Family-Friendly MMO Free Realms Tops 1 Million Players

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Less than one month after its official launch, Sony Online Entertainment has announced that its kid-friendly MMO Free Realms has surpassed the 1 million player mark.

It’s almost certain that the game’s meteoric rise has something to do with its enticing price tag. The game is both free to download and lacks the monthly subscription fee adopted by most big-budget massively multiplayer online games.

That said, the accomplishment is also an indication of the game’s quality. I’ve played the game at various points in development over the past year and while I’m almost allergic to the saccharine sweet, vapid gameplay found in most child-oriented games, Free Realms surprisingly offers enough quality content to please both discerning parents and wide-eyed youngsters.

Plus, the game’s graphics and scope easily rival any other MMO, short of years-old market leaders like World of Warcraft and EVE Online.

However, SOE has announced plans to cash in on the game using microtransactions and “premium content” at some unknown point in the future. It remains to be seen what form that might take, or whether that could slow the growth of Free Realms’ playerbase.

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