Atlus Announces

Atlus, normally known for its Japanese RPGs, has announced a free-to-play steampunk MMO in the form of Neo Steam: The Shattered Continent. However, while Atlus describes the game as "steampunk", it seems to have more in common graphically with Final Fantasy VII than Arcanum.

Beta applications are already open, so make your way over to if you want to sign up. The full press release announcing the game can be found after the jump.

Station Launcher Upcoming Maintenence

Dan Kinney posted on the Station Community forums:

As you may have already seen in other forums, there will be a maintenance that will interrupt your usage of Station Launcher (and the games) early tomorrow morning.

There will also likely be an update to the Station Launcher itself tomorrow as well.  We are evaluating how best to resolve the "update problem" and I expect that we will deploy an improvement tomorrow.

For information on Tuesday's downtime, see Session Maintenance and SOE Services Maintenance.

source:  Station Community Forums

Game Ratings: Your Content May Vary

The following editorial contains views that are the opinion of the author and not necessarily the views of


As I was mulling over Togikagi’s news post about Australia cracking down on selling unrated MMORPGs, I was uncertain how to approach a topic like this. On one hand, ratings - when implemented properly - allow parents to ‘gauge’ the acceptability of the content without having to go through it themselves. On the other hand, however, ratings allow parents to gauge the acceptability of the content without having to go through it themselves.


You should be.

In reality, ratings are meant to be supplemental to parents; enabling them to winnow down a wide range of offerings to the point where they can then take an active part in choosing the games that stimulate their children’s’ minds. I consider ratings to be somewhat akin to the nutritional information that’s pasted across my delicious cereals. I discard the healthiest of breakfast grub based on nutritional value alone, and then I make a rational decision between my beloved Cinnamon Toast Crunch and whatever other cereal that can transform my milk into syrup. The problem that arises from this, however, is that some parents are beginning to rely on these ratings to substitute for their judgement. This is bad.

NYCC: Magic: The Gathering Has Many Online Options

When most people think of an MMORPG, they picture a character running through a virtual world, slaying monsters for experience and loot. However, those first three letters stand for Massively Multiplayer Online, and that description covers a wide variety of games in this day and age, including Magic: The Gathering. While gamers have been playing Magic: The Gathering Online, the competitive PC version of the popular Wizards of the Coast trading card game, since 2002, we got a first-hand look at the company’s newest online version of the TCG at the New York Comic Con. Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers will be coming exclusively to Xbox Live Arcade this spring and will serve as a perfect starting point for new players, as well as a refresher for old players looking to return.

SOE Login Maintenance Feb 10

Ashlanne posted on the SOE Community Forums:

Beginning at 4am PST on Tuesday, February 10th, all log-in servers will be undergoing maintenance. During this maintenance you will be unable to log in to all games and account management tools, and may be disconnected from the server if you are already logged in.

We expect this maintenance to take approximately 1 hour. We apologize for this interruption and will resume log-in services as soon as the maintenance is completed.

source:  SOE Community Forums

February 9, 2009

Station Launcher Beta 1.0.7 launches Monday

Dan Kinney posted on the Station Community Forums :

First of all, I’d like to thank every player in the Station Community who’s downloaded Station Launcher, tried it out, and has taken the time to leave us impressions of what’s working well and what needs improvement.  We’ve combed through every piece of feedback and have worked hard to implement much of it to improve your overall experience and satisfaction. The daily usage levels indicate that more and more of you are adopting Station Launcher as your everyday launchpad for your game updates, to launch your games, and to connect with friends and guild mates online.  I also hope that the increased usage indicates that we’re doing the right things on our side to bring you that better Station Launcher experience.  As always, please keep sending in your constructive feedback.

A new release update of Station Launcher will be deployed on Monday, February 9th. It features improvements based heavily on feedback from the Station Launcher forum - especially for the functionality around the Friends network.

Dan and his staff have been extremely responsive to players posting on the Station Launcher forum.  If you aren't using the Station Launcher, give it a try!

Look below the jump for beta patch notes.

Australia Cracks Down on Selling Unrated MMORPGs

The age classification system found on video game boxes to help parents decide whether a game is suitable for their children has landed MMOs in some hot water in Australia. A report in the Sydney Morning Herald today (via IGN ) has stated that "Video game publishers and retailers are risking hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines by illegally selling online role playing games such as World of Warcraft without age classifications."

Basically, games such as WoW, Warhammer Online, Age of Conan and Pirates of the Burning Sea are being sold without being classified by the Australian Classification Board, which apparently goes against the NSW Classification Enforcement Act. The game industry, however, believes online games without a single player component don't need to be classified. Regardless, a spokesman for NSW Attorney-General John Hatzistergos explained the fines for breaking the act:

The spokesman added that enforcement of the act was the responsibility of police but penalties for breaking these laws ranged from $1,100 to $11,000 for individuals and/or 12 months' imprisonment. For corporations the fines were approximately double.

Blizzard poster Zarhym stated on the official World of Warcraft forums that "We will always respect the laws of the countries in which we operate."

Weekly News Recap: Feb. 1, 2009

It's hard to believe January is over. As we begin the second month of 2009, let's take a look back at some of the most noteworthy news stories and Allakhazam features of the past week. There's more links after the jump.

Allakhazam Features

Wizard101: Our First Look : Allakhazam editor Christopher "Pwyff" Tom supplies a first-hand look at Wizard101, a children’s MMORPG with "collectible card magic, wizard duels, and far off worlds."

Champions Online Interview with Bill Roper : We sat down to talk to Roper about Champions Online, the vision that he brings to the team, and what he learned from Hellgate: London.

Talking Vanguard with Jason "Ikik" Weinmann : We talked with Weimann, a programmer on Vanguard, about some of the changes that he's made to the game's tools as well as some of his secret projects on the side.

Professionally Awesome

The following editorial contains views that are the opinion of the author and not necessarily the views of

Depending on where you live and where you come from, you’ve probably heard of the growing community of MANABUUURRRRNNN professional e-gamers; cyber athletes who rake in the cash by playing the games that they love (or end up hating because they play them so much). I say depending on where you live and where you come from in this case because if we imagine that you hail from, say, Korea, the country that invented the “I-can’t-see-your-fingers-they-are-moving-too-fast” syndrome and the ailment known as “I-can-micromanage-better-than-a-computer-itis”, then you’re probably more than well aware of what I’m talking about. If, on the other hand, you’ve just emerged from your rock, blinking and confused at this internet substance, then I’m willing to bet that video game athletes aren’t something that you saw coming.

Either way, this article is not aimed at discussing the growing market that comes from professional FPS or RTS gaming. Rather, it is aimed at the new, acronym-awkward professional MMO PVP athlete (I might as well just say World of Warcraft e-athlete). In particular, this article is aimed towards answering the real question: is MMO PVP a viable path in e-athleticism, or is it simply an awkward date-my-daughter scenario being forced on us by some very influential people? I say influential people in this case because it’s very difficult to ignore a path that is being padded and endorsed by guys like Intel, Blizzard, Dell and NVIDIA. The awkward daughter-date, of course, is our charmingly self-titled “30 second lifespan” World of Warcraft Arena PVP.