Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Free Realms Hits 2 Million, None Could Be Reached For Comment

Free Realms, fresh off their first million players announcement, has announced that they've reached the 2 million mark.
Today Sony announced that over 2 million unique users have registered to their new free2play MMORPG Free Realms. Of those users, 75% are under the age of 17, 46% under 13 and 1/3 are female gamers. To be honest I thought Free Realms was going to be a flop. I didn’t actually play it, but I obviously severely underestimated the draw it would have on young people. Two million unique registered players in less then one month is huge to say the least.
Certainly a remarkable feat, although moot in the grand scheme of "is it making any money?". However, I honestly question where these two million players reside. I've logged a few hours in Free Realms now and I have yet to actually speak to anyone in game directly. I haven't even seen local chat between players. Even when playing the card game, there is limited to no talk between players. So far, Free Realms is a 3D web site that forces you to run from mini-game to mini-game instead offering the instant access of a standard website.

I'm really confused on what to think of Free Realms. The mini-games get repetitive fast, but yet tie back into a larger world which varies the goals and makes the repetition at least mildly interesting. Secondly, the game play is solid and the game itself runs without a hitch (so far).

But as I approach more than a few hours played, I am starting to see the freebies run out and the game increasingly asking for a credit card. Plus, it loves to remind players at every loading screen that member benefits are only $4.99 (per month) away and as anyone that plays Free Realms knows, there are A LOT of loading screens.

Unfortunately, I don't think SOE cares. They are hitting their age demographic and as I have no teenagers/young adults in my household, Free Realms is most likely to be lost upon me.


  1. Anonymous12:15 AM

    So just let it be lost. Every game is not for everybody! :)

    Beau Turkey

  2. Anonymous2:14 AM

    Big deal if it perhaps works more like a portal to various online games. If people like it and play it, good for them.

    Not everything needs to fit into some traditinal MMORPG-type template and certainly not fit traditional MMORPG players.

  3. Strange how you couldn't find anybody for comment when all you had to do was look in the mirror.

  4. See, now you're stereotyping me as someone who only plays traditional MMORPGs. Unforutnately, that stage of my life has passed. In fact, I like to play a wide variety of games and am opening myself to plenty of genres that I would never have touched.

    I still focus on the tradtional MMOs, but that doesn't mean I just blindly ignore the rest of the market without at least finding out its not for me.

    As I said, I am a bit confused on what to think of Free Realms at the moment and I think that is what SOE wants me to be.

  5. What I actually meant to comment on was your questioning where all these 2 million registered users were supposed to be when all you really had to do was look in the mirror to find one. You, me, and all the other Joe Bloggers out there make up part of that 2 million.

    Believe me, they're out there and they're grabbing all my shinies, dangit!

  6. Yes Winged, but none of us are available for comment it seems. At the rate Free Realms seems to be growing, I don't see the players in game or out in the blogosphere. Thus, I fear, without access to the target audience easily, the game is lost upon me.


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