat the player as if they should feel privileged to be playing the developer's game.

Assassin's Creed 3 is a recent example of developer arrogance, and the game feels up its own ass.



While their rendition of 17th century America is beautifully crafted, Ubisoft spends far too much time forcing the player to trek across the large open world for no practical gameplay reason. Instead of spawning you near a story objective, Assassin's Creed 3 loads you half way across town so that you have the privilege of seeing the world.

As it turns out, I don't feel all-that privileged.

Assassin’s Creed 3's world activities have the approximate entertainment value of washing the dishes and painting the shed. I don't care what century you set it in, a chore is still a chore. Without strong gameplay mechanics, even the most intricate of worlds feels empty.

So after 9 hours I put the game on my shelf, and I'm likely to never return.

If developers design their games with a sense of humility, players will appreciate them for it. They need to stop worrying about run times and side distractions, cut out the fluff, and provide an equally engaging experience from beginning to end.

It would be nice to finish a Zelda game at some point in my life.   read


2:41 PM on 11.30.2012

Why THQ's Stock Bump Isn't Cause for Celebration

On Thursday THQ released their own Humble Bundle, a collection of AAA games sold together in a pack at a pay-what-you-want price. Later that day the THQ stock received a 40 percent boost to 1.61, which is quite impressive for a company who recently cut delayed all major releases for this quarter and dropped their quarterly earnings call to avoid stockholder questions over their financial information.

On Wednesday, the THQ stock was at 1.09. To put that in perspective, if a stock price drops below 1 point NASDAQ can take the company off their listings, effectively damning the company's financial fate. Earlier this year prices forced THQ to reverse-split their stocks (A reverse stock split is where a company halves their total number of shares, but doubles the value of their stock. The net worth remains the same, but the stock price technically doubles.) in order to stay listed. The reverse-split only works once, and will not be an option for THQ in the future.



The sad truth, this boost in the THQ stock price is most-likely a temporary one. As of Friday, the THQ stock saw a .2 drop down to 1.41. Although this number is a marked increase over their previous figures, it seems to be leveling out.

The Humble Bundle, while a financially beneficial move, seems like a temporary gain. THQ has not solved their investor problem, and they have not magically increased the popularity of their major triple-A release for 2012, Darksiders 2. Unless THQ is sitting on a major announcement in the coming weeks, the Humble Bundle has only delayed their inevitable fate.

Remember, THQ delayed all major titles for the rest of this fiscal year, which runs through April 1. THQ needs a financial miracle to stay afloat for the next four months. The Humble Bundle was a success, but THQ needs more than a single profitable event to stay alive as a company.

One must keep in mind that the Humble Bundle was indeed a last-ditch effort by THQ. While it was certainly a nice gesture, it did not perform well enough to change their fate.

Fans of THQ feel free to celebrate the good news while you can, but do so with a grain of salt.   read


1:54 PM on 11.20.2012

The Future of In-Game Advertisements

  read


1:11 PM on 11.18.2012

My Girlfriend's Adventure into Gaming Black Markets

People often think of micro-transactions as small amounts of money spent on game items such-as powerful swords and character outfits. The most profitable free-to-play games optimize their gameplay and pricing structure to squeeze every ounce of profit from the whales (the small group of people who are big spenders in free-to-play games).

Some label this practice as malicious, but it's a difficult system to argue against. Players pay for game content that they want, and developers get to keep their children fed.

Occasionally a system arises that acts as a hybrid model, and players are able to make transactions directly with other players for game items. Some games, such as Diablo 3, have systems built-in for these transactions. While the Diablo 3 auction house has its own share of problems, the system at least has some form of moderation.

However, the practice of selling game items for real money also exists in games that specially prohibit such transactions. Since these games prohibit the sale of game items for money, the developers have very little control over the black market economy that forms as a result.

Players have been selling game items directly to one-another since the start of MMOs, but recently this practice expanded into the mobile, free-to-play market space. Since mobile, free-to-play games are still a relatively new genre, the developers have no experience dealing with black markets born from their games. This creates an open frontier for these black markets, where exploits run high and the profits are explosive.

The most extreme case of which is a Rage of Bahamut, a virtual card game of sorts akin to Magic the Gathering. Players spend game currency (which players can buy through micro-transactions for real-world money) on virtual booster packs with random cards. The game offers increasingly expensive tiers of booster packs; the more players spend on a booster pack, the better their chances of finding rare cards. Rage of Bahamut currently sits atop both the App store and Google Play store as the highest grossing game, and pulls in an estimated $5-10 million a month.



However, players can also automatically obtain rare cards through a referral system. If a player can convince their friend to sign up for Rage of Bahamut (and enter the player's referral number), the player automatically receives a free random “rare” card.

Through Rage of Bahamut, players can sell cards to other players for in-game currency. As one might imagine, this opens up the game to a massive network of black market transactions. Players easily connect through various forums on the internet, and use the trading system (alongside PayPal) to directly sell valuable cards to other players.

This kind of activity is prohibited by the game's EULA and can result in an account ban, but the frequency of abuse is so high that developers have a hard time enforcing these bans.

Rage of Bahamut has a referral system where players get a substantial amount of in-game currency in addition to one randomly-selected rare card if a friend creates a new account using the player's referral code. And Rage of Bahamut enthusiasts are rather persistent about making their referral code readily available.

Many business-minded players create new accounts using their own referral codes to obtain valuable cards and stockpile game currency, and abuse the referral system to make a profit. The next stage of exploitation comes when players create macro scripts that constantly create new accounts using their personal referral code. These entrepreneurs can make an insane amount of money without even having to play the game. Low-level cards go from $10-$20 each, while high-level cards can reach $500+.



Now that the setup's out of the way; time to get a bit personal.

About a month ago, my girlfriend started playing Rage of Bahamut quite obsessively; logging multiple hours a day into the online game. A week after she first started, messages appeared in her inbox from random players offering to pay her $60-$100 for some of her rare cards. She initially wrote them off as the work of a scammer, but the messages kept coming in from many different sources. Finally she caved.

After checking to make sure it wasn't part of a scammer's scheme, she decided to go through with a sale (proper precautions were taken to assure that the other account never had access to her banking information, the transaction was completed through PayPal). The entire transaction was completed within five minutes, and she came away $80 richer.

Confident after the first sale, she further explored the black market of Rage of Bahamut. Her transactions continued, and so did her profit. Using various Rage of Bahamut message boards and forums, she built up a list of contacts and buyers. This network exchanged exploits and tips to get the most out of card farming, and shared their profits from the game. Slowly, she dipped her toe into a market that would be considered an organized crime ring if it were dealing in real-life goods.

Before long, my girlfriend wrote up her own script that created new accounts that farmed the referral system for rare cards and game currency.

Many of the people in her network reportedly made over $250,000 in a few months by running over 1,000 account creation scripts simultaneously. One of them was even stockpiling cards in an attempt to crash the game's economy by flooding the market.

The developers of Rage of Bahamut eventually caught onto the referral code exploit scripts and released a patch to prevent users from running scripts, from Android devices only. Which is a bit absurd, given that most of the users who run scripts do from an Android emulator, and found ways around the patch within the first day.

However, this patch prompted my girlfriend to leave the black market Cards of Bahamut business after making around $900.

Though this process may be seen as sketchy by some, there's nothing illegal about farming and selling virtual cards. This method applies to many games, and has created a way for certain people to make obscene amounts of money with very little work.

As the free-to-play market comes into its own, we will see a rise in video game black markets. Developers will undoubtedly look at the financial success of Rage of Bahamut and attempt to structure their game in a similar manner, but these developers need to first solve the black market problem before the issue spins completely out of control.   read


1:00 PM on 11.18.2012

PSA: Save the Xbox Live Indie Games

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