Another virtual world to get lost in

Gaming

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Sony Online Entertainment has thrown open the doors to Free Realms, which the company bills as a “free, family-friendly online video game.”

The game is “designed to run on nearly all PCs” and promises quick streaming and low memory demands. Of course, there’s a catch: It costs nothing to play, but young gamers won’t explore for very long before they find a way to spend Mom and Dad’s money:

A monthly membership offers additional perks and content to your child’s Free Realms experience. The monthly membership is $4.99 (plus any applicable taxes). Your child will also be able to purchase individual items for nominal fees if parents choose to place money in his/her wallet.

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Press release:

MAKE FRIENDS, RACE KARTS, BATTLE FOES AND RAISE PETS IN FREE REALMS – AVAILABLE NOW!

Sony Online Entertainment’s Whimsical, Family-Friendly Virtual World Is Now Live

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – April 29, 2009 – Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE) today announced that the free, family-friendly online video game Free RealmsTM is now available for everyone to play at www.FreeRealms.com. Free Realms is a whimsical virtual world, loaded with fun for gamers of all ages. Whether you want to race karts, raise a pet, explore mystical forests or chat with friends, in Free Realms, you can do it all.

“We’ve designed Free Realms to be a fun, safe place for gamers of all ages to play online and are excited to finally open the doors to our adventure-packed world,” said Andy Sites, senior producer, Sony Online Entertainment. “Free Realms is free to play and truly lets you do what you want, when you want. Every member of the family will find something fun to do in Free Realms!”

In Free Realms, players can customize their characters and play a wide variety of minigames in a safe, online environment, packed with stunning visuals, distinctive environments, and social networking capabilities. Players are free to do or be anything: Become a ninja, cook a yummy meal, battle goblins, set out on epic quests or connect with friends through a safe, social networking page. The Free Realms Trading Card Game is a full-featured trading card game playable both digitally within the Free Realms online game and through a physical game available wherever you buy trading cards!

Free Realms offers a variety of features, including:

  • Free Gameplay: Free Realms is free to play; however, additional content can be accessed through a Membership or micro-transactions.
  • Rich Character Creation: With thousands of customizations and combinations, you can blend fantasy and reality to create your perfect avatar.
  • Be Whoever You Want: Characters aren’t locked into classes or jobs – you can be a ninja one minute and a race kart driver the next.
  • Kid Safe: Free Realms is designed with kids’ safety in mind and has pre-canned chat, reporting, filters and Parental Controls that allow for the customization of security options, for younger players.
  • Something for Everyone: Players can take care of pets, sort mail, race go-karts, battle goblins or cook meals for their friends.
  • Vibrant, Deep Environment: Adventurous gamers can spend hours exploring towns, bustling cities, beaches, forests, snowy mountaintops and more.
  • Connect with Friends: Whether you’re meeting up with old friends or finding new ones, Free Realms allows players to stay connected through its social networking page. Just log in, see what your friends have been up to, click their avatars and join them in Free Realms.
  • Everyone Can Access: Free Realms is designed to run on nearly all PCs. The game will stream to your PC as you play, so Free Realms will not take up a lot of memory and will download quickly.
  • Trading Card Game: The Free Realms Trading Card Game will let players pit fun characters like dragons and goblins against one another in fun, fast-paced combat. Half the game is collecting new cards so you are armed with the best lineup of attacks and defenses to prove your might in online tournaments.

Station Access subscribers will receive a Free Realms Membership with their all-in-one subscription. Free Realms is rated E10+ for Everyone 10 and up with content descriptors of Crude Humor and Fantasy Violence. To play Free Realms, visit: http://www.FreeRealms.com.

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