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Today developer NetDevil announced that it is now accepting beta test applications for the upcoming MMO LEGO Universe.

Slated to arrive sometime this year, LEGO Universe throws players into a world populated by LEGO minifigures. Apparently the LEGO Universe is under assault by a dark force called Maelstrom that is destroying imagination. Players will have to work cooperatively to complete quests and vanquish the Maelstrom. Read more… »

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Today word got out that Korean games developer and publisher Hanbitsoft has acquired the rights to Flagship Studios’s new defunct MMO Hellgate: London in North America, Europe, and Japan. Apparently Hanbitsoft feels like there is some money to be made there because the company plans to re-release the game is those regions, as well as in China, Taiwan, and South East Asia later this year.

For those of you who don’t remember (or chose to forget) Hellgate: London was an MMO made by a team of Blizzard Entertainment veterans who parted ways with the gaming giant in hopes of founding their own studio, Flagship. When Hellgate launched the game was plagued with bugs and billing issues, causing many gamers to cancel their subscriptions. Read more… »

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If there was one MMO in my life that drained the most out of my day, it was Star Wars Galaxies.  It wasn’t my fascination with the lore, or my lack of friends, but it was the game’s dedication to player interactivity, deep character progression, and fantastic PvP mechanics.  Other MMOs funnel players into arenas for PvP conflict, create skyscraper monstrosities for groups, and build a glass ceiling out of loot.  Not SWG.

Granted, all of this was before the dirty combat upgrade or the piss-poor new game enhancements.  These two updates destroyed everything the game stood for, and are the primary reason the game is desolate today.  However, that topic has been drilled more than the middle east’s oil reserves. Let’s focus on the positives instead because, before that happened, Star Wars Galaxies was on the right track. Read more… »

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In a whole bunch of business mumbo-jumbo released by SyFy parent company General Electric today, development for a hybrid MMO and television show is intensifying as the latest GE shareholder report states that the game and TV series will be tentatively know as One Earth.

Hoping to revolutionize both the MMO genre and television watching itself, the pair will develop the two concurrently and they’ll play-off each other as their life spans grow. Continue reading for more information and a spiffy video from those behind the project. Read more… »

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Tunneling under the mainstream radar, EVE Online has grown to become one of the most successful MMOs of the last decade. It’s been called the “smart person’s” MMO, “spreadsheets online”, and “where economists go to wind down”. But its status is one of conjecture amongst gamers – almost everyone has heard a story about EVE. Its sheer scope, range and possibility appeal to many, until they find themselves inside the universe and completely flustered.

EVE is unique within its genre in that the game is not run by the developer, but by the player. Its developers, CCP, simply set the stage and provide the tools. From there, a limited amount of NPC elements provide new players with some guidance and intermediate players with some challenge. But the real game lies deep within the central space of the universe where there are few rules, no guards and one of the most unforgiving, challenging and intense environments that gaming has ever seen.

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While most developers are still on holiday, the good folks over at BioWare are hard at work. How do i know this? Today the developer released a new ‘Developer Dispatch’ video discussing Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Specifically this video discusses the design decision behind the game’s dark side characters. Apparently there are two Sith classes, the sorcerer-esque Inquisitor (think Emperor Palpatine) and the Lightsaber welding Sith Warrior à la Darth Vader. According to the video, the Sith Warrior  is you go to guy when it comes to direct confrontation. The Inquisitor, on the other hand, is better suited for the political war.

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Today Square Enix announced that it has started to accept beta sign ups for Final Fantasy 14, the second MMO in the Final Fantasy  series. In order to participate, PC gamers need to head over to the official site and register.

According to the site’s FAQ, “Please note that users will be selected by random from all applications for the beta test.” In order to participate you must be over 18 years old and you can only apply once. Square has stated that they plan to roll out the beta in waves, which means that if you don’t get in right away, don’t fret. Read more… »

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“Well met, gaming travellers! I’ve been expecting you. When you’ve worn the red robes of a Game Master, you learn to sense the needs of players. You yearn to learn more of a simpler time, when MMOs were defined by two dimensions. A time when playing online meant playing Ultima Online.

I can transport us back into that realm borne of the imagination of Garriott, if your will is strong enough. Hold the number 1997 in your minds. A year when Hanson sang “MMMbop” while astronomers watched Hale Bopp. A year when Clinton tripped and injured his knee while the first all-woman team walked proudly to the North Pole.

It’s working! Quick, follow me over the jump into the time portal!”

Read more… »

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Today developer Turbine announce that it has officially launched a new digital expansion for the MMO The Lord of the Rings Online.

Dubbed “Siege of Mirkwood,” the new expansion adds a boat load of new content. Some notable additions include: an “increased level cap, the new region of Mirkwood including the legendary evil fortress of Dol Guldur, major enhancements to combat and Legendary Items and the introduction of Skirmishes.” These Skirmishes are “randomized, repeatable instances where players will train customizable soldiers and take them into battle as part of the War of the Ring.”

To hear what the Executive Producer has to say and to check out a more detailed list of features, read on. Read more… »

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For the past couple of years, Vigil has been working on a Warhammer 40K MMO, and its developments have been very hush hush.  Nearly everything about this game has been a mystery, until now.  Earlier this morning Kotaku received a handful of drawings of what gamers may be playing in the next year if not later.

As stated, the details about Warhammer 40K are fairly scare, but there’s nothing like a good sci-fiction MMO to get your heart racing; that is, if we ever see one.  While optimism about the next great MMO is at a very low point, I’m personally wishing Vigil the best in their endeavor to create a rival to World of Warcraft.  One of these days we’ll see the beast fall. Read more… »

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Free to play (F2P) MMORPGs are often considered to be the delinquents in the genre, a sub-section that is always considered the Robin to its Batman.  In essence, it’s also like a baby bird, still too young and undervalued to make it on its own.

Dungeons and Dragons Online (DDO) was launched in 2006, originally starting its life via a pay to play subscription model but suffered from bugs and negative feedback.  Since becoming a F2P in September 2009, Turbine announced that their subscriptions have increased by 40%, proving that free games can be a viable option for a business. There are, however, micro-transactions, which begs the question: is it really free and is it worth your time?

Read more… »

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Today developer Undead Labs announced that it’s planning to “create the definitive massively multiplayer online zombie game (MMOZ) for console gamers.”

While this looks like a highly ambitious project, it seems to be in good hands. The new studio was founded by Blizzard veteran Jeff Strain, whose accomplishments include being part of the team that brought us such classics as Diablo and StarCraft. Also, according to the press release, Strain formed “the initial team and kicked off development on the wildly successful MMO World of Warcraft [in 1999] while taking on the roles of team lead and lead programmer on the project.” In 2000, Strain left Blizzard with two others to found the MMO development studio ArenaNet. Read more… »