In these uncertain times, it’s good to reflect on the organizations which are providing assistance to others. At PAX East, we had the privilege of speaking with Stack Up’s founder and CEO, Stephen Machuga about their mission. Stack Up is a nonprofit organization that was founded from a simple idea: veterans and active-serving military needed something to help their mental health.
Population Zero is a new entry into the genre of exploration/survival games, created by Enplex Games. Stranded on the planet Kepler with the survivors of colonization expedition, it’s the player’s goal to survive for 168 hours (7 earthly days) before they surrender to madness due to a mysterious Sphere.
What’s interesting is that many large game companies tend to do the occasional celebration of this sort of camaraderie, but it’s rare that a company continues the tradition and in fact doubles down on it. ArenaNet started such an initiative last year called Friend/Ships, acknowledging both romantic and non-romantic lasting relationships that sprung up amongst their Guild Wars 2 community, and it continued this year with a modest booth on the show floor and a special panel at PAX East.
The internet got introspective in the past couple of months when it wasn’t arguing over exactly when the decade ended. Setting pedantry aside for a moment, let’s discuss changes to the concept of early access over the past ten years and whether or not it it has a positive effect on games. Back in the day, most games were released to the public at launch, and only folks who knew someone was able to finesse their way into a closed beta, with a rarefied fewer getting alpha access, both of which were frequently covered by non-disclosure agreements.
While it wasn’t a supremely transformative year for MMOs, in 2019, the industry has started to see more and more of a paradigm shift in the kinds of MMOs being released, worked on, or even theorycrafted. For years, players and the general public equated MMO to games that followed World of Warcraft’s model, which was a more cemented version of EverQuest’s model, and the industry shied away from innovation because that was risky.
With Neverwinter bringing the Undermountain update to the PC version of the title, we have once more teamed up with our friends at Perfect World and Cryptic Studios for a new giveaway.