Breaking: MMO players aren’t anti-social recluses!

In wow-players-hanging-outthe whole of gaming, there’s no group that has been mocked more than the avid player of massively multiplayer online games.

From stand-up comedians to South Park, the stereotype has been the same: MMO players are reclusive loners with no social skills.

Read more at Yahoo! Games

Is the MMO dying?

Just a few short years ago, massively-multiplayer online games (MMOs) were considered the future of gaming.

Virtually every publisher was running one, building one, or contemplating one. A lot of those failed. A few struggled along with small but loyal audiences. And all of them acknowledged that they lived under the shadow of perennial champ World of Warcraft.

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World of Warcraft subscriptions take a tumble

Azeroth is a lot emptier these days.

World of Warcraft saw more than 1 million people cancel their subscriptions over the past three months, the game’s publisher revealed in its quarterly earnings statement. That’s one of the most dramatic drops in the game’s long history.

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Star Wars: The Old Republic rankles fans with odd pre-order campaign

No one has doubted that Bioware’s upcoming massively multiplayer game, Star Wars: The Old Republic, was going to be, well, massive. But the unusual — and baffling — pre-order experience for the game is causing a disturbance in the Force.

Typically, pre-orders are pretty simple: You put down a deposit, you wait for the game to come out and you’re guaranteed a copy on day one. But with The Old Republic, it’s a bit more complicated.

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5 online games worth paying for

With the number of quality free-to-play online games growing almost daily, dropping $10-$15 per month in subscription fees is getting harder and harder to justify.

Walking away from a free online game, after all, is a pretty easy thing to do. There’s no nagging voice in the back of your head doing the math and informing you of how much money you’ve invested in a game you’re no longer obsessed with. When it’s free, the stakes are low, though often so is the payoff.

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U.S. Navy taps gamers to help hunt pirates

Most pirate-themed video games encourage players to strap a parrot to their shoulder and hoist the skull and crossbones. Now the Navy — yes, the U.S. Navy — is asking gamers to walk the other side of the plank.

Starting Monday, the naval branch of the military will launch an experimental online game that hopes to tap the collective intelligence of gamers to help combat real-world pirates terrorizing the waters off the Horn of Africa.

Read more at Yahoo! Games

Checking in with Star Wars: The Old Republic

Electronic Arts’ is betting big on Star Wars – to the tune of nearly $100 million.

“Star Wars: The Old Republic” is one of the video game publisher’s biggest titles of the year – arguably of the last 5 years. While the game’s not scheduled to come out until this holiday season (and could potentially slip to 2012), this seems like a good time to run down the latest on one of the few titles that could give “World of Warcraft” a run for its money.

Read more at Variety’s Technotainment blog

Next up from Halo makers: An online world

After ten years of creating and exploring the Halo universe, ace developer Bungie Entertainment is ready to build a new world — and it’s apparently going to be a mighty big one.

The developer has confirmed that its next project will be a massively-multiplayer online action game. While the company is still keeping most of the details shrouded in secrecy, Bungie’s lead network engineer David Aldridge told game makers at the Game Developer Conference that the title would not simply be “[World of Warcraft] in space.”

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World of Warcraft Maker Turns 20, Looks Ahead

You might think that after creating a title that has over 12 million customers happily paying a monthly subscription fee, Blizzard Entertainment would be immune to some of the fears circling the video game industry.

But Frank Pearce, co-founder of the development giant, says he’s just as worried about the impact of Facebook and iPhone games as everyone else.


Paramount’s Rango gets an online world

Paramount Pictures has teamed with browser-based game developer Funtactix to create an online game based upon its upcoming animated feature “Rango.”

The game, dubbed “Rango: The World” will bow alongside the film on March 4 and allow fans to create an avatar and explore the movie’s world with friends and strangers. Players will interact with characters from the film – minus Johnny Depp’s titular chameleon – and complete quests and play minigames.

Read more at Variety’s Technotainment blog