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Mythos launches in Europe; US players welcome

Yet another MMO game that once was lost has now been found. Today marks the official public launch of Mythos Europe. The free-to-play fantasy MMO game started life at Flagship Studios but that studio's closure in 2009 caused the game, still in beta, to be shut down. Korea-based Hanbitsoft bought the rights to Mythos and together with partner Frogster helped bring the game back to life.

Apparently, folks in the US can download and play the game from its European servers. That's good news for US Mythos fans as we are still waiting for our own version of the game. The US Mythos web site hasn't been updated since July 2010 and there's no word on when, or even if, a beta test will begin, much less the game's official launch.

Mythos launching in Europe in April; still no word on US release

The long saga of the free-to-play fantasy MMO Mythos continues to be a fairly melodramatic one. Originally developed by Flagship Studios, the game shut down along with Flagship back in 2008 while it was still in beta (most of the creators of the original Mythos went on to form Runic Games where they made the terrific action-RPG Torchlight).

In December 2009, Korean-based Habitsoft announced plans to relaunch Mythos under its Redbana USA developer sometime in 2010. However, the Mythos curse hit once again with the game still not yet launched in the US. The most recent info from Redbana on the game's official message board was back in January 2011 and states, "There have been further technical delays which have pushed the game back even further than we had anticipated." So far there is no word at all on when Mythos' will launch even in beta form.

However these issues have not affected plans to launch Mythos in Europe. Partnering with Frogstar, the European servers have been in closed beta for some time and will launch its open beta on April 12 with the official release coming on April 28. A box copy of the game will also be made available and will allow players to sign onto the game two days earlier.

Big Download's News Bits & Bytes - September 20

We know a bunch of you will be unlocking Civilization V tomorrow via Steam. We will have our full review of Fraxis Games' latest release in the near future.

Playing For Free: Runes of Magic

Each week we find more and more free games that do not quite fit into the freeware mold. Games that do not require a subscription fee to play, but encourage player usage of money through microtransactions or special subscription services. This is Playing For Free, a column that showcases these games.

World of Warcraft is the most popular MMO on the market for a reason. It combines a healthy dose of action with the standard grind of RPGs to make for a truly addictive experience that almost all other MMOs are judged by. Is this judgement fair? Certainly not. However, it's hard not to judge a game like Runes of Magic by World of Warcraft's standards, given that Runes of Magic is basically the same game, just with a fresh coat of paint and some new features. It's a blast to play, and if you don't want to shill out the money for a World of Warcraft subscription, it might be your bag of tea.

Runes of Magic officially launches

It's the latest entry in the genre that's so crowded it's sometimes hard to tell which game is which. In this case the genre is the free-to-play MMO and the game is Runes of Magic. After a open beta launched last December for the fantasy themed game Runes of Magic is officially open as of today.

Developed by Taiwan-based Runewaker and published by Frogster, the game enters its first phase with the chapter titled Rise of the Demon Lord. People who participated in the open beta can still use their characters and they will find that Runes of Magic has an expanded game world now that it its officially launched. More updates and expansions are already planned and will be released in four to five month intervals. Frogstar has launched a subsidiary in the US, Frogster America, that will handle Runes of Magic servers and accounts in our territory.

Frogster America launched

German based game publisher Frogster International Pictures is expanding its reach over the pond. Today the company announced the launch of its US subsidiary, titled Frogster America. Its interim CEO is Sean Kauppinen, who previously worked at Sony Online, Ubisoft and other game companies.

Frogster America's first product will be the US launch of the fantasy free-to-play MMO Runes of Magic. The new US business is setting up the servers to run the US portion of the game and expects the commercial launch of Runes of Magic in North America by the end of the year. There's no word yet what other games Frogster America plans to release.

Acclaim to publish Chronicles of Spellborn in US

For some time we have heard about the development of The Chronicles of Spellborn, an upcoming fantasy MMO from Dutch developer Spellborn NV that will use Epic Games's Unreal Engine 2 (yep, 2) for its graphics. We have always thought of this game as a European only project but today that changed with the announcement that free-to-play MMO publisher Acclaim will take on these duties for the game in the US.

The game will launch in late 2008 in the UD with Acclaim offering a free-to-play zone for anyone to check out with a subscription needed to check out their entire Spellborn world. There's no word yet if Acclaim plans on any beta test for the game before its' US launch.

The Big Round-up: Tuesday, July 22

Your daily wrap-up of the hottest stories in PC gaming in the last 24 hours.

E308: Dark Void Impressions
The first part of Dark Void plays out they way anyone would expect an action shooter would. There isn't much to help the game stand out without the benefit of an upgraded jet pack. Until then, the player moves through like most other shooters, picking up new and inventive weapons along with ammo while picking off waves of incoming soldiers along the way.

E308: Damnation Impressions
Going vertical is one of the more prominent themes of this year's E3, but before players fly around the Dark Void using a jet pack, they might be scaling the buildings of Damnation. Damnation takes place in an alternate history United States, where the industrial revolution took a radically different turn. The result is a 1900's America that looks both new and familiar at the same time.

Left 4 Dead box art revealed
Valve Software VP of marketing Doug Lombardi has released the official box art for developer Turtle Rock Studios' upcoming Left 4 Dead, a squad-based shooter that will pit humans in a fight for survival against legions of zombies. Though we find the box art to be stylish yet simple, snazzy yet unassuming, we find ourselves hesitant to award the art a thumbs-up.

Portal: Still Alive already available on PC
Keyboard-and-mousers up in arms over the recent announcement that Xbox Live Arcade would be receiving exclusive Portal content in the form of Portal: Still Alive need not fret: apparently the forthcoming bonus content has already been alive on the PC for quite some time.

Frogster unveils strong MMO line-up
Players looking for a variety of themes in the prolific MMO genre need not look further than Frogster, a PC game publisher with an emphasis on virtual worlds. Due out during the second half of 2008 are StoneAge 2, Runes of Magic, and The Chronicles of Spellborn, which should complement Frogster's existing portfolio of casual MMO titles.

Frogster unveils strong MMO line-up

Players looking for a variety of themes in the prolific MMO genre need not look further than Frogster, a PC game publisher with an emphasis on virtual worlds. Due out during the second half of 2008 are StoneAge 2, Runes of Magic, and The Chronicles of Spellborn, which should complement Frogster's existing portfolio of casual MMO titles.

Runes of Magic is an RPG that will enter its closed beta phase this September. Beta registration has already begun at the game's official site, and an open beta will begin in November before the game's pre-Christmas season release.

The Chronicles of Spellborn recently passed numerous stress tests and has been deemed ready for final balancing and publishing. Take a dip in Spellborn's pond by registering for its beta phase at the official website.

The recently announced StoneAge 2 will begin closed beta testing in August and will see release this autumn. Players interested in bashing fellow troglodytes with clubs can download the beta from Big Download.

Finally, would-be scallywags can loot the booty for an upcoming Bounty Bay add-on near the tail end of the plank... er, the year, as well, and soccer fans should stay tuned for word from the company regarding their free-to-play soccer title, Kickster.

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