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Avatar: Pandora Rising
Game Information
Developer FoxNet
Publisher Scopely
Platform Mobile
Released Unknown
Genre Massively multiplayer mobile real time strategy game
Media type Digital Download

Avatar: Pandora Rising, previously known as the Avatar MMO, is a "massive real-time strategy and social" game for mobile devices.[1] The game is being developed by FoxNet Los Angeles and published by Scopely, in partnership with Lightstorm Entertainment.[2][3]

The game "soft launched" on October 18, 2019 in Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines for Android and iOS devices. The full game launch was planned for 2020,[4][5] but has been met with frequent delays postponing its anticipated international release.

On September 12, 2020 the game was further released in Austria, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland.[6]

On May 11, 2021, the news was published that on June 9, 2021 the game will be taken off appstores and ingame purchases will be turned off, in preparation of some major overhauls of the game.[7]

Development[]

James Cameron first announced interest in an Avatar Universe MMO in April of 2011, though at the time he was suggesting it would run on 3D televisions.[8]

Confirmation of the mobile MMO came over five years later, in a press release from mobile developer Kabam on June 29, 2016. Kabam has its origins in Facebook games of the late 2000s, expanding into Android tie-ins for many film franchises in the early 2010s, including Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.[9]

Kabam's Vancouver studio was bought by South Korean gaming NetMarble in 2017, Aftershock surfaced as a spin-off from Kabam. In June 2017, the Avatar MMO was confirmed to still be in development by Aftershock, which had been acquired by FoxNext, 20th Century Fox's location-based entertainment, video game, and virtual reality division that is also involved in Avatar: Discover Pandora.[10][11]

In August 2019, a teaser site was opened with the confirmed title of Avatar: Pandora Rising, new visuals, and a newsletter signup for the official announcement planned for "the coming months".[12] The game was advertised during the Inside the World of Avatar installation at D23 Expo from August 23-25, 2019.[13] A Instagram post by Travis Williams, Vice President of Digital Game Development at Lightstorm, indicated a planned upcoming soft launch for the game.[14] Development remains under Aftershock, now renamed FoxNext Los Angeles.[15][16].

In January 2020, mobile game publisher Scopely acquired the video games department of FoxNet, LLC from Disney. Although Pandora Rising is still being developed by FoxNet Los Angeles, the merger now means the game is published and operated under Scopely.[17]

Avatar_Pandora_Rising_Gameplay_Walkthrough_(Android,_iOS)_-_Part_1

Avatar Pandora Rising Gameplay Walkthrough (Android, iOS) - Part 1

Video showing tutorial gameplay for the Na'vi side in Avatar: Pandora Rising.

Gameplay[]

Pandora Rising is a competitive real-time battle strategy game with a focus on social interaction and teamwork. Upon beginning the game, players have the option of either joining the Na'vi or RDA factions of the game, but can play both sides after completing the tutorial.

Outside of the PvP elements, players must collect resources from the world map and craft items at different buildings in their base to progress forward in the game. Players will unlock a variety of iconic and unique Commanders who specialize in different areas of gameplay, such as PvP and NPCvP battles, resource collection, and hunting various fauna. Among the Commanders featured in the game, many of them are characters found elsewhere in the Avatar franchise, such as Jake Sully, Neytiri, Lyle Wainfleet, and Miles Quaritch.

After joining an Alliance, players can gather more resources in group resource collecting events, and receive access to Mo'ara Raids, a large NPCvP event with varying levels of difficulty. During this event, Alliance members split into teams to defeat as many of the map's bosses as possible, receiving better rewards at the end the more they defeat. The more events an Alliance participates in, the stronger they become.

All activities in the game contribute to the main goal of the game: capturing and securing one of several Sacred Sites located across the map. During the event season, areas within the Sacred Sites become available to be claimed by Alliance members. Claiming areas involves battling other players and supporting Alliance members to make them stronger in battle. The areas within the Sacred Site must be occupied by enough members of a specific Alliance and held by them until the event timer reaches 0 for the Sacred Site to be claimed for the season. After a site is claimed, the Alliance in control of it receives battle boosts to various Troops in the game, and access to special rewards, until the next season begins.[18]

Continuity[]

Although the website for Pandora Rising claims that the game "aims to set the stage for the upcoming sequel in the blockbuster franchise, creating a deep, narrative-driven game designed to reconnect fans with the rich and visually stunning Avatar universe,", the game presently does not feature a cohesive storyline. The continuity of the game in accordance to the Avatar timeline is also unclear. The game features Commanders of characters who are canonically deceased in the Avatar franchise, such as Grace Augustine and Tsu'tey, as well as characters belonging to widely separate points in the universe's timeline. For example, Valke and Txopu would be living a century after other Commanders sourced from the film. Their Commander biographies both mention Alpha Centauri Expeditions and the Pandora Conservation Initiative, despite the companies not appearing anywhere else in the game and having only established themselves on Pandora long after the RDA had left.

Whether or not a storyline and narrative will be established in the game is yet to be seen.

References[]

  1. https://twitter.com/AVPandoraRising/status/1171861141728792577
  2. https://venturebeat.com/2020/01/22/scopely-acquires-disneys-foxnext-games-maker-of-marvel-strike-force/
  3. Scopely is credited as the publisher in the game's loading screen and website
  4. https://twitter.com/AVPandoraRising/status/1184952345542549505
  5. https://twitter.com/AVPandoraRising/status/1192925116956598272
  6. https://twitter.com/PandoraRising/status/1304827327591919618
  7. https://www.pandorarising.com/updates/the-next-phase-of-development
  8. http://www.digitaltrends.com/gaming/james-cameron-says-games-will-drive-3d-adoption-wants-to-do-3d-avatar-mmorpg/
  9. http://www.gamespot.com/articles/groundbreaking-new-avatar-mobile-game-coming-has-h/1100-6441363/
  10. http://deadline.com/2017/06/foxnext-acquires-mobile-gaming-firm-aftershock-avatar-alibaba-buys-india-ticketnew-germany-zdf-invests-black-ops-uk-producer-world-media-rights-1202107972/
  11. http://www.avatardiscoverpandora.com/avatar-discover-pandora-set-for-southeast-asia-debut-in-bangkok/
  12. https://www.pandorarising.com/
  13. https://www.ign.com/movies/28552/feature/disneys-avatar-exhibit-takes-you-back-to-pandora-d23-2019
  14. https://www.instagram.com/p/B1g8LZdpcBV/
  15. https://21cfcareers.com/OurBrands/FoxNext
  16. https://www.foxnext.com/about
  17. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.foxnextgames.avatar&hl=en_US&gl=US#:~:text=Experience%20the%20world%20of%20Pandora,in%20the%20fight%20for%20Pandora!
  18. Pandora Rising gameplay
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