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Free Realms attracts 12m, expands to China

By Alec Meer

Mon 28 Jun 2010 10:39am GMT / 6:39am EDT / 3:39am PDT
Emerging MarketsOnline

SOE's kid-friendly free-to-play MMO continues to grow 14 months on

Sony Enertainment Online's vritual world Free Realms now boasts over 12 million users, with two million of those gained during the last four months.

The free-to-play MMO, aimed at younger gamers, launched last year - pulling 10 million users within just 10 months of existence.

While Sony has yet to release information on how many of those 12 million players are subscribing or paying for extra content, it's an impressive headcount for what has been a troubled sector of late.

Sony has also entered negotiations to bring the currently Western-centric title to China, which would likely mean a further boost in users.

SOE has been in talks with Chinese game distributors Tencent, Shanda Interactive and The9, according to's interview with CEO John Smedley.

In the meantime, SOE is also working on Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures, another child-orientated F2P play title, expected to be enormously successful thanks to its use of Lucasfilm's sci-fi license.

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