4,000-plus duke it out in epic Eve Online space showdown

On Sunday, possibly one of the largest online space battles to occur in the history of video games took place in Eve Online, the massively multiplayer online role-playing game, resulting in the virtual demise of thousands of players aboard their high-tech spaceships.

The epic battle, called 6VDT-H (as it played out in that star system), was the conclusion to months of escalating tension between rival factions CFC and the Test Alliance.

CFC declared war on resource-rich regions held by Test after parent company CCP Games changed resource distribution in Eve. The final confrontation came about at Test's home region of 6VDT-H.… Read more

Lord British seeks $1 million for Shroud of the Avatar

Open your wallets, Ultima fans. Lord British needs cash.

The RPG pioneer and space tourist has a Kickstarter campaign to raise $1 million for an Ultima-style game called Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues and he's well on his way to that goal.

Lord British, whose real name is Richard Garriott, says Shroud will be "a fantasy role-playing game that will focus more on player choices and discovery than on level grinding." … Read more

Elder Scrolls Online trailer, beta electrify the imagination

Developer Zenimax Online Studios wowed the gaming community today with a six-minute explosive cinematic trailer showing some heart-racing action in the grandiose world of Tamriel, the primary location of the upcoming The Elder Scrolls Online. Be sure to play the CGI trailer in high-definition and at full screen for maximum pleasure.

To add further excitement to the reveal, Zenimax also opened the doors to Elder Scrolls Online beta registrations today, giving anyone the chance to get in on the action. Of course, to get in, you'll need to submit answers to an array of personal questions (name, birthday, and so on) and submit full system diagnostic information. Zenimax also requires that you answer questions about any other relevant MMORPGs you've played; your play style (solo, group, etc.); preferred activities in MMORPGs; and previous stints as a beta tester.… Read more

Deadly exploit briefly massacres World of Warcraft

Imagine your virtual character relaxing in the confines of the massive World of Warcraft city Orgrimmar, when suddenly, zero health points. Upon spinning the mouse cursor around, everything around you also simultaneously perishes. Not long after the death, countless skeletons of fallen players stack up upon the city streets.

While this sounds like a bad dream that might strike someone who plays World of Warcraft too much, the deadly scenario played out yesterday across many WoW servers around the world. Entire Horde and Alliance megacities -- including Stormwind -- suddenly became graveyards for thousands afflicted by an in-game exploit carried out by malicious players. … Read more

Star Wars: The Old Republic adds free-to-play

Well, that didn't take long. EA announced today that gamers can play the beleaguered Star Wars: The Old Republic MMORPG this fall for free, avoiding the usual $14.99 monthly fee. The company also announced a $14.99 price cut for the game coming in August; the cut comes packaged with a one-month subscription. … Read more

BioWare cuts 'Star Wars' staff

Several weeks after the surprising announcement of losing 400,000 players in mere months, BioWare CEO Ray Muzyka and co-founder Greg Zeschuk noted in a forum post that the company is bidding "farewell to some talented, passionate, and exceptionally hard-working people who helped make Star Wars: The Old Republic a reality."

The layoffs affect the Austin, Texas, division of BioWare an Electronic Arts-owned studio largely responsible for the creation of the game. The announcement lacked any specific information regarding the number of employees let go in the restructuring, and EA did not immediately respond to CNET's request for comment. … Read more

EA strong earnings overshadowed by big 'Star Wars' loss

Electronic Arts announced solid financial results today, including fourth quarter net income gains of $400 million -- a rather sizable difference compared to $151 million in same quarter last year. The massive gaming company pegged revenue for the quarter at $1.37 billion, a figure several hundred million higher than the year before.

EA's net income for the year ending March 31 amounted to $76 million, perhaps an uplifting number in comparison to the $276 million loss in 2011. Total revenue for the 2012 fiscal year amounted to a staggering $4.1 billion, up from $3.5 billion a year prior. Revenue strictly from digital content rose to $1.2 billion, an increase of nearly 47 percent in comparison to 2011. Investors seem wary of EA's projected 2013 earnings, though, as MarketWatch points out, the assumed revenue for the future falls below expectations. … Read more

The Elder Scrolls Online barges in next year

In an exciting development and confirmation to long-standing rumors, developer Zenimax Online Studios today announced The Elder Scrolls Online, a new massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) set for release in 2013.

Initially revealed by Game Informer, the long-anticipated game offers a massive world "set a millennium before the events of Skyrim as the daedric prince Molag Bal tries to pull all of Tamriel into his demonic realm," according to the magazine. … Read more

Star Wars: The Old Republic gets massive in April

Everything will change immensely for players of Star Wars: The Old Republic in early April.

Last week, a video emerged from BioWare describing a massive 1.2 update for the popular multiplayer online role-playing game. The content patch--named Legacy--offers several major benefits and a plethora of little changes that could make things much more enjoyable for those invested in the game.

The big-ticket items include a new warzone (Novare Coast) and operation (Explosive Conflict) located on the planet Denova. We also spotted a new flash point named The Lost Island, which you can further see in the trailer below. … Read more

The case for getting grandma to play World of Warcraft

The online video game World of Warcraft is in the news again, this time for its potential to help boost certain cognitive skills--specifically spatial ability and focused attention--in older adults.

Researchers at North Carolina State University's Gains Through Gaming Lab tested the cognitive functions of 39 60- to 77-year-olds and then broke the study's participants into an experimental group, which played the MMORPG for 14 hours over a two-week period, and a control group, which did not play WoW at all.

It turns out that the adults who played WoW for two weeks improved their baseline scores, with … Read more