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This week, my very first MMO, Ultima Online, turns 17 years old in what can only be an intentional effort to make classic MMO gamers feel very, very old indeed. I've been thinking a lot about the game and returned to it recently to scope it out, so for today's Think Tank, I polled the Massively wri...

September 25th 2014 at 8:00pm 0 Comments
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I don't see a lot of commercials these days. I like to imagine that I'm a one-man force out to frustrate advertisers, ducking and weaving whenever they try to wing a 30-second spot at me. A lot gets through, but I've long since canceled cable, and the only traditional commercials I sit through are...

July 18th 2013 at 1:00pm 0 Comments
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The recent SimCity is by far not the only botched product that EA's launched with the Sims name on it. The truth is that The Sims Online had a great potential and franchise behind it, but it let the ball drop, big-time. It was already visually obsolete by the time it launched, and that was the le...

April 2nd 2013 at 8:00pm 0 Comments
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I had an interesting revelation this past week. While it seems that we've had so many MMOs shutting down over the year, when I look at the big picture of all of the major titles that have been released, the vast majority of them are still in operation. It made me realize just how resilient and st...

September 24th 2012 at 6:00pm 0 Comments
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As part of the recent Massively Speaking bicentennial, we were reminiscing about the fact that Massively used to have a much heavier focus on virtual worlds. While we still touch on those from time to time, these types of "games" don't seem to be as hot as they once were. Or maybe they are and we...

May 9th 2012 at 8:00am 0 Comments
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Earlier in the year when I started this column, I realized two things. First, I'd be giving myself as much as any of you a crash-course education in older MMOs, particularly with some of the more fringe titles that I'd never really explored up to this point. And second, it would be a challenge to f...

December 28th 2010 at 7:00pm 0 Comments
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Last week marked the beginning of a brief foray into the world of The Sims Online -- "brief" because the title is defunct (meaning no hands-on experiences to share these days) and I doubt that any of the game's creators are itching to reminisce about this lackluster entry into The Sims franchise....

July 13th 2010 at 10:00am 0 Comments
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The Sims Online was one of the odder entrants into the MMO genre this past decade, an online iteration of an immensely popular game franchise that promised deeper social interaction. With EA at its back and the Will Wright name affixed to the front, TSO (not to be confused with Cryptic's STO) had a...

July 6th 2010 at 11:00am 0 Comments
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If you look into the history of modern MMOs, you will notice that most games in the genre are still up and running. In over ten years only a handful have failed and been taken offline by their publishers. That's not to say every MMO has had outstanding success. It's just that the minimum cost to ke...

December 5th 2008 at 2:30pm 0 Comments
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"Absolutely. [The restructuring] has no impact on Tabula Rasa. ... I don't know where the rumors are coming from, but with [marketing blitz] Operation Immortality in full swing, the team's very dedicated to that game, and they are still working on it," said David Swofford, Director of Public Relati...

December 1st 2008 at 4:00pm 0 Comments
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A recent article in The Times Online offers a few choice phrases from Nancy Smith, the executive in charge of the Sims Division at Electronic Arts, regarding a possible future direction the franchise could take. It begins with Smith saying that the Sims " ... may soon become a multi-player game." Ap...

June 4th 2008 at 11:00am 0 Comments