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Three new Final Fantasy XI Expansion Packs in development at Square Enix


Final Fantasy XI - The Vana'diel Collection 2008 on PCMore Final Fantasy XI is heading our way thanks to Square Enix, who has announced that three upcoming downloadable “scenario expansions” for both the PC and console versions of Final Fantasy XI are in development.

They are being headed up by Masato Kato, who is the original developer behind the story and scenarios of both the base Final Fantasy XI game as well as it’s first expansion pack, Rise of the Zilart.

The expansions will be available exclusively online via the PlayOnline Viewer for all platforms including the PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 2 where it will be downloadable for purchase for all versions worldwide.

The first expansion entitled “A Crystalline Prophecy: Ode of Life Bestowing” will be released in Spring of 2009. It will be followed by “A Moogle Kupo d’Eta: Evil in Small Dose” and “A Shantotto Ascension: The Legend of Torn, Her Empire Born” (. . . . are they going for some kind of long, confusing, weird name award?) have yet to be dated.

Square Enix’s Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) RPG Final Fantasy XI retains a community of 500,000 subscribers (with 1.7 million player characters) split across three platforms — Xbox 360, Playstation 2 and PC — across which players of all formats can interact.

Shin Megami Tensei Online Beta starts


Shin Megami Tensei Online MMORPG Screenshot

The Aeria Games’ published Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine Online has sent out their first round of invites to the closed beta test for the PC MMORPG based on the beloved demon-summoning franchise (which includes the Persona, Devil Summoner and Nocturne titles).

Kotaku reports that the invites have begun arriving so if you signed up you’ll want to keep checking your inbox to find out if you’ve been invited to take part in the closed beta test.

Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine Online (”MegaTen” for short) is being developed by Cave Co., Ltd and will be published in America by Aeria Games for both Europe and North America for PC in four languages: English, French, German and Spanish. Imagine Online is Cave’s first MMO for PC (Massively Multiplayer Online game) but became a huge success in Japan with a large fan-base, a base that Aeria hopes it can tap into in the U.S. and European markets (as the popularity of MegaTen’s games grows ever larger) as it has done with it’s previous two titles, Last Chaos and Shaiya.

Like a lot of PC MMO’s nowadays, Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine Online will be FREE TO PLAY, using a micro-transaction model for revenue.

Set in a fictional post-apocalyptic Tokyo (sometime between Shin Megami Tensei 1 and 2), survivors attempt to restore the city by defeating demons and solving puzzles. Each player acts as a “Devil Buster.” Success relies on forming an alliance with demons or slaying them.

Features of Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine Online (MegaTen) include:

* Strategic Real-time Fighting System – Choose between attacking, parrying and defending in real time.
* Diverse Weaponry – Use a wide array of weapons from medieval swords to modern-day rifles and handguns.
* Devil Partnership – Players negotiate with devils to assist in battle and missions.
* Devil Fusing – Players can combine multiple devils to create new breeds.
* Private Dungeons – In addition to the public battle areas, players can access private dungeons to hunt and collect items with their friends.

Published on December 2nd, 2008 under , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mytheon RTS-RPG MMO announced by Petroglyph and True Games for PC


Mytheon Logo

Mytheon is an upcoming RTS-RPG MMO hybrid by publisher True Games Interactive and developer Petroglyph.

Petroglyph is the developer that created Star Wars: Empire at War and Universe At War, both games were highly critically acclaimed real-time strategy games. This new game, Mytheon, will be their first online micro-transaction title whose development team also includes key figures who were influential in the original Command & Conquer series back in the Westwood Studios days.

According to the developers, the game will combine the best elements of action, strategy and RPG gameplay with a heavy emphasis on collection and combat. Featuring “visually stunning” graphics, the game is set within a fantasy universe that’s steeped in various mythologies taken from across the world.

The game will start out with players making their way through ancient Greek and Greek mythology with plans for ongoing expansions to add content from other exotic mythologies from “the far-flung corners of history.”

Mytheon will feature “infinite replayability through group, PVP and solo play as well as an integrated social networking feature set.”

“There really isn’t a game on the market today that someone could compare to Mytheon,” said Jeff Lujan, Founder and Chairman of True Games Interactive. “The game truly creates an entirely new genre offering a combination of features that gamers would normally have to play several different games to get. There is no doubt it is an ambitious project, but Petroglyph has routinely delivered AAA quality, genre-defining games and Mytheon continues that pedigree.”

Players will collect “Power Stones” in the game, which are used to conjure magic spells and summon minions to fight alongside the players. Mytheon will also feature three distinct character classes, each specializing in a specific “Power Stone” type, such as summoning or healing.”

The game is scheduled for release in fall of 2009.

Published on December 2nd, 2008 under , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Dungeon Keeper Online MMO announced . . . for China


Dungeon Keeper 1 and Dungeon Keeper 2 pack for PCAn online Dungeon Keeper MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online game) has been announced for release in China by publisher Netdragon, who is licensing the franchise and its themes, characters and other content from EA in a deal for an exclusive online MMO that they will release and distribute throughout the Greater China region, including mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau.

NetDragon is the publisher behind many free PC MMO’s including: Eudemons Online, Conquer Online, Zero Online, Tou Ming Zhuang Online, Heroes of Might and Magic Online, Era of Faith, and Monster & Me

“We are delighted to enter into an agreement with EA in the development of our first 3D MMORPG. Our partnership with this internationally renowned game developer is proof of our capabilities in game operations and development as well as a reflection of our market reputation,” said Mr. Liu Dejian, Chairman and Executive Director of NetDragon. “Capitalizing our strength to create a strong gaming experience, powerful operating platform and unmatched expertise within China’s online game market, we are confident that Dungeon Keeper Online will not only become successful in the Greater China region but also achieve remarkable results overseas.”

Jon Niermann, President of EA Asia Pacific said, “The partnership marks a significant milestone for EA as it will enhance our intellectual property and extend our product reach throughout the Greater China region. It will also further enhance our intellectual property with differentiated, high-quality games, particularly in the field of MMORPGs.”

Dungeon Keeper was a popular “dungeon-building” real-time strategy game created by Bullfrog Productions. The first game was released for PC in July of 1997 with Dungeon Keeper 2 following in 1999. In the game’s you played as the bad guys as you build a dungeon filled with traps to defend your base and recruited monsters to keep the computer-controlled “heroes” and other dungeon keepers from getting inside and destroying your dungeon. The game was very unique for it’s time and has a large cult following, who have been waiting for a Dungeon Keeper 3.

I never played the Dungeon Keeper games personally, but I remember watching my brother and cousin play the games and they always looked quite fun and amusing. Sadly this isn’t the news that Dungeon Keeper fans were waiting for. So keep petitioning EA until they get the message that we want a true (not MMO, but strategy) sequel to Dungeon Keeper.

Published on December 1st, 2008 under , , , , , , , , , ,

Grand Theft Auto MMO coming up next?


Pre-Order Grand Theft Auto IV on PCCould a Grand Theft Auto MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) game be the follow-up to Grand Theft Auto IV?

Well it could be a possibility, as Take-Two Interactive Software’s executive chairman has stated that he thinks the future revenue of the industry will be from downloadable content and microtransactions, which he sees as the “holy grail” of the video game business and their “biggest opportunity” to create that revenue stream.

“The holy grail is taking a business, already a very large and successful business that’s focused on packaged goods…and turning that into a subscription business or a semi subscription business where we have an ongoing relationship with consumers, giving them products that they want,” Strauss Zelnick said Thursday at a BMO Capital Markets’ conference in New York. “Who’s better positioned to do that than the company that has the top franchises?”

Wrath of the Lich King for PCSubscription charges for games are generally frowned upon by a lot of gamers when they first think about it. But in actuality when the price is right, gamers are only too happy to pay up. World of Warcarft is the best example of this, given that there are over 11 million World of Warcraft subscribers.

And of course, downloadable content and microtransactions have been accepted in this day and age and are even wanted. You consider the backlash that a lot of Wii games get when the Wii version lacks the online downloadable content of other versions. I think that players like to have the ability of at least having the choice to purchase new content for their game. They’d rather have it, than not have the choice.

Burnout Paradise on PS3Of course, when it comes to charging for cosmetic upgrades (Dead Space Premium Upgrade Packs) or content that should’ve been unlockable (as in Mega Man 9) gamers call foul. But either way, I think that downloadable content is a good thing for the industry (see Burnout Paradise) and won’t be surprised if we see a Massively Multiplayer Online Grand Theft Auto game as the next game in the series, especially if the upcoming Xbox 360 Grand Theft Auto IV Lost & Damned episode (and future episodes) sell well.

And in other Grand Theft Auto-related news, Bill Cosby said this about GTA: “Cost your mother $250 to buy that for you so you can practice your entrance exam (to prison).” However misguided that statement is, it makes sense in his overall speech, which I encourage you to read.

Tabula Rasa goes offline on February 28, 2009


Tabula Rasa Gameplay Screenshot

NCSoft has pulled the plug on it’s science fiction MMORPG Tabula Rasa, which will go offline on February 28th, 2009. It will be free to play from January 10th, 2009 until the closing date.

In development since 2001 by Ultima creator and long-time series producer, Richard Garriot, Tabula Rasa was released in November of 2007 after a long and tumultuous development cycle as a sci-fi massively multiplayer online role-playing game that blended shooter elements into it’s gameplay for a more action-packed experience.

Tabula Rasa on PCSadly the game didn’t perform well sales-wise and thus NCSoft will no longer be supporting the game, which has come along with massive layoffs from the company as well as Richard Garriot himself stepping down, making for some hard times at the MMO publisher.

Regardless, you may still want to check the game out before it becomes obsolete to check out it’s unique gameplay. The team has also promised that they will be doing some really fun things in the coming months to make it a bitter-sweet end.

Published on November 25th, 2008 under , , , , , , , ,

Blizzard says their new MMO is cool, new, different and next-gen compared to WoW


Wrath of the Lich King Expansion PackBlizzard has discussed their follow-up to World of Warcraft, which will be a new, entirely different next-gen MMO.

“We want to create a great game,” he said. “Something that’s cool, and new, and different, and kind of next generation in terms of look and feel and gameplay. That’s a challenging endeavor.”

The game is already in the early stages of development. It’ll be interesting to see if it will be an entirely new leap forward for the genre of if it will mostly stick to genre conventions.

“For us, we want to make sure that the gameplay and the experience that the players are going to have is fleshed out quite a bit. The last thing we want to do is say, ‘Hey we’re doing this,’ and everyone says, ‘Oh cool,’ and then we change things completely. We want to have a level of confidence that the direction we’re going in the right one, and that it’s polished enough to be able to show something, also. And we’re not in either of those places yet.”

Blizzard says they expect the process of getting the new MMO into the public domain to be a challenging one, but growing WoW has taught the company a huge amount.

“I think we’re going to get a lot of bumps and bruises along the way,” he said. “The good news is that we’re been able to do this with World of Warcraft, and so we have a lot of experience, so hopefully we’ve learned a tremendous amount. Not to mention that before WoW launching we were the world leader in online gaming with We have a lot of experience, and so hopefully that’s going to benefit us as [we bring the game to market].”

Via Videogaming 24/7

Published on November 21st, 2008 under , , , , ,

The Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria expansion pack out now


Mines of Moria Expansion Pack for PCThe Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria is the first expansion pack for The Lord of the Rings Online, the MMORPG game based on the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien (i.e., NOT based on the flims). Like all expansions packs, the game will add a bunch of new content for players of the subscription based MMO. The game was released today for PC.

The game is available in a normal as well as Collector’s Edition. The Collector’s Edition includes:

Mines of Moria Collector's Edition for PC*Unique premium book packaging
* 3 in-game item tokens
* Exclusive 22” x 22” premium cloth map of the Mines of Moria
* Exclusive special gold plated replica of The One Ring complete with chain and pouch
* Mines of Moria poster
* Middle-Earth map
* Exclusive The Lord of the Rings Online Art and Music Collection with the official Mines of Moria Soundtrack
* Full color Collector’s Edition Starter Guide
* Exclusive Online Community Badge for The Lord of the Rings Online forums

The Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria expands the online world of Middle-earth to let players explore the ancient underground cities of the dwarves, battle epic characters in the depths, face off with the Watcher, be a part of the fateful release of Durin’s Bane, and more.

Here is a list of features in the expansion:

* Speak Friend, and Enter – Moria, called Khazad-dum by the dwarves, was their capital and the grandest of cities. This enormous underground cavern in north-western Middle-earth, comprises an immense network of tunnels, chambers, mines and huge halls that run beneath and ultimately through the Misty Mountains. For the first time, players of The Lord of the Rings Online will enter this ancient city which has served as the foundation for the modern-day dungeon-crawling adventures to battle the hordes of goblins and the Nameless of the Deep and journey through hundreds of new quests within six new kinds of stunning environments
* The Epic Continues — The Mines of Moria represents the beginning of Volume II of The Lord of the Rings Online. Players can experience six new books as part of this update and participate in the release of Durin’s Bane, battle the Watcher, aid Galadriel and more
* Increased Level Cap — Players will be able advance their characters up to level 60, gaining access to new traits, virtues, skills and class quests. The crafting system will also expand, giving players the ability to craft even more powerful items
* Discover Two New Classes — The Rune-keeper and the Warden, the first new classes to be introduced since the launch of the game, allow players to build exciting and powerful new characters in The Lord of the Rings Online in diverse new ways
* Forge Legendary Items – The Mines of Moria will introduce Turbine’s new item advancement system to The Lord of the Rings Online. Players will be able to forge weapons and class-related equipment and evolve them to build a legacy the likes of Bilbo’s Sting and Gandalf’s Glamdring. These legendary weapons will level-up along with the player, allowing customization by advancing the item’s virtues, adding runic legacies, modifying its titles and forming fables

Aion: The Tower of Eternity MMO beta breaking Korean records


The Tower of Eternity MMO Artwork

Aion: The Tower of Eternity has broken records in Korea for the highest amount of registered players in the history of MMO betas in Korea, where MMO’s are so popular they have TV shows about them.

We last reported on NCsoft’s Aion: The Tower of Eternity way back in July of 2007, and after years of development the game is now closer to release than ever. It launches in North America and Europe next year (as well as in Japan and China).

The Tower of Eternity - Collector's Edition for PCAs stated above, NCsoft launched the beta for Aion in Korea and in a matter of days and already over 170,000 players have jumped on the beta bandwagon, making it the most popular beta event in Korean history. According to NCsoft, more than 11,000 people were logged into the game after only two minutes of open beta service! And in less than hour, that number had ballooned to 40,000. And currently that number has increased by leaps and bounds to 170,000!

To meet the insane demand by players, NCsoft expanded their servers to 25 within a few hours of opening the beta, yet even so tens of thousands of people were waiting to get into the game. Naturally, by the second day the beta had reached the top spot in Korea’s Gametrics web-site that rates games that are played in Korea’s PC Cafe industry.

“The response we’re seeing in Korea is incredibly exciting,” said David Reid, president of publishing for NCsoft West in Seattle. “Our Aion community in North America and Europe is also rapidly growing. We’ve got aggressive plans for the western launch in 2009”.

Aion: The Tower of Eternity is an original, expansive MMORPG by NCsoft’s Seoul development studios that combines an eastern-style focus on visuals with a design focused on western action-oriented gameplay. In Aion, players are divided between those that are “The Chosen” and those that are “The Fallen.” The Tower of Eternity exists as a gateway into the Abyss, and acts as a portal between dimensions. When a great evil opens the gateways, it awakens the Dragons imprisoned within the Abyss, who seek revenge on both worlds. It is here that an epic conflict begins, as you take your first steps on a journey to bring salvation to the world.

Experience an exciting change in the way players can interact with their environment within a massively multiplayer world. With the power of the Crytec game engine, you will be able to climb sheer cliffs and fly through moving clouds. In this ethereal world, you will have the power to direct dynamic relationships between angels, demons and dragons to control the fate of the world. You will evolve Aion’s storylines through social, economic and cultural experiences that are both interactive and cinematic.

Aion: The Tower of Eternity key features include:

* A massively multiplayer online game featuring antagonistic relationships between angels, demons and a server-controlled NPC faction, The Dragons
* The Crytec game engine is used to create unprecedented freedom of 3D movement for your character in the game world – climb sheer cliffs and fly through moving clouds
* Powered by cutting-edge graphics technology, this game provides Hollywood quality cinematic control of scene and perspective.
* Control and transform the world — servers feature independently driven, player inspired storylines
* Cultural boundaries are defied through this offering of art, story and style with global appeal. Asia’s top New Age musician, Yang Bang Ean provides the original score for the game
* Introducing PvPvE — an evolving conflict system that manages the complex relationships and alliances between realms, races and guilds, and also controls an NPC faction, The Dragons, who are the common enemy of all players

Published on November 14th, 2008 under , , , , , , ,

KOTOR 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 are in Star Wars: The Old Republic says BioWare


The Old Republic AKA KOTOR 3 logo
Star Wars: The Old Republic’s creative director at BioWare, James Ohlen, has made an interesting remark about KOTOR 3 being part of the PC MMORPG in a recent video interview that you can watch below.

To quote: “One of the things we like to joke about this game… is just the sheer amount of content we’re doing and the fact that when our fans ask ‘Why aren’t you doing Knight of the Old Republic 3?’ …we’re really doing KOTOR 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12+. We have THAT much content, that many stories, and we really get to do a lot of the things that we wouldn’t have been able to do in KOTOR 3.

One of the things about the type of storytelling that we’re doing, because their stories revolve around a player’s class (his role), we’re able to actually tell stories that are very focused on who the player is. Which is something that other BioWare games haven’t been able to do.”

Watch the KOTOR 3… uhm, I mean, Star Wars: The Old Republic video interview with the developers at BioWare. Part of the team working on the game previously made Mass Effect. Take a look:

If you don’t feel like watching it. The interview mainly talks about the above as well as these highlights:
* The game taking place 300 years after the events in the original KOTOR.
* While there was peace, the Sith empire has now re-emerged and gone to war with the Republic, the game starts when the hostilities begin again.
* The game world will have many planets, some Sith and Republic strongholds and battlegrounds.
* The game alliances are separated into Light Side, Dark Side, and Faction.
* Your choices will effect your personal story. Meaning that any choice you make, you’ll have to live with, because there’s no save button in an MMO.

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