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Seven Year Anniversary Dev Journal

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Battleground Europe: Seven Year Anniversary Dev Journal

Celebrations for the astonishing seven year anniversary of Battleground Europe: World War II Online began on Friday. Today, we present a dev journal that is designed to both introduce new players to the game and talk a little bit about the events of the last seven years.

On June 6th, 2008, Playnet Inc and Cornered Rat Software will celebrate the 7th anniversary of the launch of a ground-breaking MMO that still boasts thousands of fans worldwide. Released as "WWII Online: Blitzkreig" in 2001, it is now known as "Battleground Europe"- a brutal, online World War II based PvP in which players choose to fight for the Allied or Axis forces as ground troops, fighter pilots or tank commanders.

Few MMOs have survived as long or enjoyed such a love affair with a dedicated fan base as Battleground Europe. Senior Producer Dana “Gophur” Baldwin understands the passion that BE players have for the game. "Without question the devotion of our community is the biggest reason for our continued success. It certainly helps to have such an engaging game as a foundation but the real power of the game is in the camaraderie of our player base and in the drama of the struggle to win. Our game is completely PvP and that makes it so much more emotional than many games. The "joy of victory" and "agony of defeat" would seem trite in most MMOs but in WWIIOL they are constant companions."

Over the past seven years, the game has evolved from a clunky, bug-ridden and incomplete attempt at the first MMOFPS to a mature and feature rich game. The persistent-world design of this game is unique among so many others in its dedication to first-person play, historically accurate weapons and vehicles and a strategic layer that results in a winner and loser each time the campaign for Western Europe ends-often taking months. As one long time player recently commented "This damned game is so realistic that defeat is a bitter ugly knock in the balls".

The online-only game gives players access to a persona for each branch of military service (Army, Airforce, Navy) with their choice of Britain, France and Germany available as play choices at all times. Gamers advance by successfully completing player-created and controlled missions. Points are awarded towards military ranks which unlock abilities and permissions that affect game play. Battleground Europe is first-person action taken to the extreme. With military-grade ballistics, vehicle and weapon modeling based on actual WWII-era data and realistic damage models, you can quickly find yourself out of action, but knowing your own weapons will affect the enemy equally in combat results in a greater satisfaction than any dice-roll, hit-point kill ever could.

"The game has advanced incredibly since launch." Baldwin says. "Where we once had a couple dozen towns on the map we now have several hundred. Where we once had a few dozen vehicles we now have over a hundred. But more than that, the game has evolved into the grand experiment that the original design envisioned. Our players not only engage in the most compelling tactical PvP there is but they manage a strategic level of game play that can't be found anywhere else. The game has truly evolved into an epic war game." In addition to dozens of infantry weapons, many of the most famous WWII-era vehicles are available including Panzers, Tigers, Vickers, Shermans, Spitfires, 190s, 110s and many others. In the most recent feature update, the game exceeded 125 player-controlled vehicles and weapons with the addition of light mortars.

There have been several U.S. retail releases of the game including a “Readers’ Choice Edition” which gathered up many of the early feature patches onto one disc and celebrated several awards in which it beat out the likes of "Microsoft Flight Simulator" and "Dark Age of Camelot". There was also a new name and retail release in Europe in 2005 resulting in a huge surge of players living outside of North America. The game is now primarily available from the official website (www.battlegroundeurope.com) and online distribution partners

CORNERED RAT SOFTWARE and PLAYNET are pleased to invite you to return to the battlefields of Western Europe to celebrate our 7th year online. We have an exciting week of promotions and prizes lined up for old and new players as well as some special events, including an in-game mission to hunt down and kill members of the development team. On June 6th, Playnet will be temporarily re-activating tens of thousands of accounts for a Welcome Back Soldier promotion as well as offering a 14 day Free Trial. No credit card will be required to try the game out so visit www.battlegroundeurope.com/trial and enjoy a week of special events free!

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