Perpetual Entertainment, the company behind Star Trek Online and Gods and Heroes, has hired industry veteran Daron Stinnett as the Executive Producer for Star Trek Online. Here is the press release:
Veteran Developer Daron Stinnett Joins Star Trek Online Team as Executive Producer
San Francisco, CA — 12 May 2005 – Perpetual Entertainment, Inc., the developer of the upcoming massively multi-player games (MMG) Gods and Heroes: Rome Rising™ and Star Trek Online™ (STO), is pleased to announce the addition of Daron Stinnett to the Star Trek Online team as its Executive Producer.
Mr. Stinnett has over two decades of experience working in the interactive entertainment industry. At LucasArts Entertainment, Mr. Stinett was the creator and executive producer of six PC and console titles, including the hits Dark Forces, Outlaws, Star Wars Starfighter, and Star Wars Republic Commando. Prior to LucasArts, Mr. Stinnett was project manager on Spectrum HoloByte’s Falcon 3.0 and lead programmer on classics such as Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and Donkey Kong Jr.
“Daron has mastered the art of making great games based on great entertainment properties,” said Joe Keene, co-founder and chief executive officer of Perpetual. “He understands what makes Star Trek so compelling, and he knows how to translate that into superb gameplay. Daron’s vision will not only satisfy the core gaming audience, but will appeal to that vast community of millions who know and love the series and movies.”
Star Trek is one of the world’s most popular, longest-running, and beloved sci-fi properties, with millions of passionately devoted fans throughout the world. The Star Trek Online license encompasses all live-action motion pictures and television series including Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, and Star Trek: Enterprise, giving Perpetual the opportunity to immerse fans and players in the incredibly rich, diverse, and exciting universe of Star Trek.
“The massively multiplayer genre is the ideal way to realize the Star Trek experience,” said Mr. Stinnett. “I look forward to working with the team here at Perpetual to make a product that is not only a great game in its own right, but one brimming with the exploration, adventure, and teamwork that is the essence of Star Trek,” he added.
Star Trek Online is currently under development, and is expected to enter beta testing in 2006 with launch in early 2007. For more information, see http://gaming.startrek.com for “Frequently Asked Questions” about the game.
About Star Trek Online
About Perpetual Entertainment, Inc.
Matt Firor, the Executive Producer behind Dark Age of Camelot and Imperator, has penned a new developer diary for the official Imperator website. This diary discusses personal worth and helps debut the redesigned homepage.
Today, most MMORPGs don't invite a new character into their world. Think about it - when you create a character in most current MMORPGs, the new character appears in the world, usually in front of an NPC, and that's it. There's no real direction given, no reason why your character is there, no reason why the world really cares that you've shown up in it. It is time for this to change, and this is one of the major new things we're attempting to do with Imperator.
You can read the full diary here here.
They didn't stop there. Executive Producer Jeffrey Steefel also penned a nice dev diary to explain some recent changes to the game:
So, what do you think of our new site? We hope you like where we're headed – this is just the start, and the site will be evolving over the coming months, so please visit us often. Now that we are moving forward directly with Tolkien Enterprises (and, we hope you'll agree, making the game even more exciting for our fans), we also thought it was a good time to give the project a new name!
The Lord of the Rings Online™: Shadows of Angmar™ is the name of the first installment of our game. As we continue to extend into further exploration of Middle-earth, you will see other products grow from the LOTRO franchise – after all, this is just the beginning!
You can read the full dev diary here.
Dana Massey recently had a chance to interview the VP or VR Studio - Mike Goslin and Steve Parkis - the VP of Premium Products at Disney Online. From this he has put together a nice read on this MMORPG targeted at younger players:
The majority of MMORPG gamers are adults. The games are violent, they require a credit card and typically, the uncertainty of the content in an online world has parents keep their kids away. MMOs are a paradoxical genre in an industry that many perceive, however incorrectly, as being for kids. Enter Disney's Toontown Online, the only major MMORPG aimed at children. They face an odd challenge. They need to convince children to play their games, and parents to pay for it. The game does not have the advantage of a box on a store shelf to draw a kid's attention, and it requires a monthly fee from a credit card that no child has. How then does it succeed? It has been the support of hardcore MMORPG players who wish to show their friends, family and children what draws them in has made Toontown a modest success.
Recently, MMORPG.com had a chance to chat with Steve Parkis, the VP of Premium Products at Disney Online, and Mike Goslin, the VP of VR Studio who produces Toontown Online and the recently announced Pirates of the Caribbean Online which will be designed for a somewhat older demo, about the challenges of making an MMO for kids.
To read it all - click here.
One of MMORPG.com's newest writers - Clint Nielson (Monthigos) recently put together a thourough look at the new "combat upgrade" that was released into the Star Wars Galaxies universe. As many of you may know, this update was highly controversial and unfavored by a large number of SWG players. Clint attempts to uncover why this is:
"I can't comment, except to say that will be addressed in the Combat Upgrade."
Former Star Wars Galaxies (SWG) subscribers: Unless you’ve been living in a Squill cave for the last year, chances are you’ve heard these very words posted on Sony Online Entertainment’s (SOE) official SWG boards NUMEROUS times from official channels. It’s small wonder that you and your ex-SWG buddies have been ready to explode like fireworks on Life Day in anticipation. You’ve watched as the promise of the Combat Upgrade stretched on forever, even under going two name changes. Combat Balance or Revamp anyone? Perhaps the Combat Upgrade was SOE’s last chance to ever get your money again, and now it’s finally out. You’ve heard the rumors of forum riots and petitions, canned correspondents and in-game protests. So what’s this Combat Upgrade REALLY about, and why has it gotten so many people stirred up? Let’s find out.
First of all, the basis of this report is formulated from many hours on the test servers; however, I felt it wouldn’t be fair to give a review of the Combat Upgrade until it was released on the live servers and I had tested it out with my own characters. All opinions on game play are formulated from experiences AFTER the upgrade went live, and not before.
To read the complete editorial, click here.
NCSoft has word that Chronciles 3, the latest free expansion to Lineage II, has gone online. This expansion brings dragons and other assorted fun to the PvP-centric MMORPG that has been a cross-continent hit for the MMORPG publishing giants.
Chronicle 3: Rise of Darkness gives a boost to new players and adds the epic Seven Signs Quest and fire breathing Wyvern
AUSTIN, Texas, May 11, 2005—NCsoft® Corporation (KSE: 036570.KS), the world’s leading developer and publisher of online computer games, has released Chronicle 3: Rise of Darkness, the third major expansion to Lineage® II: The Chaotic Chronicle, NCsoft’s premier player-versus-player (PvP) massively multiplayer online game. This expansion includes features that will help new players gain faster access to the game.
Chronicle 3, which is available free to all current subscribers via automatic download, brings several new elements to Lineage II’s land of Aden, with one of the most important being the addition of bonuses for new players. The bonuses will give new players a boost, allowing them to progress through the early levels at a faster pace so they may participate in the more advanced elements of Lineage II. As part of the bonus system, new players will receive additional items and adena, Lineage II’s in-game currency, for completing early quests. New players will also receive free beneficial magic from a guide in each village. Additionally, new players will receive full value for items, instead of partial credit, when exchanging them for more powerful items in village stores.
“This is a step that will allow players to more quickly participate in the advanced elements of Lineage II,” said Aaron Rigby, Lineage II’s North American producer. “Because Lineage II has so much to offer, it makes sense to get players through the early levels quickly so they fully realize the depth of the game and the amount of fun it provides.”
Lineage II’s highly-praised PvP system has also been improved and augmented in Chronicle 3 with the addition of a new combat points system. This system gives players an extra layer of protection when attacked by another player. Combat points vary by player class, recover over time and act as a buffer that must be depleted before damage will affect a player’s hit points. The combat point system will be especially valued by new players who are common ambush targets of veteran players.
Chronicle 3 also adds a new epic adventure, the Seven Signs Quest, which gives players the chance to fight for control of several Seals as a member of two factions. Every two weeks players can join one of these two factions, The Revolutionary Army of Dusk or the Lords of Dawn, and compete for control of a Seal by collecting rare stones and hunting special monsters in the Festival of Darkness. A faction in control of a Seal will gain access to different dungeons containing unique elements, recieve an extra edge during castle sieges and the ability to recover rare items.
Adding to the excitement of sieges is the new flying, fire-breathing dragon, the Wyvern. Wyverns are the final evolution of the Striders introduced in the last Lineage II chronicle. Players who are able to ride a Wyvern can cross large distances quickly, raining fire and destruction down on enemies and their strongholds.
Lineage II: The Chaotic Chronicle, which was named the best role-playing game of 2004 by Scripps Howard News Service and has developed a worldwide following among player-versus-player fans, is available at most major North American computer game outlets in CD format and a Collector’s DVD Edition for $19.99. Both game packs include the first month of online play. After the first month, players will be charged a monthly subscription fee of US$14.95. Sixty-day game time cards are also available at many North American retailers for a suggested retail price of US$29.99. The game is rated Teen by the Entertainment Software Rating Board.
To purchase the game or other Lineage II merchandise, go to the NCsoft store at: https://store.plaync.com . For more information about Lineage II: The Chaotic Chronicle, go to: http://www.lineage2.com.
The news from Webzen, the massive Korean publisher of MMORPGs, continues to flow. Today they announce a bevy of industry hirings to bolster their line-up that already includes famed composer Howard Shore. Webzen is currently the publisher of MU, and in production on Huxley, Parfait Station, Wiki, All Points Bulletin and SUN.
Online Games Company Announces New General Manager and Heads of Marketing and Corporate Communications
LOS ANGELES – May 10, 2005 – WEBZEN America, Inc., the wholly owned subsidiary of global online entertainment leader, WEBZEN, Inc. (NASDAQ: WZEN), announced today that it has filled several key executive positions for its new U.S. operation. Junhyun Kim has been named the company’s general manager, Peter Matiss joins as the head of marketing and Jason Wonacott as the head of corporate communications.
‘With the goal of becoming a full-scale game developer, publisher and distributor, it is critical for WEBZEN America to recruit top talent from the video game industry and other ancillary businesses,” said Nam Ju Kim, CEO of WEBZEN, Inc. “We are very pleased with the new executives we have put in place to spearhead the operations, marketing and corporate communications functions for the company. They will help build a solid foundation for our aggressive growth plans.”
Junhyun Kim was dispatched from Webzen headquarters in Seoul to WEBZEN America Inc. As General Manager of Webzen America Mr. Kim is responsible for the successful execution of the company’s launch into North America as a world-class online games publisher and service provider. He will play a key role in coordination between Webzen HQ and the new subsidiary. Before joining WEBZEN Mr. Kim was a key member of the team in charge of licensing for Hanbitsoft where he executed Korean-rights licensing agreements for Starcraft, Diablo II and Warcraft III, which sold more than 3 million copies in Korea.
Peter Matiss joins WEBZEN America as the head of marketing. In this role, Mr. Matiss is responsible for building the Webzen America marketing team, which will successfully define and market WEBZEN America’s premier online games and services. A video games industry veteran, Matiss joins WEBZEN from global interactive software publisher Atari Inc. where he served as director of strategic marketing. In this role he spearheaded marketing efforts for a variety of million-unit selling franchises, including Sid Meier’s Civilization III, Rollercoaster Tycoon and Monopoly. Before Atari, Mr. Matiss was marketing director at FASA Interactive where he handled the product launches for the MechCommander and MechWarrior III franchises.
Jason Wonacott joins WEBZEN America as its head of corporate communications and public relations for the company, its video games and services. Prior to joining WEBZEN America, Mr. Wonacott was director of corporate communications for Turbine Inc., where he played a key role in transforming the company’s reputation into a premier developer, publisher and operator of world-class online games. Before Turbine, Mr. Wonacott was a senior member of highly respected Los Angeles-based boutique PR and corporate marketing firm The Bohle Company, where he managed and supported several digital and interactive entertainment accounts. Previously, Mr. Wonacott was a television reporter for Albuquerque, NM’s ABC- and CNN-affiliated KOAT-TV and an anchor, reporter and producer at NBC television’s network affiliate in Medford/Klamath Falls, Oregon.
WEBZEN America is poised to launch a diverse portfolio of online products and services, beginning with the highly anticipated MMORPG SUN, the Unreal 3.0 engine-based MMOFPS Huxley, and the original action MMOG All Points Bulletin (APB). The company will have a significant presence at the upcoming 2005 E3 Expo with a 9,000 square-foot booth space, #700 in the South Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center.
Founded in 2000 and based in Seoul, Korea, WEBZEN, Inc. has become a leader in the MMOG market, and has developed some of the world’s top online game and client/server technologies. WEBZEN America leverages WEBZEN technology and partners with some of the most well-known names in the video games industry to deliver some of the most compelling, visually stunning graphics available in persistent world games.
For more information about WEBZEN Inc., go to www.webzen.com.
The good folks at NetDevil and NCSoft have announced that a pre-order drive to build up to the upcoming launch of Auto Assault has kicked off. Here are all the details:
Customers who pre-order game enjoy many benefits, including access to beta testing events, head start, and loot bonus upon commercial launch
AUSTIN, Texas, May 11, 2005—NCsoft® Corporation (KSE: 036570.KS), the world's leading developer and publisher of online computer games, announces the beginning of its North American pre-order campaign for Auto Assault™. Pre-order boxes will begin to appear on store shelves this week at retail outlets throughout the United States and Canada.
Customers who pre-order Auto Assault will receive a special in-game weapon only available in the pre-sale boxes, plus a loot bonus. In addition, the pre-order CD contains art, screens, wallpapers, and music tracks. Customers who purchase this special edition pre-order box and register the product will also be eligible to participate in beta testing events and given a head start over other players before the commercial launch of the product.
Auto Assault, developed by NetDevil®, is the first massively multiplayer online (MMO) vehicular combat game, combining the best elements of action games with the most favored qualities of role-playing games. Featuring high-speed vehicular combat and spectacularly destructible environments, Auto Assault redefines expectations of the online role-playing genre. The fastest, most destructive MMO ever, Auto Assault delivers adrenaline-fueled horsepower and mind-blowing firepower as customized bikes, cars, trucks and semis blaze a trail over a post-apocalyptic land. More information about Auto Assault can be found at http://www.autoassault.com.
NCsoft’s North American business is headquartered in Austin, Texas and is part of Korea-based NCsoft Corporation. NCsoft, with its own development and publishing offices in Texas and California, also works with subsidiaries and third party developers throughout North America to develop and publish innovative online entertainment software products. The company launched two massively multiplayer titles on the same day last year: Lineage® II and City of Heroes®, and in April of 2005 released its fourth title, the highly anticipated, Guild Wars®. NCsoft expects to launch two more massively multiplayer titles in 2005: Auto Assault™ and City of Villains™. More information about NCsoft can be found at http://www.PlayNC.com. For NCsoft corporate information go to http://www.ncsoft.net/eng.
About NetDevil, LTD
Make that name change official. Turbine Entertainment's "The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar" has a new website to go with the fancy new name. You can check the whole thing out at this link. Here are some recent amazing visuals:
Our own Richard Duffek (Kunou) has completed his review of The Matrix Online - the MMORPG from Warner Brothers based on the smash-hit movie trilogy. A preview of the article is below:
|What better genre to adapt movies based on people unknowingly living out their lives in a virtual world than a MMORPG, where players take on the roles of characters in a persistent virtual world? All things considered this seems like the perfect setting for a MMORPG. There's a great background story that can easily be continued on from where the trilogy left off in the game. A great set of main characters to base the story around. Mega City is a great world to place the story and characters in; alongside thousands of players. There are diverse factions for the players to choose from and aid throughout the ongoing story. This just screams "Make a MMORPG out of me!" Well apparently Warner Brothers and Monolith Productions Inc heard the call. On March 22nd the Matrix Online launched and players around the world took their red pill and jacked in to answer that one question burning in their brains: How deep does the rabbit hole go?|
To read the full review, click here!
You can tell it is that time of the year again! Perpetual Entertainment today released their plans for some of the annual hoopla!
Historical re-enactment society Legio IX Hispana marshals in support of
Legio IX Hispana is the largest Roman re-enactment society in North America, with chapters throughout California and the South-West. Over a dozen members in full legionnaire’s kit will be present at various times in E3’s Concourse Walkway to promote Gods and Heroes and discuss the tactics and technology of squad warfare in ancient Rome.
“Due to safety concerns, Legio IX Hispana will be unable to hurl our spears and charge with drawn swords,” said Sean Richards, founder and centurion of the legion. “We will still, however, be able to show off the armor and kit of the era, and share our expertise in Roman squad-based combat.”
Gods and Heroes: Rome Rising is a new massively multi-player game (MMG) from the makers of Star Trek Online and the designer of Diablo II. First unveiled at GDC 2005, Gods and Heroes will be demoed in private showings in Perpetual’s meeting room during E3. A select few press, guilds, and enthusiasts will get the opportunity to join Perpetual’s two development teams and the soldiers of Legio IX at an invitation-only party of heroic excess on Wednesday May 18th at Element Hollywood.
“We are extremely pleased to have Legio IX marching for Gods and Heroes,” said Stieg Hedlund, lead designer of Gods and Heroes. “With their first-hand expertise re-enacting the warfare and weapons of the Roman era, who better can promote a game featuring innovative squad-based combat and large scale ancient battles?”
About Legio IX Hispana
About Gods and Heroes: Rome Rising
The game will be set in Rome around 300 BC, a time when the Republic is powerful, but Roman enemies including the Carthaginians, Gauls, and Samnites threaten the fledgling imperial holdings. Worse, the land is beset by terrible creatures, such as Gorgons, Cyclopes, and Furies. As heroes of Rome, players will take on missions to expand and protect the Republic, her interests, and her citizens, and will serve one of the twelve great Roman gods. Future expansions are planned to open up new lands and new pantheons of gods
There will be over 1,250 quests at the time of launch, all tied in to the characters and the themes of the unique areas in the game. In addition, players will enjoy private zones for individually tailored gameplay, rich skill-based character development, fully integrated social systems, player-to-player interaction tools, and ongoing contested areas such as forts, territories, towns, castles and mines.
Gods and Heroes: Rome Rising will implement the most interactive, dynamic, strategic and engaging combat system of any MMG – challenging players before battle as well as during battle. Players will strategically select and train their NPC Soldiers in a variety of skills and abilities to form individual squads that meet specific challenges, and devise strategies and create formations for these squads to execute on command – maximizing the unique skills and abilities of each individual squad.
For more information about Gods and Heroes visit the web site at www.godsandheroes.com.
About Perpetual Entertainment, Inc.
About Stieg Hedlund
Mythic Entertainment announced plans to expand their operations to Europe to help launch Imperator Online on both continents in 2006. For more information on Imperator check out yesterday's Pre-E3 Preview. Also, be sure make your thoughts known on their hype meter.
New Location to Drive Simultaneous European and North American Release of Sci-Fi MMORPG, Imperator, in 2006
The new office will oversee Mythic's European publishing operations including localization, marketing, distribution, customer support and billing for Imperator when it is released in the summer of 2006. Mythic is currently reviewing several possible locations for their European presence and is in discussions with a number of potential European distribution partners. As with Dark Age of Camelot, Imperator will be published by Mythic Entertainment in North America.
"Dark Age of Camelot is a huge success in Europe; it was the first MMORPG to prove the great potential for online games in Europe," said Mark Jacobs, president and CEO of Mythic Entertainment. "Our new office will allow us to participate in the rapidly growing European MMORPG market, and to expand the player community for Imperator and future Mythic titles."
DFC Intelligence, in The Online Game Market report, forecasts that the European market for online games will grow from the current estimate of $300 million in 2004 to reach $2 billion by 2009.
Mythic will reveal a playable version of Imperator, and future plans for Dark Age of Camelot expansions, during the upcoming Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles. The trade show takes place in the LA Convention Center from May 18th - 20th, and Mythic will be located in booth number 5001C in the Concourse Hall.
Imperator is a science-fiction MMORPG set in a distant future where the Roman Republic never fell. Small changes at crucial moments in Roman history create an entirely new timeline for Earth. When the game begins, new threats to our world have sprung up internally and from beyond its borders, making the galaxy more dangerous and even the Roman Republic itself less stable than ever before. Imperator features an accessible mission system, sci-fi weapons, multiple character profession paths, and a compelling alternate vision of our future.
About Mythic Entertainment
Mythic Entertainment is one of the world's most successful developers and publishers of massively-multiplayer online role-playing games. Credited with 15 online games, including the award winning "Dark Age of Camelot," Mythic's success is based in proprietary technology, superior game design and exemplary customer service delivered by a talented staff of more than 160 people. "Dark Age of Camelot" is played throughout the world in seven languages. It was launched in Japanese in January 2005, and in April 2005 became the first international MMORPG localized for Spain.
We have just released our pre-E3 preview of Imperator complete with 3 exclusive screen shots! Last April, our own Dana Massey took a trip to Mythic Entertainment to take a look at the game. This information was under a strict NDA until today...so enjoy! A glimpse of the story is below:
Imperator Online Preview
Article based on visit to Fairfax, interviews with developers, and hands-on demo time.A couple of years ago, Mythic Entertainment announced that they were working on a second, major, graphical MMORPG to go along with their widely successful Dark Age of Camelot. Imperator Online is that game. Set in a sci-fi world where Rome never fell, the game has clearly evolved since that original announcement, and in early April, Mythic was ready to show off their progress to a throng of game journalists. They promise a polished title that solves many of the problems that have plagued the past few generations of MMORPGs. Time will tell on whether they can deliver, but upon first glance, they seem to be on the right road.
Imperator has been designed as a character-centric game, with an emphasis on personal development. Sound familiar? It should. This is the basis of many single-player-RPGs. Mythic hopes to take that personal approach and apply it to a massive scale. Characters take part in Life Events, which are quests specifically designed not to go kill and get loot, but to advance your character. They define who you are and what you want to be. Through Life Events, you can pursue fame, fortune, heroism, etc. They are the key to preventing you from becoming a faceless peon in a faceless universe.
To read the entire preview, click here.
The folks at Trials of Ascension have released a new website and message boards. Here is the full news release:
|On Monday, May 9, Shadowpool Studios updated with a revamped website and forums for Trials of Ascension. The official announcement is quoted below, and you can visit the official site here: http://www.shadowpool.com.
May 9, 2005
If you are a forum patron, you will also notice that we have changed our forum software to one that offers a bevy of newer features that offer the flexibility to expand with us as we grow. Forum visitors will find additional information about issues related to the forum conversion posted in the Announcements area of the forum, and we have also prepared an area which we will be using to post developer journals, the first of which you will see very shortly and from none other than the programming director himself. Take your time to look around, and we hope you will enjoy all of the new and updated features!
The folks over at the Matrix Online have announced a Friends and Family Trial Program that will allow fans of the game to invite others to join them. Here is the info and an FAQ on the subject.
|The Matrix Online Team is pleased to announce the Friends & Family Trial Program that will take place from May 20th-29th, 2005 during the next major live event, "The Hunt for Morpheus." On Thursday, May 12th all current subscribers to The Matrix Online will be e-mailed 3 trial keys and a game client download link.
Each of these keys will allow a non-subscriber guest to sign-up and play the game during this live event.
Morpheus, the once-beloved Zion visionary leader, takes center stage in "The Hunt for Morpheus" event. Continuing to pursue the haunting question "Why won't they give up his remains?" Morpheus resorts to drastic measures to persuade the Machines to return Neo's body to the people of Zion. The fragile truce between the Machines and the people of Zion begins to shred under this added strain, and the Merovingian takes advantage of their distraction, intensifying his efforts to expand the Exiles' power base. Tensions run high on all sides, and Morpheus becomes the focus of the chaos to ensue.
Be sure to check the official website www.thematrixonline.com for more details on the Friends and Family Trial Program and on the upcoming "The Hunt for Morpheus" event.
When will the Friends & Family Trial Program take place?
I am a current subscriber, when will I receive my 3 trial keys?
I was given a Friends & Family Trial Program trial key and want to participate. Where do I register when I get my key?
I am going to participate in the Friends & Family Trial Program. How long can I play the game?
How do I install the game?
Will there be any restrictions on the gameplay experience for Friends & Family Trial Program participants?
I participated in the Friends & Family Trial Program and would like to subscribe to the game. How do I activate my account?
The descriptions are as follows: