Firefly Goes Online I Conan Gets Approved
Dungeon Runners Become References I Interplay Enters the Fray
 Get a Sneak Peek

Issue #67 Short Like a Gnome
December 12, 2006

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This week went by fast. I don't know why, maybe I've been working too much (I hate Christmas). My time used to be split between school, work, and play, but now it seems to be all work. I don't mind, it gives me more money to pay off my credit card I can't stop using. Remember future parents (and current ones): set your kids up with credit somehow early on, they'll thank you later.

This weeks column is short, but sometimes shorter is better. Not much else to say up here, so, let's start.

  Firefly Goes Online


Last Friday, word of a Firefly revival in the form of a new MMORPG began making the rounds. Multiverse has been selected by Fox Licensing to develop the game based on the popular TV show. Multiverse has a tough situation they have to handle now. They have to appeal to two separate communities: the Firefly fans and everyone else. Once development starts we'll be able to see how they're handling the Firefly universe.

Multiverse Network, Inc. is a developer in creating a network of online games and providing independent developers the ability to produce high-quality games for less money and development time. Multiverse does this by providing developers with the required tools, a pre-coded client server, a built in player base, and a complete game for modification. Multiverse launched a year ago and has had more than 7000 customers use of the development tools to develope both online and offline game.

  Conan Gets Approved

Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures

Final Fantasy XI and Phantasy Star Universe will soon welcome a new competitor to the Xbox 360 MMORPG market with the announcement of Age of Conan going multi-platform. Funcom received the official approval from Microsoft and can now begin development for an Xbox 360 version. Developing an MMORPG for two different types of gamers is still a new thing, and has been done successfully with both Final Fantasy XI and Phantasy Star Universe, which have seen release on the Playstation 2, Xbox 360, and PC. Details on console specific extras and a release date haven't been announced, but you can expect Achievements, as it will use the Xbox Live service.

Age of Conan is already one of the most anticipated PC MMORPGs for the coming year and received numerous awards from the media at E3. Going to the Xbox 360 will provide the game with a larger player base, which will mean more money for Funcom. Age of Conan is expected to launch on the PC sometime in 2007.

  Dungeon Runners Become References

NCsoft and Dungeon Runners

NCsoft, developers of other MMORPGs such as Lineage, Lineage II, and City of Heroes, has launched the new Dungeon Runners website and made several announcements concerning the game. Dungeon Runners will be receiving a Teen rating, due to medieval-style violence. The NDA for Dungeon Runners was ecently lifted, allowing players to discuss the game without fear of a lawsuit.

The Dungeon Runners Referral Program has started with the lifting of the NDA on the game. The Referral Program will allow current players to invite up to four others at a time to try out the game. Dungeon Runners is still being tested and accounts are not open to everyone. The Referral Program is the only way for new players to join until the game is made public. Referred players will receive three serial codes so that they can try out all the character classes. Once a referred friend has become a player, you will be able to invite more friends to join. Invites are valid for up to two weeks and once expired will allow you to invite someone else.

Spread the joy; invite a friend (or a total stranger if all your friends are already playing).

 Interplay Enters the Fray

Interplay and Fallout

When times are tough, companies sometimes make a last ditch effort to save itself. Square did it years ago with Final Fantasy and now Interplay is trying the same tactic with a Fallout MMORPG. Although no official word from Interplay concerning the game has surfaced, filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission leads to the possibility of the game coming to light. In 2004, Interplay had expressed interest in developing an MMOG based on the Fallout series. However, continual financial issues brought what most thought to be an end to Interplay. The newest SEC filing shows that Interplay is still serious about developing the Fallout MMORPG.

The SEC filing breaks down the proposed $75 million budget into three sections:

  • $5 million will go towards preproduction costs.
  • $40 million will go towards production costs.
  • $30 million will go towards launch costs for the game.
How does Interplay intend to supply this budget? They intend supply part of it themselves and receive the remainder from its development and distribution partners. Interplay expects development on the game to begin in January 2007 with a launch time set for the third quarter of 2010.

Some other notable information from the SEC filing about the game:

  • Interplay hopes to reach 1 million subscribers during the first year.
  • Interplay expects to begin earning profits by the second year.
  • They expect to earn a revenue of $160 million per year after the first year.
  • Starting in the third year, they expect to have a net income of over $50 million per year.

Interplay has large expectations for a game still at least three years away and with their financial issues constantly in flux, the success or failure of the game will also likely be the success or failure of Interplay. Check out the full document for some extra information and "spiffy" charts.

 Get a Sneak Peek

World of Warcraft

It's once again that time of year, it's time for the annual Video Game Awards on Spike TV. In a move that was done to get more people to watch (at least in my opinion) Spike TV has secured the chance to premiere the cinematic intro for World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade.

The full cinematic will be shown sometime during the course of the show airing tomorrow, December 13th, at 10PM EST on Spike TV. For those in an area that don't receive Spike TV, have no fear, the trailer will be available later in the week for your viewing pleasure. I'm sure it'll end up on the internet in a high quality format thirty minutes after it airs during the show, though.

Get those Tivos and DVRs ready, it's going to be a long show.

 Log Out

Short and informative, or at least I hope so. With school done, I've been able to concentrate better on some ideas for the column.

The first thing I'd like to start (or restart in this case) is putting up reader submitted screenshots. It's always fun showing off your gear, mass death at raids and groups, or even the complete owning of a massive raid mob. Start sending in screenshots and I'll see if I can dig up some old screenshots myself.

That's it for tonight. Short, sweet, and to the point. Now I need to go check on my auctions in World of Warcraft and my chocobo in Final Fantasy XI.

Peace out.

Travis Templet

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