It's an almost stereotypically gorgeous springtime Saturday in Paris, breezy and bright, and the bistros near the Porte de Versailles are spilling lunching locals and tourists all over the street. But the kids arriving by the tram-load, confused mothers in tow, aren't here to eat crepes, promenade or play football. They're filing into the angular, modernist and cavernously huge Paris Expo hall - familiar to your correspondent from Blizzard's gigantic Worldwide Invitational event in 2008 - to pay pilgrimage to the biggest game you've never heard of: Dofus.
Attractive turn-based cartoon MMO Dofus has a whopping 30 million "registered players".
Ankama Games has announced a 2nd December release for Dofus 2.0, which effectively relaunches the 25-million-strong cartoon MMO.
This update will be the most important in the free-to-play game's history, rewriting the graphics engine as well as the server and client code. The result should be more a more detailed and much more responsive experience.
Following the patch, Ankama plans to roll Dofus 2.0 out worldwide next year.
Ankama Games, the French studio which created the remarkably successful and weird strategy-MMO Dofus, is working on its first console game for Xbox Live Arcade.
Graphics and game overhauled.
Ankama Games has said more than 10 million people are playing attractive Flash MMO Dofus.
Everyone's favourite isometric, anime-style, environmentally-conscious, hippy, French, massively multiplayer strategy-RPG - Dofus - is launching a new Heroic server with a new rule-set today.
As names go, Dofus is not a good one. It's so bad that it suggests government intervention: a product, surely, of a dystopian future where all of mankind's work is arbitrarily assigned a title by an uncaring (and possibly malfunctioning) master computer. Ankama Studios' flagship MMO has style, charm, and an intelligent air - yet while most fantasy games go for names that suggest the promise of elaborate adventure, Dofus, a glamorous blend of both 'oaf' and 'doofus', invokes the kind of person who regularly gets their tongue caught in barbed-wire fences.
You could argue that Dofus is the worst product name ever conceived, were it not for my discovery, years ago in a foreign supermarket, of a breakfast cereal named Crapsy Fruit. Crapsy Fruit was French. So, as it happens, is Dofus. There, luckily, all similarities end.
From the sophisticated art, to the gently cerebral turn-based combat system and elegant in-browser interface, everything about Dofus suggests an MMO that confidently walks its own path. That's certainly true, but unlike Continental curios such as The Saga of Ryzom before it, Dofus doesn't appear to be paying a heavy price for its distinctive personality when it comes to finding an audience. There's a contradiction here: while MMOs like Tabula Rasa ape mainstream genres but struggle to win followers, Dofus is giddily skipping in the opposite direction, and somehow managing to get by. In fact, it's quietly thriving: according to MMOGChart.com, it's the sixth-biggest subscription MMO in the world.
Ankama Games has announced that more than 100,000 of you have logged in to the dedicated UK version of Dofus in just one month.
Ankama Games released a new version of its cartoon-inspired MMO in the UK yesterday, specifically focused on our rainy region.
It includes a new update system that lets us islanders enjoy a brand new, exclusive storyline told in a series of regular episodic releases. Plus there's also a new tutorial area called Incarnam, which will allow you to evolve much faster than usual by meeting appropriate beasties until you reach level 15.
To begin with there will only be the enormous village (sounds more like a city) of Astrub and several outlying dungeons to explore, but Ankama plans to add the full plethora of options if the UK community flourishes, which would mean new zones, dungeons, functionalities, pets and classes.
Ankama Games believes gamers are tired of being unable to affect change and evolve the environments they play in - something it hopes to change in its freshly unveiled title, Wakfu.