It's Saturday again, and time for your dose of MMO news.
This one has been branded the "trouble" edition, because certain MMOS were either in trouble, or getting out of it this week.
First off, Stargate Worlds is rumored to be in massive trouble, Age of Conan isn't in as much any more, and China has ungrounded World of Warcraft but only a tiny bit. It can still go out on dates, but not whore about the countryside like it had been doing. What a tart.
Other than those bits, the week in MMOs was a bit uneventful. Yeah sure, the major news hit the front page as usual, but there are a few things you may want to know about that didn't. For that, and the rest of it, along with a song devoted to Second Life, read on below.
- China has allowed a partial relaunch of World of Warcraft by allowing former account holders to get back to the task of slaughtering boar in Elwynn Forest. The government has allowed NetEase, the new operators, to re-open servers on July 30 as part of a testing phase. Once the government completes its review of the game, new accounts will be allowed to form providing the red giant gives the ok. Meanwhile, NetEase must offer the service free of charge until the transition from The9 is complete. More over on PC World.
- Age of Conan is getting an update soon, and you can get the details regarding it here. No release date yet, but it sounds promising. Speaking of which, Erling Ellingsen has told VideoGamer that the recent re-evaluation promotion for the game was a roaring success. "The results of the campaign are really good with server activity booming, and entire guilds have made their return to the game," said Ellingsen. "The feedback from returning players has been really good so far, and it seems that the game's massive changes since launch is making a big difference for them. We're very excited to see the renewed interest among former players!" Grats guys.
- It's rumored that Stargate Worlds may be shutdown before it's even finished by MGM if funding for the MMO is not found and inked by Firesky come August 1. Granted, this came from a former employee, so whether it is just talk or not remains to be seen. According to reports, a group of doctors are considering an $8 million investment into the company which will not only save the game, but allow it to pay off back wages. Project head Shane Hensley says that the game will not be scrapped and denies the license is about to be pulled. “MGM certainly isn't thrilled with our current situation, but neither do we have any specific indication they're pulling the license on any particular date,” he told MMORPG. “Overall, funding is obviously a huge challenge for us, but our management is working on it daily."
- You know that Second Life is popular when a band writes a song about it and makes a music video for it. Granted, we have never heard of the band TARSHA before, but it seems to know all about the game. Called "Second Life", the song supposedly depicts a person caught up in the virtual world, and if the video is any indication, maybe this person was a little "too" caught up in it and ends up in a mental ward. Personally, after watching it, we wished we were in pretty padded cell - but then we had a second cup of coffee and got over the horror of it rather quickly. Via Massively.
- IncGamers got its paws on Aion recently through the closed Beta and if what they say is true - which we have no reason to doubt the folks over there - then we are extremely jealous. In all seriousness, it looks as though the customization options in the game are various, allowing you to even choose the thickness of your limbs. Next week, Inc promises to talk about the battle system and whatnot, and personally we can't wait to find out more.
- Reakktor Media has a Q&A for Black Prophecy over on the official website. While it is more or less just about the team behind the MMO discussing development challenges. Still, if this game has been on your radar, it is worth the read.
- Guild Wars 2 information is a bit scarce at this point, but thanks to the sleuthing of forum members devoted to the game, loads of stuff have been dug up and posted on KillTenRats. What has been found out so far, is that ArenaNet has registered the name BlightedEmpires.com which was then refreshed and discarded. So, there goes that bit of news. Apparently, it was rumored to be the subtitle to the game, or something to do with it. Who knows, other than ArenaNet of course. Also, voice actor resumes have popped up listing Guild Wars 2 as a reference. Usually a script and other final bits are done towards the end of development, but who knows what the time frame is on this, but one actor named Scott McShane, put on his LinkedIn profile that he voiced "Kadatta, Harathi Centaur for Guild Wars 2. That's cool considering the centaur race was divulged a few months back. While all of this information is small, even tiny, at least it is something for Guild Wars fans to nibble on a bit as a pre-appetizer.
- MMORPG has some exclusive screens for Earth Rise over on the site. They are lovely to behold. You should check 'em out along with the developer journal.
- For another healthy dose of screens, Massively has posted some pics sent over by Turbine for D&D Online. Dragons are great. Period. Especially with a little brown sauce.