News From the Wider MMO World: September 9, 2008

The MMO genre is more than World of Warcraft, Age of Conan, and Warhammer Online. Here's what's going on in the rest of the world.

Nanoverse Online lets you experience life an a micro scale

Duplex Systems has announced its second MMO, Nanoverse Online, which takes place in a world "unique physics". While their website show photos of insects, the description of gameplay delineates more of a mechanically-oriented playerbase. "It is not the visual power that counts, but compelling and exciting gameplay," says Marko Dieckmann, Managing Director, Duplex Systems. "Nanoverse Online will bring the fun back to MMOs, a genre full of cliches, copied over and over again." There is no official release date for Nanoverse Online, but screenshots are expected to hit their website soon.

NDOORS partners with Nexon to bring Atlantica Online to Japan

Nexon Japan has recently signed a publishing agreement with NDOORS to let Japanese players into the turn-based strategy world of Atlantica Online. "We are fortunate and thrilled that Atlantica's unique action and fun can be shared and enjoyed by many players throughout the world," said Cho Sung Won, NDOORS' CEO. With a player base of over one million users, Atlantica Online stands poised to make a huge showing with its new global presence.

Entropia Universe shows off new CryENGINE2 screenshots

Developer MindArk recently released new screenshots displaying the visuals available to Entropia Universe users, courtesy of the CryENGINE2 platform. "The new CryENGINE®2 powered Entropia will increase the possibilities for personal expression on the internet. The level of detail and realism will facilitate an immersive experience second to none, providing a high-quality option for companies wishing to utilize the 3D internet," says Magnus Eriksson, Development Manager at MindArk. For more screenshots, visit the MindArk website.

GardenParty lets kids grow their own fun

Asylum Entertainment recently announced their open beta for GardenParty, an virtual space targeting children ages 5 to 11. In the colorful environment, children can buy, plant, and grow seeds, interacting with other kids in a creative, friendly atmosphere that emphasizes cooperation and community. Having been tested in an anonymous school for the past three months, the new public beta is expected to last a month before the project fully opens. The title is to be free-to-play, with premium activities requiring a currently undisclosed subscription fee.

Beyond Protocol to offer benefits to pre-orders
Dark Sky Entertainment is the studio behind upcoming MMORTS Beyond Protocol. Although the game has not even come out of beta, Dark Sky is offering benefits to players who pre-order the title, including immediate access to the closed beta; the opportunity to jump into the universe 24-hours before the MMO officially opens; and receipt of a special hull type only available to pre-order accounts. Though the website lists the release date as Spring 2008, there has been no official announcement as yet.