Out This Week - 04/02/2011

Earthrise! Mario! Arcana! Nail'd!

It's a relatively low-key week for shops, if you deal in blockbusters - but there are minor morsels succulent enough to be digitally devoured.

MMOs' wild frontier

Think it takes a publishing sugar-daddy and big budget to make an MMO? Think again.

The MMO market is a strange place: a land of boundless opportunity, or at least perceived to be, going by the tales of hardy adventurers into the unknown like EverQuest and EVE Online and, of course, the great explorer World of Warcraft, who ventured deep in-country and found riches beyond imagining.


Masthead Studios boss Atanas Atanasov barks for the underdog.

Bulgarian developer Masthead Studios considers its PC MMO Earthrise to be different. The sci-fi setting is not space-based but rather post-apocalyptic, and there are no levels or pre-determined classes, but a free-form skill system. Quests and story have also been pushed to one side; more than half of the world will be given over to open player-versus-player combat and fierce, strategic wars for territory and resources. Being different makes all the difference - at least, that's what Masthead chief Atanas Atanasov told us when we sat down for a chat with him recently.

Beta registration opens for Earthrise

Beta registration opens for Earthrise

Bulgarian sci-fi MMO inches toward launch.

Bulgarian developer Masthead Studios has opened registration for the beta test of its science-fiction MMO, Earthrise.

Announced this time last year, Earthrise is set in a post-apocalyptic future dystopia where players choose to side either with an oppressive government regime or the resistance fighters that struggle against it.

The game blends RPG combat and character progression with the look and feel of a third-person shooter, much as the doomed Tabula Rasa did, and as Stargate Worlds promises to do.

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