1. Technology


Not every massively mulitplayer online roleplaying game operates on the same revenue model. MMORPGs that offer a basic version of the game for free and charge only for premium access or expansions are becoming more common. Other revenue models, including profit from the game economy itself, are also being experimented with.

Neverwinter Primer
An introduction to the upcoming MMORPG, Neverwinter, from Cryptic Studios, Wizards of the Coast, Hasbro, and Perfect World.

DC Universe Online First Impressions
My first impressions of DC Universe Online, a superhero MMORPG from SOE featuring iconic characters from DC Comics.

GW2, Microtransactions, and Fairness
Microtransactions account for a rapidly growing piece of the game revenue pie. Are there fair ways to implement F2P revenue models, or does this approach lead inevitably to people paying to win?

The Pros and Cons of Free-To-Play (F2P) Games
Thanks in part to MMORPGs like EverQuest and World of Warcraft, gamers in North America and Europe have grown increasingly comfortable with monthly game subscriptions. Alternative revenue models have been around for a long time, but they're only beginning to catch on here the way they have in foreign markets. Turbine moved two of their titles to...

Pirates of the Caribbean Online Review
Disney isn't just about movies and theme parks anymore, they've become a serious contender in the online games market, with a variety of titles aimed at youngsters. Pirates of the Caribbean Online is their latest effort, based on the famous movie series, and it lets you skirmish with scurvy dogs and plunder ships on the high seas.

Anarchy Online
A venerable sci-fi MMORPG that lets you battle other players or mutant monsters with a wide variety of high-tech weaponry. The basic version of the game can now be enjoyed at no cost.

Cabal Online
Save the world from doom in this free MMORPG, now available in North America through OGPlanet. The game has 3D graphics, six playable classes, and it's quite popular overseas.

Conquer Online
Become part of an ancient Kung Fu circle trying to deliver China from the hands of tyranny. Conquer features some unique illustration, open PvP, and a Diablo-like interface.

Dungeon Runners
Play as a Fighter, Mage or Ranger in this free online RPG that features randomized dungeons with plenty of ferocious monsters to battle. Players gather in the public area of Townston, and then jump into instanced adventures with their group.

Dungeons & Dragons Online: Eberron Unlimited
Given the success of pen-and-paper D&D and the numerous video games that have since worn the title, it was only a matter of time before someone turned Dungeons & Dragons into a massively multiplayer game. D&D Online: Stormreach is Turbine's virtual recreation of the Eberron campaign, with a heavy emphasis on the dungeon crawls that made this franchise famous.

Flyff: Fly for Fun
Flying is a central feature of this free, anime-influenced MMORPG. Hoverboards and flying brooms serve as transportation between the game's towns and islands. (565 MB)

Free Realms
Today's youngsters probably spend as much time with a game console or computer as they do with a television, so it's little wonder that we're starting to see quite a few online worlds aimed at kids and teens. SOE has joined in the fun by releasing Free Realms, a sort of online theme park with a wide variety of different games to play.

This free game takes you into a magical world where animals walk on two legs and speak. Family oriented fun with relatively low system requirements.

Knight Online
It's humans versus orcs in this 3D MMORPG. Castle sieges are one of the game's most compelling features, and the graphics are very good for a free title.

MapleStory is a distinctly cute, side-scrolling MMORPG with a remarkably expansive world. The controls are a breeze and the game is very easy to learn. The plan is to provide the basic game for free, and sell special game items in an online store.

Martial Heroes
Martial arts in ancient China are the focus of this free 3D game from Korea. Martial Heroes is supported in part through secondary market sales, which seems to be a growing trend in Asia.

Myth War Online
Another MMORPG from overseas, Myth War lets you play as a human, centaur, mage, or borg (cyborg). The combat system is relatively complicated, but also more tactical than is typical for this kind of game.

OutSpark Games
OutSpark had several free games available, including 2 anime-inspired online RPGs: Fiesta and Secret of the Solstice. The games are supported through microtransactions using SparkCash.

Project Entropia
Project Entropia is a free MMORPG from MindArk that lets you explore the distant planet of Calypso. This game uses a unique revenue model which allows you to further your interests in the world using real money.

Race War Kingdoms
A different kind of MMORPG that uses still graphics and runs in a browser window. The standard game is available free of charge with no monthly fees.

Sometimes compared to Guild Wars, Rakion is a competitive, PvP oriented RPG with a fantasy setting. Players battle against each other for top personal and clan ranking.

Renaissance Kingdoms
This free Web-based RPG is set in Western Europe at the end of the Middle Ages. The player attempts to rise from rags to riches, ultimately becoming a prominent member of the community that can influence the destiny of thousands of other players.

Rubies of Eventide
This 3D fantasy MMORPG is based on a MUD that was some 9 years in the making. There are scores of professions to play and it uses a unique combat system that blends real-time and turn-based elements. The game is supported by donation.

Runes of Magic
Launched in early 2009, Runes of Magic is a fantasy MMORPG where you play as a Human or an Elf in the world of Taborea. The game has 8 classes, player housing, guild castles, and a number of PvP options. Runes of Magic is supported through an in-game item shop.

A Java-based 3D MMORPG adventure that you can play for free. As primitive as the graphics are, it's quite amazing and it's gathering a sizeable following.

Second Life
In this expansive 3D online society participants are actively shaping virtual reality. Less of a game than a world with almost limitless possibilities for creativity and self-expression.

Silkroad Online
Silkroad is a free MMORPG developed in Korea that is intended to span ancient Chinese, Islam and European civilizations. The game is 3D and the graphics are acceptable. I assume it will be supported through secondary market sales.

Space Cowboy Online
This unusual sci-fi title has both RPG and FPS elements, allowing for action-oriented 3D aerial and ground battles. You pilot your own spaceship, which can be upgraded in a multitude of ways as you progress through the game.

Tales of Pirates
Tales of Pirates is a very colorful and cute fantasy pirates game with an unmistakable anime influence. Cartoony, humorous, and free.

Thang Online
Play for free with the option to buy extras for real money. Thang is an action-oriented 3D RPG with an oriental fantasy setting.

Tibia is a 2D MMORPG that has been around for over a decade. Developed in Europe, the game has 4 classes with which you can explore an immersive online world.

Yohoho Puzzle Pirates
Arrr, it's a massively multiplayer online pirate game! Sail the seas, plunder islands, and solve puzzles along with hundreds of teammates.

Wurm Online
A fantasy MMORPG being developed in Java. "Wurm Online will neither have levels nor hitpoints. Instead, you have a set of skills that define your character, and a list of any unhealed wounds the character has."

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