Welcome to the 1,112th Edition of Loading...

Loading... is the premier daily MMORPG news and commentary newsletter, only from Ten Ton Hammer.

Yesterday, Acclaim Games announced that The Chronicles of Spellborn, released just three months ago, will undergo a period of re-development and become a micro-transaction driven game. In the age-old blame game between developers and publishers, who deserves to take the fall for tCoS's failure? Some insights from our own occasional brush with the game's troubled history and speculation on what's in store for tCoS post-F2P in today's Loading... Spell(re)born.

geeked, Ten Ton Hammer's semi-weekly webcomic by Bill Murphy, puts a satirical spin on MMO news and computer culture. Check out the latest comic: geeked: "What happens in Vegas..."

The Pulse

You vote with what you view at Ten Ton Hammer, and the result is the Ten Ton Pulse (What is The Pulse?).

Here's today's top 5 Pulse results for today:

  1. World of Warcraft
  2. Champions Online
  3. Aion (UP 2)
  4. EverQuest 2
  5. Age of Conan

Biggest Movers today:

  1. Dungeons & Dragons Online (UP 4 to #6)
  2. Lineage 2 (UP 3 to #17)
  3. Warhammer Online (down 1 to #7)
Recent MMO Releases

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Loading... Daily

First, happy Canada Day to our friends up north! Your national holiday falls a weekday (lucky you), so here's hoping you're enjoying it.

Of the several MMO failures - Runescape, Tabula Rasa, and The Matrix Online, to name three - we've seen so far this year, none was worse than what came down the pipe yesterday. I've mentioned The Chronicles of Spellborn in past Loading... columns, saying that the game had good active-combat bones, a compelling storyline, and a look that was genuinely different than anything else out there today. The makers of the game, Dutch developer Spellborn Works B.V., apparently had just enough gas left in the tank to launch the game and come out with the High Houses update.

When the game met with a dismal reception in the marketplace, Spellborn Works B.V.was forced into bankruptcy. Yesterday, Acclaim Games announced that the game would be "re-developed" by Frogster Asia into a free-to-play, microtransaction-driven game. A CM from European publisher Frogster noted that: "the servers and system (subscription) will remain the way it is. There are still people available for running the daily work and systems. The F2P version is currently planned to launch in 2010."

Despite the uncertainty and gloom facing tCoS, it looks as if Acclaim Games has finally gotten their wish. In a brief interview with Ten Ton Hammer last year at Leipzig Games Conference just after the announcement that Acclaim had secured the North American rights to tCoS, Howard Marks and David Perry intimated strongly that Acclaim was in the business of publishing free-to-play games; it was a business model that his company strongly believed in. Acclaim refused to comment on what business model tCoS would take on at that time.

A "freemium" compromise was eventually reached (subscription based with 3 free-to-play zones), and after delaying four months past the European launch the North American "soft launch," preceded by a very short beta, met with a flat reception. In my opinion, between the delay, the publishing snafus, and the largely invisible NA launch, if The Chronicles of Spellborn's publishers had wanted to sabotage the game, they could hardly have done a better job, short of cancelling the game outright.

I'm not excited about tCoS's chances as a free-to-play game, at least in markets where the game has already been published. In the immortal words of NetDevil's Scott Brown: "If you launch dead, you're dead." A new and clever way to extract money from players won't change the perceptions or patina surrounding the game.

Do you like a microtransaction-driven The Chronicles of Spellborn's chances better? Did tCoS have a chance? Was I too hard on Acclaim? Have your say in the Loading... forum, or email me!

Shayalyn's Epic Thread of the Day

From our WoW: General Discussion Forum

Raiding is Ruining World of Warcraft

At least we got chicken.

posted a thought-provoking thread, complete with a poll. He suggests
that Blizzard's "obsession with raiding over content is killing World
of Warcraft."

Do you agree? Is the focus on raiding destroying
the game; or is it necessary simply because level capped players
are more interested in raiding than anything else? Talk it up in our WoW forum.

Awesome Quotes from the Epic Thread

"I will pick on the side of Raiding. If it wasn't for Raids there would be nothing to keep me playing WoW. Solo content/quests I could care less for. I enjoy the 'Massive' part of an MMO...and Raiding is where its at."

- Trun

Have you spotted an Epic Thread on our forums? Tell us!

4 new MMOG hand-crafted articles today! 4 in July! 769 in 2009!

New MMOG Articles At Ten Ton Hammer Today

Exclusive Articles:

  • Ten Ton Hammer E3 2009 Awards
    E3 Awards are a time-honored tradition, and while we're proud to present our picks for the best of the best at this year's event (and it was by no means an easy set of choices to make), we've altered our categories a bit to coincide with the changes we've seen in the MMORPG market. So, without further ado, check out Ten Ton Hammer's E3 2009 awards!
  • Aion Archetype Preview - The Warrior
    This week Ten Ton Hammer takes a look at the warrior archetype, Aion's heavy tank class. If you enjoy standing toe to toe with your enemies and taking just as many hits to the face as you give this archetype may be just what you're looking for. The warrior is all about heavy armor, combos, and melee. During Aion's second beta weekend, Martuk got the chance to take a look at this class and provide some colorful commentary on how he felt about the experience.
  • World of Warcraft 3.2 Druid Class Changes Analyzed
    The winds of change are blowing again in the World of Warcraft! Join Medawky as he explores what these changes could mean to the Druids of Azeroth.
  • World of Warcraft Protection Warrior Leveling Gear
    As you're leveling your protection warrior in for tanking, you might not be aware of some loot that can be around the corner to help your performance. Metas goes in to share some of them with you.

Hot Content - Or, what I took a fancy to:

  1. Champions Online Power Set Interview – Telekinesis, Force, and Telepathy
  2. Age of Conan Game Update 5 Funcom Interview
  3. Ten Ton Hammer E3 2009 Awards
  4. EVE Online: Sins of a Solar Spymaster #17: The Archive of Tears
  5. Aion Archetype Preview - The Warrior
  6. Ultimate Soccer Boss Prize Pack Giveaway
  7. WonderKing Beta Key Giveaway
  8. geeked: Seriously, Brad?
  9. Jumpgate Evolution Exclusive Interview - Lore and History
  10. EverQuest 2 Monument and Might GU#52 Overview

Thanks for visiting the Ten Ton Hammer network!

-Jeff "Ethec" Woleslagle and the Ten Ton Hammer team

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our The Chronicles of Spellborn Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Jeff joined the Ten Ton Hammer team in 2004 covering EverQuest II, and he's had his hands on just about every PC online and multiplayer game he could since.