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Games

+ - Sony To Encase In Carbonite Half The Star Wars: Ga->

Submitted by Impy the Impiuos Imp
Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) writes "Not surprisingly that it's gone unnoticed for several days, but Sony is apparently merging out of existence half its Star Wars: Galaxies servers. In spite of a number of innovative features (three health bars, choreographable dancing and music coordinatable between several players, "your own R2 unit and 3PO", programmable droids, and so on) a complete overhaul of the combat system, designed to simplify it and make it more action-oriented, actually drove away more people than it attracted. It soon thereafter retired to that great Sony one-fee-for-all stable of aging and also-rans in the sky.

Still on life support, it was preceded in death by Sony foster brother Matrix Online."

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Businesses

+ - Casual games quickly transforming the MMO market

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick disclosed a forthcoming "new, unannounced MMOG that has a little more broad appeal" than its market-leading MMO World of Warcraft, since free-to-play games take more in digital revenue than any other genre. In his GDC Austin keynote today, Sony Online Entertainment president Jon Smedley said that "As a company, we knew we had to evolve...to expand [our] audience...and to get a much wider female audience." The article notes that SOE hasn't abandoned hardcore MMOs, but his talk focused on Free Realms, SOE's free-to-play MMO that has grown to 5 million users in 5 months. Marketed to kids, 51% of Free Realms gamers are under 13, with around 75% under 18 who pose a challenge to attract and retain. Since they only play for about 20 minutes per session and aren't focused on the mechanics of the game, SOE can get away with changes that are unfair to some players, as shown by this recent item nerf in Free Realms."

Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"

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