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If you were hoping that Blue Mars was going to rise to directly challenge Second Life's virtual world dominance, you may be in for disappointment today. In a letter to Avatar Reality's fans, CEO Jim Sink announced that the company is restructuring and dropping Blue Mars' PC development to focus sol...

January 16th 2011 at 10:00am 0 Comments
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It has long been a matter of considerable debate among virtual-environment pundits about what constitutes an 'active user'. In some ways, subscription MMOGs have it a lot easier than many other kinds of virtual environment. You can always count paying subscribers, and that's all that matters. In a...

June 5th 2010 at 6:00pm 0 Comments
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A change is as good as a holiday, they say. Seriously, I don't actually know anyone who says this other than myself; though I'm assured that there are some folks out there who do. With that tragically underutilized platitude in mind, then, last week I posed a question to a spread of well-known virt...

May 8th 2010 at 4:00pm 0 Comments
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Blue Mars entered a scaled open beta back in September, and we've not heard a lot from that quarter since then. It's still there, though, quietly doing its thing and keeping its fans happy. Jim Sink, the CEO of Honolulu-based Avatar Reality, spoke recently with Honolulu Weekly about where Blue Mars...

April 24th 2010 at 8:00pm 0 Comments
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This week, in The Virtual Whirl, we're going to take a selection of reader questions that we've received in comments and in the virtual mailbag and do our best to offer up some useful answers. Join us as we whirl through the mail. Not surprisingly, the two most frequently asked questions involve th...

March 6th 2010 at 6:00pm 0 Comments
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Welcome to The Virtual Whirl, a new weekly Massively column covering virtual environments generally. The term 'virtual world' is slowly seeing less use, being supplanted by the more general 'virtual environment', but the world term still has a fair bit of life left in it. Virtual environments cover...

January 24th 2010 at 3:00pm 0 Comments
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As you read last night, the UGC (user-generated-content) virtual environment side of Metaplace is shuttering on New Year's Day, 2010, just a scant couple of weeks away. "The reason?" says company president Koster. "Well, it just hasn't gotten traction." Nor should it have at this stage, really. Met...

December 22nd 2009 at 12:00pm 0 Comments
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Avatar Reality Inc, the operators of Blue Mars, are today announcing limited time "pioneer" pricing for developers, digital entrepreneurs, educators, and businesses for space on the Blue Mars virtual environment platform. Space on Blue Mars is allocated in "cities". A Blue Mars city can be any size...

December 18th 2009 at 6:00pm 0 Comments
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Desmond Shang, operator of one of the most popular and cohesive themed communities in Second Life, is extending his community into Blue Mars in just a few days time. Shang's Caledon, popular among aficionados of Victoriana, Steampunk and Gaslight, is opening a sister colony, Caledonia on Blue Mars,...

December 17th 2009 at 1:00pm 0 Comments
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As Blue Mars goes into a scaled, open beta, interest has been rising in Avatar Reality's virtual environment. Inevitably, it's compared to Linden Lab's Second Life and – rightly or wrongly – will probably be wearing that comparison for some years to come. Certainly, Second Life users ha...

September 10th 2009 at 9:00am 0 Comments
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According to an anonymous source, the new virtual world game on the block, Blue Mars, might be entering into open beta on September 2nd. What does this mean for you? Well, it means that another CryEngine 2 MMO might be making an appearance soon to do battle with Planet Calypso.Currently we are unab...

August 28th 2009 at 4:30pm 0 Comments