Sony Online Entertainment announced that Free Realms, its popular and family-friendly free-to-play virtual world for PCs, will release for PlayStation 3 in North America on March 29.
Originally launched for Windows in 2009 (a Mac edition debuted last November), Free Realms has picked up almost 17 million registered users. Though playing the game is free, users can purchase monthly memberships for additional content, as well as in-game items via microtransactions.
SOE says this will be the first free-to-play MMO and the first family-targeted virtual world released on any console. The developer and publisher launched DC Universe Online, which it claims is the first console MMO, on PS3 and Windows simultaneously in January.
The game has a variety of activities, minigames, quests, live events, and other diversions for players to take part in. They can also take on different jobs (e.g. wizard, ninja, demolition derby driver, postman), and join with friends for group quests and multiplayer battles.
Free Realms' PS3 version is designed to have much of the content found in the PC edition but presented with a streamlined user interface. The console release will also support voice chat, allowing players to talk with each other through PS3-compatible headsets.
"As the only online games publisher that creates accessible and diverse gameplay experiences for the full spectrum of gamers, we are committed to burgeoning innovation and growing the MMO genre by leaps and bounds, bringing in players of all age," says SOE president John Smedley.