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MMO Roundup: Massively's week in review

Shawn Schuster

When it comes to MMO news and special features, Joystiq sister site has you covered. Whether you're looking for info on the hottest new MMO, or you're just curious about an old favorite, you'll find it at Massively. Check out our biggest features of the week:
Avatar: Why does this movie look so familiar?
If you're one of the few people who has not heard the buzz about Avatar yet, we'll catch you up by saying that the film's beauty is all anyone can talk about. MMO players discussing the movie will follow that observation up almost immediately with "...and did you notice how much it looks like [insert game of choice here]?"
Star Trek Online pre-orders topping Direct2Drive sales
Some people may be apprehensive about the speed with which Cryptic is rolling out Star Trek Online, but that isn't slowing down the pre-orders at all. It seems that the majority of fans remain anxious to get their hands on the game. For the week of December 27th - January 2nd, pre-orders of the Star Trek Online Digital Deluxe edition took the number one spot for sales at Direct2Drive.
Funcom plans a more casual direction for future games
Back in December, we talked a bit about Funcom's new studio SweetRobot, which will be designing games for a much younger market than the Age of Conan crowd. Pets vs. Monsters is the first offering from the studio, with the promise of more to come.

Aion money glitch gives trillions to players
A few Aion players on the Azphel server got a bit of a shock yesterday when a bug in the system presented them with more than 30 trillion Kinah as a reward. With that much extra cash floating around, the economy predictably went...well, completely insane.
LEGO Universe to hold first public showing at CES
When you think Vegas, what do you think of? Why, LEGO of course! Wait, you don't? What do you think of when you think know what? Never mind. At any rate, CES 2010 begins in Las Vegas this Thursday, and LEGO Universe will be on hand to show fans how the game is progressing. Fans awaiting this fun MMO will find plenty at CES that is being offered for the first time: hands-on demos, the debut game trailer, and of course the always coveted beta sign ups.
Cryptic releases Star Trek Online Exploration trailer
The launch of Cryptic's Star Trek Online is less than a month away, and player feelings are mixed. Whether you can't wait for launch, or are apprehensive that Cryptic is rolling it out so quickly, it's safe to say that people are very interested to see how it turns out.
Raph Koster on the future of Metaplace
January first of this year brought about the closing of Metaplace, sad news for everyone involved. Shortly before the announcement was made, Eurogamer had an interview with game designer Raph Koster regarding Metaplace. In the end, they made the decision to release the interview in spite of the closing, as it contained some very good insight into the goals of the staff as well as information about the inner workings.
EVE Online celebrates 54,446 simultaneous users, a new record
EVE Online has rung in the new year right, announcing a brand new peak concurrency record of 54,446 users logged into the expansive universe of New Eden. Thinking of having 3,000 players on a single server is mind boggling enough, but 54,446? Color us very impressed.
Keeping the gold farmers at bay: An interview with Fallen Earth's Colin Dwan
Gold farming and gold spamming is a very real problem in our current MMOs. While some games are spending a good chunk of their resources to battle the farmers and save their game's economy, other games are enjoying a relatively spam-free existence. One such game is Fallen Earth.
The overwhelming power of community
"Without you, none of this would be possible!" While this saying is true for most things in the entertainment industry, it's mandatory for MMOs. A single-player game can make that initial retail box sale and never worry about keeping anyone happy after that, if they don't want to. Sure, most single-player game developers understand that they want their customers to be happy in case there's a sequel or future downloadable content, but for the most part, they can do alright with a relatively low maintenance developer-community relationship.

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