There Are An Awful Lot Of F2P MMOs

It's all blurred into one.

Something that intrigues me is the utterly astonishing number of MMOs out there at the moment, each boasting vast player bases, that no one I know has ever played. Every day I stare in wonder at how many are managing to co-exist, intrigued to know what they offer, but never able to will myself past the first identical screenshot. So below I’ve compiled together the MMOs you may not be familiar with that have put out a press release on GamesPress in the last couple of weeks. I stress, just the last two weeks.

Dev: Vogster Entertainment

Combines an action shooter with RPG to make a F2P MMO set in a gang-infested near-future metropolis. Episodic content updates get players excited. Off to a good start, I think, with this neither being about fairies, nor anime.

Pub: burda:ic

It’s a “maritime fantasy” F2P MMO, with twelve classes and home-made ships. They’re having a screenshot contest this weekend. It’s very anime.

Dev: UTV True Games Interactive

Now entering its closed beta, Mytheon is an action-strategy MMO. In it you fight back against the gods of Greece and Egypt using magical relics given to them by the Fates.

Pockie Ninja
Dev: NGames

Yesterday this anime-themed MMO revealed “deep item synthesis system and intense World Tournaments.” It’s all about being a ninja, fighting baddies who turn innocent cuddly creatures into puppet warriors!

Rumble Fighter
Pub: OGPlanet

Well I’ll be, it’s an anime-themed MMO. They’ve just announced a new Guild System for their “casual action fighting game” that’s been going since August 2007, and has over a million players in the West. The new content means they’ll be holding quarterly tournaments with prizes.

War Of Legends
Pub: Jagex

This one distinguishes itself as an MMORTS, and is naturally free to play. It’s browser-based, based around Chinese mythology, letting you command armies and rule empires. To celebrate the Chinese New Year for two weeks they’re giving away items to players worth actual cash money.

Pub: Nexon

Vindictus is an MMO that defiantly doesn’t explain what it’s about anywhere on its website that I can find. It’s apparently adding lots of content to celebrate Valentine’s Day. I’m going to guess that you hit people and craft new hats. It is of course free to play.

Remnant Knights
Pub: GameSamba

Blow me down, Remnant Knights is a F2P anime-inspired MMO! But the hook here is it’s story is written by Jim Krueger. Ancient evil, last line of defence, etc. It’s closed beta has just begun,

Line Of Defense
Dev: 3000AD

Tee hee, I’m only including this to see if I can make Derek explode.

Priston Tale 2: The Second Enigma
Pub: Game Bridger Entertainment

Making a change from Western publishers trying to shove the name of the Eastern developer down the back of the sofa, this game comes from Turkey. Not a hotbed of gaming. Count this among the very many closed betas you could apply for of late. The evil Midranda has ruined the continent of Priston with baddies, whom you must battle. It will be, of course, free to play.

Kitsu Saga
Pub: Aeria Games

A press release is filed about this free to play, anime-themed, combat and crafting MMO, because it’s raised its level cap to 70. In this one you have fox spirits. That’s how you tell it apart.


The least pronounceable MMO of all time, this one will shock you to your socks with its anime style. Its press release is utterly unfathomable, discussing the “upcoming climax of the ‘Keh Clan Saga’ as the Keh make their final gambit and send assassins to infiltrate the Imperial city to try and strike a killing blow deep in the Emperor’s ancient beating heart.”

AIKA Global
Dev: T3 Entertainment

Let me talk you through this one. It’s a Korean MMO, with distinctly anime themes, in which you fight in armies of up to 1000. It’s releasing the news that it too is raising its level cap to 70. But what I like best about this one appears on the game’s Features page: “We’ve removed the irrelevant aspects!”

Atlantica Online
Pub: NDoors

A strategic turn-based MMO, the game’s already won me over for being different. Although it does quickly sound familiar in terms of narrative, with a new dungeon being added and words like, “It’s here in the Angkor Wat caverns that the Naga Clan stowed all of their earthly treasure.”

KungFu Legend
Pub: BL Interactive

I’m assuming this is an MMO. The press release says that it’s entering it’s final closed beta, and nothing else, although it sure is anime themed. But its utterly impenetrable website offers no hints.

Dreamland Online
Pub: IGG

A side-scrolling 3D MMO – but stay calm, it’s of an anime style – in which players fight to defeat the Evil Fog from ruining the fairytale land, from a publisher that says it currently has 8,000,000 subscribers across its games. Of which they have seven others currently in open beta. They’re mentioning it because it has some… soundtrack samples? Really?

LOCO – Land of Chaos Online
Pub: burda:ic

Another game from the impossibly colonned publisher, this one is a “Tactical Online Action RPG”. They’ve redesigned the lobby of their “unique” combination of RPG, action and RTS.

ARGO Online
Pub: burda:ic

Why, it’s burda:ic again! At this point I’m having to check I’m not repeating games from earlier in the list, so identical are the graphics and websites. World War 4 in the 23rd century has caused some problems in this MMO due out in Spring. It features the main resource, Earthdium. Someone outdid Avatar.

Silkroad Online
Pub: Joymax

Their website doesn’t work in Chrome, and honestly I’m just too far beyond the point of wanting to find out if it’s anime themed to bother finding Firefox… Oh no I looked at a screenshot.

Grand Mer
Pub: Redbana

I mentioned this one on the site last week, because it is just so utterly brilliant. It’s a fishing MMO, and right now I fucking love it because it’s not a bloody anime combat crafting game set in a world of warring factions and magical gods.

2029 Online
Pub: IGG

I honestly thought this would be funny when I set out writing it. Now it’s 1am, I’ve drunk too much rum, and I’m still on Tuesday of last week. There’s still Monday to go, and still they come. I think this one’s RTS, and it’s definitely science fiction. That’ll do.

Runes Of Magic
Dev: Runewaker

I’m beginning to wonder if these names are being generated by one of those PERL-script random name generators that were popular on the internet in 1999. War Of Chaos. Lands Of Turmoil. Runes Of Magic. Although this is a good news story – they’ve raised money for the Queensland floods, what with this being apparently the first MMO to have dedicated servers in Australia. Players purchased 413 mounts and raised $2,478, which is great. The game, it says, redefined the standards for free to play MMOs. Other than that, at this point in the evening it’s indistinguishable from the others.

And that’s it. There were others, too. Seven hundred a fifty million press releases for a couple of others came out, but I’ve become so used to glazing over those names from their appearance in my inbox at least once or twice a day that I found I couldn’t see them here either. My eyes hurt. I can’t tell one from the other any more. I’m in an irrationally bad mood. It’s no commentary on the quality of any of the games. Any of them may be utterly brilliant.

So if you want some free to play MMOs to fill your evening, goodness ME, there’s a lot of them. Every two weeks.


  1. Tei says:

    “Something that intrigues me is the utterly astonishing number of MMOs out there at the moment, ”

    The is a theory that Korea generate a lot of these games, and that are played a limited period, as soon theres another, the old one is abandoned.

    And the ones we see here on the west are not the better, and theres 2 years lag from the korea release to a western release.

    These are just theories, I have no idea how much truth have.

  2. loshon says:

    Vindictus is good, it uses the Source engine, and there’s another not-so-little F2P MMO named Fiesta that wasn’t on this list and is actually very charming and addictive as well, and as had large playerbase for the last 4 years or so.

    • Premium User Badge

      theleif says:

      …”actually very charming and addictive”… Ok, I’m drunk, but bear with me.
      What is it that makes us spend hours, and counting raiding, days, months, and even years in these games, and we (or at least many of us) get enjoyment out of it?
      Imagine if a company, lets say Wallmarts, or any company where most of the employees have more or less mind numbing tasks, took these ideas and learned from them and created a workspace inspired of them?
      Just saying.

      Not sure if I’m exited or terrified about the possibility.

  3. Kaira- says:

    I’m kinda sad that neither DDO or LotRO isn’t mentioned here. But I guess the article would be longer than all of the readers combined if every game was included. But still. The little fanboy in me is crying, since DDO is my favourite MMO of all time, with all its flaws and whatnot, and I enjoyed LotRO to some extent. But there’s something in that 3.5 DnD Eberron that makes me come back with my wallet all opened up. What can I say, I guess I’m a sucker for DnD.

    • John Walker says:

      As I say at the top, this is about the games you nay not have heard of. I think our readers will be familiar with DDO and LOTRO. Nevermind that neither of them put out a press release in the last fortnight, which was the other criteria for inclusion.

    • Kaira- says:

      Well, paint me stupid for not reading the introduction text. I’ll blame my non-existent sleep for that one.

    • Tatourmi says:

      You sure LOVE acronyms don’t you?

  4. Nomaki says:

    I played Runes of Magic early last year; it’s pretty much World of Warcraft: The Less Populated and More Buggy, But is Free Edition.

    I’m sure I’ve heard a resounding “Meh” about CrimeCraft, but it’s the only one which sticks out of that list, so I’ll give it a whirl.

  5. omicron1 says:

    Of these, Vindictus is the only one that’s even slightly interesting, and even that has more than its fair share of perfectly smooth faces and overly-fancy armor. It’s nice enough for a while, albeit overly repetitive and closed-environment.
    All the rest? I couldn’t care less.

  6. DeepSleeper says:

    Hey, Runes of Magic is actually really good for what it is.

  7. Blaq says:

    I’ve only heard of four from that list. Vindictus is supposed to be a decent DDO-alike. Silkroad online is for the crowd that thought Aion wasn’t grindy enough and want more. Runes of Magic I heard is an almost direct WoW clone with the only novelty being a dual-class system. And then there’s TERA, which I’ve heard a lot about on the count of it’s action-MMO mindset. I wasn’t even aware it was going to be F2P when released.

    I honestly can’t see the point of RPS doing a list of F2P MMOs, as it doesn’t look like one of the thousands of generic websites sporting those kinds of lists. In any case, I think the post title should be: “Top 23 worst F2P MMOs”. Bound to catch more attention, right? :>

    • John Walker says:

      What a strange comment. You don’t want RPS to be doing list articles, but you do want a sensationalist (and indeed inaccurate) headline? The opening paragraph explains exactly what this article was about. Purely looking at quite how much there is out there, and quite how similar they all appear.

    • bob_d says:

      @John Walker: Well, let me just say: I found this to be a highly valuable article, thank you Mr. Walker. Also: Holy crap the F2P space is saturated right now!

    • Blaq says:

      In my experience MMO list sort of articles usually end up amounting to nothing. Exactly because, as you note, the F2P MMOs are so similar and because there are so many of them. If the intention of the artcile were to note the differences and rate them in any way, the writer would have to play through a great deal of those MMOs (as you are fully aware, judging from RPS’ usual approach to reviewing MMOs, at least). It doesn’t seem that you have done that, for which I don’t blame you of course. Trying to pour a lot of time into that many F2P MMOs would most likely be a big pain.

      I love RPS because it’s different (in a good way), which is exactly why I wasn’t expecting to read the article I did when I clicked that headline. I thought it might have been an attempt at sarcasm, which is why I suggested the new title in my own attempt at sarcasm (albeit a poor one). I suggested “A list of 23 F2P MMOs” since you guys have done that article poking fun out of websites that do list posts a while ago (which I can’t find for the life of me). Hit and miss, don’t mind me and my poor sense of humor. :>

      Edit: Oh and I apologise for miscounting the number of MMOs in the article.

    • Zyrusticae says:

      Er… wut. Tera most certainly is NOT going F2P. I don’t know where you got that from. (Was it edited out of the article? I guess so. Good thing.)

  8. Liseda says:

    TERA is NOT going to be a F2P.

  9. TheWanaB says:

    Runes of Magic and Vindictus are the only two “free” MMO’s I’d consider playing…though I was wondering about this earlier – how, in such a massive market, do all these MMO’s survive? Are MMO’s not as costly to run / develop as we are lead to believe?

  10. Starayo says:

    Runes of magic IS pretty good for a F2P MMO. It takes the best parts of games like WoW and WAR and such. It’s still grindy, though. I couldn’t stand it at all before because it had terrible run animations and it would always end with me ragequitting the tutorial screaming “PEOPLE DON’T RUN LIKE THAT” but they fixed that and now it’s pretty cool. It’s got a cool multiclassing system – but the way it works also ends in massive grinds. Still cool though. I can heal or be a really survivable DPS with group buffs with my combination. Great to play with friends or a guild. Plus it had an Australian server! That’s an instant win for any game! Only other to my knowledge that’s been so kind as to do that was WAR, Blizzard can’t even be fucked giving us anything more than US servers with a different time zone, even with their billions upon billions of dollars.

    Vindictus looks really awesome, and from what I’ve heard it is pretty awesome – but it’s not available in my region (Australia). They IP ban people not in their server regions. The game is hosted peer-to-peer so if an Aussie joins a US game we get a lot of lag or vice versa, so I can see why, but I just wish they would set up a little oceanic matchmaking one for us. :P

    • Mattressi says:

      I had that same issue with the running animation, so I went to Perfect World; an F2P MMO pretty much the same as Runes of Magic…but you can fly! In the end it got pretty boring so I left. But I find all MMOs are like that; I can only take so much grinding in a game. I think I’ll try LotRO when I have a little more time on my hands.

  11. Enikuo says:

    Tera is actually a pay to play MMO, not free to play. And, by action, they mean it plays similarly to a console game, like DC Universe Online – no sticky targeting and it uses collision tanking and such. It’s not actually as daft as it sounds, when you’ve seen the game play footage.

    I hope that doesn’t come across fan-boyish. I’m not actually looking forward to this title, just thought it was incorrectly included as a free to play MMO.

    Note – didn’t mean to imply DCUO is strictly a console game, just that the “action” is similar.

  12. Kazang says:

    How do these games make money?

    Because they must getting income somehow or there wouldn’t be so many of them. I wouldn’t mind tapping into this well of cash they seem to have found.

    • Witrim says:

      Cash shop obviously lol. Some players spend thousands of dollars on that.

  13. Witrim says:

    Vindictus is US only so if you are from EU don’t bother and the EU version got a perma “coming soon” on the homepage with no other info.

  14. Jake says:

    I’ll probably hold out and see if anyone makes an anime themed MMO. Hopefully some will be made ‘cos ideally I’d like to play about 12 of them at once.

    What I want to know is why don’t some of these games combine into a single super game, with a world that takes months to explore? I am sure there are ‘sensible’ reasons, but if Transformers taught me anything it’s that you can combine 5 cool things to make an giant cool thing.

    • Lambchops says:

      I’m sorry Jake, but my super accurate future prediction powers tell me that the wonders of an anime themed, free to play MMO will never be unveiled in our lifetimes. We will on the other hand definitely get real, cheaply available hoverboards. Every cloud and all that.

  15. tungstenHead says:

    It IS funny how many of these there are. There are almost as many anime F2P MMORPGs as there are Flash games.

    They must find it really cheap using the same sort of artstyle; it must allow a lot of outsourcing and quick production cycles. The grindy format must also help by allowing a lot of content to be reused repeatedly. Then by allowing someone who gets right drunk (like John Walker here) and rich (unlike John Walker here) to just throw money at the game, they must be able to recoup their development costs quickly.

  16. Hoaxfish says:

    I quite like the shift from subscription MMOs to F2P/Freemium/Cashshop MMOs. With so many scrambling over a largely generic base-model it forces them to innovate or die.

    It’s a bit like indie games… they don’t cost a lot to play, but they usually spot some “new idea” that cash-bloated stuff like WoW and SW:ToR consider too risky.

    However, the only “MMO” I’ve ever paid money into was the original Guild Wars (all 3 campaigns, but stopped before the expansion pack, and non of those DLC-like mini-stories etc) so maybe I’m just a bit tighter on my wallet than some people.

    Subscriptions just don’t feel right to me. To pay considerably large amounts of money towards something which simply offers no tangible returns once you stop paying that money is basically a protection-racket/drug abuse… and then to base it on a “period of time” rather than your actual play-hours.

    Going back to Guild Wars, I thought it was good money for a single-player game (I felt the story was pretty good, and the challenge fairly robust)… So I was happy to spend for a “single-player game” that just happened to actually be an MMO, which I played almost non-stop for 2 years.

    • dadioflex says:

      Subscriptions don’t feel right to you? I’ll go out on a limb here and say you’re still living with your parents, and I don’t mean that as a dig just an observation.Sadly, life is full of subscriptions that you have to pay which provide no tangible benefit once you stop paying. Sure I agree with you in principal, but unfortunately how you feel about subscriptions doesn’t appear to have much traction in the real world.

    • Urael says:

      Hold on now, Dadio, let’s not take a comment made within the context of MMO gaming “I don’t like subscriptions” and expand it to represent his view of the way the entire world works. Of course that would sound silly but it’s clearly not what he’s said here. You’re railing against a logical fallacy of your own creation.

      I’m not a fan of subscription gaming either having grown up with a model of a one-time payment that provides a certain gaming experience.

    • Martha Stuart says:

      actually his argument does have traction in this world. If everyone that played WOW got up one day and said “Fuck it, im done with pay to play” then Blizzard would switch busniess models. the reason they dont is cause people ARE willing to pay to play. so his argument has quite a bit of merrit, just not enough people follow that belief.

    • dethgar says:

      A popular MMO with a large community usually returns your subscription in the form of new, free, content and increased server capacities. I think a F2P WoW would likely end up being more frustrating for the players, due to capacity issues and compatibility with other players who don’t have all the content packs.

    • Martha Stuart says:

      I agree, im not saying its a good idea. im just sayin that the market dictates the busniess model. if no one wanted to Pay to Play than there would not be any Pay to Play games, because the market wont accept it.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Give it 2 years.


    • ScubaMonster says:

      @dadioflex – Allods is basically a free to play WoW and I’ve been enjoying immensely. For someone to say “you must be living with your parents” because you don’t want to pay for a MMO is probably the one who is actually living with their parents themselves. You know, some of us have bills to pay and don’t have disposable income. That is if you live in the real world and not with your parents. I’m not saying you have to be rich to afford a MMO, but you have to realize that a lot of people, especially in this economy simply can’t afford it. You’re just being plain ignorant.

    • GT3000 says:

      If you can’t afford 15 bucks of disposable income a month then you should be stealing your internet not paying for it. You could recycle 15 bucks worth of material in a week.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      I don’t equate MMO subscriptions with other subscriptions… I do pay my electricity bill (but I turn off my lights when I’m not using them), I do pay for my membership to one of my industry’s organisations, I do pay for public transport (but I do walk reasonably long distances too), I do pay my internet and phone bills, I do buy food, etc. These things provide benefits that outweigh the costs…

      WoW (as an example MMO) doesn’t. If I play for 5 years in WoW, maybe I’ll get a level 80 character or whatever, but I lose him as soon as my sub runs out. I can’t transfer him to another game like I could with a Word document (or other more non-gaming “Software as a Service” things might allow me to). Hell, my ISP will allow me to take my account’s emails with me to another ISP, phone-companies let me take my phone-number if I change providers.

      Obviously, it’d be stupid to let you take your WoW character into another game.. the new game probably isn’t compatible, but that doesn’t mean I should just accept it as wasted man-hours, and money, when I can just not participate in the process at all. I don’t have an XBox360, because I’m not going to pay for XBox live (and I already have a PC). I’m not arguing that WoW, etc, should be F2P, I’m saying I’m not going to participate because it’s not.

      So, for F2Ps, I might build up a level 80 character, but all it cost me was time (and it theoretically was fun). If I spend money, I spent it on something I could use, rather than “dead time” while I’m asleep.

      I’m the same person who doesn’t like DRM authentication servers, because when that server goes down, or that sub runs out… I can no longer use the product. Except for subs… I’m always paying to keep the “connection” alive. (Even DRM-server games have the theoretical option of patching out the check once that game is no longer being supported… and, of course, Steam sales can make a game so cheap, that the “benefit” does outweigh the cost)

      The sub-money I save from not spending it… gets saved. Government/banking economic fuck-ups aside, I’m not going to spend myself into debt/homelessness just for some virtual e-peen. Amazingly, I can have “fun” on the internet, and off it, without paying for a specific “flavour”, and I’m not psychic enough to know when I might really need the money I’ve saved up.

      One of the things that always gets me with MMOs, is how people say they keep playing (and paying) because of the “community”. Subscription games do not have a monopoly on good “communities”. That route of thinking is ultimately confusing the game (whether good or bad) with the people who play it…

      This probably doesn’t exactly read like what I’m trying to say, but whatever.

    • Alaric says:

      A subscription is a Good Thing, because by and large you get what you pay for. What makes people think that this doesn’t hold true in relation to games is beyond me. I am, of course, aware of a bunch of “successful” F2P MMOs, but having tried many of them I become more an more convinced that subscription models provide significantly better overall experiences. Make no mistake, just because someone is charging you doesn’t make their product good. The opposite is true as well. Still, some things don’t change and have not many exceptions. You do get what you pay for.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      A reason why games might get taken aside from other subscriptions, at least for me, is that games are transient…

      I don’t intend to play a single game for the rest of my life. It’ll get boring, right down to the core mechanics, no matter how fun it is. Level 10 is almost the same as level 80, especially where monster reskinning occurs, when you just end up with bigger numbers vs bigger numbers. Zelda is more fun than “one more level” MMO design.

      If you can get equal enjoyment from a “buy once” game, and it effectively entertains you as long as a subscription game does, why subscribe? I find different game-mechanics much more entertaining than staying for the long-haul in one game. With F2P MMOs that include platformers, turn-based SRPG, FF-style turnbased, fishing MMOs, driving MMOs, etc, the world is your very attention-deficient oyster. Add on Indie games, online Flash sites like Kongregate, Facebook games, subscribing to one thing (which seem stuck in the LotR-style world mindset) seems a bit blasé.

      Subscription MMOs don’t just compete against each other, or even against F2P MMOs… they compete against all games, and forms of entertainment.

  17. noobnob says:

    1. Player on F2P MMO game reaches endgame content.

    2. Player gets bored, jumps into another F2P MMO.

    3. goto 1

    You probably can do this for the rest of your life. Not necessarily 24/7, but you could very well find entertainment online without dropping a single dime into these games, just your time. And the production values of F2P MMOs are huge these days, so it is, at the very least, free eye candy and huge worlds to get lost into for hours to come. Scary…

    • dadioflex says:

      Except these games have communities just like the for pay games and sometimes the community is more important than the content. Unless you can persuade the community to game hop with you, and a number of guilds do just that.

    • noobnob says:

      Yes, the community aspect of MMOs is also important to decide whether you want to stay or not. Though I did not personally experience or have seen entire guild migrations from one game to another, I do know it’s easy for portions of forum members of some F2P MMO community to make the jump from one game to another if said game is similar to the one they’re currently playing.

  18. evilbobthebob says:

    You made a mistake in the title. It should read “There Are A Lot Of Awful F2P MMOs”

  19. Sarkhan Lol says:

    The trick is that they’re all the same game, reskinned.

  20. CrazyBaldhead says:

    I’d like to hear more about Crimecraft.

  21. DJ Phantoon says:

    You know what’s better than Earthdium? Plotdium.

    • MadTinkerer says:

      Or even Atmospherium (from the wonderful The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra). I understand that it’s translated from another language, but Earthdium? That’s just “earth”, a.k.a. “dirt” with “dium” at the end. Or if you take the word to mean Earth-our-home-planet, it makes even less sense because the main mass of the planet itself is mostly made of iron.

      Clicking through, the game itself doesn’t seem as ridiculous. It’s basically Humans from Fallout vs. Night Elves from WoW. By far, not the stupidest premise for a F2P MMO I’ve seen. It’d be nice if they put up some actual gameplay movies on the site though.

  22. Matt says:

    You can add one more to the list: Gazillion recently announced Fortune Online – it’s in closed beta now.

  23. Davie says:

    Vindictus is the only one of these I’ve ever played, and it’s actually worthwhile. First time I’ve seen genuinely fun combat in an MMO. Although it still bothers me your character customization is limited to effeminate hairstyle and fake tan.

  24. Jumwa says:

    Like others have pointed out, Vindictus is a rare diamond in the rough. Using the Source engine it plays a lot like a very well-polished, fast-paced Batman: Arkham Asylum, but with co-op.

    It lacks the massive scope of some MMOs, but it’s pretty and plays darn well. Add to that, the only things that cost money are some vanity options for your character (i.e. hair styles, makeup) and underwear to go beneath your armour. It has been a lot of fun for my partner and I, so much so that we sunk a few dollars into it because, hey, why not support a quality game? Have to at least balance out the ‘karma’ of mistakenly spending all that money on bad games.

  25. Down Rodeo says:

    Fuck me, that’s a lot of MMOs. Like, loads. Least useful comment ever, I know, but it really needed to be said, I think!

  26. Arathain says:

    There’s a pattern in the few Asian F2P MMOs I’ve played, which is that they’re often not strictly MMOs as we would understand them. They have overcrowded multiplayer hubs with shops and the usual stuff. You form you party here, should you wish for one. The game bit is all instanced, and there’s no open world. Valkyrie Sky is like that, as is Vindictus. Makes it much cheaper and easier to produce, I imagine. Make your game bit (Valkyrie Sky is a scrolling shooter, Vindictus is Source engine physicsy beat-em-up- both pretty good, mind), and tack on your hub. Season with a cash shop for stuff you’ll eventually need to keep playing, and off you go.

  27. MDevonB says:

    I’m confused as to what an “anime” themed MMO is. Isn’t that the term for “animation” or “cartoon” out in crazyland? It’s not like those shows have consistent art-styles either. Ghost in the Shell looking VERY different than Katanagatari and such.

    /redownloading Champions Online

    • Urael says:

      Oh yes. No similarities between these two series at all. No, siree bob. :)

      link to
      link to

    • Yuri says:

      Actually, they are quite different. If you ignore random fanart.

      This would be the official art from the movies and series:

      link to
      link to

      link to
      link to

      But anime in general is becoming a waste of time and brain cells due to all the ecchi garbage coming up lately. It’s like the pantsu apocalypse happened after 2006/7 for anime. It saddens me.

      Oh and, downloaded Champions Online Free For All a few day ago. Absolutely loving it.
      For a F2P mmo, it’s among the most polished titles you can find.
      Looks great(for an MMO) when maxed, great customization options, a streamlined learning curve and most important, the friendliest community i ever came across in any mmo. Seriously, whenever i asked any question on global chat, i got detailed answers.
      It has microtransactions, but also offers an optional 15$ monthly subscription that gives you access to everything in the game.

      It’s evil. THE perfect demo. Give 90% of the game for free, but keep the small but awesome 10% as subscription bait.
      Best thing about it, you don’t need that 10%. It’s just very very tasty and delicious bait.

  28. JackShandy says:

    CrimeCraft – Minecraft set in prohibition era america?!

  29. Gap Gen says:

    Is it just me, or is it a bit creepy that a game marketed using women in bikinis is called by the French “Grand Mer”, which sounds a bit like “grandmother”?

    • Chaz says:

      Nothing like a hot bit of GMILF to spice up your MMO.

    • Tatourmi says:

      Actually it doesn’t just sounds like, it sounds exactly the same as the french for grandmother. By the way: grand mer sounds really weird. Grand bleu would have been one thousand times better. Grand large too. Well, duh.

  30. BobsLawnService says:

    As someone who dislikes anime can someone explain why it is the default choice for MMOs?

    • malkav11 says:

      Not for MMOs – just for free2play MMOs, which are primarily made in Asia and (as far as I can tell) primarily played there also. Hence the anime. Even when it’s not really anime, but the similar stylistic choices emerging from Korean comics/animation or Chinese comics/animation, etc.

    • Tatourmi says:

      Aion and even wow look a lot like anime too (especially aion). And pretty much every mmo in existence have ridiculously fancy armors too. The stylistic unification is not restricted to free to play.

  31. malkav11 says:

    Vindictus is neat, but somewhat grindy and, last I tried it, had severe lag issues that made grouping tough.

  32. Shiny says:

    Atlantica Online is actually a good game. The theme and the writing are not that great, which is unsurpising given the game’s origins, but controlling a party in turn-based combat is good fun, and the PvP implementation is excellent, with good balance and regularly scheduled tourneys that provide suitable rewards and draw a large number of participants.

    Someone should steal the core gameplay and pair it with a better theme/presentation.

    • Ganj says:

      Seconded. I’ve played Atlantica as well as quite a few of the other mmo’s listed and it’s by far the pick of the crop, (though Vindictus also intrigues me – but being EU…).

      Of them and those other f2p MMO’s I’ve played, (many, many more that aren’t listed ;) it’s been the one where the cash shop has felt the least required of them all. More so since there are often random give-aways just for being online of many of those things you’d actually want from the cash shop.

      That being said, their cash shop is a bit of a bugger too, since rather than being able to buy the item you want, (say, a mount) you have to buy a box that has a random chance of giving you one…

  33. Nesetalis says:

    I’m currently playing Uncharted Waters Online.. if you liked the old uncharted waters games, you will love it.. if not, run.. :P its a bit of a grind in places, and the UI is terrible.. but the game is a gleeming gem.

  34. SprintJack says:

    “Vindictus is only available to those who live in the continental United States and Canada.”

    They could make this a bit more obvious :(

  35. coldvvvave says:

    I’ll never understand why people play MMOs.

    • Njordsk says:

      It’s addictive, and the factor “pay 13€ a month and play all you want” is great.

      Buying newer games here and here cost way more money than MMO suscription.

    • dadioflex says:

      Spectacularly low IQ or is it a medical condition related to your brain? They’ll probably have you on The One Show. Sorry! I’m probably typing too quickly…

      @Njordsk It’s no use, he’ll NEVER understand.

    • Urael says:

      Dadio – is there any particular reason you’ve decided to start trashing people simply for stating their opinions?

      Kindly moderate your tone with some basic respect, please.

    • Navagon says:

      @ Urael

      dadioflex is merely stating that he has more issues than National Geographic and feels the need to lash out at people because he has no other way of defending his preferences. In other words he’s effectively starting arguments by saying “I’ve already lost”.

    • mondomau says:

      Indeed. Or toddle off to destuctoid/kotaku/wherever.

    • Arathain says:

      MMOs often provide tons of good stuff that you can’t get elsewhere. The other people provide colour and context to your exploration and progression, and their presence allows a great range of play options depending on your desires- today I want to solo quests, or gather materials so I can sell crafted items, or go on a dungoen raid, or PvP, or whatever. Single player RPGs can’t provide these experiences which arise only out of the social aspects of the game.

      Besides, the MMOs that work are typically also just good games in their own right. City of Heroes has great customisation and character building mixed in with a fun combat engine. WoW has cleverly designed dungeons with imaginative boss fights. EVE is… well, EVE, and you won’t find anything like it.

    • cytokindness says:

      SOCIAL ENGINEERING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  36. Njordsk says:

    DEREK SMART summoning didn’t work that time I guess.

    Anyway I never touch those F2P thingies. At first because I don’t like korean/japanese games much, and secondly because I always feel cheated.

    You buy X, great, but what about Y here. You never have the whole package, and I odn’t like that, I’d rather pay 13€ a month like I did with WOW, LOTRO or others.

  37. jon_hill987 says:

    No Perfect World International? They have got a Cataclysm style expansion in the works for March as well.

  38. Maykael says:

    John’s right about the websites of these things. They are, as he says, impenetrable. Whenever I get the urge to see what the hell is going on in this strange market I always hit a wall because of this poorly constructed pieces of shit the should be a central information hub about the game. Why are the screenshots hidden? Where are the damn system requirements? What is this game about? In many case of free2play games you have to dig through slews of useless info to get to them.

  39. Zogtee says:

    I don’t have my Hat of Being a Cynical Bastard +2 on today (it’s the weekend), so I’ll just say that I’m glad to see so much activity in this genre. Sure, they’re all hoping to stumble upon a magical cash generator and most of them wont go far, but at least they’re trying and you don’t have to beat WoW to be successful. And there’s really nothing inherently wrong with being “anime-themed”, you know.

    That said, quit fucking around and give me Guild Wars 2 right now.

  40. Baka says:

    Sounds like you never heard of Vindictus before, Mister Walker?
    It has been covered a bit by RPS even. Does the press release maybe mean it’s getting a EU release soon?

  41. cliffski says:

    I’m holding out for an anime themed one.

    • DrazharLn says:

      Me too! I can’t stand varied art styles in the industry; it just confuses me.

  42. RegisteredUser says:

    So is this the nod towards my constant pleading to make an overview post of all the decent F2P online MMORPG/MMOFPS etc games available now, rather than pointing me towards the “free” tag which lists over 9000 indie/freeware/flash games as well rather than just the bigger, bolder MMO projects?

    Seriously, you need to do one of those posts and find a permanent sticky place on the webpage side and you are sure to have created a webpage-hits-monster.

    • DrazharLn says:

      You mean that some people don’t read every post that RPS writes? How strange.

  43. Axez D. Nyde says:

    Some of these games are definitely not F2P. Should state that more clearly.

  44. Muzman says:

    These particular ones probably don’t boast the vast player bases mentioned (yet), but I wonder if anyone’s checking those claims by any game.
    Some of them you have to wonder if it’s not just sales hype balderdash.

  45. Navagon says:

    Mr Walker, you’re clearly racist against anime inspired grindathons! Why are they being excluded like this? :P

    Gotta love how your support of Grand Mer seems to be entirely based on it being different to all the others. I guess I’d feel the same way if I played MMOs.

  46. Dominic White says:

    This article seems bizarrely half-hearted, and the comments thread is filled with grumpy cynics.

    So much grumbling about asian-styled MMORPGs, but turning a blind eye to all the genre-bending stuff, ranging from space shooters to arcade shmup MMOs and even WW2 naval combat? Lazy.

  47. guth95 says:

    Gamer: What Should I play?
    F2PMMO: We’re “free”!
    Gamer: Oh, really!?
    F2PMMO: Yes! Come enjoy the “free” experience!
    Blizzard: Your Mother’s a whore.
    Gamer: Mmm Warcraft it is!

  48. harmen says:


  49. Jake says:

    I saw quite a nice looking MMO called Berkanix, no idea if it is free to play although it looks like you can download the client from the website. It’s not too anime looking although it suffers a bit from the Korean girls don’t wear trousers bug.

  50. Alex Bakke says:

    Silk Road is an interesting one – I remember playing it when I was 13 or so, still in beta. Whilst it does have that anime feel, a lot of the art direction is Chinese, so it manages to retain a semblance of individualism, while looking like it’s just one of many.