Posts Tagged ‘Runewalker’

Free-to-play Runes of Magic garners Best International PC Game 2009

Friday, December 11th, 2009

82 million strong, the German gaming market is not one to be underestimated. Recently, German gamers bestowed on Runes of Magic one of it’s highest honors: Best International PC Game 2009.

In a public vote, players from across Germany entered their ballots for favorite games of 2009. While Runes of Magic found itself at the top of the pile, it had tight competition from Risen and Anno 1404. The award ceremony was held at the Essen Lichtburg, Germany’s largest film theatre.

Runes of Magic is a free-to-play MMORPG that’s published by Frogster and developed by Taiwan based Runewalker Entertainment. Frogster board member Dirk Weyel was on hand to accept the award on behalf of both companies. “We are thrilled to receive this trophy, especially with it being one awarded by actual players themselves. We would expressly like to thank our community and we’ll continue to work intensively on offering players the maximum of fun with Runes of Magic.”

In combination with the award, Frogster also recently announced that they’d cleared a significant industry milestone, with over 2.5 million registered players coming from the US, Europe and Korea. To celebrate both the award and this registered player milestone, Frogster is awarding every player that’s level 11 or above with 100 Rubies (in-game currency).

The Best International PC Game 2009 award from the German market is certainly a plume in Frogster’s cap, and a great score for the free-to-play industry as a whole. And if this award wasn’t enough, Runes of Magic is also in the running with Massively’s End-of-the-Year Reader’s Choice Awards. Runes of Magic was selected by editors, and entered in a number of categories. Balloting is open until December 31st and can be found here.

 

Runes of Magic brings in AAA tier illustrator and concept artist Eva Widermann

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

evaRemember last week when the news broke that Frogster’s free-to-play title Runes of Magic had recently surpassed the 1 million registered user mark?  How about that partnership with BitRaider for North American players to get them up and running within a matter of minutes?  Remember how I predicted that Frogster and Runes are running at 1000 miles per hour, and could very well give both Maple Story and WoW a run for their money?  Well, I’d love to think that Frogster was listening to me personally, as they’ve recently announced that they’ve secured the services of top illustrator and concept artist Eva Widermann.  She’s charged primarily with shaping the future of game elements.  Another way to read that is, ‘she’s been hired to make the game look wicked!’

One of the common complaints we still hear about F2P titles is their rather drab, if not copy cat graphics and color palettes of other highly successful MMORPG’s (can you say WoW?).  The folks at Frogster have obviously recognized this complaint and have decided to step up to the plate and nip it in the bud, as they further continue to refine the title for Western Markets.

If the name Eva Widermann doesn’t jump right out at you, chances are her artwork already has at some point in the past.  With an extensive resume, she’s worked with some of the biggest hitters in the industry, including NC Soft, EA Games, Wizards of the Coast (Dungeons & Dragons), and Peter Jackson Games.  She splits her time between Karlsruhe, Germany and Cork, Ireland, consistently working on concept art and illustration work.

“For a long while things have looked rather bleak for concept art in Germany and I belong to the majority of illustrators who have seized their opportunities mainly abroad. And so I’m all the more delighted about the cooperation with Frogster and the up-coming projects.” Says Eva
Her first concept piece is show below, and is already in the works via production house Runewalker.  This new art will soon be implemented into Taborea.

runesofmagic_evawidermann_concept_art

“We are continuing to work consistently to tailor Runes of Magic to western markets. Eva’s superb concepts help us in going a long way to bringing this precept into reality.” Said an evidently pleased Andreas Weidenhaupt, Chief Licensing Officer of Frogster Interactive Pictures AG and CEO of Frogster Online Gaming GmbH.

Again, if Frogster’s breakneck speed at reaching 1 million users wasn’t enough to make you sit up and take notice, perhaps bringing in a top level concept artist, as well as the companies unwavering commitment to reaching AAA tier status with a free-to-play title might just do the trick.

 

Frogster announces free-to-play Runes of Magic release date

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

Mark your gaming calendars folks, as Frogster Interactive has announced the official release date for their highly anticipated free-to-play MMORPG Runes of Magic: March 19th.  During their three month open beta, Frogster has seen over 450,000 players explore and battle their way through Taborea, and it’s time to bring the title out of beta, and into the full light of day.

“Since the open beta test launch is December, the population of Taborea has soared and we have been working closely with our community to fine tune the  Runes of Magic  experience”, said Daniel Ullrich, Director of Product Management at Frogster, “We look forward to welcoming thousands of new players to Taborea during the next few weeks, as we get ready to fully launch  Runes of Magic “.

Seeking to redefine the free-to-play genre, Runes of Magic offers players a host of extensive features.  With already over 1000 quests for players to venture forth on, Runes of Magic portrays a thrilling story line set in an atmospheric fantasy setting.  Players have six main classes to choose from, and when combined with a secondary skill class, players are presented with 30 different possible character combinations.  Frogster is banking some of there revenue on customizations to player’s individual virtual homes, which they can then decorate via microtransaction purchases.  Naturally, Runes of Magic incorporates today’s ‘standard’ MMORPG features including a crafting and reputation system, PVP, and dungeons and boss-monsters.

Developed by Taiwanese Runewalker Entertainment Ltd. in just three years, the studio will provide players with fresh content updates scheduled every three to four months, including fee add-ons and updates.

Features

  • Free2play: no monthly fees, free download
  • More than 1.000 quests and quest series on launch
  • Versatile spell- and attack-combinations
  • No zone boundaries thanks to seamless architecture
  • Dungeons: Instanced and tile based as well as persistent
  • Individually developable skills and spells
  • Dynamic item system with hundreds of runes for upgrading
  • Optional PvP system with arena battles and guild wars
  • Epic crafting system with the chance to improve existing items
  • Personalization of player houses through individual furnishing
  • Customisable user interface with the option to use Add-Ons
  • Map and radar system to find dealers, resources and quests easily
  • In-game auction houses for trading items

Runes of Magic kicked open the beta doors, in both German and English in mid December 2008.  Interested parties can download the game client and start their free-to-play adventure at www.runesofmagic.com.

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Runes of Magic now in Open Beta

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

Frogster America announced yesterday that their highly anticipated free-to-play MMO Runes of Magic has now entered its open beta phase and welcoming new players.  With 190,000 registered users already questing away, Runewalker Entertainment and Frogster want to run one more final round of ‘beta’ testing before unleashing the full product in an ‘official’ release.

Over the next few weeks, Frogster is planning on rolling out all the bells and whistles, including the microtransaction-based item-shop where users can purchase items to be used in their questing.  Since the move was made to reset all characters at the end of the closed beta, all players can now create new characters and start at level one.

“Runes of Magic is going through its final stress tests and polishing phase which will enable us to ensure a high level of quality and an entertaining and immersive experience for the players,” said Sean Kauppinen, president and CEO of Frogster America, Inc. “Since we’re allowing all characters created in the final beta phase as well as any items acquired or purchased to carry over into the live game, the servers are essentially open for business.”

As we initially reported back in August after playing a demo version at the Leipzig Games Convention, Runes of Magic is quite possibly the long awaited answer to the ‘free-to-play games are of poor quality’ stigma that has plagued the genre for so long.  The title takes the best elements from a number of successful MMO’s, and blends them altogether in an eye-popping collection of multicolored pixel goodness.  Over 1000 quests are available at the launch, and players may choose from six main classes and secondary classes, ultimately offering 36 individual character combos to suite almost every playing style.

One of the unique features available in Runes of Magic is the ability to arrange your own virtual home with various furnishings.  And these furnishings aren’t exactly of the Martha Stewart style.  Your home (or guild hall) serve as a place to keep all your gear, therefore you can decorate your home pad with shields, swords, armor, or any other various equipment you may have acquired.

Frogster is also taking a page from other popular MMO’s and introducing a Christmas theme in game over the next few weeks.  Special events and costumes will be featured, along with a number of other surprises beginning December 19th.  The Runes of Magic website is also holding a competition to run in parallel with the in-game events.  All users that create something Runes of Magic Christmas themed has a chance to win a rare in-game Christmas mount.

To sign up and enter the open beta, visit Runes of Magic at www.runesofmagic.com.

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