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Free Realms launches Tuesday

In what is quite possibly the shortest 'closed' (public) beta ever, Sony Online Entertainment has decided to bring their free-to-play family fun game of clicky-addictiveness Free Realms live - tomorrow! Yes, this means just a few days past two weeks after those from last year's Fan Faire were given beta access to the game, SOE now feels that the game is ready for prime-time. According to a post on the Free Realms forums from Jason "Pex" Ryan, Community Manager, the servers will be going down this morning at approximately 8:00 AM Pacific, and will remain offline all day today while they push their final patches and run internal tests. They note that they will also be deleting all beta Free Realms characters as well.

Now, the good news for those who participated in the beta test is that the SOE team will be giving all testers a unique in-game item as a way of saying thanks for helping to test the game - although they didn't say what that item might be. (We're hoping for a booster pack of rare cards or a special pet, personally.) Also, they will be bringing memberships and the Station Cash Shop online when the Free Realms servers come on line, welcome news for those who wanted to pick up pets or try out members-only content but were unable to. It will be interesting to see how demand goes for memberships, and just how many decide to opt-in for the paid model. But for now, we wish a hearty congrats to the Free Realms crew, and look forward to seeing the finishing touches tomorrow!

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