sony-online-entertainment posts

Magic: The Gathering Tactics trailer walks the planes with confidence

The planeswalkers in Magic: The Gathering Tactics are perhaps the most important part of the game, as they represent the player. This trailer depicts each of the five available, with each being associated with a particular color: red, green, black, white, and blue. All five are taken from the Magic: The Gathering expansion Lorwyn. There's nothing especially new and stunning about this trailer, but if you'd like an up close look at the characters and their animations, here's your chance!

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Planetside Next to get more resources despite Sony Online layoffs

Sony Online got hit earlier this week with mass layoffs and the total shutdown of three of its five studios, along with the cancelation of The Agency. Prior to the layoffs Sony Online head man John Smedley had been stating that the upcoming revivial of the sci-fi FPS MMO Planetside would launch a beta at the end of the first quarter or the beginning of the second quarter.

The bad news? Smedley told fan site Planetside Universe that the launch of PlanetSide Next "will be out a little later in the year." The good news is that Smedley also said that more resources would be put into the game and "we are pulling out all the stops to make it great." There are also hints that more info on this move will be revealed sometime next week.

The Agency cancelled; Sony Online confirms mass layoffs and studio shut downs

The rumors started flying late on Wednesday and today Sony Online has now confirmed via an email press statement that it is indeed shutting down three of its five internal game development studios and laying off 205 team members.

The move will close the Seattle, Tuscon and Denver studio, leaving only the San Diego and Austin Texas offices. The Seattle office has been developing the super-spy themed shooter The Agency for the past several years. The closure means that The Agency has now been cancelled as well. However the statement does add that the many online collectible card games that had been under development at the now shut down Tuscon and Denver offices will now be moved to Sony Online's San Diego headquarters. All other currently live MMO games from the publisher won't be affected.

The statement adds that this move was designed to "focus development resources on delivering two new MMOs based on its renowned PlanetSide and EverQuest properties." Sony Online's head man John Smedley has been hinting strongly about the PlanetSide revival plans for the past few months while the first glimpse of what was then called EverQuest Next was revealed last summer during Sony Online's annual Fan Faire event.

[Via email press release]

Rumors of massive layoffs and studio shut downs hit Sony Online

Sony Online Entertainment, known primarily for its MMO game titles, could be in the middle of a huge restructuring. Kotaku is reporting via unnamed sources that the company has shut down three of its five development studios based in Seattle, Tuscon and Denver. In addition the rumors claims the company has also laid off significant numbers of team members at its two remaining studios, San Diego and Austin. Kotaku claims in its article that the layoffs total nearly a third of Sony Online's employees.

The Tuscon offices are the the home to the team behind the fantasy collectible online card game PoxNora while the Denver team worked on several other collectible online games. The shutdown of the Seattle offices, if true, is perhaps the most significant since it was the studio in charge of developing the long awaited super-spy themed MMO The Agency which was first announced nearly four years ago.

Big Download has emailed Sony Online's PR reps for comment.

DC Universe Online trailer creates a safe haven for baddies

Every villain needs a place to bunk down for the night, and this trailer for DC Universe Online shows off one of these spots. A supervillain lair with a nightclub facade, it appears to be the safe spot for many underworld baddies, with the prominent Two-Face making a cameo appearance. beyond that, it's characteristic of any MMO hub zone: mail, vendors, questgivers, and queues for instancing and PvP. Nothing particularly special, except perhaps in the lore.

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Planetside Next character model revealed

For a few weeks we have seen some of the updated vehicle renders for Planetside Next, the upcoming revamp of Sony Online's sci-fi first person shooter MMO. Now the fan side Planetside Universe has posted up the first character render from the game, showing off what one of the Terran Republic faction members looks like.

While it's just a render it's clear that the detail and polygon count has increased compared to the original game. Hopefully we will get the full 411 on the title soon along with news on when the game's beta test soon. It's possible that Sony Online is waiting for GDC 2011 for the full reveal.

DC Universe Online trailer murders heroes and travels to the past

Given all of the in-game footage we've seen of DC Universe Online, the developers are certainly welcome to throw in a cinematic trailer. They've done just that, and the result is this highly-polished cinematic detailing the events leading to lux Luthor's arrival in the past. With a futuristic Batman, menacing robots, a new (and quickly dispatched!) hero, and Lux Luthor's treachery, it hits the sweet spot for DC Comics lovers out there. The visuals are also quite excellent, especially all the particle effects and fluid movements.

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Magic: The Gathering Tactics trailer unleashes the power of green mana

More mana, you ask? Yes indeed, Sony responds, and from the depths of their MMO offices comes this thoroughly standard and average trailer. Much like the previous trailers for Magic: The Gathering Tactics, this one talks about the various creatures that a planewalker can summon of a particular type. In this case, it's green creatures, and the general theme is that of the natural. Woodland animals and elementals are common in the green domain, and this trailer definitely reflects that.

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DC Universe Online announces three month $29.99 pricing plan (for a limited time)

If you have bought DC Universe Online and like the recently launched super hero MMO you might want to check out this little tidbit. Publisher Sony Online has announced that beginning on February 8 both new and current players can switch over to a new three month online pricing plan for $29.99. That's a 25 percent savings over the normal price of $41.99 for the three month plan.

What's the catch? Players of the game can only sign on for the new pricing plan for a limited time. Players who bought the game will have to switch over to the discount three month plan before their included 30 day free subscription runs out or by March 1 (whichever comes first) or they will have to wait until their current pricing plan ends to get the $29.99 fee. The good news is that the rate will stay for as long as you subscribe to DC Universe Online.

DC Universe Online announces first major content update

DC Universe Online has been live for less than a month but as promised developer Sony Online is prepping for the super hero MMO's first major content. According to the Associated Press, players of the game will be able to check out a story line later this month that features Batman's feline foe/friend/lover Catwoman where she will be trying to rob some artifacts at the Gotham City Museam. Catwoman will also be added as a character to the game's arena style PvP.

The game will also add a new raid that centered around Batman's Batcave for higher level players and in a Valentine's Day event players will have to deal with the love goddess Aphrodite. In a related note today comic book stores get the first issue of the 26 issue bi-weekly mini-series DC Universe Online Legends. The first issue has also been released via DC Comic's downloadable service with a special cover which you can see after the jump:

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