SAN DIEGO, CALIF. – Feb. 26, 2009 – Free Realms™, a free online virtual world developed for kids and families by Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE), has entered the closed beta stage of development. SOE is currently accepting early registration for open beta, set to start in early April. To be considered for participation in the open beta, players of all ages can register at www.freerealms.com.
Free Realms is currently in a critical stage of development known as beta. Beta testing is the last step of game development and the first chance for a few selected players outside of the company to experience the game.
“The beta testing phase is integral to the success of any video game, and we are asking that kids, parents, video game fans of all ages sign up to help us during these final weeks before Free Realms launches,” said John Smedley, president of Sony Online Entertainment. “Ten years ago, SOE introduced EverQuest, the genre-defining online video game, and this spring, we will introduce Free Realms, a game I believe will expand and enrich the kids’ online gaming genre which really shows the rapid evolution of the online game space.”
Free Realms brings to life a whimsical virtual world where gamers can explore, compete, raise pets and socialize. This exciting game is a new way for PC gamers to connect online in a safe, online, family-friendly environment. Free Realms offers a wide variety of gameplay mechanics, including exploration, combat, race car driving, pet raising, mini-games and social networking.
Free Realms offers a variety of features, including:
• Free Gameplay: Free Realms is free to play, however additional content can be accessed through a membership or micro transaction.
• Rich Character Creation: With thousands of customizations and combinations, you can blend fantasy and reality to create your perfect avatar.
• Be Whoever You Want: Characters aren’t locked into classes or jobs – you can be a wizard one minute and a race car driver the next.
• Kid-Safe: Parental controls allow for the customization of safety options, including pre-canned chat, reporting and filters for younger players.
• Something for Everyone: Players can take care of pets, sort mail, race go-karts, battle goblins or cook meals for their friends.
• Vibrant, Deep Environment: Adventurous gamers can spend hours exploring towns, bustling cities, beaches, forests, snowy mountaintops and more.
• Connect with Friends: Whether you’re meeting up with old friends or finding new ones, Free Realms allows players to stay connected through its social networking page. Just log in, see what your friends have been up to, click their avatar and join them in Free Realms.
• Everyone Can Access: Free Realms is designed to run on nearly all PCs. The game will stream to your PC as you play, so Free Realms will not take up a lot of memory and will download quickly.