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High-profile premium game falters in F2P-dominated mobile market

“Our expectation is about 1/3 the return of the original Spider for 5 times the man-hours,” Tiger Style’s David Kalina tells PocketGamer in a new interview about the studio’s latest release. …

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Guitar Hero Live Shows Off Premium Shows

Activision and FreeStyle Games today shared new info and images of the premium shows feature on the way in Guitar Hero Live. Premium shows are structured as a way to deliver playable concert footage, music videos, and other as yet undetailed music content.

In-game challenges must be completed to access premium shows, and players win rewards based on the difficulty on which they tackle the show. Rewards can include new note highways or custom player cards, as well as other options that increase the speed of leveling up or acquiring in-game currency.

The first announced premium show is a live concert featuring the band Black Veil Brides, which you can get a glimpse of in the screens below. Guitar Hero Live hits PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Wii U, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and select iOS and Android devices on October 20. – The Feed

LittleBigPlanet 3 Premium Adventure Pack DLC Expands The Story In July

Sony has announced upcoming DLC for LittleBigPlanet 3 to continue Sackboy's story. The events at the end of the game were supposed to send Sackboy back to Craftworld. Unfortunately, things didn't go as planned.

The upcoming DLC will be a whirlwind tour of new levels based on themes found in the first two LittleBigPlanet games. There are new cooperative challenges, and OddSock gets a new bouncing ability. The adventure pack also includes creative items for level building.

Sumo Digital and Sony are also releasing a free costume pack this week. It will be available when the store updates later today.

No price point has yet been disclosed. For more on LittleBigPlanet 3, check out our review.

[Source: PlayStation Blog] – The Feed

Our strange journey: Industry vets go from premium mobile to Steam hopeful

“So what did we learn together here? Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want, as long as you’re being honest and aren’t being greedy. Sometimes even if you don’t think it can happen, life can surprise you.” …

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StreetPass Gets New Premium Plaza And Games

StreetPass fanatics will have new addictions to focus on later this month, as Nintendo has announced two new premium StreetPass games, as well as a new premium StreetPass Plaza.

The first premium game being launched is Ultimate Angler, a fishing title that sees players receiving special bait from Mii characters that visit their StreetPass Plaza. The players then take the bait and visit the StreetPass Islands to attempt to catch fish. Certain types of bait are best suited to catch certain kinds of fish, so strategy must be used when selecting the items from your tackle box. Once one of the over 150 different types of fish takes your bait, you must then reel it in. Nintendo also hints that "several legendary monsters" are also scattered throughout the islands.

The second game, Battleground Z, is an action game that has players receive special items based on visiting StreetPass characters' hobbies. The player must use these special items as weapons against hordes of zombies within the game. There are 26 different kinds of weapons available to the player through StreetPass visitors.

In addition to these two games, StreetPassers can also look forward to the new StreetPass Mii Plaza Premium. This new Plaza offers new ways for players to interact with Miis in the plaza, including StreetPass birthdays, which fills up a calendar based on the birthdays of visitors. A new VIP section is also added through this paid update, allowing StreetPassers to store up to 100 Miis in a special area. 

The StreetPass update to make these games available will go live on April 16. Ultimate Angler, Battleground Z, and StreetPass Mii Plaza Premium will each be made available for $ 4.99 each. If you plan on buying both Ultimate Angler and Battleground Z, Nintendo has included the option to do so for a value price of $ 7.99. – The Feed

Opinion – Battlefield Hardline Premium Typifies Problems With DLC

Gamers have gotten used to the idea that they might spend more than the initial sticker price on a game. DLC in various forms, season passes, and premium memberships are common, and often just easily ignored temptations – unnecessary for some and a nice thing to have for others. Although there are numerous pay-to-win titles, most console games do not let some gamers pay for an advantage over those who haven’t. Today Electronic Arts and Visceral announced the Battlefield Hardline Premium program that may cross that line.

The program includes many of the features that were in the Battlefield 4 premium program but Hardline advertises four “super” features – one of which is masks that confer “unique gameplay benefits.” I’ve contacted EA to try and find out exactly what these benefits are, but the company said it isn’t sharing any more details on the program at this time.

Furthermore, the other super features don’t sound very premium when compared to series like Call of Duty that already offer these in the base game. Visual weapon customization via a gun bench and the Legendary status (a replayability feature that sounds close to COD’s Prestige class) arguably should not be put behind a premium wall.

It’s not usual for a multiplayer game’s DLC to offer exclusive weapons for money or as part of a pre-order campaign. In some cases these are balanced with other weapons in the game, and therefore don’t necessarily give a clear-cut advantage. There are other masks in Hardline that everyone can get (they take up a gadget slot in your loadout), and while it’s possible that the masks won’t tip the scales of the game towards those that pay $ 50 for the membership, at best it’s currently unclear what exactly you’d be paying extra for.

This brings up another worrying aspect of the program as well as other games’ season passes – you don’t always know if what you’re paying for is worth it (like with Shadow of Mordor), or in the case of BioShock Infinite, when they are going to come out at all. While the math works out in favor of consumers who get a season pass if they plan to purchase all the expansions, for instance, there’s no way to tell if the DLC that sounds good will actually be worth it.

Funnily, DLC turns out to be a damned if they do, damned if they don’t for developers, too. Visceral shouldn’t offer DLC that gives an unfair advantage, but if they are going to sell DLC in the first place, it better be worth it!

This sums up my ambivalence towards DLC. For most games I don’t buy it in advance because I rarely can get a feel if it’s something I really want, and I also never know if I’ll even be playing the game still by the time it comes out. How often have you felt the DLC you’ve bought was worth it?
At the end of the day, it’s only $ 10 extra dollars, but when there are already so many questions surrounding what you’re actually getting when you pay your $ 60 for your average console game – whether it’s the content, length, or even stability of the product – we shouldn’t also have to worry about the gameplay balance being upset. – The Feed

Battlefield Hardline Premium Membership Introduces Prestige-Like System And Gameplay Advantages

Electronic Arts and Battlefield Hardline developer Visceral Games have announced a Premium program for the game that nets you four new "super features," as well as early access to the game's story-based DLC.

The program costs $ 50, and the four "super features" are:

  • Masks that confer "unique gameplay benefits" (currently unspecified)
  • A gun bench that tracks weapons' kills and offers visual customization
  • Premium-only tournaments and ladders
  • Legendary status for replayability (similar to Call of Duty's Prestige system)

Premium members will also be afforded two weeks early access to the games's expansion packs. Four story-based DLC have been announced (which are included in the membership), each with new modes, vehicles, and maps.

  • Criminal Activity (summer)
  • Robbery (summer)
  • Getaway (fall)
  • Betrayal (early 2016)

Finally, members will receive:

  • 12 gold battlepacks
  • Premium-exclusive in-game items, and personalization options such as gun camos and ammo skins
  • Exclusive events such as double-XP and missions
  • Priority position in server queues

In terms of extras, EA is also offering a reward to returning fans of the Battlefield franchise.

Battlefield Hardline comes out for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 on March 17.

[Source: Electronic Arts]


Our Take
This premium membership is similar in some ways to the one for Battlefield 4, except not only does it contain one fewer DLC pack (at least that's announced so far), but as currently defined, the new mask super feature seems like it offers a gameplay advantage. Furthermore, in terms of competing games like Call of Duty, Hardline's Legendary status is pay-gated unlike COD's prestige. Not cool. – The Feed

Mewtwo may become premium DLC for Super Smash Bros.

Nearly one month ago, Nintendo revealed legendary Pokemon Mewtwo as a playable fighter for Super Smash Bros, available only to those that own both the Wii U and 3DS versions of the game. Expected to arrive in spring 2015, the downloadable character…
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Robotoki pays a price for abandoning F2P in favor of premium dev

Robert Bowling’s indie studio has ended its publishing deal with Nexon and laid off staff as it moves to make its formerly F2P project Human Element a premium game. …

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Battlefield 4 Premium members make a Final Stand next week

Battlefield 4 Premium members will receive the game’s final map pack, the appropriately-titled “Final Stand,” on November 18, publisher EA has revealed. The DLC, which features the weaponized wintry wonderlands of Russia, will contain four maps,…
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