In 2009 Sony Online Entertainment broke away from its traditional MMORPG model and launched the family-friendly Free Realms.
While the title will obviously not cater to the hardcore gamer, there is something to be said about the world's overall design and "soft" presentation. On a visual level, the game is quite attractive and should certainly keep new and experienced MMORPG gamers interested.
Rather than relying on the usual level grind, Free Realms instead makes the MMORPG more social, providing mini-games and a surprisingly entertaining trading card game. But don't let the rated "G" appearance fool you. The game does have the more traditional MMORPG traits, such as combat and quests for the older, more serious player.
On the business end, the game seems to mostly thrive on the microtransaction structure, enticing players to purchase items within the game. Free Realms also offers a subscription-based service, charging players $5 per month for five extra jobs, rankings on the Free Realms leaderboards, three character slots, and more.
Free Realms will also be available on the PlayStation 3 on November 5, 2010, and on the Mac in Q3 2010.