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Free Realms to debut on PSN this month

Free-to-play massively multiplayer online game prepares for home console launch

Sony Online Entertainment's family friendly virtual world Free Realms is to launch on the PlayStation Network on March 29, becoming the first such title on any console.

Free Realms already has almost 17 million registered players, after launching on the PC in 2009 and the Mac in 2010. The game, which prides itself on its family friendly experience, was recently awarded the 2010 Creative Toy Award Seal of Excellence by the American Creative Child Magazine.

The PlayStation 3 version will feature familiar activities, mini-games and adventures from the PC version, but with a streamlined user interface. The game will be available as a download from the PlayStation Store and allow players to use voice chat for battles and socialising.

The March 29 release date is for North America, with no European date yet confirmed.

"Free Realms continues to break new ground in the gaming industry - it will be the first free-to-play MMO to hit any console, the first family-friendly MMO to hit any console, and the second MMO, after our recent release of DC Universe Online, to hit the PlayStation 3 to date," said John Smedley, president of Sony Online Entertainment.

"As the only online games publisher that creates accessible and diverse gameplay experiences for the full spectrum of gamers, we are committed to burgeoning innovation and growing the MMO genre by leaps and bounds, bringing in players of all ages."