Sony Online Entertainment launched Free Realms on April 28th, and three million people have already signed up to play the free MMO. See what happens when you give out free, family-friendly fun?
If you're unfamiliar with Free Realms, this browser-based MMO offers something for anyone. Car races, card collecting, elves, party-based combat, mini-games, pets, and god knows what else are yours for the asking price of free. It makes money through credit card transactions for specific in-game content, and thus may represent the future of MMOs: Think of it like Second Life, without the user-created content and digital wangs. The family-friendly part is worrisome: I actually have a family, and I hate things that are family-friendly!
To put the number of users into perspective, if Free Realms was a country, it would have a larger population than Trinidad, Botswana and Gambia. Of course, SOE wasn't all that clear on how they arrived at that three-million-users figure, but I assume SOE is counting everyone who registered for an account since the game's launch, even those folks who poked around for 35 second and then said: "I'm out of here!"
To celebrate the rapidly growing community of players, SOE will give its first three million Free Realms registrants a "3M Pet Party Pack," filled with items for use with virtual cats and dogs. Aren't you/they lucky?
Have you played Free Realms yet? Do you plan to?