IGN broke the news yesterday that DC Universe Online is moving to a free-to-play model next month on both the PC and the PS3. You'll be able to download and play the game for free, and it doesn't appear that there are any limitations on free players in terms of level limit or content areas, so you'll have access to the whole game. Those who spend at least $5 in the game's store will get more character slots and some other in-game benefits, and full-fledged subscribers will get all downloadable content for no extra charge as well as a other perks for being a "Legendary" member.
I talked about DCUO's subscription model back in January and my money was always on them going free-to-play within a year. In the IGN article, Sony's John Smedly stated the game cost more than they thought it would to make, and free-to-play was Sony's "preferred business model" from the beginning. It seems to me like Sony launched with subscriptions to get as much money as possible from early adopters, knowing full well they would need to go free-to-play to keep the game alive in the long run. It will be interesting to see how current subscribers react to this news, and whether they think the added perks they get over free players are worth it.
I interviewed DCUO's Senior Producer Wes Yanagi back in June of 2010, before the original subscription model had been announced. When I asked him if other MMOs had moving to a free-to-play model influenced Sony's subscription plans for DCUO, her had this to say:
The most important thing is to build a fun and entertaining game. Without a compelling product capable of attracting an audience, business models are meaningless. If anything, the current landscape has reinforced our first priority of creating a fun experience that exceeds consumer’s expectations.
In then end, I think the more people that end up playing the game, the better the MMO experience will be, so I'm for the move to free-to-play. I will absolutely be checking this game out, and I look forward to catching up with some of the SI crew on the PS3 version of the game.
Not only is creator Billy Tucci a good friend to the Secret Identity Podcast, he’s also an incredible guy and oh yea… an incredible talent. In his almost 20 year comic career he has worked with some big names in the industry but none bigger than Jesus! Yes, that one!
This Christmas, Billy takes on what has been referred to as the ‘greatest story ever told’ with ‘Billy Tucci’s A Child Is Born’. This 32 page comic will chronicle the time leading up to the birth of Jesus based on the Gospels of Matthew and Luke.
“This is an incredibly ambitious project for Billy,” friend Matman said, “but I would expect nothing less from him. When he takes on a project, he dives into it heart, soul and pencil. He has had some personal issues that he and his family not only took on but won and I think he’s at a place now where the Christmas story isn’t just another story.”
Joining Billy for the cover will be artist / painter Mark Sparacio and the book will be colored by Paul Mounts who has promised “every panel will feel like a painting”.
“From the earliest days of 'Shi' to my current mainstream work for DC Comics, every project I’ve approached has been deeply personal to me,” Tucci tells the media. “And I cannot think of any body of work more worthwhile to my family than to illustrate the story of Mary and Joseph.”
Billy Tucci’s A Child is Born is featured on Page 226 in the September 2011 edition of Previews from Diamond Comic Distributors. Its product code is SEP110740.
Debuting in comic shops with a $5.99 US price tag, this graphic novella will make the perfect holiday gift for all! For more details e-mail email@example.com or visit http://www.facebook.com/achildisborn.
A lot of our listeners might remember Mike "Frick" Weber from when we talked about his book, The Field on the Edge of the Woods.
Well, Frick has also been putting together some pretty awesome video podcasts featuring interviews with comic creators that we all know and love. The show is called Comic Book Storytellers, and you can watch episode #4 in the player below.
If you dig that, head over to the Cloud9Comix YouTube Channel and check out the other episodes.
And, after you watch Comic Book Storytellers, have a look at the trailer for the aforementioned Field on the Edge of the Woods. You can grab that book over on www.cloud9comix.com.
Week two of DC’s ‘New 52’ really made a big impression on me with some incredible books!
I don’t know about you, but it seems like this isn’t a complete relaunch of the line. When you read any Batman and Green Lantern it seems like business as usual, but books like Grifter, Mister Terrific and Resurrection Man offer new takes on old characters.
Here’s what I thought…
Mister Terrific – One of my favorite DC characters given his chance to shine courtesy of Eric Wallace, Gianluca Gugliotta and Wayne Faucher! The book is a true origin tale introducing us to the third smartest man in the world! Reads and looks like a debut book should!
Batman and Robin – The good news is that writer Peter Tomasi and artists Patrick Gleason and Mick Gray tell a tale where the focus is on the father / son relationship… and some bad dudes that meet a fiery death.
Batwoman – This book was the one I wanted to stay away from because I wasn’t interested in the character at all. But once I picked up the book I was captured by the beautiful art and free flowing layouts of J.H. Williams. Add to this his well paced storytelling (with W. Haden Blackman) and you have an absolute winner.
Green Lantern – The team of Geoff Johns, Doug Mahnke and Christian Alamy return in a tale of change! Hal Jordan must learn to live life no longer as a Green Lantern and Senestro has to learn to be one again. This one is real good… as you would expect!
Red Lanterns – What Peter Milligan brings to the table is deep storytelling and a darker side! Ed Benes and Rob Hunter add is beautiful visuals with a focus on the angry Lanterns. Didn’t expect to like it as much as I did!
Frankenstein: Agent of Shield – Jeff Lemire can take a lame concept like this and make it relevant! The art by Alberto Ponticelli adds a creepy feel that makes me want to come back again. If you like books like Hellboy and B.P.R.D., than this one will certainly speak to you.
Resurrection Man – What Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning do here is make a character we don’t really care (or even know) about and make it the best book of the week! This one could have some legs to it as long as the writing duo stay on board. Nice art by Fernando Dagnino.
Grifter – Surprise... I really liked this one! Over the top action kept this one going from beginning to end! I never liked Grifter, but Nathan Edmondson and CAFU made me love him!
KISS is coming to Riverdale! Yes, the Rock Band KISS!
The coolest team-up ever, and the last cross-over you would ever expect! In a story so wild, so over the top that it could only happen in Riverdale, with a little help from everyone’s favorite teen-aged witch.
“This is incredible,” KISS Army member Matman shouted out loud! “One of the reasons I got into KISS all those years ago was because to me they were a living musical comic book! I’m a little shocked at this team up, but in a good way!”
For over four decades, from their black and white face makeup to their iconic sound, KISS is the most recognizable Rock ‘N Roll band in the world! They have had 37 hit albums, plus appearances at Super Bowl XXXIII, the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, the 2005 “Rockin' The Corps” concert dedicated to the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and most recently, the 2009 American Idols Finale before thirty million viewers. The KISS legacy continues to grow, generation after generation, transcending age, race and creed. KISS has been everywhere and done everything, except they have never visited Riverdale …
Riverdale has been the home of Archie Andrews and his pals, America’s most beloved teenagers, for 70 years; always showing the world the best of the American high school experience. The biggest, chart-topping Top 40 bubblegum bands have hailed from Riverdale, too; including the Archies, Josie & the Pussycats and the Bingos.
Now the most incredible musical get-together that was bound to happen – will happen! This winter Gene Simmons meets Archie Andrews, Paul Stanley meets Betty & Veronica, Tommy Thayer meets Jughead and Eric Singer meets Reggie as Archie and friends meet KISS!
It’s an amazing four part mini-series in ARCHIE #627 – #630 as the Monsters of Rock help the kids save the town from the monsters of Riverdale when one of Sabrina's spells goes awry! The Archie gang and KISS join forces to save the day. It’s an adventure full of fun, humor and – of course – Rock ‘N Roll; a story that’s certain to appeal to Archie and KISS fans alike!
I'm sure most people have seen this commercial for Norton Antivirus, which came out last year. I still laugh out loud every time I see it.
As we get into the meat and potatoes of Season 2, some of the supporting characters are getting more attention, and there are several minor story arcs playing out.
Nadine (Ed’s crazy wife) still believes she is 18, and she’s attending high school. She falls head over heels for Mike Nelson (Bobby’s drug-dealing friend), and starts stalking him around school. There is a great scene where she shows him up in the weight room by leg pressing over 600 pounds.
James has left Twin Peaks behind and is on a road trip to clear his head. He stops at a roadside bar and meets a rich married woman who offers him some work fixing her husband’s car.
Catherine has confronted Josie Packard about her role in the mill scheme, as well as the death of her brother. Catherine tells Josie that she will now be working for her in exchange for being able to live in the maid’s quarters at the house. We later find out that Catherine’s brother Andrew (Josie’s former husband) is alive and well, and he and Catherine are using Josie as bait to get revenge on Andrew’s old business partner, Thomas Eckhart.
The mayor’s brother Dougie is getting married to a woman 50 years his junior and the whole town is attending. The mayor and Dougie are still fighting about this, as the mayor believes the woman (Lana) is a gold-digger.
And as for agent Cooper, he meets with Agent Hardy and the other investigators from the FBI. He admits he violated FBI policy regarding the rescue of Audrey Horne, but insists that he did nothing illegal. Agent Hardy informs Cooper that the DEA is sending in an investigator to deal with the drug smuggling charges that have been levied against him. The agent, Dennis Bryson, is someone Cooper has worked with in the past.
The biggest surprise of the episode is when we see that Dennis Bryson (played brilliantly by David Duchovny), now dresses as a woman and goes by the name Denise. Cooper takes it all in stride as he explains to Denise that he’s been framed and wants her help taking down the man behind it all, Jean Reneau.
Not much of a surprise, but it seems that the big summer events sold well and the Justice League made the top spot for August! Interesting to note, all the books in the Top Ten were $3.99 or higher!
1. JUSTICE LEAGUE #1
2. FLASHPOINT #5
3. FEAR ITSELF #5
4. FLASHPOINT #4
5. ULTIMATE COMICS FALLOUT #4
6. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #667
7. AVENGERS #16
8. WAR OF THE GREEN LANTERNS AFTERMATH #2
9. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #668
10. NEW AVENGERS #15
12. CAPTAIN AMERICA #2
20. BATMAN #713
23. ULTIMATE COMICS ULTIMATES #1
24. SECRET AVENGERS #16
25. PUNISHER #1
30. JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #60
32. DAREDEVIL #2
48. TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES ONGOING #1
55. ULTIMATE COMICS HAWKEYE #1
68. TEEN TITANS #100
Best Selling Trade - SERENITY HC VOL 02 BETTER DAYS & OTHER STORIES
Marvel held a 37.34% market share, DC a 30.72% and everyone else shared the rest including an impressive 5.78% by Dark Horse, 4.79% by IDW and 4.67% by Image.
by Brian LeTendreI am one of those gamers that has never played Magic: The Gathering, but always wanted to. So, the idea of a free card game on the iPhone/iPad appealed to me. Kard Combat is an interesting game that is fairly easy to play, but it certainly isn’t what I would call free.
First, the good--you get to pick from several classes that have different strengths and weaknesses, almost like a Dungeons & Dragons game. Each class has a certain deck of cards to play with that reflect their abilities and powers. The goal of the game is to battle NPC characters that are inhabiting levels of a wizard’s tower you are trying to make your way through. You use your deck of cards to battle the NPCs and their decks. The core gameplay involves playing one card at a time against the cards the other player has put down. Each player has a certain amount of health, so you’re trying to play cards that not only beat the cards from the other person’s deck, but also do damage to player using that deck.
The gameplay is fun, but I blew through the “free” content pretty quickly, which is my major gripe with the game. In order to have any sort of substantial experience with this game, you will need to pay to unlock new cards, new levels, etc. I didn’t enjoy the game enough to want to spend more than a dollar or two on it, which would basically only unlock the one class I spent the most time with. I guess if I knew a bunch of people who were also playing, I might be more inclined to spend money on the game, as there is a multiplayer component. As it is, however, I don’t really like the way the pay structure is put together for Kard Combat, so I can’t really recommend spending money on it. However, it’s still free to download, so you should check it out for yourself.
2.5 out of 5
Here is a quick review of the books I read from the first week of the DC relaunch! i still have a few to go, but i wanted to give my first impressions.
Action Comics – It was Rags Morales’ art that got me interested, but surprisingly it was Grant Morrison’s cynical take on Superman that will keep me around! Essential reading!
Men Of War – A modern war comic featuring the grandson of Sgt. Rock! Not completely in love with it yet, but it is a war comic! This one could go either way for me.
O.M.A.C. – Loved the original Jack Kirby comic and character, did not enjoy this Dan DiDio and Keith Giffen attempt! And this was one I was really looking forward too. My pick for first of the ‘52’ to get cancelled!
Hawk and Dove – Sterling Gates is one of my favorite writers but getting teamed up with Rob Liefeld hurts. I’m not a Liefeld hater at all, but his layouts and expressions really got to me by page six! Really need to think about picking up # 2.
Animal Man – Jeff Lemire delivered one creepy script and Travel Foreman and Dan Green made it look real good! Easily for me, the best book of the week. Deep, emotional, funny and a little bit charming too.
Detective Comics – Like the title says, this is a detective story featuring the Joker on the loose and a trail of dead bodies! Solid storytelling and art by Tony Daniel and Ryan Winn. Good first issue…
Batgirl – I still don’t know how I feel about this one! Gail Simone tells a great story and Ardian Syaf & Vincente Cifuentes visually hold their own, but once I saw the ‘Killing Joke’ retcon I stumbled a bit. Ne universe, new rules!
Stormwatch – This was one I wasn’t going to get, but seeing the Matain Manhunter on the cover changed that. Great ‘big picture’ story from Paul Cornell and Miguel Sepulveda made this book my sleeper of the week!
Agree or disagree? What do you think???