Social networking around MMOs just hit the big time. Shawn Fanning, creator of Napster way back when, created a site called Rupture a while back that purported to be a social networking site based around World of Warcraft. Since then, the site seemingly hasn't done anything all that interesting -- they've added a few games and a few new features, but they haven't yet made it out of beta, and it wasn't apparent that anyone was real interested in Rupture.
Until now -- EA (yes, that EA) has ponied up a whopping $30 million to buy Rupture and all of its potential up. A move to put some social networking into play on their upcoming Warhammer Online title? Taking competition away from an upcoming official site covering all their games? Whatever EA is planning to do with Rupture, they're paying through the nose for it -- this makes the $1 million Wowhead buyout look like chump change.
Then again, if Rupture turns out to be the "Facebook for gamer"s that they hope to be, $30 million will look like a bargain. Either way, EA just put their money where their mouth is in the social networking MMO game.