Today's wrap-up includes news on a milestone for EA's Club Pogo casual gaming service, as well as changes in store for LucasArts' and SOE's PC MMO Star Wars Galaxies
, and a game website-related purchase for online entertainment site AtomShockwave, as well as the latest product news and today's Gamasutra job postings.
- Electronic Arts has announced that Club Pogo, the company’s paid subscription service for players who love online games, has reached its millionth paying subscriber in just over two years. These active mainstream gamers have logged more than 357 million hours since the site became available in July 2003. Their time has been spent connecting with other players in a strong friendly global community while playing everything from card, board, and arcade games to puzzle and word games. The majority of the site’s subscribers (75%) are women with an average age of 35+. Lesley Mansford, VP of EA Online, commented: “Reaching this millionth subscriber milestone is extremely exciting and reinforces EA’s commitment to continue providing engaging games and a social environment that fosters friends and family keeping in touch online.”
- Julio Torres, the producer of Star Wars Galaxies
at the game's co-publisher and IP holder LucasArts, has released an open letter to the community indicating changes are in store for the PC MMO. His comments center around the following: "Over the past year we have been working hard to respond to feedback we have gotten from players, fans, focus groups, and other research. This feedback has ultimately centered on one key area: the game does not feel like a heroic Star Wars experience. Currently, the early game has a steep learning curve and there is no clearly defined path of advancement or adventure. Many of our fans who bought the game did not see enough Star Wars style action early-on and ultimately left our world. It is our goal to change this and improve the experience for all players." Torres concludes by mentioning that elements of the redesign will be rolling out this month, and concurring: "Changing a live game is never easy."
- Online entertainment firm AtomShockwave Corp. has announced that it has acquired casual game website AddictingGames for an undisclosed sum, giving the combined companies a monthly audience of more than 30 million consumers - according to AtomShockwave, making it the largest privately owned entertainment company on the web. Mika Salmi, AtomShockwave CEO, commented of the purchase: "This acquisition is the first step in an aggressive plan to extend our media footprint, and continue to attract millions of consumers." AddictingGames provides consumers a simple and easy-to-access directory of the most popular casual games on the Web, including games on AtomShockwave's flagship games site, Shockwave.com.
- Also updated today: product news including the announcement of DemonWare's DNA in-game ad enhancements
, and Kynogon's inclusion of its Kynapse AI in Real Time Worlds' Crackdown
, as well as the latest Gamasutra job postings
from companies including Ageia, Blue Fang Games, Digital Chocolate, Medical Simulation Corporation, Point Of View, Superscape, and Wideload Games.