Gaming Week in Review: Pixelmon ‘Minecraft’ mod shut down, ‘Starcraft II’ implements cosmetic skins
The “Minecraft” Pokemon mod, Pixelmon, has been shut down by the Pokemon Company.
“Minecraft” and “Pokemon” are two of the most popular game franchises of the last generation, so it’s no surprise that a group of committed fans decided to combine the two. The Pixelmon Mod team used its skills to bring “Pokemon’s” colorful denizens to “Minecraft’s” blocky world. But like many “Pokemon” fan creations before it, it just wasn’t meant to be.
The Pokemon Company has requested that the creators of Pixelmon cease development and publication of the popular mod, and they obliged. In a brief blog post, the Pixelmon team made the announcement and asked their fans to remember the game fondly. An excerpt from the post reads:
“With much sadness, but keeping all our fond memories, we must announce that Pixelmon is ending its development. We have had a great time making this mod and creating such a wonderful community but after a request from the Pokemon company we will be shutting our doors. I’m sorry for the disappointment this will cause but let’s remember all the great times we had playing Pixelmon, discussing Pokemon, making awesome things inside this mod and everything else that we’ve done.”
All the official download links for the mod have been shut down, as well as the game’s official wiki. You can read the full blog post here.
This isn’t the first time Nintendo went after a Pokemon fan project. In 2010, an ambitious fan project called “Pokenet” attempted to create a “Pokemon” MMO before Nintendo shut it down. More recently, a fan-made Pokemon game called “Pokemon Uranium” faced legal action only a week after its official launch.
Blizzard introduces “Starcraft II” War Chests, which bring a variety of cosmetic rewards to the game and help support esports.
The “Starcraft II” community has requested cosmetic skins for a long time and Blizzard Entertainment has finally unveiled a way to implement them with the new War Chests system.
Purchasing a War Chest gives players access to a new form of in-game progression that gradually unlocks new cosmetic features. By playing the game in both Ranked and Co-op mode, players can gradually unlock new unit skins for the Zerg, Protoss and Terran factions. The release is staggered, meaning the skins will be released over the coming months and only for a limited time.
Each faction’s War Chest costs $9.99, but the bundle is a slight discount at $24.99. Every War Chest purchase contributes 25 percent of the price to supporting Blizzard’s “Starcraft II” Blizzcon tournament.
The War Chest’s staggered release schedule is accompanied by a comic series that explores conflicts in the Koprulu Sector after the events of “Starcraft II: Legacy of the Void” and “Nova’s Covert Ops.”
The “Starcraft II” community has split since Blizzard revealed the War Chest system. One-half seems critical of the business model and the other is glad for another opportunity to support the game’s continued development. The system draws some inspiration from two of Blizzard’s more popular and casual-friendly games: “Overwatch” and “Heroes of the Storm.”
“Overwatch” and “HoTS” have two ways of earning cosmetic items. Players can play the game and grind for cosmetic loot chests or simply buy them. It’s about picking the lesser of two evils: lose your time or your money. But with War Chests, Blizzard wants players to give both. Players can pay, but still need to earn the rewards in-game.
War Chests are also more expensive than most of the game’s previously released content, despite being purely cosmetic content with no effect on gameplay or story. The entire ‘Nova’s Covert Ops” campaign is $14.99 and a new Co-op Commander is $4.99.
You can check out the Emerald’s initial review of “Nova’s Covert Ops” here.
Gaming Week In Review is a semi-regular column by Mathew Brock devoted to recapping recent news from the video game world each week.
You can follow Mathew on Twitter: @MathewQBrock.
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