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Spellborn : Open Beta and Release Date Announcement

Posted Jan 15, 2007 by

The Chronicles of Spellborn gives us some information on open beta and release date.

Things are going extremely well here at the Spellborn office. The game is looking, sounding, feeling and playing better every day. Over the last few weeks we matched the development schedule with the release schedules of our publishers and we are happy to announce that we have defined dates for open beta and for release. Open beta can be expected to start early April 2007 and release in Europe is planned for May 2007 with other continents following in Q2 and Q3. The third closed beta phase is planned to start early February 2007 and we are looking forward to the feedback from all our closed beta members.

These last few months the entire team will focus on finishing the game and preparing all services needed for launch such as customer support and billing. To ensure that we have a clear and direct channel of communication we decided to close down our open irc channels and focus all our communication efforts on our official forums.

The next few months are going to be very exciting and we want to thank you all for taking this journey with us. We hope to welcome you in our closed or open beta soon!

Read more here.

Shot Online : No Course Fees Event Announced

Posted Jan 15, 2007 by

Shot-Online announces "No Course Fees" event.

Shot-Online announced today that there will be no "NG" fee at any of the 16 courses in Shot-Online on January 15, 2007. This special event coincides with Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in the United States.

Players are invited to take advantage of this special offer and play any of the courses as many times, free-of-charge, as they like on January 15th.

"We wanted to celebrate this day in a special way", said Chris Yamauchi, Shot-Online General Manager, about the reason for creating the no fee event.

Read more here.

General : Saturday Debate: Fantasy Races

Posted Jan 13, 2007 by Jon Wood

News Editor Garrett Fuller and Staff Writer Derek Czerkaski sit down to discuss the issue of Traditional fantasy races.

Derek Czerkaski:

Alright, sweet, a new MMO! THIS ONE is going to set the bar for MMORPG's for generations to come, I just know it! Let's get this beast installed, and get to playing it already. While I'm waiting, I guess I'll have a look at what races are available for me to play. Let's see here, we've got two human races, but who wants to be a human in-game and out of game? We've got 4 variations of Elves, that's pretty weak. They look like humans, except with pointy ears. Oh cool, Greenskins, yet they're basically just uglier, green variations of humans. Oh there are the Dwarves and Gnomes. Gee, a bearded, midget human race; how incredibly creative. Last, we have 2 Barbarian-like races, more super-sized humans.

What is this crap? Doesn't anyone have anything creative on their mind out there? Twelve unique races huh, because it looks like humans with palette swaps and varied skins to me. How come every race in the history of all fantasy worlds are nearly identical too each other, minus some simple lore details? Don't game developers have any cool ideas? I'd love to play as a spider-race, wielding six weapons at one time, and not being able to wear armor. How about playing as a winged race, where I can fly? Heck, maybe I'd like to play as a mole race, that's capable of burrowing to set up traps, or ambush their enemies by hiding underground. I'm sick and tired of running around playing as the same generic garbage in a fantasy setting. If you're going to offer me unique races, make them truly stand out from the crowd.

You can read the whole debate here.

2Moons : Announces Closed Beta

Posted Jan 13, 2007 by

Acclaim Games annouces the beginning of the closed Beta test for 2Moons.

Acclaim Games is pleased to announce the start of Closed Beta testing for 2Moons, a totally brutal Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG) that is FREE to download and play on a PC. With the tagline "No mercy for the weak, no pity for the dying, no tears for the slain", 2Moons was designed exclusively for Adult gamers age 17 and over, featuring extreme fantasy violence, profanity, an epic story, and heart-pumping action.

Since Closed Beta email registration began in August 2006, without any marketing, over 100,000 gamers have already signed up to participate via the official 2Moons website at www.2MoonsGame.com.

These Closed Beta testers will be given an exclusive & confidential first look at the game, and are asked to report bugs and issues, and to make suggestions to the development team.

2Moons was designed to be easy for any player to get into and enjoy right away. Featuring elements of traditional role-playing games and arcade-style fighting action, 2Moons will appeal to a broad range of players who seek a thrilling, action-packed gaming experience in an exciting story. The game story is set in an aggressive, dangerous, and visually stunning world and was written by writer Henry Jones.

"I've made a lot of games over the years", says the game's Director David Perry. "There's no doubt that by the time we're done, 2Moons will have really earned it's 'Most Edgy MMORPG' accolade. The Beta testers will be able to see all the new features getting added over time. They'll also be able to help us craft this into a game they each personally love."

2Moons is the third release from the new Acclaim, a resurrected company with a familiar name. The new Acclaim will focus entirely on providing quality multiplayer online games for free. The games will be supported with a mix of advertising and virtual item stores. For 2Moons, players will also be allowed to turn off the in-game adverting if they choose to, a major innovation in the FREE online game industry. Acclaim has already partnered with IGA to provide in-game advertising for its other online game titles.

Players will also have a chance to be a part of the actual game itself. Several lucky players will be able to participate in the development process by providing the voices for characters in 2Moons. Acclaim will choose the best player voice recordings to go into the game. Get more information at http://phpbb.acclaim.com/2moons/viewtopic.php?t=1594.

To play 2Moons and participate in Closed Beta testing, registered players must receive an official invitation by email. Invitations will be emailed regularly on a first come, first served basis. Fans that have not yet registered are encouraged to sign up at www.2MoonsGame.com, as Closed Beta space may be limited.

2Moons Closed Beta is expected to last several weeks, followed by Open Beta testing where a larger group can participate to further test the game before official release. Register now to be one of the first to experience this exciting new game!

Read more here.

General : Stray Bullet Begins Work on New MMO

Posted Jan 12, 2007 by

Stray Bullet Games begins work on a new in-house MMO based on an original intellectual property.

Stray Bullet Games has begun an exciting new era with the development of a new massively multiplayer online (MMO) game. The new project is based on an original intellectual property conceived in-house, and while the concept phase is ongoing we are actively developing a proof of concept prototype.

With this new project, Stray Bullet is committed to creating a fully-realized, ongoing online conflict that combines furious action with tactical and strategic game play. In the game to come characters, guilds, and global factions will engage in meaningful, exciting, and fun mass combat. To realize this vision the team is drawing upon our experience, the lessons learned developing and supporting Shadowbane, and is looking outside the MMO genre to strategy and tactical games for inspiration.

While it is still too early to release extensive details on the game, says Frank Lucero, Vice President of Product Development and COO, we have a firm hand on what the game will and will not be. We have taken what we've learned and applied it to every aspect of the design and development of the game.

Mike Madden, the Creative Director, had more to say about the design process for the new project. We have two guiding principles: Rely upon the familiar and Be bold. Madden explained further; In setting, systems and game play, we want to build on a firm foundation of features that are familiar and comfortable to MMO players, making the game as inviting and accessible as possible. We see no need to innovate in areas MMOs already do well. At the same time, in areas that do require innovation to achieve our goals, Stray Bullet will never think small.

Stray Bullet has already decided not to create its own game engine. We are dedicated to using middleware technology solutions whenever possible, says Ala Diaz, Stray Bullet's Technical Director. This lets us minimize risk by focusing developer efforts on fun game play and entertaining experiences instead of new technologies and MMO infrastructure.

One of the key aspects of the new project is its look and feel. Our goal is to create a dynamic art style that is timeless, and that will create passion and excitement within the studio and MMOG community, says Ivan Enriquez, the Art Director at Stray Bullet Games. We are building an unbeatable team of highly talented artists, with years of industry experience. We hope you find this small sample as exciting as we do.

When I see the passion and excitement this new project has already generated in every member of the team, I'm thrilled, says Mark Nausha, President and CEO. In a few short months Stray Bullet has generated strong buzz, and I'm very pleased with the amount of interest we are seeing in our studio and this new project. This team has the experience, the tools, and the talent to make Stray Bullet a force in the MMO game space, and this new project begins the journey.

Due to the stage the project is currently in, Stray Bullet Games will not be releasing additional details on the project in the near future but we look forward to bringing you more conceptual art as it develops.

While Stray Bullet Games currently only has an open position for a Junior Programmer, the company is always on the lookout for highly motivated individuals. If you are interested in pursuing a career in the burgeoning market of online entertainment, please don't hesitate to send us your resume and/or portfolio electronically to bullseye@straybulletgames.com.

Read more here.

General : Game/On Commentary

Posted Jan 12, 2007 by Jon Wood

MMORPG.com is pleased to release the newest episode of our weekly podcast, Game/On.

This week on MMORPG.com's Game/On Co-Hosts Jon Wood and Garrett Fuller discuss Vanguard's upcoming launch, Blizzard's announcement that they now have over 8 million players, EA's role in the MMO industry, and more!

You can listen to the podcast here.

Gods and Heroes : Screenshots

Posted Jan 12, 2007 by Jon Wood

The folks over at Perpetual Entertainment's Gods & Heroes have provided us with 10 new screenshots for our viewing pleasure:

You can view the screenshots here.

Ragnarok Online : Gravity Co. Signs Pact for Ragnarok 2

Posted Jan 12, 2007 by

Gravity Co. signs licensing agreements for Ragnarock Online 2.

Gravity, Co., an online game developer and publisher, announced that it has entered into licensing agreements for Ragnarok Online 2 (or RO2) in Japan and Thailand, pursuant to Memorandum of Understandings, or MOUs, entered into with various licensees in each country in August 2006.

The agreement was entered into with GungHo Online Entertainment in Japan on September 29, 2006 and with Asiasoft Corporation in Thailand on September 22, 2006, effective from the commercial service date of the game.

As a result of these agreements, the company is expected to earn US$ 23 million or more in license fees and minimum guaranteed payments during the first two to three years from the date that commercial service of RO2 commences in these two markets.

Mr. Il Young Ryu, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Gravity, said "We will continue to reinforce the strategy of expanding our global markets by penetrating into new markets with RO2 and maintaining our current markets of RO. In addition to the above two markets, we are in the final stages of negotiations to license and distribute RO2 in other countries, which we plan to disclose as soon as the operative agreements are finalized and executed. We are executing the internal alpha test of RO2 and we do not expect any difficulties in launching the beta testing of RO2 in Korea by the end of this year or early next year. In a fiercely competitive market for online games, we hope that RO2 is as successful as its predecessor RO."

Read more here.

Age of Conan : New Class System Review

Posted Jan 12, 2007 by

Age of Conan gives us a class system review. The following is only an excerpt. You can read the entire article here.

This week we take a look at some of the changes that are taking place during the beta process and wanted to put some 'meat on the bones' on a decision tying into the class structure in Age of Conan.

Read more here.

Guild Wars : Latest Issue of The Scribe Now Online

Posted Jan 12, 2007 by

The latest issue of The Scribe is release from Guild Wars.

Take a look at this week's RP periodical for news about a splendid new opportunity offered by the Priests of Balthazar. Also check out a few words on the conclusion of the Wintersday Festival and of course note with approbation those citizens called out in the Random Acts of Kindness section. Find the newest issue here.

Read more here.

World of Warcraft : New Burning Crusade Mini-Site

Posted Jan 12, 2007 by

World of Warcraft puts up a new Burning Crusade website just days before its release.

For the release of The Burning Crusade, our team of web goblins has whipped up something special. Our new Burning Crusade Flash mini-site is an interactive introduction to the expansion packed with graphics, music, animation, mini-games, and perhaps even a few secret rewards. Navigate through the site's sections by clicking the floating spheres on the bottom right of the page - and keep an eye out for those questgivers. Enjoy!

Read more here.

Voyage Century Online : Fourth Server Up and Running

Posted Jan 12, 2007 by

Voyage Century launches fourth server.

Only days after launching their third server, Voyage Century Online announces the launching of their fourth server. Yes, this exciting 16th century nautical game has proven to be so successful that four servers are now necessary! Voyage Century is proud of the addition of Captain Cook to their family, joining servers Columbus, Magellan, and De Gama.

James Cook, the great British explorer, lived from 1728 to 1779. He commanded three voyages of discovery for Great Britain and sailed around the world twice. Captain Cook's voyages led to the founding of European colonies throughout the Pacific.

Read more here.

Pirates of the Burning Sea : New Website Launched

Posted Jan 12, 2007 by

Pirates of the Burning Sea unveils new website.

Flying Lab Software unveiled a website redesign (www.burningsea.com) for their award-winning MMORPG Pirates of the Burning Sea, a massively multiplayer online game of swashbuckling adventure on land and sea, set in the Caribbean during the 1720s.

In addition to the brand-new look, the updated Pirates of the Burning Sea website introduced twelve never-before-seen screenshots of breathtaking environments from the game world. The bold site design, launched in tandem with a new Developer Log from Flying Lab Software CEO, Russell Williams, signals the fast approaching June 2007 release date for Pirates of the Burning Sea.

Read more about Pirates of the Burning Sea here.

World of Warcraft : Stealth Runs 101

Posted Jan 12, 2007 by Jon Wood

Stephen Kovalcik makes his first appearance at MMORPG.com by unveiling a new WoW editorial that serves as a guide to stealth runs in World of Warcraft.

The idea behind a stealth run is to get up to and kill bosses faster than the normal group composition of one warrior, one healer, and three damage dealers. Also, since it is only a few short fights, it can usually be done with a smaller party rather than the average five-person party. Stealthing instance runs has the potential to be the shortest run to many bosses, however if done incorrectly or carelessly they can take longer than even a normal run. This short editorial guide will help show how to properly set up a stealth run for speed and fun.

Read the whole editorial here.

Gods and Heroes : CES 2007: Interview With Richard Zinser

Posted Jan 12, 2007 by Jon Wood

As a part of her continuing work down at CES in las Vegas, Carolyn Koh sits down with Richard Zinser, the VP of Game Services for Perpetual Entertainment to talk about their upcoming title. Gods & Heroes.

"The focus currently is on play testing our squads," said Richard Zinser, VP of Game Services of Perpetual Entertainment as he showed off the squad combat system at CES2007. With a game currently in a closed Beta phase, their mythical creatures already in game and a planned launch in Summer 2007, Gods and Heroes: Rome Rising is currently in a state of tuning, balancing and refining.

The unique aspect of Gods and Heroes that make them stand out from the current crop of MMORPGs is the squad combat. Richard ran me through various scenarios in the mid-level game (level 30), commanding four minions. When asked about the learning curve, he explained that in the play through of the newbie experience the end of the first series of quests that a new player would complete was one to obtain a minion. Then, your squad size is controlled by your level. So even though you may have more than one minion, you may not bring them all out to play.

Read the whole article here.

Vanguard : Interview: Brad McQuaid and Paul Luna

Posted Jan 12, 2007 by Jon Wood

Carolyn Koh is keeping busy down in Las Vegas for CES, today, she's talking to Brad McQuaid and Paul Luna from Sigil's Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.

With their marketing collaboration with SoE, Brad McQuaid and Paul Luna of Sigil Games showed Vanguard: Saga of Heroes at CES 2007 at invited press appointments. After introductions, we chatted about our gaming history and when Paul asked if I were familiar with Brad, my answer was tongue in cheek as I replied that I was familiar with Aradune, a wood-elf ranger in EverQuest who wore green splint mail and implied that he hacked Soulfire - the Paladin epic weapon so he could wield it.

We waited to connect to the server and I asked Brad, "Who's idea was it to put Aradune is stinky! Graffiti in the Qeynos sewers?" Bill Trost was the answer - one of the original team of developers of EverQuest. We digressed into how quickly screenshots of Aradune corpses made their way around the internet. "So I forgot to put up enduring breath in Kedge Keep." Brad said laughingly, but enough of old EverQuest anecdotes and toward Vanguard:Saga of Heroes.

Read the whole article here.

Voyage Century Online : Publishes Land and Sea Battle Rules

Posted Jan 11, 2007 by

Voyage Century Online Releases Land And Sea Battle Rules!

Nothing can match the challenge and sheer excitement of a raging battle at sea -- unless it's a hand-to-hand fight to the death on land! Voyage Century Online, the 16th century nautical online game, releases rules for both styles of battles. Wherever your tastes and talents lie, you can find your place in Voyage Century!

Are you in love with the smell of salt water and the distant cry of the gulls? Protect yourself from pirates and smugglers by upgrading your vessel to a military ship! (Or, if you want to take what should be rightfully yours, throw a few cannon onto your pirate ship and blast away!) Learn the skills for Cannon Fight, Ramming and Grappling, and rule the seas!

Or, if you're the landlubber type, fear not! Opportunities for glory abound everywhere. There are five skills in Land Battle: Falchion-playing, Sword-playing, Axe-playing, Shooting, and Medicine. Become an expert in any of these, and you will rule the battlefield. Not only can you fight individually, but there are even rules for team fighting!

In short, Voyage Century Online offers every type of experience for all gamers -- experienced or newbie, land or sea, honest merchant, intrepid officer or thieving pirate. With rules for battles, guilds, trading and exploring, players will find a world of adventure to experience! For more information about Voyage Century Online, please visit: http://www.voyagecenturyonline.com/beta/.

Read more about Voyage Century here.

World of Warcraft : 8 Million Players Now Online

Posted Jan 11, 2007 by

World of Warcraft passes 8 million player mark worldwide. Read the official press release here.

Player population in North America now exceeds 2 million, while Europe and China pass the 1.5 million player and 3.5 million player marks, respectively.

Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. announced today that World of Warcraft®, its subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), is now played by more than 8 million gamers around the world. World of Warcraft has also achieved new regional subscriber milestones, with more than 2 million players in North America, more than 1.5 million players in Europe, and more than 3.5 million players in China.

"We're ecstatic that the World of Warcraft community has continued to grow steadily since we launched the game," said Mike Morhaime, president and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment®. "This milestone wouldn't have been possible for us to achieve without the incredible support of our players. With the release of our expansion pack, World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade™, coming next week, we're looking forward to welcoming more players to Azeroth and offering even more quality content for our community to enjoy."

Since debuting in North America on November 23, 2004, World of Warcraft has become the most popular MMORPG around the world. Today, World of Warcraft is available in seven different languages and is played in North America, Europe, mainland China, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau.

World of Warcraft will soon see the launch of its first expansion, World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, which will be available in North America and Europe on January 16, 2007. The expansion will be available in Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Thailand the same week, with availability in mainland China and the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau to be announced at a later date. The Burning Crusade will add a tremendous amount of new content to the game, including an entire new continent to explore; an increase in the level cap up to 70, complete with new talents and abilities; flying mounts; new quests, creatures, and items; new dungeons; two new playable races; a new profession; and more.

Read more about World of Warcraft here.

Vanguard : Release Date January 30th

Posted Jan 11, 2007 by

Vanguard: Saga of Heroes to hit store shelves on January 30th.

Sony Online Entertainment and Sigil Games Online today announced that the upcoming massively multiplayer online role-playing game Vanguard: Saga of Heroes will be released to retail outlets across North America and Europe on January 30, 2007, for the suggested retail price of US$49.99. A limited edition is also available for a suggested retail price of US$89.99.

Currently in beta, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes features vibrant environments reminiscent of oil paintings, a robust character customization tool and three distinct spheres of advancement in a seamless world without zoning or instancing. The immersive fantasy world is comprised of three massive, uniquely-themed continents for players to discover new creatures, new items and unlimited adventure. Players have complete freedom to roam the world whether flying dragons to islands in the sky or riding swift steeds to exotic lands.

"We are excited about delivering an MMO with immersive gameplay features that bring new depth and fun to the genre," said Brad McQuaid, CEO, Sigil Games Online. "Vanguard gives players the chance to live in a breathtaking world and try new things such as our diplomacy system and our unique approach to crafting. We're proud to be delivering this level of great gameplay for years to come."

"SOE is pleased to be working with Sigil to bring the eagerly anticipated Vanguard to fruition," said John Smedley, President, Sony Online Entertainment, "Vanguard not only broadens our product portfolio in the online space, but will also be a welcomed addition to our already value packed all-in-one Station Access subscription line-up."

Players can pre-order Vanguard: Saga of Heroes now through a variety of methods including digitally and at retail, and by doing so, obtain an invitation to entrance into the live beta and, with purchase, access to the live servers up to three days prior to the official release. In addition, players that pre-order and purchase at retail will receive an exclusive in-game scroll that will allow their character to sprint for longer periods of time due to an endurance buff (one per account). For more information or to order Vanguard: Saga of Heroes visit www.joinvanguard.com/buy/

Read more about Vanguard: Saga of Heroes here.

Lord of the Rings Online : Three New Screenshots of Middle Earth

Posted Jan 11, 2007 by

Lord of the Rings Online gives us some new screenshots of locations throughout Middle Earth.

Visit our Screenshots Gallery for 3 new screenshots featuring a variety of locations from LOTRO!

Read more here.

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