Source: http://www.massively.com/2010/07/27/eqii-jumps-on-the-f2p-bandwagon/Despite assurances as recently as last month that EverQuest II wouldn't be going free-to-play, Sony Online Entertainment today announced that the game is doing just that... sort of. EverQuest II Extended is slated for a beta launch on August 17th, and features a separate server set providing all of the game's original content via the insanely popular F2P business model.
"The very nature of an MMO is change, and the decision to create Extended was fueled by evolution of the industry landscape," says EQII lead producer Dave Georgeson. "By offering two services side by side we have given the power to our players to determine the program that best fits their game play style."
Extended will allow access to all zones through The Shadow Odyssey, sans subscription, credit card info, or software purchases. Players will be able to purchase additional perks (such as races, levels 80 - 90, statistical gear, and potions) through the marketplace. Existing EQII subscribers will also be able to transfer their characters to the F2P servers, albeit without their gold. Bags, no-trade items, and attuned items will be transferred. Extended also offers a yearly subscription priced at $200 USD, which equals out to $16.66 per month. SOE is chipping in 60 Station Cash to make up the difference.
Check out the membership matrix for all the details on the new service, and stay with Massively for our interview with Dave Georgeson later today.
Source: http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/30126/Acclaim_Shuts_Down_Games_After_Playdom_Transition.php/Acclaim, the shuttered classic game maker reborn in 2005 as an online game company, shut down the vast majority of its online games Thursday, according to the company's website.
All Acclaim's client-based online games switched off on August 26. The company is offering reimbursement of Acclaim's virtual currency Acclaim Coins, and specifically for players of the game 9Dragons, refunds on purchases made in the last 30 days.
However, the company's Flash-based MMO Kogamu, which was in development prior to the company's acquisition, continues to live on on Facebook under the Playdom name, and music game RockFREE also continues.
The shift at Acclaim comes after social gaming company Playdom acquired Acclaim in May this year. Only about two months after that buy, Disney bought Playdom in a $763 million deal, including $200 million in target-based earnouts.
Playdom's CFO was unavailable for comment, while a PR rep for Disney Interactive Studios did not have a comment immediately available. Aside from 9Dragons, Acclaim also ran the online games Spellborn, 2Moons and Bots, among others.
Acclaim was founded in 1987, and published some of the most popular titles in gaming, including the first and second Burnout games, Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat II and NBA Jam.
But a long string of subpar games led the publisher to be associated with low-quality product, and sales showed it. The company closed its doors in 2004.
The following year, former Activision executive Howard Marks bought the name for a reported $100,000, and relaunched the brand as a publisher of translated Asian MMOs in the West. Industry veteran David Perry partnered with Marks and was chief creative officer for Acclaim, before he moved on to co-found the cloud-based gaming company Gaikai.
Source: http://forums.gamersfirst.com/index.php?s=&showtopic=77720&view=findpost&p=685952GamersFirst, today’s most popular Free2Play online game destination, announced its partnership with Korean game developer, Indy21, to publish 9Dragons. 9Dragons, the hit martial arts MMORPG, previously published by Acclaim Games, will be published by GamersFirst come September 2010. Current 9Dragons players will be able to continue playing with all items and characters intact after the transition.
9Dragons is a Martial Arts MMORPG set during the Ming Dynasty of feudal China. Players explore the vast expanse of the lands as a member of one of the legendary clans of Chinese Martial Arts and challenge each other for ownership of immense Fortresses in massive PvP battles.
Players can fully immerse themselves in the robust powerful storyline that details the history of ancient China and their respective clans. Tilt the balance of power between the White and Black clans and participate in quests that lead each player on a journey of enlightenment and martial art mastery.
“9Dragons is the most authentic Martial Arts MMO on the market with a very active and fun community,” say Tracy Spaight, Executive Director of Publishing for GamersFirst. “INDY21 clearly made significant investments in best-in-class resources to create this stunning Martial Arts MMO. GamersFirst looks for great Free2Play MMO titles with strong and dedicated communities and with 9Dragons we noticed a rare opportunity to incorporate a new MMO genre to the GamersFirst catalogue in addition to working with INDY21.”
In addition to the solid foundation of existing PvE and PvP gameplay, the changing of hands will also include several new key features over the next quarter, including:
• Dedicated tutorial map for easing new players into the 9Dragons experience
• New high level dungeon encounter “Vault of the Ice Dragon”
• Updated “Tibet” map
• Brand new Kung Fu patterns to master
• ‘Most Wanted’ list – useful in avoiding—or becoming—one of the most dangerous and skilled players in PvP
“We chose GamersFirst, because it is a company that understands the Free2Play market and communicates with its gamer community,” said Yong-Nam Jin, CFO at Indy 21. “We have seen GamersFirst build Free2Play MMO’s with the same type of strong community presence that exists within 9Dragons and are looking forward to continuing the success of the game.”
Look out for details on the launch date for 9Dragons on GamersFirst at www.gamersfirst.com. You can also sign up on our Facebook fan site at www.facebook.com/gamersfirst