Free Realms Hits 9 Million Players

| 8 Mar 2010 16:02
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The eponymously free MMOG, Free Realms, has garnered over 9 million registered players, according to Sony.

Free Realms launched in April 2009 under a free-to-play business model. Sony has announced that the kid-friendly MMOG is doing quite well, with over 9 million registered players. Free Realms combines MMOG play with an array of minigames, new features such as riding a dragon, and a convergence with a trading card game. There is no word on how many of the 9 million players are currently active or whether they are generating any revenue through micro-transactions of in-game items. But John Smedley, president of SOE and one of the designers of the original EverQuest, is confident that with all of the new features Sony is adding to Free Realms that the money train will soon come in.

"With Free Realms, we've been able to reflect the needs and wants of our players by keenly listening to their suggestions and feedback," said Smedley. "We believe the persistent exercise of capturing in-game research inside Free Realms has been a huge contributing factor as to why we've attracted over nine million players in less than a year. It truly helps us give our players a game where they can do and be whatever they want."

It's clear that Free Realms is attempting to compete in the free-to-play MMOG field currently ruled by RuneScape. But with RuneScape's 156 million registered accounts and 10 million active players per month, Sony has a long road ahead if they want to unseat the king with Free Realms.

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StriderShinryu:

tcurt:
With the patch/change came a new version of their free model. Anything you want to do in the game, but only below level 5.

Really? Wow.. played it back in Beta and actually enjoyed it but stopped playing it quite a while back after moving on to other games. This "new" system is just garbage. There already were issues with the walls between free/pay accounts back when I played but nothing as horrid as what you're saying. Guess I won't be loading up my old account again any time soon.

Before you make your final decision, note that if you have an old account (from before Dec '09, I think), you will have no such limits on your leveling. That is a key distinction. It really only hurts the newest accounts. This is why I'd love to see the new retention rates more fully examined.

Klagermeister:
Hell, they'll never beat Runescape's numbers. 150 million accounts made and still growing.
Plus, if you look at it from a quality perspective, Runescape STILL wins.
Besides, does Jagex ever have hidden charges for a piece-of-crap item just made to look cool?
Hell no they don't. Runescape was, is, and always will be the MMOG king.

Lolwhut?
I do like Runescape, but now that i have tasted the flaming cupcake that is WoW, i won't (by that i mean can't) go back to rs. Whenever i hear that word though, nostalgia burns a hole through my heart.

Hell, they'll never beat Runescape's numbers. 150 million accounts made and still growing.
Plus, if you look at it from a quality perspective, Runescape STILL wins.
Besides, does Jagex ever have hidden charges for a piece-of-crap item just made to look cool?
Hell no they don't. Runescape was, is, and always will be the MMOG king.

It seems like a pretty interesting game, though unfortunately my computer isn't good enough to handle it somehow...

stupid graphics card.....damn you Dell!

Free Realms is a pretty sweet game. I'm over 30 and I played it for a couple of months after it launched, and subbed one of those months.

Unfortunately the cart racing wasn't finished until just after I quit but there was enough of the game that you didn't care. The card game is particularly well made with neat art and balanced gameplay. Like all CCGs it degenerates down to who spends the most money to collect the rares but the intermediate game of free deck vs free deck is good in and of itself.

If you haven't cracked it yet give it a try, what the hell, it is free!

Well, good for them; reel in the players before hitting them with massive spam charges.

tcurt:
With the patch/change came a new version of their free model. Anything you want to do in the game, but only below level 5.

Really? Wow.. played it back in Beta and actually enjoyed it but stopped playing it quite a while back after moving on to other games. This "new" system is just garbage. There already were issues with the walls between free/pay accounts back when I played but nothing as horrid as what you're saying. Guess I won't be loading up my old account again any time soon.

9 million? Holy Jesus. I never expected this thing to get that far. It's never going to outdo the giants of course but it looks like its doing quiet well.

While 9 million registrations is nice, I'd love to see active account numbers and real revenues. Also I'd like to see it broken down since they made the major changes to their "free" model. My kids and I all have free FR accounts from a while back and while certain things were unavailable to us, by and large we could do alot and we could level all we wanted. Heck, for Christmas I even gave them each $5 Station Cash for an in-game pet. Over the winter sometime was a patch/change that as far as we knew just opened up more jobs and quests for us to do. Great, no? Then my wife wanted in on the fun, and I recently started her new-style FR account. Not so great. With the patch/change came a new version of their free model. Anything you want to do in the game, but only below level 5. She maxed out just about every career in about a week, because those first few levels are so ridculously easy.

I'd love to see how the old model fares retaining members versus the new model. As an old model customer we were seriously thinking about subscribing because my kids wanted the new mounts. As a new model customer, we might have to subscribe just so my wife can play a mining mini game. Make me feel kinda ripped and will seriously affect whether we bother with the game at all.

Also, if you intend to let your kids play, go get a free month membership card from Best Buy or something - don't make several minor's accounts! Why? Because that way up to three can share one paid account later as alts. When you set up several minor's accounts like I did, then you get the pleasure of telling at least a couple kids that they will have to abandon all their work and leveling and pets and station cash and coins because Sony doesn't allow you to merge accounts and Daddy is way too cheap a bastard to get all you darn kids your own paid account. What? Am I made of money? Oh sure, go tell mommy.

Anyways if you want mergable kids accounts, you have to play something by Disney.

addeB:
I don't think they can take runescapes throne, no one can beat them in the free to play mmo genre, just as no one can beat WoW in the monthly subscription genre.

This is true...I remember my short stint on Runescape...it was, fun, for the time lol.

Its like trying to knock a champion in there prime from the top...it just wont happen.

However, at least they are proving they can hold there own!

WoW has 11,5 million active paying subscribers and more than 30 million registered accounts. This one has 9 million registered accounts.

No this probably won't hurt WoW.

Jman1236:
While I think sony onlive has finally goten their act together, I would like to see them release the PS3 version they have been promising for the past two-three years.

Sony online really went downhill after Galaxies and Everquest II, and World of Warcrack pwning EQ2 on the sales charts didn't help them ether. Don't get me started on Everquest online adventures, The Matrix online, or Vangaurd.

I think they said it will be releasing sometime this year.

If that card game was Triple Triad from FF8 or Tetra Master from FF9...I'd be all up in that shit.

While I think sony onlive has finally goten their act together, I would like to see them release the PS3 version they have been promising for the past two-three years.

Sony online really went downhill after Galaxies and Everquest II, and World of Warcrack pwning EQ2 on the sales charts didn't help them ether. Don't get me started on Everquest online adventures, The Matrix online, or Vangaurd.

The Great JT:
My logic for how this potentially could beat out Runescape/WoW's player bases: Diversity. You aren't completely bound to whatever world Runescape or Warcrack are in. You don't have to be the stalward hero of the land or the dark conjurer of evil, you could just be that guy who goes around playing pickup games of Doubles Solitare or that one guy who jumps on a trampoline or one of those guys who re-created Wile E. Coyote cartoons. Games like Runescape or World of Warcraft you know what you're in for: sword-and-scorcery stalward-hero-of-the-land-being. FreeRealms, however, your options are considerably more open.

It wouldn't matter if it beat out WoW. For one, The numbers stated are just registered accounts not active. Two, even if all of those accounts WERE active, They still don't all pay 15 bucks a month, making the WoW base the bigger behemoth.

My logic for how this potentially could beat out Runescape/WoW's player bases: Diversity. You aren't completely bound to whatever world Runescape or Warcrack are in. You don't have to be the stalward hero of the land or the dark conjurer of evil, you could just be that guy who goes around playing pickup games of Doubles Solitare or that one guy who jumps on a trampoline or one of those guys who re-created Wile E. Coyote cartoons. Games like Runescape or World of Warcraft you know what you're in for: sword-and-scorcery stalward-hero-of-the-land-being. FreeRealms, however, your options are considerably more open.

I don't think they can take runescapes throne, no one can beat them in the free to play mmo genre, just as no one can beat WoW in the monthly subscription genre.

Well, in this case, to Sony I say "Good luck". Who knows what might happen if this can beat Runescape's numbers? They might try to bring back Everquest, and I've always wanted to try that after playing Champions of Norrath a while back.

Wow. It's only been out for less than a year? That's actually pretty amazing, even by MMO standards, I think.

Free Realms Hits 9 Million Players

image

The eponymously free MMOG, Free Realms, has garnered over 9 million registered players, according to Sony.

Free Realms launched in April 2009 under a free-to-play business model. Sony has announced that the kid-friendly MMOG is doing quite well, with over 9 million registered players. Free Realms combines MMOG play with an array of minigames, new features such as riding a dragon, and a convergence with a trading card game. There is no word on how many of the 9 million players are currently active or whether they are generating any revenue through micro-transactions of in-game items. But John Smedley, president of SOE and one of the designers of the original EverQuest, is confident that with all of the new features Sony is adding to Free Realms that the money train will soon come in.

"With Free Realms, we've been able to reflect the needs and wants of our players by keenly listening to their suggestions and feedback," said Smedley. "We believe the persistent exercise of capturing in-game research inside Free Realms has been a huge contributing factor as to why we've attracted over nine million players in less than a year. It truly helps us give our players a game where they can do and be whatever they want."

It's clear that Free Realms is attempting to compete in the free-to-play MMOG field currently ruled by RuneScape. But with RuneScape's 156 million registered accounts and 10 million active players per month, Sony has a long road ahead if they want to unseat the king with Free Realms.

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