Game News

General news about specific MassMOGs and the like.

Hi-Rez Studios Pledges 100% of Global Agenda Weekend Sales To Japan Relief

 I'll just cut right to the full press release on this one.  Maybe there are some people interested in getting in on this -- a place to donate a small amount towards Japan relief efforts, while getting a game in return:

Shooter MMO On Sale For $9.99 Thru Sunday With All Proceeds Going To Red Cross

ATLANTA - March 18, 2011 — In response to the devastating earthquake and tsunami disaster in Japan, Hi-Rez Studios has pledged to donate 100% of this weekend’s website game sales to Red Cross’ Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami relief effort:

Effective 1pm EST today Friday March 18, through midnight on Sunday March 20, 2011, the Shooter MMO Global Agenda is being discounted to $9.99 on the Hi-Rez Studios web store (down from the regular price of $29.99) and all game sale proceeds will be donated toward relief activities.

This promotion and donation opportunity is available to gamers world-wide at

Global Agenda community members and supporters are encouraged to spread the word about this weekend donation opportunity, as well as other efforts around the world to help the people of Japan. Additional donations can be made by visiting the Red Cross website.

Rift Extends Discounted "Founder's Pricing" To March 31st

 Trion Worlds has announced the extension of their early-adopters' Founder's Pricing discounts.  Previously available only for the first couple weeks after launch (through March 15th), the extension puts the availability until March 31st, 2011.  The discounts are available for multi-month subscriptions of 3 months ($11.99/month) or 6 months ($9.99/month), down from the monthly price of $14.99.  This should relieve some pressure on the less decisive among who are considering a longer-term plunge.

Full press release right here since it's so short:

Trion Worlds today announced that the “Founder’s Pricing” plan for the studio’s recently released MMORPG Rift™ has been extended until March 31st. Exclusively available to early adopters of the online fantasy game, the Founder’s Pricing plan features a $9.99 USD/month price for a multi-month subscription. For more information on Founder’s Pricing, along with details on additional subscription plans, please visit  

LEGO Universe Celebrates "Going Gold" at PAX Prime

 Huge news out of Louisville, CO today, as it's been announced that LEGO Universe has "gone gold" and will be available to play at the PAX Expo this weekend!  I've known many of the original guys at NetDevil for many years so I'm a little biased on this one.  They've gone through a lot over the years -- from a tiny start in a little office with game servers crammed in the corner, to a large warehouse transformed into a fantastic, creative space for their ever-growing team.  I can't deny that I just flat want this game to succeed.

There is still time to pre-order the game and get in on some special goodies, including early access to the game starting October 12 -- the game is set to launch October 26, 2010.  For the more adventurous among you, they are still accepting applications for the ongoing closed beta.


Red 5's "Project Offset"-Powered MMO Dev Continues

There is a lot of chatter going on around last week's announcement by Intel that it is cancelling its Project Offset development. The reason this matters in the MMO space is that the only (that I know of) project to officially license that magnificent engine for a game is Red 5 Studios. Since I can not play Project Offset (unless Fractiv, the new company formed by the ejected devs is taking over the PO reigns... hope, hope, hope!) I am now squarely watching Red 5 to see if they can pull out a game of a quality to match the wonder I've seen from the Project Offset demos.

The reason this is less exciting to me is that Red 5 has recently been acquired (a "majority interest" technically,) by The9 in China. Yep... there has been a lot of attention paid by R5 over the years towards the specific catering to "the Asian market and what makes a game fun to play for their tastes." (That's a paraphrased quote pulled from 3 year-old memory, but I can't find the original interview.) Whether the game they're working on will be something I care to play is unclear, as they still have not announced what they're actually creating. One thing I imagine to be true is that it will look friggin' stunning.

Gamasutra also has some more background and quote-y text about Red 5's continuance: "Red 5's Offset Engine-Powered MMO Still On, Despite Offset Cancelation"

The Chronicles of Spellborn Launches

News from Acclaim is that The Chronicles of Spellborn has launched with a special promotion. Sign up for a new account (free) before May 7th & get a free 2-week "premium subscription" to try out the full game. Essentially, without paying for premium 'scrip, you're capped at level 7 and can only play in the designated "free play" zones. So, hopefully you can get past level 7 in a single play session so you can get on to checking out the premium game to see what it's about!

Age of Conan Still In Development For Xbox 360

Eurogamer posted an interview with Age of Conan's game director Craig Morrisson, confirming the continued (though limited) development of the 360 version of AoC.

"We still plan on having a 360 version of the game at some stage but I'm afraid I can't go into specifics beyond that at the moment," Morrison said.

He talks about the difficult nature of porting an MMO like Conan over to a console... uh, yeah! I know many players I talked to thought it might be fun to try out on that platform, with the combat system being rather interesting to think of mashing buttons with.

However, from the sounds of it, there's not much of a reason to hold your breath on the AoC Xbox version. When a daunting task is set upon a small group of developers... well, just don't lose too much sleep waiting for it.

My guess would be you'd see the expansion for Age of Conan long before a 360 version. But that's based on nothing but the fleeting thought in my brain... and now it's gone.

Tabula Rasa Free To Play Until Closing Time

In my opinion, Tabula Rasa is a really fun game... overall. I know I wasn't personally willing to pay $15/month for it, but I'm not completely sure why, in retrospect. I don't know if it was competition for my self-allotted $15-30/month for these dang MMO beasts, or something else. However, I was one of the apparently-many who didn't subscribe.

To me, this game was much better than many that came out and are still running, which baffles me a bit. The world is beautiful and rich with excellent (and compelling) backstory, and the mechanics of gameplay are interesting. I really enjoyed the frantic nature of defending a base from waves of attackers as more players streamed in to help out.

The main feeling of the whole world really being in the middle of a war was very intriguing and there haven't been many games that have pulled off that sense of global tension like TR, I think.

...well, none of that matters now, I guess. The game's going down at the end of February (2009, in case you're reading this late.)

However, you can play it free now through closing. Get your asses in there and at least put this game into your memories as one of the "ones that got away." We all do the (oft-annoying) "Game Z did this really cool thing where such-and-such happened. Man, I loved that!", and I think TR has plenty of those features in it. There are plenty of flaws too, but since it's free and it's all going away soon, do yourself a favor and at least give it a spin, eh?

Tabula Rasa: Now with more free play! will get you the info you need to get in there. If you previously had an account, you can just re-activate it.

...bummer to see this one go, but of course I'm part of the reason it's done, since I didn't pay my bill. I've thought many times about whether I would have played it with a lower fee or maybe even a free-play level of 'scrip with the option to pay for something extra... I don't know. I don't really think I'm a good gauge of this stuff, since I'm not playing anything much at all these days. (And no, I'm not playing WoW at the moment, either.)

Well... quit reading this crap and get your account created/reactivated in RGTR, eh?

MMO Developers Share Their New Year's Resolutions

This is pretty much fluff and useless info, but I figured since I read the whole thing, maybe I wasn't totally bored by it... MTV Multiplayer posted a batch of interview answers that collectively has become their post: MMO Developers Share Their New Year’s Resolutions

I honestly don't think it's of much use to read, but it did get me thinking about some of the games that it is about time for me to try out again.

For instance, I'm way overdue for a run through Hyboria again! I really wanted to love Age of Conan, but when it launched, I didn't have time to play it much. I love the dirt and grit to that game world and of course the lore is just freakin' awesome. There's a lot of potential in AoC to get some dark play time into my MMO rotation.

...I think I need to fire up my AoC account and see how it's changed.

(And yes, I will be looking at some of the others again too. I'm just more jazzed about Conan at the moment, so please refrain from your flame email about how I should play Game Y instead... well, maybe your suggestions will get me stoked, so go ahead and send them, I guess. :P )

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