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Free Realms hits 20 million registered users

SOE claims success of online world testament to lure of free-to-play

Sony Online Entertainment's free-to-play online world Free Realms now has 20 million registered users.

"This benchmark is an honour and a true testament of SOE's success with free-to-play games," said SOE president John Smedley in a statement.

"Free Realms delivers a truly captivating, quality gameplay experience that keeps our community engaged and continues to attract new players every day."

Free Realms launched in May 2009, and passed 12 million registered users in April the following year.

In an interview with earlier this year, Smedley stated his belief that the Free Realms community could eventually grow to 100 million.

Sony converted its subscription-based MMO DC Universe Online to free-to-play this month. In an editorial for, published the day the decision was announced, Smedley predicted that Star Wars: The Old Republic would be the last "large scale" MMO to use the subscription model.

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Matthew Handrahan


Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.