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 Free Realms  Hits 12M Users, Looks To Expand To China

Free Realms Hits 12M Users, Looks To Expand To China

June 25, 2010 | By Eric Caoili

June 25, 2010 | By Eric Caoili
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Sony Online Entertainment says its free-to-play MMO Free Realms has attracted 12 million registered users -- a number likely to grow if the company's plans to license the game in China pan out.

The publisher notes that its game reached this milestone just after it launched a virtual Summer Camp with various seasonal activities and content (e.g. beach chairs, volleyball nets) added to Free Realms. It's also hosting a free trial membership this weekend, giving players access to content usually reserved for paying subscribers.

"Our players wanted a summer of fun in Free Realms, so that's what we've provided. With new items, jobs and quests being added to the virtual world, there are more ways than ever to explore Free Realms," says SOE president John Smedley. "Our continued innovation and consistent player engagement have built an incredible forward momentum to take Free Realms into its second year, and beyond."

Free Realms reached the 12-million users mark in less than 14 months after the PC game's launch (a PlayStation 3 edition is forthcoming) in North America and Europe, and just two months after it hit 10 million users. SOE is looking to boost that numbers even more by licensing the game to operators outside the West.

The San Diego-based firm is currently in talks to license the game in China, according to an interview Smedley conducted with local MMO portal/news site 17173.com, which was reported on by China-focused research firm JLM Pacific Epoch. So far, SOE has met with Tencent, Shanda Interactive, and The9 to discuss bringing Free Realms to China.


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