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Issue 212, December 28, 2009
In the news
Just before the holidays, we learned that NCsoft's Aion would be the next game to jump on the microtransaction train, offering paid services like plastic surgery, gender changes, Legion name changes and more for unspecified fees in the new year.

Read more here.
Bad news for fans of Sony Online Entertainment's Vanguard: Saga of Heroes came this past week as they learned through a 2010 roadmap that many of their anticipated additions and fixes to the game had been shelved indefinitely.

Read more here.
Cryptic's Champions Online is the newest game to jump on the unlimited free trial bandwagon, announcing on December 22nd that potential players would be able to play to their hearts content from levels 1-15.

Read more here.
Get more news on our site here!
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Jennings - 2009: That Horrible Year columnist Scott Jennings recently penned a contribution called, "2009: That Horrible Year." In it, Jennings talks about the difficult year that has just gone by in terms of both the industry as a whole and how the year affected the people who work in it. Here is an excerpt:

Queen Elizabeth once memorably referred to a particular drama-filled year in her life as an "annus horribilis", which shows that any phrase, even "horrible year", sounds grave and fraught with meaning if you say it in Latin. And as far as game development in 2009 - well, it may well be time to bring out the dead languages, because last year was decisively an unpleasant year to be an MMO developer.

You can read the full article here.

More columns can be found on our site here.
Star Trek Online Preview, Part One

Last week,'s Dana Massey started the first part of a three part preview of Cryptic's Star Trek Online. In the first installment, Massey discusses key gameplay elements like: Missions, PvE, Aesthetics and more. Here's an excerpt:

The Star Trek Online intellectual property is so huge that it is impossible for Cryptic Studios to please everyone. In fact, it's near on impossible for them to fully satisfy anyone. To meet the expectations of many hardcore fans, a Star Trek MMO would take hundreds of millions of dollars, at least a decade and no doubt a time machine more improbable than the red goo from the latest movie. Even Cryptic COO Jack Emmert lamented things they had not been able to include in a recent interview.

Check out the preview here.

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This week's Game of the Week goes to Fallen Earth, the Post-Apocalyptic MMORPG out of independent developer Icarus Studios.

Whether you like this game, hate this game, or haven't yet stepped foot in the desert surrounding the Grand Canyon, Fallen Earth has to be viewed by serious MMO players as one of the most interesting developments of 2009.

Coming from an independent developer, many players expected something "outside the box" with this new game, and those who did, weren't disappointed by the game's willingness to step away from the more obvious routes of development taken by the big moneymakers in the industry.

Instead of a hard and fast class system, Fallen Earth encourages players to build their own characters, to their own tastes, employing a technique that more closely resembles a sandbox than a theme park.

Since the game's launch, the developers have been working hard not only to iron out bugs and other post-launch issues, but also to add to the experience of their game in an attempt to provide a solid, virtual world feeling for their players.

Learn more about Fallen Earth here, or check out our game list here.
The Week that Was
Monday, December 21
More Top News Stories of 2009

Tuesday, December 22
STO: Missions

Wednesday, December 23
Fallen Earth - Town Events

Thursday, December 24

Friday, December 25
Christmas Day

This past week, the editorial staff here at announced our nominees for this year's awards. The categories for 2009 include: Most Improved Game in 2009, Best New Game of 2009, Best F2P Game of 2009, Best Kid's Game of 2009, Most Anticipated Game of 2010 and the 2009 Game of the Year.

You can check out the nominations here.

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