Man of Many: Steam Smashes Record with 19.7 Million Concurrent Players. “According to Steam’s own statistics tracker, peak player count hit 19,728,027 users Saturday morning, or late Saturday if we’re talking Australian EDT. The previous Steam record was set back in February this year with around 18.8 million concurrent players, making the new record close to 1 million greater.”
BBC: Teenager having seizure saved by online gamer – 5,000 miles away in Texas. “The parents of a teenager who suffered a seizure while chatting online have thanked his friend who called emergency services from 5,000 miles away. Aidan Jackson, 17, was talking to an American gamer from his bedroom in Widnes on 2 January when he had a fit. His friend, 20-year-old Dia Lathora, from Texas, alerted police in the UK.”
Ars Technica: EverQuest’s long, strange 20-year trip still has no end in sight. “Twenty years ago, a company in Southern California launched an online game that would go on to serve as the model for many more titles to come in the massively multiplayer online RPG (MMORPG) space. And unlike many games that sought to replace it over the years, this one is still going today. No, this isn’t about World of Warcraft—that game only turns 15 in 2019. Before there was WoW, there was the MMO pioneer EverQuest. This sword-and-sorcery-based game was developed by a small company, 989 Studios, but it eventually reached its pinnacle under Sony Online Entertainment after SOE acquired that studio roughly a year after the game’s launch. Today, EQ marches on with a dedicated player base and another developer, Daybreak Games, at the helm.” An astounding deep dive.
Ars Technica: Researchers can now legally restore “abandoned” online game servers. “Among a wide range of new DMCA exemptions recently approved by the Librarian of Congress (LoC) is a limited legal right for video game preservationists to restore online games that have been ‘abandoned’ by their creators to a playable form. But the new rules come with a number of caveats that could require some significant hoop-jumping from affected research institutions.”