The Evening Report, March 21, 2013: Details on Tencent’s Epic Investment, Quantic Dream’s PS4 Game, and the Status of Star Wars: The Old Republic

The Evening Report, March 21, 2013: Details on Tencent’s Epic Investment, Quantic Dream’s PS4 Game, and the Status of Star Wars: The Old Republic

paxeastIt’s PAX East this week, which means most of the SideQuesting guys are out yelling, sweating, and scowing at kilts. And hey, if you’re attending PAX East this year, we’ve got you covered with a complete list of parties you may or may not want to attend.

I’m here, at home, the week after Blizzard released Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm, playing Warcraft 3 for some reason. Such is life.


Details on Tencent’s $330 Million Investment into Epic Games are Out

epicgames Epic founder Tim Sweeney spoke to Polygon after it reported that Tencent purchased over 40 percent of the company in the deal we heard about last June. He confirms the Chinese internet company’s financial reports, and said, “two Tencent representatives joined Epic’s board of directors, in addition to the three directors and two observers appointed by Epic.”

From the amount of high-profile employees at Epic leaving, it’s probably a good guess it won’t be pushing out as many games as it was before, or at all, following Fortnite. It’s unclear how Tencent’s investment affects the company, though.

[Source: Polygon]


Quantic Dream is Working on a PS4 Game Already

quanticdreamps4Speaking to Eurogamer, Quantic Dream COO Guillaume de Fondaumière said the company is already working on a PlayStation 4 game. Fondaumière describes the game as a character- and story-driven game, whatever that really means, and then goes on to say “whatever we’re working on on PS4 is not going to resemble what we’re doing on PS3… We’re going to try and reinvent ourselves.”

I can never get into Quantic Dream’s games, despite how important I think its type of games are for the medium. Right now, nobody else creates games like Quantic Dream, but I’d gladly play something in a different genre from that developer.

[Source: Eurogamer]


Star Wars: The Old Republic Sees Over Two Million New Accounts Since Going Free-to-Play in Nov.

swtorf2pElectronic Arts’ big bet Star Wars: The Old Republic has gained over two million new accounts since going free-to-play last November. To put that in perspective, fantasy MMO Tera rose to a North American player count of 1.4 million since it went free-to-play just last month, and Lord of the Rings Online saw an increase of over a million new accounts a month after it went free-to-play in 2010.

“New accounts” is a tricky metric to go by, though. Players can make as many new accounts as they want, and can stop playing after 20 minutes. What the numbers do show, however, is that people are still interested in giving the game a shot. Getting them to stick around is the trick to being successful.

As someone who’s played many a MMO, and has seen them transition from a subscription-based model to a free-to-play model, it causes an influx of players in the early content, and a saturation of old veterans in the end-game content. The middle sections of most free-to-play MMOs are desolate, and for some, it can really hurt the experience.

[Source: Star Wars: The Old Republic official site]


Tyler’s Thing

As part of a new year’s resolution, I’m running a Tumblr blog where I link to my favorite writing about games. That’s it. It’s an incredibly important year for games what with the new consoles and such, and I hope to look at it at the end of the year and get a nice consensus of where games took us and what we were talking about. That said, I rarely find the time to link to stuff that’s not made up of words, so here’s some things I’ve been wanting to share.

Brainy Gamer is back with a new series about the state of games. A lofty topic sure, but an important one nonetheless. Give the first few episodes a listen, host Michael Abbott ropes in veteran game writers (and now creators) like Steve Gaynor, Leigh Alexander, and recently, Tom Bissell. All the SimCity server problems and questionable sequels will fade away, and you can be optimistic about games again.

Giant Bomb’s long interview with Irrational Games’ Ken Levine digs into his past and future, and thoughts on HBO’s Girls as it relates to BioShock: Infinite. We’re days out from the game’s release, and it was enough to cap my excitement for the game. Rumor is that spoilers for the game are out in the wild. I’m resisting everything BioShock: Infinite for now until I’ve finished it.