Thursday, March 19, 2009

Free Realms on G4TV

G4TV has an extensive video preview of Free Realms, the soon to be released Free2Play MMORPG from SOE. While the game is squarely aimed at children between 8 and 14 (compared to a minimum age of 12 for World of Warcraft), Free Realms looks as if it has some features that will also be interesting to grown-ups.

I especially like the idea that you make only one character, but that character has access to all 14 classes in the game, leveling them up separately. Also interesting is an automatic character webpage, similar to a Facebook page, which tracks your characters exploits and achievements. Child-safe social networking for beginners. :)

Free Realms is financed with microtransactions, with various options, allowing for example parents to give a fixed monthly allowance to their kid. The video only mentions outfits that can be bought, there might not be any stuff that advances your character faster. But as the different classes appear to be playing different mini-games, advancing your character doesn't seem to be the focus of this game. It probably is more a social space with various games than a classic MMORPG. Which, for the target demographic, might not be a bad thing. I'll certainly check it out, but probably won't play it very much.

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