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MMO Roundup: Last week on Massively

Shawn Schuster

Sometimes you'd like to know that there are other MMOs out there, right? Our sister site Massively can provide you with everything you need to know about all MMOs, including WoW! Check out this roundup of the latest news from the wider MMO world.
First official confirmation that new Blizzard MMO is original IP
In a post on the official World of Warcraft forums, Blizzard community manager Zarhym came out and said the new MMO was in fact an original IP, saying, "We have nothing to advertise for the new MMO because it's a shell of a game thus far. We've already stated it'll be a brand new franchise, which means the lore, art, and game play are being developed entirely from scratch. It's an overwhelming process, but a process through which we excel. Our track record supports this."
Runes of Magic reaches 1 million registered users
Here we are, not even two full months after the release of Frogster's Runes of Magic, and they're already announcing that they've hit the one million registered user milestone. Not only has this announcement come so soon after launch, but the EU and NA public hasn't even known about the game for a year yet, according to the Berlin-based publisher.
Free Realms destroys the 1 million account speed record
We've known it was going to be a strong contender since the first time we laid eyes on Free Realms. Once we stepped into the world last month and started playing the game, we knew it was going to be even bigger than we'd previously thought. Sure enough, we were right. News has come out this morning, courtesy of John Smedley on Twitter, that Free Realms crossed the 1 million account mark in just eighteen days since launch.
Massively introduces: Betawatch!
Welcome to Betawatch, Massively's newest weekly report on the state of MMO betas. In each installment, we'll report everything from the latest open betas, closed betas and even alphas in one convenient place. Plus, we'll make sure to include as much info on each game's current status, including projected release dates (if known) and links to the sign-up forms to get yourself into that beta you've been seeking.

Age of Conan celebrates its one-year anniversary
It's almost the first anniversary of Age of Conan's release, and Funcom's Glen "Famine" Swan was reflecting on the past year when he found the "One Year Later" video. Although it's a fairly well-made piece, it doesn't come from Funcom; a community member called "CptHeatSink" is given the credit on Famine's MMORPG blog.
Hints of the Smuggler class in new SWTOR timeline update
Who broke the Mandalorian blockade on Coruscant? Why, it was those wily Smugglers, that's who! The Sith weren't expecting the Galactic Republic to find assistance with that particular criminal aspect, but find it they did -- and you can learn all about it through the latest Star Wars: The Old Republic timeline update.
Champions Online pushes release date back
It looks like the message of "Don't release it until you're done" has been heard loud and clear in the MMO industry - at least by the crew over at Cryptic Studios, anyway. This morning Tara "IronAngel" Jennings announced that they have decided to push the release date for Champions Online back from July 14th to September 1st to allow for more development time on their highly-anticipated upcoming superhero MMO.
A Lapse of Loyalty
As they say, you never forget your first time, and to the brand new MMO player, it isn't immediately apparent that there is a substantial genre behind the acronym, spanning into the hundreds of titles. Indeed, the acronyms themselves are probably things that make little sense. For the true newbie, there is only The One Game, an unexpectedly deep and broad game, which swiftly becomes as much a place to be as a way to pass a few hours of an evening. Mine happened to be EverQuest, but it could be any of the increasingly broad list of MMOs available today.
Massively Hands-on: Neo Steam
Yesterday, Massively was invited to the first official developer tour and hands-on for Neo Steam: The Shattered Continent. This tour took us through some of the game's gorgeous landscapes, travel mechanics, pet system, mounts, PvP and even a light-hearted race around the fountain in the middle of town square.
Funcom's Q1 2009 report shows solid revenue
Funcom has released a report detailing their financials for the first quarter of 2009. They brought in over US$7 million in revenue for the period, and although this figure is slightly less than the previous quarter (but without the disastrous US$23 million depreciation loss), they are pleased with the stability of their earnings during the economic turbulence of recent times.

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