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General : SPILL GROUP, GEE Sign Pact For MMOs

Posted Mar 21, 2007 by

SPILL GROUP and GEE sign promotion contract for MMOs in Europe. Read the details below as new gaming deals continue to shape the European market.

Game Entertainment Europe (GEE), the first pan-European publisher of Massive Multiplayer Online (MMO) Games, and SPILL GROUP, the largest game traffic generator in the world, signed a promotion contract which states that SPILL GROUP promotes the MMO Games published by GEE on all of their European portals and in return SPILL GROUP receives a revenue share. The contract is already effective, GEE's latest MMORP Game "Martial Heroes" (www.martialheroes.eu) can now be played through SPILL GROUP's European portals (f.i. : www.agame.com, www.spelletjes.nl, www.jeux.fr ). The first results are excellent, after 4 weeks promotion in The Netherlands GEE's game Martial Heroes has 35.000 new registrations. Soon other online games will follow.

Richard van Barneveld, CEO of Game Entertainment Europe said: "SPILL GROUP is a perfect partner for GEE. Our MMO Games form a very good addition to the current product portfolio on the portals of SPILL GROUP. Both companies reach a large and important part of our target group; European gamers."

Read more here.

Ultima Online : Kingdom Reborn Website Launches

Posted Mar 21, 2007 by

Ultima Online Kingdom Reborn Website launched with a look at the new graphics upgrade. After ten years on the market Ultima Online continues to grow and remain one of the classic MMOs.

EA Mythic today unveiled the official website for Ultima Online: Kingdom Reborn, the expansion that ushers in a new decade of fantasy role-playing for the iconic MMORPG. Kingdom Reborn, scheduled for release this summer as a free download, provides players with an unprecedented graphics update, improved user interface, and renovated tutorial system aimed at imparting new players with a richer understanding of the world.

To learn more about Kingdom Reborn and see the transformation first-hand through before and after screenshots, visit: www.uo.com/kingdomreborn

Read more here.

City of Heroes : Knives of Artemis

Posted Mar 21, 2007 by

City of Heroes gives us the latest Villain Backgrounder. Read up on the Knives of Artemis.

Like a diamond-bladed sword, the Knives of Artemis are incomparably beautiful and deadly. Bewitching tales of the Knives of Artemis are told by military pundits and war journalists in awed tones around the world. Heroes speak of them with equal parts enthrallment and dread, because they are renowned for their charms as much as for their mercilessness.

Read more here.

Lord of the Rings Online : Latest Beta Journal

Posted Mar 21, 2007 by

Lord of the Rings online offers up a new Beta Journal. This time we get a look at some of the traits characters will be able to achieve.

Today's Beta Journal provides a great introduction to the four types of Traits a player can obtain to customize their character.

Read more here.

General : BBC Says West MMO Market Tops $1 Bln

Posted Mar 21, 2007 by

BBC reports that the West market for MMOGs is now worth more than $1 Billion. I guess we're growing faster than we realize. Read the report below and from the projections it seems like we can expect a lot more players joining us over the next few years.

Millions of people are flocking to inhabit virtual online worlds, says research by analysts Screen Digest.

The market for massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs) in the West is now worth more than $1bn (£511m)

Games such as World of Warcraft and worlds like Habbo Hotel are fast becoming "significant platforms" in the converged media world, the report said.

"There's a whole ream of different genres and spaces emerging," said the report author Piers Harding-Rolls.

Revenues from subscriptions to MMOGs will hit $1.5bn by 2011, he said.

Read more here.

D&D Online : Latest Dev Dungeon

Posted Mar 21, 2007 by

Dungeons & Dragons Online's latest Dev Dungeon looks at "A Pact Between Two Souls." Check out some of the details below.

40,000 years ago, Gianthold was the capital of the Lost Empire of the giants on Xen'drik. Protected by the fortress of Gianthold Tor, the giants of Gianthold learned mighty magics, trained fearsome soldiers, and created great works of art. But Gianthold was destroyed by the dragons of Argonnessen. Only the dragons themselves remember this event well, and their historians believe that the giants brought about their own downfall by misusing the magical secrets entrusted to them by the dragons. This is true -- but it is only part of the story...

Read more here.

Fury : GDC Hands-On Preview

Posted Mar 21, 2007 by Jon Wood

At the Game Developers Conference, Jon Wood stopped by to visit the folks from Auran and Gamecock, the companies behind the development of the combat-oriented MMORPG, Fury.

Players that love PvP above all else in MMORPGs will be impressed with Fury, the latest offering from Australia-based Auran and their North American publisher, Gamecock.

For those who might not be aware, Fury is a hard-hitting, fantasy based combat MMORPG that doesn't get bogged down in the trappings of a traditional PvE MMO.

"PvE is a compromise to a good PvP game" says Tony Hilliam, Auran's CEO and Director. Hilliam believes that as soon as a game has PvE elements, the PvP in the game is instantly compromised. As a result, Fury is a pure blooded, player vs player experience.

Read the whole article here.

Star Wars Galaxies : New Developer Journal Online

Posted Mar 20, 2007 by

Star Wars Galaxies new Dev Journal is online. Mark Halash continues the series he started last week and talks about the Beast Master Expertise.

Last week, SWG designer Mark "SWG-Tunso" Halash started a dev diary where he began sharing details about the upcoming Beast Master Expertise for Chapter 6. Now, it's time for his next installation of 'a day in the life of a SWG Game Designer.'

Read more here.

Guild Wars : Fissure of Woe, Underworld Weekend

Posted Mar 20, 2007 by

Guild Wars opens access to Fissure of Woe and The Underworld this weekend. It seems there are some interesting places for players to explore this weekend.

Players who have been looking towards The Fissure of Woe or The Underworld with an eye to its challenging gameplay and special loot will be pleased to note that this weekend offers free and open access to both areas. All statues of Grenth and Balthazar located within outposts will be active for characters who are qualified to enter these areas. Access will be at no cost, and will not be tied to a territory holding the Favor of the Gods. This free access will begin at Noon PDT on Friday, and end at 11:59 p.m. PDT on Sunday night.

Read more here.

Corum Online : New Server Paltroth

Posted Mar 20, 2007 by

Corum Online announces new server: Paltroth. Check out some of the updates below, including a double experience week.

Corum Online, a free to play MMORPG, has been growing at an unbelievable rate and therefore is increasing the number of servers. The original server, Poseidon has been receiving heavy traffic since the launch of the game on February 15, 2007 so Gala-Net, Inc. has decided to open up the Second Server Set: Paltroth. Paltroth will be opening its doors (and ports) on March 20, 2007 after the weekly routine maintenance.

In addition to the opening of the second server, the new server will receive DOUBLE Experience for 1 week! Corum Online players received this event last week, which will unfortunately be coming to an end and now players can experience this great bonus from the beginning!

Read more here.

General : GameCampus.com Launches Beta

Posted Mar 20, 2007 by

GamesCampus.com launches beta today. Check out some of the games they have to offer as well as their services.

OnNet USA officially launched the beta version of GamesCampus.com today. GamesCampus.com is the premier games portal for free-to-play video games. Visitors can download all games on the site for free and all games are free-to-play. Gamers have the option to play with others from around the world or by themselves. GamesCampus.com offers games ranging from casual games to challenging MMORPGs that appeal to a variety of age groups.

Read more here.

Lord of the Rings Online : Preview Of Character Trait System

Posted Mar 20, 2007 by

Lord of the Rings Online gives us a preview of the character Traits system. Check out different ways you can spec your character in Middle Earth. There seems to be a lot of options for players to explore.

Acquiring and activating Traits is one of the most flexible methods for customizing your character in The Lord of the Rings OnlineTM: Shadows of AngmarTM. Simply put, Traits are new skills, bonuses, and other enhancements that benefit your character. There are four main categories of Traits: Virtue, Race, Class, and Legendary, which are earned by completing Deeds, quests, and other achievements during your adventures. Your Deed Log contains information about which of your current Accomplishment goals will reward you with a Trait.

Read more here.

World of Warcraft : Armor Set Page Updated

Posted Mar 20, 2007 by

World of Warcraft updates its Armor Sets page. Check out all the new raid armor sets that are coming in as part of the high end content of The Burning Crusade.

The Burning Crusade is invading the High Level Armor Sets Page - Tier 4 and Tier 5 raid sets are now viewable for every valid race/class combo. These epic sets come in different specializations for some classes, which can be selected from an additional menu (if available). Blood elves and draenei can now be viewed in all their sets as well. Head on over and take a look!

Read more here.

Myst Online : Mac Version Launched

Posted Mar 20, 2007 by

Myst Online: Uru Live launches Mac version. The game also is updating some content additions as well.

GameTap, the first-of-its-kind broadband entertainment network from Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (TBS, Inc.), announced today the release of "Myst Online: Uru Live" for the Mac platform in tandem with its latest content additions. Using technology from TransGaming Inc., (TSX-V: TNG) a leading developer of software portability products for the electronic entertainment industry, Mac users can now take part in the same massively multiplayer "Myst Online: Uru Live" experience as their PC counterparts, including all of the regularly added features, destinations, and missions.

"Myst Online: Uru Live has been the number one game on GameTap since its launch in February," said Ricardo Sanchez, GameTap's vice president of content. "So we are thrilled this new audience can experience GameTap's original content."

Mac users can experience the adventure and puzzle-solving elements and visually-stunning worlds of "Myst Online: Uru Live" via TransGaming's Cider portability engine which enables PC games to run on the Intel Mac OS. Additionally, new content and upgrades to "Myst Online: Uru Live" will be simultaneous and transparent to users on both Mac and PC platforms - an essential element in ensuring a fluid and harmonious experience between all players.

Read more here.

Tales of Pirates : Closed Beta Accounts To Remain Open

Posted Mar 20, 2007 by

Tales of Pirates intends to keep Closed Beta Accounts in tact. Players will be able to access accounts during open beta.

Tales of Pirates Closed Beta Accounts will not be wiped

You are always in my mind!

During the closed beta of Tales of Pirates, your playing record will be kept in our system along with your account to make sure you can always have fun right in open beta of TOP. The test has been running for a few days, so far so good, the players' passion is remarkable, and we believe we together can make it the best game ever. I.G.G. wanted to thank all of our Beta Testers for their many contributions to TOP's development thus far. Your help has been invaluable to the development team! All of your characters are still available in the nearly open beta.

So if any bug comes in your way, don't hesitate to report it and you will find this good deed pay off (please refer to the previous news for details). For sure, any suggestions and ideas are welcomed.

Read more here.

Tabula Rasa : GDC Progress Report

Posted Mar 20, 2007 by Jon Wood

At the Game Developers Conference, Jon Wood had the opportunity to sit down for a look at the upcoming NCsoft title, Tabula Rasa. The demonstration was made by Richard "Lord British" Garriot, the man behind the Ultima series, and now Tabula Rasa.

Tabula Rasa is one of those games that we haven't heard a great deal about during its development cycle, which began back in May of 2001. That's not to say that the game today has had six years of development, as Tabula Rasa has gone through some sweeping changes since its original concept.

Today, Tabula Rasa is a game that, at first glance, integrates the fast-paced action of an FPS with the detailed story and advancement of an MMORPG. Set in a post apocalyptic Earth, after an alien species came to us and invaded wiping many of us out entirely, this game is seen as something new and exciting for many players.

Read the article here.

General : Outside the Box: Social Rewards in MMOs

Posted Mar 20, 2007 by Jon Wood

Garrett Fuller attended a session at GDC hosted by Jack Emmert from Cryptic Studios. What Emertt did was prove that designers can also think outside the box.

Many of the sessions at GDC last week were very long, drawn out, two hour ordeals that put people to sleep. On Friday afternoon, I had some time to kill and decided to attend one of these ordeals. Jack Emmert of Cryptic Studios only had twenty minutes for his scheduled session. Wow, twenty minutes, what could he possibly hope to get across in twenty minutes? Jack's topic was called: To Reward or Not to Reward? How to Create a Positive Community in an MMO. Well, in the twenty minute time frame, Jack was able to present plenty of ideas to potential developers and even have time to answer a few questions. Here is a brief take on what was said.

Social groups are certainly an important aspect of MMOs. Your guild, corporation, crew, team, or whatever you call them, really help the lifespan of an MMO. Jack pointed out that many people leave MMOs because their friends leave the game. Knowing this fact, developers continue to push content and achievement type rewards for players. When what really keeps players in the game is their friends.

Read the whole column here.

Star Wars Galaxies : New Player Guide Highlights

Posted Mar 19, 2007 by

Star Wars Galaxies Player Guide Highlights shows how to make 3 stat Skill Enhancing Attachments. Check out all the information here.

Traders, do you want to know how to get the most out of reverse engineering skill attachments? Then be sure to check out our highlighted Player Guide this week!

ArkonPhoenix wrote a guide titled, "The Secrets of Reverse Engineering: How to easily make 3 stat Skill Enhancing Attachments." Find out how to get the most out of your skill enhancing attachments!

Read more here.

General : Google Confirms Adscape Purchase

Posted Mar 19, 2007 by

Adotas is running a story that Google has confirmed the purchase of in-game advertising company Adscape.

This weekend, Google confirmed its acquisition of in-game advertising company Adscape Media, which will add a whole new playing field for the Internet giant.

Read more here.

Dreamlords: Resurrection : Developer Journal

Posted Mar 19, 2007 by

Dreamlords releases first developer journal. Check out some of the updates and elements that the folks at Lockpick Entertainment are working on for Dreamlords.

At last the first dev journal is now finished. You can find it in the under "dev journals" in the left-side menu of dreamlords.com. Our goal is to add a new dev journal every week discussing different topics and will be written by different people of the Dreamlords crew.

In this first dev journal the producer of Dreamlords, Dan Thronström, sheds some light on what is currently in the development pipeline for Dreamlords and talks about future features. It also includes several sneak peak screenshots of upcoming features. Don't miss to chance to discuss the journal in the forums after you read it.

Read more here.

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