Nov 21, 2011
Daily revenue from superhero MMO DC Universe Online is up 700 per cent since it adopted the free-to-play model on 1st November, according to Sony Online Entertainment boss John Smedley.
Smedley Tweeted the figure earlier today, along with a number of other stats.
Apparently, revenue is split 47 per cent from the PC version and 53 per cent from the PlayStation 3 version.
The game's userbase is growing by six per cent a day, while 85 per cent of daily log-ins are returning players.
The most popular in-game purchases are additional character slots and the Vanguard of the Heavens character skins.
Earlier this month, SOE announced that the game has attracted a million new users since the shift to free-to-play.
Nov 17, 2011
A second DLC expansion for superhero MMO DC Universe Online goes live later this year, Sony Online Entertainment has announced.
Titled Lightning Strikes, the pack adds Electricity Powers - the game's eighth power set - and a new adventure starring The Flash.
There's also a new Central City map, new gear and new characters, including Livewire, Black Lightning, The Top, The Trickster and Static.
The add-on is free to Legendary members but will cost Premium and Free players $9.99.
"In this DLC pack, fans have the opportunity to immerse themselves in another great character and action-packed story from the DC Universe," commented creative director Jens Andersen.
"With exciting gameplay, a new power set and new locations to share with your friends, we packed a whole new kind of fun into this DLC pack and are eager for our players to dive into another legendary adventure."
Oct 4, 2011
A new DC Universe Online update goes live today, Sony Online Entertainment has announced.
Titled Fate of the Fortress, it picks up where Fortress of Solitude left off, with the player fighting through Brainiac's stronghold with Superman and Lex Luthor.
The second installment in the three part episode takes you deeper inside the fortress, culminating with a boss battle against one of Brainiac's chief goons.
The update also includes new loot, 30 new weapons and, for those who complete all the briefings in both Fortress raids, a General Zod-inspired Banished Kryptonian Cowl.
SOE has also added a Hard Mode for HIVE Alert, a new Batcave PvP map and a new gameplay mode called Dueling that lets players challenge another Hero or Villain to a one-on-one fight.
As detailed earlier this month, DC Universe recently made the switch from subs to free-to-play.
Sep 21, 2011
DC Universe Online is going free-to-play to "open up" the game to a wider audience, according to the game's executive producer Lorin Jameson.
Speaking to Eurogamer earlier today, Jameson explained that the move, announced earlier this week, is also a reaction to player feedback demanding different ways to play the game.
"We have a game that's resonating with our player base," he said. "Especially on the PS3, we've been getting a lot of people into the game to try it out. Our customers have been saying they wanted more options for how to play the game.
"The subscription model is relatively new on the PS3 and we've already had success with our other free-to-play titles, like Clone War Adventures and Free Realms, so we thought this was a good time to introduce some alternate models to allow as many people as possible to play the game."
He denied suggestions that the shift to F2P was a result of lower than anticipated subscription numbers.
"No, I think we've been doing really quite well. We sold a lot of copies, we've had a lot of people paying and playing the game. This was just a way to open up to even more folks."
Jameson wouldn't offer up any figures, but insisted the game is in good health.
"We recently had our mega server launch which allowed us to basically get all the power of all the players into platform specific and region specific servers. That really goosed our numbers a good amount.
"And then the release of our first mini expansion DLC, Fight For the Light, gave us a bump as well. So actually we've been looking really good. This has been a challenging year with the [PSN] outage but we've recovered quite well since then."
There's plenty of new content coming down the pipe, with update 5 first out the door before a second DLC expansion arrives before the year's end.
"We've got game update 5 coming up," he said. "We haven't set a date, we're still in the QA and approval process.
"That adds the second part of the Fortress of Solitude raid. We introduced the first part about four weeks ago in update four. That raid continues on - you go deeper into the fortress, you join forces with Zod and Superman in a sort of 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend' moment.
"We also have DLC 2 coming up. I can only say at this point it's exciting. We're focusing on The Flash for this DLC and it will be out before the end of the year."
Sep 19, 2011
In October superhero MMO DC Universe Online becomes free to play, Sony Online Entertainment has announced.
Both PC and PlayStation 3 gamers will be able to download and play the game for free, IGN reports.
Sony Online Entertainment said the decision was not a response to falling subscriber numbers, but admitted free-to-play was the company's preferred business model from launch.
"In terms of 'Is it a result in a drop in subs' - absolutely not," Lorin Jameson, SOE executive producer, insisted.
"This is the right business model. If I can be honest, the game ended up costing a lot more than we thought it would, and this was our preferred business model from day one."
Three versions of the game are available: free, premium and legendary. Free players have access to the current DC Universe Online gameplay, can create two characters and can join a league. You can buy game packs, additional character slots and powers through microtransactions.
Premium relates to any player who has spent at least $5 - that includes former paid subscribers and new players who have purchased $5 of in-game items. Premium players get more character slots, more inventory slots and higher cash limits.
And Legendary offers the maximum features. It costs $15 a month and includes all DLC packs at no cost, over 15 character slots, more than 80 inventory slots and the ability to form leagues.
Meanwhile, Sony Online Entertainment has ditched its automatic re-subscribe system based on fan feedback.
"I don't know about you, but my credit card statement every month is this amalgam of s*** of MMOs that I'm too lazy to cancel," Jameson said. "What we want is to offer people a way to not worry about that."
Sep 1, 2011
Superhero MMO DC Universe Online gets a free DLC expansion next week, Sony Online Entertainment has announced.
Titled Fight for the Light, it introduces The Green Lantern and the game's seventh power set - light. Players will be able to join either the Green Lantern Corps or Sinestro Corps as reservist members in their efforts to restore balance to the universe.
Expect a number of new scenarios, including a battle for control of the S.T.A.R. Labs, a showdown with the Red Lantern Corps in Coast City and a breakout at Sciencells Prison.
The expansion goes live for PC and US PlayStation 3 users on 6th September, though Sony is yet to confirm an EU PS3 date.
Aug 8, 2011
Sony today begins its conversion of the servers running PC and PlayStation 3 MMO DC Universe into four MegaServers.
The move "greatly" expands the number of players available to play with, Sony Online Entertainment said.
Sony said gamers will enjoy much larger populations, will have access to a much larger pool of people to join in Alerts, Duos, Raids and Legends PvP, it will be much easier to play with friends who were previously on other servers, you'll be able to switch between PvP and PvE style play by using the phase shifters in the Hall of Doom and JLA Watchtower, and there will be a larger number of items in the Broker.
One thing to watch out for: your character name may have been changed as a result of other players having the same name.
"We have implemented the fairest system possible to determine which players would be able to retain their name without change," Sony said. "Those players whose names have been changed will be sent an in-game email which includes a free Name Change token and instructions as to how to change your name if you do not wish to keep the name assigned to you by the system. We know that your character names are important to you and if there are any issues our Customer Support Group will be happy to assist you."
The game's new servers are now arranged in Phases, which can be thought of as a combination of all of the shared world areas of the game: Metropolis, Gotham, Police Stations and Night Clubs, the Hall of Doom, and the JLA Watchtower.
"The great thing is that regardless of phase or whether you are playing in PvP or PvE, all other players on the MegaServer will be available to join you in all of the queued Alerts, Raids, Duos, and Arenas," Sony said.
When a region and platform are converted to the new MegaServer configuration, Sony expects the game to be unavailable for play for around 10-14 hours. The official DC Universe website has the schedule for this conversion.
Jul 1, 2011
DC Universe Online has taken one red-booted stride down the free-to-play highway by introducing micro-transactions in a Marketplace store.
There you can buy Wearables, Vault tickets, convenience items "and other fun wares" for real money - either using funds added to your PSN Wallet or by spending Station Cash.
You can access the Marketplace by opening your in-game PDA (press Escape on PC or start on PS3). Once there, select the Shopping Cart icon.
At the moment there are only two items available at the Marketplace: Proto-Repair Bots (fix equipment on the go) and Vault Ticket Packs (allows more trips to the vault).
Five Proto-Repair Bots costs $3.99 on PS3 and 400 Station Cash on PC ($4).
Micro-transactions are, of course, the bread and butter of a free-to-play diet. That DC Universe, an MMO struggling to fly, should opt to ditch upfront and subscription fees in favour of attracting a larger audience makes jolly good sense to me.
May 14, 2011
Sony Online Entertainment is back online, the MMO company has announced.
Games such as DC Universe Online, EverQuest and Free Realms should now be playable again.
"We are pleased to be back online and deeply apologize for the inconvenience caused by the recent data breach and subsequent outage," SOE said in a statement.
"To thank you all for your patience and understanding, we have prepared a Welcome Back Program that includes complimentary identity theft protection, free game time and special in-game items and events.
"Reminder: As an added security measure, we require a password reset for your Station Account - we recommend you do this immediately."
The compensation packages have been beefed for each SOE game fittingly, and now encompass in-game items, currency and Station Cash - as well as free game time (30 days free plus one extra for each day the SOE game has been offline).
SOE admitted on 2nd May that personal details from 24.6 million accounts had been compromised as the San Diego MMO maker suffered a security breach similar to the one that afflicted the PlayStation Network.
Sony tonight began the restoration of the PlayStation Network with the release of new firmware.
May 13, 2011
Sony Online Entertainment MMOs will be offline for "at least a few more days", the company has announced.
The compensation packages have been beefed for each SOE game fittingly, and now encompass in-game items, currency and Station Cash - as well as free game time (30 days free plus one extra for each day the SOE game has been offline). We've listed specific compensation for each game below.
US SOE Station Account holders also receive a complimentary identity theft security program through Debix. "SOE will be offering similar programs, if and as available, and will provide details as they're confirmed for each country or territory," a company statement read.
Lifetime subscribers to SOE games will be compensated further. Free Realms lifers will receive 20,000 coins, Clone Wars Adventures lifers 7500 Galactic Credits and DC Universe Online lifers 10 extra Marks of Distinction.
All Station Access subscribers will receive 500 Station Cash on top of that.
"We thank you for your patience as we continue to work around the clock to restore our game services. We know this has been a frustrating time for you and appreciate your understanding as we work to confirm the security of our network," said SOE in a statement.
"We are currently in the process of an extensive upgrade to our network to further protect your information from future attacks. It will likely be at least a few more days before we restore our services, and when we come back online, here is what you can expect for each of our game services."
- DC Universe Online: Batman and Two-Face masks, plus 30 Marks of Distinction
- Free Realms: seven free daily items
- Clone Wars Adventures: Count Dooku V2 outfit
- EverQuest 1: double XP, double rare mob spawns and double faction gain events
- EverQuest 2: double XP, double guild XP, loot bonanza and city festival events
- Vanguard: Saga of Heroes: double XP events
- Star Wars Galaxies: mini model of Boba Fett's ship Slave I
- Magic: The Gathering - Tactics: four Ivory Mask, Duress and Angelheart Vial spells, plus 500 Station Cash
- PoxNora: Limited edition Carrionling, Welcome Back tournaments (with 5K prize purse) and two Draft Tournaments, plus 500 Station Cash
SOE admitted on 2nd May that personal details from 24.6 million accounts had been compromised as the San Diego MMO maker suffered a security breach similar to PSN.
Video: DC Universe Online.