Online Games: What Is The Future Of Games Online?

Online games are now being played for over 60 minutes a day by over half a billion people globally, says Jane McGonigal.

In the United States alone, that number is 183 million.

Ninety-nine percent of boys under 18 and 94 percent of girls under 18 say they play online games on a regular basis.

On an average, young people will rack up 10 thousand hours of gaming by the time they reach the age of 21.

That is about the same amount of time that they will spend in their classrooms.

Over 5 million Americans are now spending over 40 hours a week playing online games, which is the equivalent of the time spent at a full-time job.

The NPD Group, a financial-analysis firm that tracks the sales of video games, says the U.S. games industry sold $6.71 billion worth of new games in 2012.

The top 10 best-selling games of 2012 were:

Call of Duty: Black Ops II (360, PS3, PC, Wii U)
Madden NFL 13 (360, PS3, Wii, PSV, Wii U)
Halo 4 (360)
Assassin’s Creed III (360, PS3, PC, Wii U)
Just Dance 4 (Wii, 360, Wii U, PS3)
NBA 2K13 (360, PS3, Wii, PSP, Wii U, PC)
Borderlands 2 (360, PS3, PC)
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (360, PS3, Wii, PC)
Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes (Wii, 360, NDS, PS3, 3DS, PSV, PC)
FIFA Soccer 13 (360, PS3, Wii, PSV, 3DS, Wii U, PSP)
FarmVille is a highly-popular farming simulation social network game developed by Zynga in 2009.

 

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FarmVille 2 was released in September 2012.

World of Warcraft holds the Guinness World Record for the most popular MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game), with over 8 million subscribers as of March 2013 (Wikipedia).

Another popular game is Clash of Clans, which is a combat strategy game.

Free games, often referred to as freemium (free + premium) games, is a business model where the game is given away for free, but the customer has the option of spending money on a variety of game enhancements.

This model has become popular on both smartphones and iPads.

Free games are downloaded much more readily than paid games.

The freemium model seems to be the trend of the future because many are becoming reluctant to pay for a game before they use it.

Once a customer uses a game, they will usually be willing to spend money within that game if they find it fun and engaging.

As an example of how the freemium model works, consider the free game Clash of Clans.

The objective of this game is to create a clan, build a village for the clan, then train your warriors to protect your village from invaders.

You can download the game to your smartphone for free. Then, once you find this game fun and engaging, there are all kinds of available upgrades.

Sure, you can go on playing for free for as long as you like and slowly earn virtual “gems” to help you fund your clan project. Or you can make a purchase over your smartphone to speed up the pace of acquiring gems.

With the touch of a finger, players can buy a “pile of Gems” for $4.99, a “bag of Gems” for $9.99, or a “box of Gems” for $49.99.

And if you feel really ambitious, and if you wish to get a few extra swords and slingshots to fight off barbarian invaders, simply touch your smartphone screen and buy a “Chest of Gems” for only $99.99.

The company that makes Clash of Clans (Supercell) rakes in over 1 million dollars… a day!

All from people who downloaded a free Clash of Clans game on their smartphone.

Apple gets about 30% of that, or $300,000 a day.

When the ability to buy things is made easier through the use of technology, wealth is created faster and more abundantly than ever before.

Also consider that when people play Clash of Clans, they are encouraged to simply press a button to invite all of their friends from Facebook to join them, which brings Supercell even more money.

Of course, Clash of Clans is only one of many examples.

The users, the fans, and the players of Clash of Clans (and other freemium online games) generate millions of dollars for companies like Supercell and Apple.

Meanwhile, the users get zilch… a great big goose egg.

Does that seem fair?

Shouldn’t the users get rewarded?

We believe rewarding users of online games is an idea whose time has come.

Wouldn’t it be great if the users, the fans, and the players of online games got some of the money that comes from online games? Wouldn’t it be great if the users of online games could actually earn money for playing games online?

That’s the idea behind a brand new game company that will be coming soon.

Psychological Aspects of Users’ Mobile Gaming Motivation

The game is an integral part of human’s life. Latest psychological researchers have proved that game isn’t just what small children do with their toys while the parents are busy. The game is an important cultural mechanism helping pass experience between generations and orientate in the world. By playing games, humans learn how to behave in their environment and acquire its values, beliefs and conduct patterns. But even after they’ve grown up, people continue playing psychological games by performing roles in their private and social life.

However, the game has received one more essential sense recently. It has become not a way to adapt to the world around us and to act there, but rather to escape from it. More and more people replace their real needs, achievements, friends, and even lives by virtual ones and disappear in game worlds. This phenomenon called game dependence is widely discussed, and psychologists are trying to explain and to overcome it. That article uses some results of these researches and takes a closer look at psychological aspects of people’s gaming motivation. It considers what basic human needs can be transferred in the area of virtual games and satisfied there.

The particular topic of this article is mobile games. It should be noticed that the situation with mobile gaming is not as acute as with computer gaming. People don’t tend to spend a long time with their smartphones, and it’s good so. That is the reason why this article won’t instruct people how to make a “bomb” stealing gamers from their families. It should rather be a guideline for mobile software developers to help them create an involving and exciting product being able to “hook” users.

Human needs that can be satisfied in a mobile game:

1. Need for achievement.

One of the most significant temptations of a game is giving usual people the possibility to become anyone they want to. The opportunities of game plot and its characters are endless, and the likelihood criterion is only optional. So, an unremarkable manager comes home, turns his PC on, launches the game – and becomes an incredible God in a fantastic universe. The longer he plays the more skills, experience, and points he earns; and these rewards are highly valuable for him. A game gives its player a possibility to become something else, a better, more important person, and to be more successful than he possibly is in its real life. Achievements in a mobile game are more “salient” than in real world: they can be made more quickly and easily than in reality; and their results are much more visual (unfortunately, no one receives golden coins or stars after having performed something well in his real life). This attractive process of gathering game achievements can be considered as a kind of substitute for real world self-development.

Why is this aspect important for a mobile software developer? By creating a game, he should reward the user for his progress generously. Stars, coins, additional resources, bonus levels etc. make players feel their success, enjoy it – and return to the game again and again in order to refresh these feelings.

2. Need for respect.

Being respected and appreciated by other people is an important side of people’s social life. Playing alone is good. Playing with other people, demonstrate achievements to them, win different competitions and being admired and regarded by other players is just perfect. Winning feels especially good. There are two main kinds of competitions in mobile games: direct and indirect. In a direct competition, players fight with online enemies or play matches against online opponents face-to-face. In an indirect competition, the game is performed in a single-player mode, but there are leaderboards showing the names of the best players. In that way, a person can always estimate his game success and compare it to the progress of his friends.

But even apart from any competitions, online games have a very significant social side by creating virtual communities. Being part of a clan or detachment evokes a strong feeling of belonging and cooperation. When we do something for the cause, perform our work well, and contribute to the general prosperity by this, we are respected and appreciated.

So, a mobile game should contain as many social features as possible. Leaderboards, online multiplayer modes, creating communities, social sharing buttons – everything connecting the player to other people matters.

3. Need for knowledge.

Learning new things is cool. It doesn’t mean that a mobile game should immediately become a branch of school on users’ smartphones. But gathering new experience, finding out exciting facts, discovering a foreign world, or exploring an interesting topic is fun. Thirst for knowledge has always been pushing humanity forward; it is in the human nature. That’s why the process of solving problems and puzzles and any other kind of intellectual activity can be an important source of gaming motivation.

This need can also be satisfied in a mobile game, especially in a strategy, RPG, or quest. Filling the game world with mysteries, puzzles, interesting facts, and secrets will turn a user to a discoverer learning things not because he has to but because he wants to.

So far, three important human needs that can be satisfied in a mobile game have been considered. Taking them into account and creating a mobile game on this basis will help it “hook” the users and settle down in their smartphones for a very long time.

Top 10 Best Facebook Apps (Games)

Facebook is a virtual world with a lot of apps. And they’re all different and (sometimes) addictive in their own sense. Top Facebook apps like Farmville, Criminal Case, Texas HoldEm Poker and much more are loved by users, serving as a great past-time, and perhaps, the perfect distraction. Sure, staying online all day to play games is unhealthy and not recommended, but a little indulgence never hurts anyone. As long as you don’t have any other work. Therefore, here’s a list of the games you should try out if you’re free, online and bored.

1. Criminal Case

Publisher: Pretty Simple

Rating: 4.5

It’s a game that makes you feel like a badass detective or even Sherlock Holmes. Or maybe that’s just me. You need a keen eyesight and need to be quick about finding all the clues. After all, you need the time bonus. As soon as you start playing, Detective Jones is the one who tells you what to do and gives you hints along the way. But the hints have their limits, at five bars.

 

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You have a Tablet in the game, which is where you get your cases from. And as for the cases, not only do you need to find all the clues at the crime scene, there’s a lab where all the autopsies are done and you need to go and discuss all the not-so-gory stuff, so that the lab geek gives you another clue about the criminal you’re trying to catch. You also have a forensic kit.

Your score, time and hints bonus, are added up after you find the clues, and these are the things that decide whether you get a star or not. And don’t forget the gold coins. They all so give you experience and are what increase your level. To investigate cases, you need your energy. And every case has its own energy cost. So, after getting all the clues, you need to arrest the killer. And there’s always more than one suspect. You need to arrest the one with the most matches.

But, Criminal Case is quite fun to play, if you like the ‘identify and spot the object’ kind of game.

2. Zoo World

Publisher: RockYou!

Rating: 4

Zoo World has one main objective for you: becoming the best Zookeeper in the (game’s) world. You have to acquire various animals for your zoo and save and breed endangered species. You also have to buy kiosks. Players can also get their Facebook friends’ help and recruit some of them as zookeepers.
The game has hundreds of animals, some of them you might not have even heard of. Ah, but you can’t accept help without giving something in return.

Well, you can but that’ll leave you with a guilty conscience. You can help your friends out by gifting them with animals in return. Ultra rare animals include Unicorns, Pterodactyls, Tyrannosaurus, and Rudolph. Yes, Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer. And, let’s not forget the ‘Loch Ness Monster’, the Pegasus (which gives you a major Clash of the Titans flashback) and the Werewolf.

Zoo World is pretty easy to play, and you should enjoy it if you’re an animal lover.

3. Farm Heroes Saga

Publisher: King.com

Rating: 4.5

Farm Heroes Saga is all about stopping the main antagonist- The Rancid Raccoon. This little animal on a quest to ruin the ‘Happy World Farms’, and it’s up to you to stop him. The game is quite similar to Candy Crush Saga in terms of the actual playing- switch around the fruits to match them in rows to pass the level.

The game is simple at first and the level of difficulty increases as you go through the levels. It’s a good past-time when you’re getting bored to tears, but not everyone can play it for more than an hour (or at least, I can’t). You have to switch and match strawberries, pears and other fruits- including the one that looks like a sun, but I’m still not quite sure what it is.

4. Papa Pear Saga

Publisher: King.com

Rating: 4.5

Okay, so this game involves physics- don’t worry, it’s in a fun way. There are 75 levels in the game, and you have to help the main character, Papa Pear, bounce around the screen.

Your goal is to get all the buckets at the bottom of the screen to light up and remove as many acorns as you can. Honestly, the way the buckets keep beckoning towards the pear is very funny. But that is what you need to do, so it’s all good. The game is simple and fun, and you should probably give it a try once. It doesn’t require that much thinking.

5. War of Mercenaries

Publisher: Peak Games

Rating: 4

It’s got a pretty serious name, but in all actuality, the game’s quite fun to play. It’s a bit similar to Age of Empires. According to the game, it went through a series of expansions throughout the land, and even a huge war.

In the new era of Mercenaries, it’s your objective to build the greatest empire. You have to build your own army of mercenaries and go to war with other empires. All in all, it’s a strategy game, one you need to play carefully. You can even get dangerous beasts for your army. If you go to war and win, you can loot and raid the empire you have beaten. It’s a game you should try playing once.

6. Plants Vs Zombies Adventures

Publisher: PopCap Games

Rating: 4

Another interesting strategy game which is also closely related to the original version; it could also be called the zombie field version of the original one.

This game goes further than your everyday backyard: you have to go on different quests and even road-trips and destroy every zombie that tries to stop you. There are new types of zombies and new kinds of plants. Another interesting feature is that players can send groups of zombies to their Facebook friends. If you liked the original game, give this one a try too.

7. My Ninja

Publisher: Unknown

Rating: 4.2

An adventure and RPG game, inspired by the manga and anime show, Naruto. Create your own ninja, customize him or her, train regularly to become the best ninja. Aside from the training, the game has different Chapters and missions for you to complete.

As you level up, there are four types of skills you can master: Body, Mind, Elemental and Passive. Your skills depend on what element you chose while customizing your character. You have the option to choose from Earth, Fire, Water, Wind, and Lightning. Completing missions and sparring against other characters will give you bonuses.

By completing missions, players can level up to different ranks, starting with Genin. To level up, you need to participate in specific exams. Completing quests gives you Elemental Ores, which are needed to master your elemental skills, among other bonuses. Throughout the game, you need to buy new weapons and armor according to your level, as they play an important role in your battles. You can buy those at the weapons and armor shop respectively, with the coins you earn through your missions.

My Ninja is pretty fun to play if you like ninjas and battles.

8. Words of Wonder

Publisher: Playdom

Rating: 3.5

This game is set in a world where words are what sustain life itself. Explore worlds and chapters, which have their own stories. Your main guide throughout the game is Watson, the Owl. He’s a cute little creature, that wears glasses.

The game is all about spelling words. Each chapter has jumbled up letters, and you have to spot words with three or more than three letters. Each chapter has a specific objective as well. Finding more words even fills up the star meter. There are 195 chapters in the game, so you have a long way to go before you finally beat it.

Also, each chapter has a bonus letter, and if you use it in a word, it leads to the bursting of surrounding letters.

9. Uphill Rush 4 Game

Publisher: Unknown

Rating: 4

A racing game, with different vehicles and even animals. You can participate in different cups, for races or a time trial. There are six cups in total, all with three levels of difficulty: Easy, Normal and Hard.

You can even customize your player, by choosing the gender, outfits, and vehicles, though you need to earn cash before you can choose a vehicle of your preference. Not only that, but you can also unlock a dolphin.

Throughout the race, you need to control your mode of transportation carefully. One wrong move could end it. You can even perform stunts to earn more points. The game is fun and even challenging. Try it out if you like racing games.

10. Jelly Glutton

Publisher: RoyalCactus

Rating: 4

The main protagonist of this game is Jelly, the little glutton. It’s a puzzle game that’s all about matching up the same food pieces. Make them disappear, and help Jelly. With four delicious game modes, explore the world of Jelly Glutton. There’s ice-creams, candies, biscuits, and fruits.

Each level has its own objective, and you have to complete it. Completing the stages also gives you stars. Complete levels, and set personal records. The game is fairly easy to play, but playing it actually made me hungry. If you’re really bored, give this one a chance. It’s pretty cute, even though the way of playing it is quite common.

Dangers of Game Addiction

Ever since the advent of video games, there have been debates on the pros and cons of gaming. While there is no denying that gaming sharpens a number of skills of the child, it also stands for a fact that the addiction of gaming can have dire health consequences. Apart from health risks, an addiction to gaming also brings along a non-social temperament that leads to stalled emotional growth.

Here are some of the most common dangers and effects of game addiction:

1. Stress

An obvious fallout of game addiction is stress. Stress develops when the person gets so involved in the game that there is an inbuilt pressure on him or her to achieve goals and cross stages and levels of the game. It slowly converts the game from a source of entertainment and fun to a catalyst of stress buildup. Also, when a person realizes that his life is in a pitiable state because of excessive gaming, he or she develops more stress out of the fear of not being able to get back to normal.

 

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2. Lack Of Sleep

A major portion of a person’s time is taken up by work and it has been found that many people sacrifice their precious time to play an extra game or two instead of sleeping to rest the body. Long term game addiction leads to a sleeping disorder called Insomnia that takes a huge toll on a person’s health.

3. Disregard For Personal Hygiene

Excess gaming leads to seclusion of the gamer from the outside world which eventually leads to little or no interaction with people. When the person realizes that there is nobody who may notice his lack of grooming, he feels less compelled to take care of his personal hygiene.

4. Seclusion And Isolation

Gaming addiction can lead to people developing a tendency of seclusion and isolation. They start isolating themselves from family and friends. The fact that they start ignoring their personal hygiene is just the beginning of his or her displacement from the social scene. Gaming starts taking precedence over other important chores such as interaction with friends and as this addiction intensifies, the subject may start becoming more and more stubborn and rude. All that a gaming addict wants to spend time on is games.

5. Carpel Tunnel Syndrome And Arthritis

Excess gaming can lead to these two physical disorders. Studies have revealed that years of excessive gaming can lead to serious issues with the person’s thumb as this area is most exercised in gaming and is prone to osteoarthritis too. Carpel Tunnel Syndrome is a condition in which there exists an excessive pressure on a nerve in the wrist which is responsible for allowing certain hand movements. This syndrome is likely to surface in game addicts since they make a lot of repetitive hand and wrist movements while playing games.

6. Unhealthy Eating Habits

With excess gaming, one becomes oblivious to dietary routine because he or she is too busy thinking about what is next in the game for them. Most game addicts choose fast food and sugary sodas to accompany their gaming sessions which further leads to deterioration of health. They also prefer frozen food that does not take much time to cook and thus does not hinder their gaming spree. Such eating habits are a major cause of diabetes and obesity in adults.

7. Depression

It might be rare to know a gaming addict who realizes that he is slowly slipping into depression. Depression slowly makes its way to the addict’s brain as he or she gets more and more addicted to the game. The only time they realize that they are in a state of depression is when they pause for a moment to realize that they have made a mess of their lives by excess gaming and neglecting other necessities of life. What makes the matters worse is that the only recourse they find to get out of this depression is more gaming and this drags them deeper into the trouble creating a vicious cycle that declines to break until the person resolves to take back the control of his or her life.

It shall be wise to conclude that video games, when played in moderation, can promote good health. They improve motor skills and develop the cognitive ability. It is recommended to address the issues of game addiction as soon as it is noticed lest it may take a heavy toll on health and personal life.

Gaming: Evolution and Devolution

People often have trouble understanding the word “tradeoff”, sure enough, it’s easy enough to understand as an exchange but in today’s corporate parlance it is meant as an exchange of one commodity for a cost for another. I was playing Final Fantasy’s Dissidia on the good old PSP yesterday when I marveled at the game’s replay value, yes I have spent over 50 hours on it already, which is what this entire topic is all about.

Normally if you look at the oldest games like Mario and Dave, they had one thing unanimously common, addiction to it. Not that I am propagating obsession towards anything, however, this is what the current paradigm of gaming has come down to; a commodity. I have always been a gamer, I will not deny that and this is exactly what my contention with gaming today is. The first games had a lot of things that hooked people up but most of all it was about the level of engagement that the player had with the game environment or the “world” of the game. And this engagement has little to do with the 3D graphics or the extensive options available.

 

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Let us take a look at the progression; first, it was the advent of the simple arcade type games which were phenomenal to a certain point. Kept players hooked and introduced a whole new boom of media into the world. This was where literally every child was begging for the Atari systems and your Pentium II and III machines had Sega and NeoGeo emulators installed (mine still has both installed by the way) and gameplay elements were about difficult commands mixed in with clever sequences. Take this forward a bit further and the same two systems incorporated decent mixed stories and continuity in the games enhance the media capabilities being explored in the two avenues. The fighting game series KOF is an ardent testament to that and from there came the further boom of turn based strategy and role playing games which became akin to “user controlled novels” on computers. This adaptability of both game-play and media can be called as the turning curve of the gaming industry.

Because this was where a lot of business heads realized that the games could be used to simulate a lot of things, pretty much everything so the potential as a business commodity was obvious even from then on. The progress from then on was about enhancing the visual effects of the game, the additives were obvious the visuals needed more work so in came the influx of investment in gaming studios and the push for 3d graphics into gaming. That apex can be called as the secondary curve because once that was established, the potential for business gain via games became second to almost none. Hollywood movies will tell you the story of boom and fall without fail but games have the replay factor attached to them irrespective of their audience size that guarantees reward.

And this replay factor was cashed in next. We all can see the online capabilities being offered by games which as also paved the way to players just buying the next powerup or update online. The concept of “buying all” is where we can point and say that gaming has devolved. So at a point where gaming was fun with added complexity like Baldur’s Gate, Ys, Metal Gear Solid, the games went on to become more about commodity value.

The biggest factor in all this is mobile gaming of course and here I point at the smartphone games which are purely centered on time killing. The problem occurs when the majority of the smartphone gamers are not regular gamers but more so there to just kill time. So when you give a game like Subway Surfers online buying advantages for the “normal” people, some level of competition envelopes between the console/PC games and the phone games. The niches are different, the categories are different, and the size is different. A game like Temple Run cannot be compared to Farcry 3 but ultimately when the games become about money then these things sidetrack and mix in.

Today you have fantastic gameplay elements being added, furnished and perfected. Complexity is a given and with that, some features sit well whilst others do not. What’s adverse to the gaming paradigm, in general, is the holistic focus on sales which often makes them compromise on a lot of things from the gameplay side. Ultimately when gaming becomes more focused on buying rather than playing than the entire reason for playing a game gets taken away.

A Career in Testing Video Games

Playing video games for a living makes one think that this is the ideal job. People who witnessed the advent of computer gaming in the late eighties to early nineties have probably dreamed of having a game testing job. Who wouldn’t desire a job that compensates personal enjoyment?

Almost everyone loves video games. The days of video games confined to clunky consoles that cannot be taken on a plane trip or any trip for that matter are long gone. When people choose to play games, they use portable gaming devices such as PSP Vita, or even their Android smartphones or tablets.

Now that video games are competing with so many other personal entertainment types, a freemium model is now widely utilized in PC games and mobile gaming, which has given video games a boost. This is great news for those seeking to be video game professionals and they are willing to do what it takes to secure their place in the industry. One of the fastest ways to gain a foothold in the video game industry is to apply for a quality assurance testing (game testing) position.

 

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It is important to note that those testing a game are always separate from the team that codes or programs the game itself. Therefore, the bug-tracking phase is accomplished by quality assurance testers (game testers).

Further, game testers are asked by companies and game studios with presenting bug reports on a regular schedule. For example, if one is testing a game and has submitted only a few bug reports for all the months in the company, one should not anticipate superiors giving glowing reviews.

Since communication with the programming department is in writing, excellent written communication skills are needed. Without good writing skills, one will not thrive or survive in this field at all.

It is paramount to remember that game testers are not very special in the video game production world. The reason is that there is an abundance of potential testers, and if one leaves, another will quickly fill the void. So, if advancement is desired, one must demonstrate an above average or better game tester ability for superiors.

Here are the hard facts:

Survival Skills. In order to survive in the professional quality assurance testing (game testing) field, one will require skills of the trade that can be obtained through formal training (on-the-job training) and through continuous experience.

Paramount to playing video games is an experience. However, it is not the be-all and end-all of game testing. It is just a small aspect that will assist in the performance of a game tester job.

Most Important Asset. The most important asset of a game tester is the ability to perform on the job. How good is one in bug tracking newly developed games? One cannot astonish lead game testers and quality assurance managers just by simply telling them that as a 15-year-old one was a programming whiz. No matter how true this may be.

Game tester effectiveness lies in the capability to discover the bugs that may arise from many combinations that exist within specific game segments.

A tester is not assigned the whole game, but only a specific segment in which to discover bugs. This when tester effectiveness will be scrutinized.

Be Prepared. Being prepared will greatly improve the chances of getting hired. To gain proof of time spent and monetary investment, one should enroll in courses just before applying for a game testing position. One cannot tell employers that they are well versed on game testing through reading. Interviewers will not accept this as experience and will end in one going home with a broken heart. It is important to be aware of this now, in order to prepare for what lies ahead. It is not easy to get in, but it is not impossible either.

Professional and Passionate. One will need to demonstrate to superiors not only professional performance but also an extreme passion for video games. This will enable one to advance above the average game testers.
Stephen R. Summitt

Do you want to find sustainable employment by getting a job as a game tester? If you are here because you are serious about getting a job as a game tester, you have to deal with facts, not myths and the personal fantasies of hopefuls. Discover the truth about this field and how you can enter it.

Top 5 First Person Shooter World War 2 Games

5. Return to Castle Wolfenstein (PC – 2001)

The much-anticipated sequel of the father of all first-person shooter, Wolfenstein 3D, is hard to exclude from a top five list. The game is essentially a reboot of Wolfenstein 3D from the early 1990s but offers a very modern take on the classic that still keeps up quite well with what more modern offerings have to provide. In it, players assume the role of Blazkowicz who must escape from a Nazi stronghold and investigate the secret paranormal division that’s around him. It is a linear FPS experience that doesn’t deviate from what players might already know from the original video game.

The visuals received a complete overhaul to keep up with more modern times. When played at maximum settings, which isn’t beyond the means of many computers used today, the levels become very vivid in their presentation. Although I was left with the impression that it wasn’t very “prison-like”. Instead, the levels seem rather medieval and take on a more literal meaning of “Castle” in many respects. However, this does little to detract from the overall experience of the game and it keeps to its predecessor quite well.

 

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Overall, it’s hard to find fault with the game’s single-player mode, but the game truly shines in its multiplayer mode: experiences that were sorely missed in the early 1990s unless players had the technical knowledge to create IPX networks. Despite being over 10 years old, Return to Castle Wolfenstein still has a vibrant online community of dedicated players who are unlikely to disappear anytime soon!

IGN Score: 9.0
Personal Score: 7.0
Age Advisory: Mature (17+)

4. Battlefield 1942 (PC – 2002)

It’s hard to think about WW2 PC games and not have Battlefield 1942 come to mind. While comparably dated like Return to Castle Wolfenstein, it’s a game that’s hard to beat in the multiplayer realm due to the voluminous capacity of players who are able to take part in any one match. Up to 64 players are able to play in an individual campaign, which is set in the Pacific Theater and Stalingrad. It’s also set apart by its well-developed vehicle system. Increasingly modern games attempt to incorporate vehicles into the gameplay experience, but Battlefield 1942 still stands out as players have access to over 32 vehicles that are on land, sea, and in the air.

Given the age of the game, most modern computers released within the past few years would be able to handle Battlefield 1942 flawlessly. However, the visuals do indeed show their age nowadays. They still stand out as remarkable for the time of the game but are losing their appeal as time goes on. Yes, it’s understandable than an 11-year-old game would do this, but visuals certainly aren’t what keep players involved in the game. I’d argue it’s the sheer capacity of players per match that make it one of the unique WW2 games on the PC today.

If players are into full-scale combat, then this is a game that’s hard to beat. It’s by no means the best WW2 game available for the PC today, but has stood the test of time and is still widely enjoyed by players; much like Return to Castle Wolfenstein.

IGN Score: 9.3
Personal Score: 8.5
Age Advisory: Teen (13+)

3. Call of Duty (PC – 2003)

What WW2 would PC games list be complete without mentioning the start of what later became one of the most successful war-based franchises in gaming history? Like Battlefield 1942, Call of Duty is hectic in its experience and provides an unmatched intensity that’s unrivaled in today’s gaming scene. However, it also incorporates a great deal of historical accuracy: something that many of the best WW2 games choose to neglect, especially within the FPS genre. In it, players take control of numerous American and British soldiers who work their way through various campaigns during the Second World War. This was all done with sensitivity to the time period, so players won’t find themselves making use of ray guns or other futuristic weaponry in this game.

When this game was released ten years ago, its visuals were unlike anything on the market at that point and rivaled some of the most hardware intensive games on the most powerful console at the time, which was the Nintendo 64. However, that’s not to say the game was without fault. My test rig did come across some aliased features, but it’s difficult to pin down the source. It could very well be a driver incompatibility given the age of the game against my more modern hardware.

It’s still hard to go wrong with the original Call of Duty. Much of the community has moved onto more recent COD games, like Modern Warfare and Black Ops, but there’s still a very active community who play the original game. Should it ever disappear, then the single player mode is certainly worth the experience!

IGN Score: 9.3
Personal Score: 9.0
Age Advisory: Teen (13+)

2. Battlefield Heroes (PC – 2009)

For some reason, this game is often confused with Battlefield 1942. Perhaps the name “Battlefield” confuses some players into believing they’re the same game, but they are most certainly not! Battlefield Heroes is best described as what would happen if Team Fortress 2 was involved in the Second World War. In it, players side with either the Nationals (Axis) or Royals (Allies) and attempt to obliterate one another in a comical firefight that’s very cartoon-like in its presentation. I think the more lighthearted nature of the game is what keeps so many players involved in the community, but there are also traces of historical accuracy to keep purists amused.

It’s hard to find fault with the visuals. Yes, they’re very laid back when compared to something like Call of Duty, but I believe this was the developer’s intention with the game. There’s certainly a comedic vibe to the entire experience that kept me engaged throughout the time I played the game.

Perhaps the only fault I can find with it is each gameplay session, regardless of the chosen map or opponents, caused me to be disconnected from the Internet. I’m not entirely sure what was happening, but it has affected two different routers connecting to two different ISPs. If this issue didn’t exist, then I’d have no problem putting it in the first place position, but it is a major bug with the game that holds back an otherwise top-tier contender.

IGN Score: 8.0
Personal Score: 9.5
Age Advisory: 16+

1. Call of Duty: The World at War (PC – 2008)

Yes, Call of Duty is making another appearance in the best of the list with this title, which is the most recent Call of Duty game for the PC. After a slew of releases focused on more modern military conflicts, Activision reverted back to its roots with The World at War and put players in the Pacific Theater and Eastern Front operations within the Second World War. The experience holds true to its predecessors in that it’s very chaotic throughout the single player mode and features an impressive multiplayer experience to boot.

Visually, The World at War is nothing short of a masterpiece. The stunningly detailed in-game graphics are complimented by exceedingly spectacular cinematic cutscenes that accent the player’s progress throughout the game. Movement is fluid, responsive, and I dare say lifelike in many instances. Of course, this can be speculative as my test rig was able to play this game at very high settings. The experience may differ at lower settings, which may be required of some older systems not purpose-built for gaming.

It would be hard for me to consider anything besides The World at War to be the best FPS WW2 game. It is currently unmatched in the gaming world in terms of its strengths and is likely to hold this distinction for quite some time as developers seemingly shy away from the WW2 genre on the PC. Regardless, I would be happy to make this my go-to WW2 game for quite awhile.

Review: Legendary “A Marvel Deck Building Game”

Deck-building game is a fast-growing genre that is gaining more and more fans around the world. You start out with a lame deck consisting of a few basic cards and then all options are open. It’s up to you to find the best combos of cards, add them to your deck and gradually build a “machine” that works better than other players’. It all started with Dominion, then came Thunderstone, Ascension, Nightfall… and now Legendary! But Legendary is much more than a simple deck-building game. Read on to find what’s different about it.

The game’s storyline is quite compelling thanks to the Marvel license. Here are all your favorite guys: the good ones like Wolverine, Spiderman, Hulk, Captain America, Iron-Man and much more, and the bad ones: Dr. Doom, Magneto, Loki and Red Skul. One of the Evil Masterminds decided to bring horror to the city, by trying to accomplish a scheme and recruiting many villains to help him do just that. You have the difficult task to stop him by recruiting the best superheroes out there and fighting the villains and the Mastermind himself. However, you are not alone. Your fellow players are on your side trying to do just the same as you. Players don’t take the role of superheroes. Instead, heroes are available for any player to add them to his deck from a common pool. So, is this a co-operative game? Up to one point yes. You all try to defeat the bad guys but one of you is going to do better than others. By defeating villains or fighting the Mastermind, players earn victory points and at the end of the game, the player with the most victory points is the winner.

 

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This is a game for 1-5 players each player starting with the same deck of basic Hero cards, 8 S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents, and 4 S.H.I.E.L.D. Troopers. During set-up, which by the way takes some time, you choose a Mastermind to fight at random. Each Mastermind comes together with 4 Mastermind tactics cards, placed underneath the Mastermind on a special place on the board. Then you choose a Scheme card at random too. On the Scheme card, there are details about how the Mastermind operates which influences the way the villain deck is formed.

Then you get to build the villain deck which consists of the following types of cards:

“Scheme twist” cards. A Scheme Twist card represents the Scheme moving forward towards victory for the evil Mastermind. Every Scheme works in a different way, with its Scheme Twists doing a specific thing related to that Scheme. The number of “Scheme twist” cards in the Villain deck depends on the Mastermind card.
“Master Strike” cards. A Master Strike card represents the evil Mastermind coming down to get their hands dirty and smash the Heroes themselves. Each Mastermind card has its own specific Master Strike effect. 5 of these identification cards are added to the villain deck.
Villain groups. Each group consists of eight villains that work together. The number of groups added depends on the number of players.
Henchmen groups. Henchmen are weaker Villains where each group consists of ten identical cards. The number of groups added depends on the number of players.
Bystanders. These are innocent citizens that turn out to be at the wrong place, the wrong time. Villains snatch them and carry them with them. When you defeat a Villain who has captured a bystander, you get an extra victory point for rescuing the poor guy/girl.
After the Villain deck, you build the Hero Deck. There are fifteen different heroes and you get to choose five of them (six when playing with 6 players). For each hero, there are 14 corresponding cards (1 rare, 3 uncommon, 5 of one common, and 5 of another common).

ll decks are shuffled and put face down on their special reserved places on the board. 5 cards are flipped from the Hero deck and put one next to the other into the 5 Hero Spaces in the HQ. Players shuffle their decks too and draw 6 cards. A starting player is chosen and players take turns in clockwise order.

Each player on his turn does 3 things:

Play the top card of the Villain Deck. The villain makes a spectacular appearance in the city through the… sewers!! There are 5 spaces (places in the city) through which villains move: Sewers, Bank, Rooftops, Streets and the Bridge. Each time a new villain enters a city space, if there is already someone there, he gets pushed one space to the left, towards the bridge. This may cause a chain reaction when a new villain appears. But be careful, if a villain is pushed left of the bridge, which is the final fifth space on the board, he forever escapes the city. If a certain number of villains, depending on the chosen scheme, manage to escape, then evil wins and all players lose.
Play cards from their hand, using them to recruit and fight. Each hero card has special symbols and text describing his abilities. A hero may provide gold which is used to recruit more heroes and/or attack points used to fight Villains. They also usually have a superpower ability that requires a hero of the same hero class having played this turn in order to activate it. Super powers can have many different effects such as drawing more cards, adding more attack points, getting rid of wounds or basic heroes and much more. Whenever a player defeats a villain he puts him on his personal Victory Pile.
Discard his hand and draw six new cards
The game is over when players defeat the Mastermind four times or if the Mastermind wins. Then players add the victory points they earned during the game.

I wouldn’t like to overextend with the rules of the game and for example explain what “Scheme twist” and “Master Strike” cards do, as these details are not essential to the review itself. Now it’s time for the actual review:

Components:

The components of the game are only a game board and cards. The game board is very functional with plenty of room for all individual groups of cards. On the right, we can see the Hero deck and Villain Deck. On the bottom of the board, there is the HQ (Headquarters) with 5 spaces on which heroes that are revealed from the hero deck, are placed. Just above it, there are the different parts of the city where villains appear. On the left side, there is a space for the Mastermind and the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents deck. On the top, there are spaces for the Scheme card, the escaped villains, Wounds deck and Bystanders deck. Finally a big space for cards that get KO’d (knocked out) for the game. These are permanently removed from the game. The board is big and has plenty of space for everything, even a very helpful textbox on the top-left corner about how to set up the game according to the number of players.

The artwork of the board and the cards are awesome. The images are original artwork, not found in any comic, drawn with detail and imagination. All 14 cards of each hero, from the common to the rare version has the same artwork which is an issue that some people find not very appealing. I wasn’t much bothered by that although I admit that it would be a most welcomed update to the game if different versions of heroes had different art and it would make the cards more easily recognizable. 8/10The gameboard!

Gameplay:

What is there not to like in Legendary? It is deck-building, which is one of the newest and most popular genres, it’s highly thematic and it’s also unique in that it’s both cooperative (with players cooperating to beat the Mastermind) and competitive (with players competing to earn the most victory points). This combination matches a lot of Marvel storylines and makes the game appealing to fans of co-op games and gamers who like games with a single winner (like me!!). Devin Low has designed this game effectively, combining the latest trends in gaming, flavored by characters that almost everybody is familiar with, Marvel superheroes.

The pace of the game is really fast. There is always something happening and during other players turns, you can study your cards, planning your next turn or just watch the action. New villains appear every turn and some of them may trigger chain-reactions of events by pushing one or more villains to escape from the city.

Luck plays its little part in the game, regarding what heroes and villains will be revealed and whether you will manage to get enough heroes of a specific class to make your deck work. This is a big difference from games like Dominion or Thunderstone in which all cards are available to all players to buy. In Legendary you can only buy one of the five heroes at HQ so if no one fits your agenda or they are very expensive then your plans are delayed and you can do nothing about it. Nevertheless, the strategy is the dominant element in the game as you decide what heroes to buy and what villains to fight.

A little issue with gameplay I noticed is that players that play first usually do better than players playing after them as they get to choose first the best available (and affordable) heroes which make them have a head start against other players. I have to play many more games to decide if statistically, this problem appears often enough to make it a real issue. Other than that gameplay is smooth and balanced and I have to admit very.

Another con for the game is the amount of time required for setting up and break down. You have to pick a Mastermind (OK, that’s easy), to find his four tactic cards and pick a Scheme. Then you must build the Villain Deck: Add Master Strike cards, random Village and Henchmen groups and Bystanders. Then pick 5 Heroes. Shuffle all these decks. It’s true that set-up is not so boring as you are excited about the game that will follow. But what with break-down when the game is over? You have to sort out all the different cards, put them in piles and back to their box. This is a somewhat dull process but I guess it couldn’t be avoided. The randomness of the decks is what makes the gameplay so exciting. 9/10

Learning Curve:

Legendary is not a difficult game to learn, especially if you have played another deck-building game like Dominion or Thunderstone before. The most difficult thing to learn at first is the various cards of the villain deck, except the actual villains, that is Master Strike and Scheme Twist cards and their effects or what to do when a villain escapes. In case you never played a deck-building game before things will be a little harder. In any case, the best way to teach this game is to explain the very basic rules and learn the rest of it while playing the game. 7/10

 

 

Overseas option hunted for on line casino transactions

Overseas options are being explored to potentially manage Bermuda’s online casino transactions, the brand new head of the gaming fee has found out.

Cheryl-Ann Mapp advised The Royal Gazette that the Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission is seeking the recommendation from its counterparts overseas on options to the island’s three neighborhood banks, none of which has yet agreed to any involvement within the fledgling industry.

Commission chairwoman Ms. Mapp stated there was “very tremendous and inspiring dialogue” ongoing with the local banks and she was “confident” they would be able to paintings with the casinos.

But Richard Schuetz, former govt director of the regulatory body, claimed it turned into incredibly unlikely that neighborhood banks would get permission to be worried from their correspondent banks within the United States.

Image result for Overseas option hunted for on line casino transactions

Mr. Schuetz, who stop the fee in July final 12 months, claimed negative global publicity surrounding current amendments to the Casino Gaming Act might deter the correspondent banks — and their approval becomes important for neighborhood banks processing US dollar transactions.

“Any correspondent bank could do due diligence on Bermuda and I doubt that the newspaper and magazine articles during the last 12 months might assist the motive,” he said.

 

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“One only wishes to examine my resignation letter to take into account that a US correspondent financial institution may also have worries about doing enterprise in Bermuda.”

Ms. Mapp’s predecessor, Alan Dunch, who quit the commission in protest at legislative amendments, warned in November 2016 that there could not be a casino industry without purchase-in from nearby banks.

At that level, Mr. Dunch said the nearby banks had instructed the Government they “won’t financial institution the casinos” and correspondent banks for Butterfield and Clarion had indicated they would want to be happy the island had tough anti-money-laundering controls in location.

The fee’s plan turned into to introduce a stringent regulatory framework for the online casino industry to steer the USA banks to get on board.

But the bulk of the essential rules have yet to be tabled in Parliament, regardless of being drafted by the commission and added to the Attorney-General’s Chambers for approval in May ultimate 12 months.

Tourism minister Jamahl Simmons stated in November that delivering a “complete set of casino gaming regulations necessary to set the best stage of requirements for the enterprise” was a concern, but has stated little on the topic on the grounds that.

Last week’s Budget made no unique point out of casinos, aside from a pledge to provide Bermuda College additional funds to offer gaming industry schooling.

David Burt, the Premier and Minister of Finance, said: “The Ministry of Finance will soon start consultations on expanding the varieties of banks that could operate in Bermuda.”

The Royal Gazette asked the island’s local banks in the event that they had determined whether to conduct economic transactions for any casinos that open right here.

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An HSBC Bermuda spokeswoman said: “Following a thorough evaluate some years ago, the HSBC Group took the decision to restrict its involvement with the playing quarter. This represents further progress in the HSBC Group approach when you consider that May 2011.”

That choice changed into a part of enhancements HSBC made to its compliance structures after having to pay a $1.Nine billion settlement within the United States in 2012 for supporting Mexican drug cartels launder cash and breaching worldwide sanctions with the aid of doing enterprise with Iran.

A Clarion spokesman stated: “Clarion maintains to advantage further expertise of the online casino gaming legislation and law. Upon of completion of this evaluation, Clarion control will make a chance-based totally selection to development in additional discussions with diverse stakeholders including our board and shareholders and, most significantly, our correspondent banks.

“While we want to assist Bermuda, we also must make sure that such commercial enterprise is in alignment with our regulatory responsibilities, our banking license and our risk urge for food.”

Butterfield declined to comment.

Ms. Mapp stated: “The commission keeps to have very fantastic and inspiring communicate with the neighborhood banks, concerning the banking of online casino budget. [I am] assured that the nearby banks could be capable of work with the casinos. However, the commission is looking for the advice of our distant places opposite numbers as to any other alternatives which might be to be had to an online casino operator.”

Mr. Schuetz and Mr. Dunch met with Wells Fargo, a correspondent financial institution for Clarion, and Bank of New York Mellon, Butterfield’s correspondent financial institution, in 2015.

“Both stated to me they would sense maximum at ease with a US model of regulation,” stated Mr Schuetz, adding that was due to the fact “America were addressing anti-cash laundering for the reason that passage of the Bank Secrecy Act in 1971, the US casino regulatory device had a strong tradition of compliance and there has been an exquisite deal of institutional know-how inside the US about addressing anti-money-laundering issues in casinos”.

He brought that the amendments tabled in November, giving the tourism minister the power to sack gaming commissioners without reason and compelling them to follow his “standard directions” on policy, have been rarely consistent with the United States model. The amendments had been described as a “recipe for disaster” through professionals in the States

Image result for Overseas option hunted for on line casino transactions.

Mr. Schuetz stated: “While Minister Simmons seems to think he’s concerned in first-rate practices, I assume the rest of the online casino global and the banking device can also disagree.”

Neither the Ministry of Tourism and Economic Development nor the Attorney-General’s Chambers replied to requests for comment on the gaming guidelines by way of press time.

The gaming fee has granted one provisional casino license thus far, to the Hamilton Princess Hotel and Beach Club.

The console gaming market reached new highs in 2017

This story became introduced to BI Intelligence Apps and Platforms Briefing subscribers hours before performing on Business Insider. To be the primary to recognize, please click right here.

Consumer spending international on recreation consoles and related services in 2017 reached its maximum factor seeing that 2011, consistent with a file from IHS Markit.

The last yr became also the primary to peer a 12 months-over-year (YoY) boom in purchaser spending due to the fact 2014. Overall, consumers spent $41 billion on hardware, video games content material, and offerings in 2017, representing an 18% YoY boom from 2016. For context, spending reached $46 billion in 2011.

Nintendo’s strong overall performance in 2017 was a chief pressure in driving increase within the gaming market. Nintendo captured a 22% percentage of the gaming marketplace in 2017, up from nine% in 2016, largely driven by the breakout fulfillment of its present-day hardware release, the Switch hybrid console, which saw 12.8 million sales throughout the 12 months. Sony led the p.C. With a 53% percentage, down from 57% in 2016. Microsoft noticed its share drop to twenty-five% in 2017 from 31% in the previous year.

Here’s a breakdown of purchaser gaming spending in 2017:

 

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Spending on sports consoles grew 33% YoY in 2017. Consumer spending on this class reached $14.1 billion in 2017. During the 12 months, leading gamers like Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft launched new consoles — Nintendo Switch, Sony SP4 Pro, and Xbox One X, respectively — at fee points higher than current consoles.
Subscriptions to gaming structures jumped eleven% YoY to reach $3 billion in 2017.Subscriptions to gaming structures, together with Xbox Live Gold and PlayStation Plus, are appealing to agencies because they generate regular sales. Rather than having to rely upon the sporadic shopping behavior of gamers, subscription sales are generated on a regular foundation. Nintendo’s upcoming subscription service, Nintendo Switch Online, should bolster subscription spending in 2018.
Game content spending captured the most important share of the gaming market. This category grew 12% YoY to attain $23.6 billion in 2017. Gaming content material accounted for over fifty-seven % of the market. This category consists of spending through all types of distribution channels and refers to sports sales and paid downloadable content

1980 arcade games proved that the gaming marketplace would come to be massive worldwide within the future years with no symptoms of stopping. This, of a route, changed into extraordinarily obvious inside the release of the best grossing recreation of all time. This changed into additionally heralded the primary mascot man or woman. Pac-Man was a global phenomenon that also ushered within the maze chase genre, added strength-ups, featured cut-scenes, and opened gaming to woman audiences. Pre-1980 arcade video games showed off their tech prowess and creativeness through video games inclusive of Pong and Space Invaders. However, 1980 games showed the arena how a good deal money changed into to be made in this area.

The Rise of Technology

To see how ways we’ve gone in the realm of video-gaming, all one need to do is to appear again in the 1980’s to look how far we have come. 1980 arcade video games pave the manner for standardized gaming for decades to return. Namco launched some other contestant within the area of 1980 arcade video games. Rally-X has become the first sport to introduce an advantage spherical a feature multi-directional scrolling. Universal releases Space Panic which many cite as being the first platform game. Nintendo releases Radar Scope which features a ridicule 3-d 1/3 character perspective. Atari releases Battlezone which was later used for US military education (with some upgrades, of the route. These are just a few of the gaming advances that have been delivered to 1980 video games.

Pac-Man is King

Even after all of the above-stated gaming advances in different 1980 arcade games, Pac-Man stays the first-rate in its category. It took conventional gaming to that factor and no longer best introduced many never seen before features, however it crossed retail strains by means of having the primary mascot individual from gaming in records. There had been Pac Man lunchboxes, Pac Man plush toys, Pac Man notebooks, Pac Man posters, Pac Man TV Shows. Namco took its location because of the grandfather of arcade gaming. They showed us not most effective the way to constantly innovate and make anew, however also the way to cross-sell your innovation thru several retail markets. It became because of 1980 arcade games that we see the video game market as we do these days.

A Foreshadowing of Things to Come

In the coming years and decades, agencies could take Namco’s instance and use it as the idea for all in their destiny initiatives. Namco’s plan changed into the golden template. Simply put, 1980 Arcade-games set the standard.
FantaZ is one of a brand new crop of community advertising corporations trying tough to determine out a manner to faucet into the speedy increase of the online gaming market.

Now FantaZ which recently entered the world of MLM has a totally virtual product, online gaming, and hopes with a purpose to capitalize on what is through their debts a $four billion online gaming industry.

Now that is a robust niche marketplace, and I assume that is what the founders of FantaZ are relying on.

If FantaZ can reach sufficient of the net gamer market and convince them that this is the manner to go it is able to explode via the enterprise and develop virally and of course, the people who push it can make quite a few cash.

However, it appears that evidently as famous as online gaming is, the lion’s proportion of this marketplace belongs to the large sports builders who’ve branded themselves over time and evolved a fanatical following.

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Success testimonies including World of Warcraft who through some money owed had 12 million subscribers as of October 2010. They are presently the sector’s maximum-subscribed online gaming web page and hold approximately sixty-two % of the MMORPG (Massively multiplayer online function-gambling recreation) subscription market.

Now of path no longer start a gamer myself I am staring at this international and commercial enterprise version from the outdoor, so a gamer’s view can be exclusive, but plainly the huge franchises in this market all advanced fantastically designed pc games with large content material after which branched that into the net international so that they already had a natural market following for this.