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Faxion Online

The Game Archaeologist: When dead MMOs come back to life

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, The Matrix Online, Star Wars Galaxies, Hellgate: London, Tabula Rasa, Shadowbane, Mythos, Free-to-Play, All Points Bulletin, LEGO Universe, The Game Archaeologist, Faxion Online

Hellgate Tokyo
Maybe I'm alone in this, but my jaw just dropped when I came home this past week to see that Massively posted the news that Shadowbane is coming back to life. Granted, it's only going to happen in China, but still, that's pretty incredible. Shadowbane's been in the ground for three years now, and if I had to pick an MMO that deserved resurrection, this particular one would be farthest from my mind (no offense if you liked the game; it's just that there are so many others that are even more worthy).

But how can this not give you hope? Many of us have lost an MMO we loved or at least had a decked-out character populating the character select screen, and the thought of that game coming back against all odds is a goosebump-rising one. It may also smack of justice served, as some MMOs fail not because of faulty gameplay but because of mismanagement by the studio, complex legal wrangling, or bad marketing.

Today let's look at a few examples of dead MMOs that were brought back to life and what this may mean for the future of the industry. Zombie MMOs! Not, you know, MMOs with zombies.

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Faxion Online closing the doors of heaven and hell

Fantasy, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Faxion Online

Faxion Online
It may not have had a long life, but Faxion Online's certainly was memorable. The PvP-centric MMO with the unique heaven-and-hell theme has announced that it is closing its doors within the month, following rumors that the entire team had been laid off.

In a brief statement posted on the forums, players were notified of the game's closure, which will occur in a couple quick stages. This week, players will not be able to register for the game, download it, or use the store, while the servers will be powered down within 30 days from today.

"We're eternally grateful for all the support, feedback, and competition our players have provided through thick and thin," the announcement stated. "Faxion's development was a Herculean effort that some said was impossible given the timeframe and resources we had, and we're proud to have delivered a PvP-driven experience that people could enjoy. Alas, all good things must come to an end."

Faxion Online launched on May 26th this year, making this one of the quickest demises of an MMO since last year's All Points Bulletin. We at Massively wish the best for Faxion's staff in the coming months.

Rumor: Entire Faxion Online team laid off

Fantasy, MMO Industry, Free-to-Play, Rumors, Faxion Online

Faxion Online
Although the Faxion Online team has weathered layoffs before, today it looks as though none have survived a recent culling.

According to a forum post citing a former UTV employee, it's rumored that the entire team has been given their pink slips. "It is now officially dead," the unnamed source wrote. "They laid off the rest of the Faxion team, so there is no one left to do anything."

Disney recently bought out UTV Ignition, which oversees Faxion Online, and there was some speculation that the Mouse House might be making cuts in this struggling PvP MMO and elsewhere. So far this is an unconfirmed rumor, and it remains to be seen what impact this will have on Faxion going forward if true.

Free for All: The best-looking games in free-to-play

Fantasy, Screenshots, Culture, Opinion, RuneScape, Free-to-Play, Browser, Casual, Humor, Free Realms, Kids, Free for All, Dragon Nest, Family, Clone Wars Adventures, Faxion Online

Eden Eternal screenshot
Of all of the wacky arguments I have heard over the last few years, the "are video games art?" one has got to take the prize for most ridiculous. Sure, you can argue either side of anything, but to ask whether or not games are art just seems to be an attempt to assuage some boredom. We can also ask whether this life is really real, just in case we hadn't already been put to sleep. Art is what the artist says it is, period.

Art is also in the eye of the beholder. Our games are spread across a wide spectrum of styles, and many of us have very strong feelings about what we like and will not tolerate. I have seen people turn down great games simply because of the way a screenshot looked. Heck, I've done it myself. With as many games as I look at every week, occasionally it is smart (and fun) to organize them into lists. This week I am taking stock of my game list and figuring out the games that I feel look the best. Of course, you might not think so.

I decided to leave off games that are in testing or not available for the public yet. Click past the cut and see if you agree with me!

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The Perfect Ten: MMO mascots

World of Warcraft, Anarchy Online, City of Heroes, Dungeons and Dragons Online, EverQuest, Guild Wars, Warhammer Online, Tabula Rasa, Humor, Free Realms, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous, Faxion Online

Everyone knows that a good mascot can make a difference between a video game's death and rabid popularity. Mario, Master Chief, Duke Nuke 'Em, Pac-Man, Samus Aran, Pyramid Head -- each one of these mascots isn't merely an aspect of the game, they are the virtual spokesperson (or spokesthing) which represents the game itself.

Yet when you think about it, MMOs have had a tougher time producing mascots than other video game genres, partially because unlike other games, you don't play as the mascots, and partially because when you have a cast of thousands of NPCs, picking out one to elevate above the rest is a difficult job.

Difficult, that is, but not impossible. Today we're going to look at ten MMO mascots (MMOscots?) that studios have tried to promote as the face of these games, to varying degrees of success.

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Disney looking to buy out Faxion Online developer

MMO Industry, Legal, Miscellaneous, Faxion Online

Disney could become a major player in the future of Faxion Online if it goes ahead with a proposed deal to buy out the rest of UTV Software Communications' stock. Currently, Disney has a majority stake in the company -- 50.4% -- but this move would bring it up to a nice round 100%.

The Ignition Entertainment label would fall under this deal, which has already been struggling with numerous layoffs and studio closings. We recently reported that UTV Ignition had to cut a good portion of its programming, maintenance, and customer service staff as part of these problems.

Whether or not this deal will prove a boon or a hammer blow to Ignition remains to be seen. Disney has previously closed down developers Black Rock and Propaganda Games, although Mickey's parent company is looking to move in the direction of more social and casual gaming. We'll keep a close eye on this deal to see how it plays out.

Faxion Online studio hit with layoffs

Fantasy, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, Faxion Online

If you're a fan of Faxion Online, the last thing you want to hear about is members of the game's development team getting the axe. Unfortunately, that's exactly what happened today -- UTV Ignition has reportedly cut staff from the division responsible for much of the game's programming and maintenance. Exact lists have varied, with Don Choi (vice-president of UTV's online division) claiming that only a small fraction of employees were let go while employees affected have claimed that the majority of the studio has now been cut.

The affected team members have claimed that the game's customer service and support are also being cut and outsourced, while Choi maintains that the game will still be running and receive updates and improvements. Which version of events is the honest one is a bit unclear at the moment, but we offer our condolences to Faxion Online development members affected by these layoffs.

Faxion Online celebrating independence with wings

Fantasy, Events (Real-World), News Items, Free-to-Play, Faxion Online

If you're not American, the fourth of July might not mean a lot to you -- but if you are a resident of the United States, it's a holiday of some significance. Of course, it's also significant if you're an angel or a demon in Faxion Online, as it turns out even the celestial realm will be celebrating the event. After all, every time a pyrotechnic display goes off in honor of a country's culture, an angel (or fallen angel) gets its wings, which should account for just about all of the festive appendages being dispensed for the holiday.

Throughout July 4th, players who log in to Faxion Online will receive the special wings for the holiday. If you're a little too busy with cookouts and parades to get online, however, there's still hope -- the wings will be available for players through July 6th. It's not a full-fledged holiday event, but it's a chance to get a little extra something out of the long weekend, and who could say no to that?

Faxion Online announces guild war system

Fantasy, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Faxion Online

You know that one guild? The one you hate? The one whose members you've ignored, and the one that makes your teeth grind just from the mention of its name? Well, UTV True Games wants you to do something about it! An upcoming update to Faxion Online will introduce Inquisitions, which will allow guilds to declare all-out war on one another.

These guild wars can last anywhere from a single day to a fortnight, throughout which the involved guilds' members will be free to gank one another to their hearts' content. Not a guild kind of person? Don't worry! Free agents can be hired on as mercenaries if they wish to join the fray. And if the guilds don't want to fight it out to the bitter end, the system also includes ways to negotiate a surrender or declare a stalemate, all the while tracking each guild's stats on a leaderboard. So get out there, don your halos and horns, and start killing one another! After all, you're already in purgatory anyway.

Faxion Online gets its wings... and some combat overhauls

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Faxion Online

Faxion Online has only been out a short while, but the staff at UTV True Games is hard at work trying to make the game better from the start. The newest patch for the game, 1.58, has just gone live, bringing with it a variety of improvements and the addition of two brand-new wing styles. But those aren't the centerpiece of the patch, which is instead focused (pun unintended) around a rebalancing of the Focus stat and some large-scale combat changes.

The short version is that Focus was doing too much and has had some of its functions as a stat moved elsewhere. The long version goes into detail about how values will affect characters differently in the post-1.58 world. Faxion Online players can take a peek at the full list of patch notes right here, or they can just log on and start picking up some fallen angel wings post-haste.

Massively chats Heaven, Hell and destructible churches with Faxion Online

Fantasy, Interviews, MMO Industry, PvP, Free-to-Play, Interviews (Massively's), Faxion Online

It's been only a short time since Faxion Online launched, and despite some issues with performance and balance, the game is already seeing a strong, dedicated playerbase. Perhaps the PvP-centric world, along with its open, skill-based class system, has encouraged this sort of dedication. UTV Ignition Games is fully aware of the issues that are in the game now and has promised that it's on top of them. The game was created with a smaller team, time frame, and budget than most games that we talk about here on Massively, so it's important to note the growing pains.

How do you divide your time between balance and performance? What do you do, as a developer, when the loudest wheels are squeaking about one issue, while others claim they have no issues at all? These are the quandaries of the smaller developer, especially a developer running a game that obviously offers something different.

We took some time to ask Mike Madden, Director of Product Management, and Frank Lucero, Studio Head, about their concerns as well as what they see happening in the future. So click past the cut to see what they had to say!

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Snag a Faxion Online token code from Massively!

Fantasy, Contests, Free-to-Play, Massively Meta, Giveaways, Promotions, Faxion Online

Is greed your favorite vice? We hope so!

The folks at UTV True Games have given us a multi-use code that will grant 100 of our quickest-clicking readers 30 tokens apiece for use in Faxion Online, the heaven-and-hell-themed MMO that released only last month.

To redeem the code for yourself, log in to the official Faxion Online website, head straight to the store redemption page, and enter the key. Then pause a moment to roll around in your piles of free tokens. You've earned it.

Here's the mega-key: FAXIONMOGULE9P1 -- good luck!

Celebrate Faxion Online's launch with a free starter pack from Massively!

Fantasy, Contests, Free-to-Play, Giveaways, Faxion Online

Faxion Online launched yesterday, and Massively's got a little something for you to celebrate! What better way to jump into this game all about heaven, hell, and the seven deadly sins than by indulging in a little bit of greed?

We've got 15 Faxion Online starter packs to give away: 11 Basic Starter Packs and four Epic Starter Packs. Would you love to get your virtual hands on one of these? Just drop a comment here letting us know why you want to play Faxion Online, and tomorrow at noon EDT we'll draw 15 names for the starter packs.

Don't forget to check our contest rules and leave your comment before Saturday the 28th at noon EDT. Good luck!
OFFICIAL RULES

Faxion Online launch-day roundup

Fantasy, Launches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Faxion Online

Heaven or Hell! Let's rock! UTV Ignition Games' Faxion Online is going live today, pitting the celestial forces of Heaven against the diabolical ranks of Hell in a struggle for supremacy over the realm of Limbo. If you're thinking about joining this divine war, then we're here to help. We've compiled a list of the best Faxion articles Massively has to offer for your perusal in hopes of giving you a bit of a leg up on the competition before you swear allegiance to your faction of choice.

So secure your halos and horns and jump on past the cut for Massively's Faxion roundup, and should you exhaust the list, remember that there's more to be had in Massively's Faxion archives.

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Faxion Online launching May 26th

Betas, Fantasy, Launches, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Free-to-Play, Faxion Online

Judgment day is coming. No, not that one (or even that one). The fire and brimstone of your typical MMORPG launch is bearing down on the world of Faxion Online thanks to the official announcement of the title's launch date. UTV True Games has issued a press release confirming that the free-to-play fantasy game will debut on May 26th and bring its unique blend of tongue-in-cheek humor and an irreverent take on PvP to players across the globe.

Faxion's
conflict revolves around the control of war-torn Limbo, the halfway house between heaven and hell that serves as the game's central locale. Players will also fight over the seven deadly sins in a never-ending struggle between light and dark. "We are excited to launch Faxion Online, and based on our burgeoning community's feedback, we have added several new features that will only intensify the combat-driven gameplay experience," says UTV's Frank Lucero. While today's press release doesn't elaborate when it comes to the new features, we'll be bringing you more Faxion-related info as launch day draws near.

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