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E3 2009: CrimeCraft producer says game is the next step for Call of Duty, Halo players

Interviews, New Titles, Crime, Events (Massively's Coverage), CrimeCraft

All Points Bulletin wasn't the only crime-themed MMO I saw at E3 last week. I also got to check out Vogster Entertainment's CrimeCraft. Just before the conference, the developer announced an August 25 release date, a monthly subscription as their business model and an exclusive deal with Best Buy.

On the floor, associate producer Aaron Krasnov laid down what's new in the game, how it's different from APB, the help he got from former Warhammer Online developers and how CrimeCraft is a natural progression for players of Halo and Call of Duty.

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CrimeCraft to be sold exclusively for North America at Best Buy

Business Models, Launches, MMO Industry, News Items, Crime, MMOFPS, CrimeCraft

One of the titles gamers can look forward to this summer is CrimeCraft, a hybrid of a shooter and urban MMO from Vogster Entertainment, to be published by THQ Inc. in August. Vogster and THQ have taken a somewhat surprising step towards distribution of CrimeCraft in North America; the title will be sold exclusively at Best Buy, either in-store or online.

The exclusivity of this deal may bring some perks to CrimeCraft players. The official release states: "Consumers who purchase CrimeCraft at Best Buy will receive two months of free play time and a number of exclusive in-game items, including two in-game t-shirts from acclaimed real-world fashion labels and a combat backpack for their avatar. Gamers will also receive a virtual Best Buy discount card that allows them to purchase in-game items at a reduced cost. Those gamers pre-ordering CrimeCraft via Best Buy retail stores or online at www.bestbuy.com, will additionally receive virtual in-game shoes from Ecko Unltd., created by fashion icon Marc Ecko, access to play the pre-release version of the game during beta, and three days' head start at the game's launch."

Pre-orders begin on May 31st (online) or on June 7th (in stores). CrimeCraft is still slated for an August 25th launch.

Gallery: CrimeCraft

CrimeCraft launch date set for August 25

Launches, MMO Industry, PvP, Crime, MMOFPS, CrimeCraft

CrimeCraft from Vogster Entertainment bills itself as a 'persistent world next-gen shooter' (aka PWNS), set in a near-future city where society has decayed. The city has become a savage place and players will need to band together in gangs in order to survive, which could prove to be a hit with gamers into urban crime titles. We announced earlier in the week that CrimeCraft has entered closed beta but beyond our coverage of the title from GDC 2009 we hadn't received a firm release date.

The wait is over now though; Vogster Entertainment has announced that CrimeCraft will launch on August 25th, meaning it may well be the first of the shooter/MMO hybrid games to go live.

Gallery: CrimeCraft

CrimeCraft enters closed beta

Betas, MMO Industry, New Titles, Crime, MMOFPS, CrimeCraft

Massively has been looking at the upcoming shooter/MMO hybrids that are on the way, namely Global Agenda, Huxley: The Dystopia, and Fallen Earth. But there will soon be another 'MMOFPS' option for gamers with the first such title to release for the urban crime genre: CrimeCraft, in development at Vogster Entertainment.

CrimeCraft entered closed beta this week and Vogster is, of course, very serious about the NDA. 'What happens in CrimeCraft stays in CrimeCraft'; they've said they'll unceremoniously revoke beta access for players who spill details of the game. But those lucky people who were accepted have a closed beta forum available to them as of today, where they can talk about the game to their heart's content without getting themselves banhammered from the streets of CrimeCraft. We were fortunate enough to speak with Vogster Entertainment about the game recently at GDC 2009, but we're hoping there will be more news about the title in the coming months. We'll be sure to keep our readers informed when we hear more about this game.

Are you excited about urban crime titles like CrimeCraft and All Points Bulletin making their way into the MMO space?

GDC09: Our look at CrimeCraft

Screenshots, Video, Interviews, New Titles, Previews, Massively Meta, Crime, Interviews (Massively's), Hands-On (Massively's), Events (Massively's Coverage), CrimeCraft

Vogster and CrimeCraft have enjoyed a period of calm before the storm during their development cycle, but at this year's Game Developers Conference, they were out in full force showing off their upcoming crime MMO. You may already know Vogster as the creator of a few games on other platforms, but they're actually a fairly large studio with offices in New Jersey, Chicago, Moscow and Kiev, Ukraine. During GDC, we were able to sit down with Casey Dickinson, Senior Marketing Manager, and Matt McEnerney, Executive Producer, for an in-depth look at what this game has to offer.

So what is CrimeCraft exactly? Well, in a nutshell, it could be considered more of a shooter wrapped in an MMO shell powered by the Unreal 3 engine. Or as they describe it, a Persistent World Next-gen Shooter (PWNS... get it). They recognize the fact that first and foremost, this game is a shooter. This is evident in the gameplay style and general feel of the game. So where exactly does the MMO part come in? That's precisely what we plan to uncover! Keep reading to find out more from our interview and demo of CrimeCraft.

Gallery: CrimeCraft

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CrimeCraft trailer gives a brief glimpse into the urban crime MMO

Video, New Titles, Crime, CrimeCraft

The massively multiplayer online game industry will soon be getting an influx of space-based science fiction titles as well as earthbound post-apocalytic MMOs. Another new realm that is going to be explored by game developers like Vogster Entertainment is the urban crime MMO. Their debut massively multiplayer title will be CrimeCraft. We don't have many details on the game beyond the trailer they released and the info they've published so far on their site, but we do know that it's a persistent world 'next-gen' shooter built on the Unreal 3 engine.

We've found another glimpse into what Vogster has been up to, though. IGN Videos has a (very) brief trailer showing the CrimeCraft characters with narration explaining obtaining and modifying your weapons. We weren't inspired enough by the trailer to commit crimes of our own by stealing and embedding it for you here, so you'll have to head over to IGN to check out the video footage. We're hoping to speak with Vogster at GDC this week and find out more about this title, so keep your eyes open for more on this urban crime MMO.

CrimeCraft impressions and screenshots

Betas, Game Mechanics, New Titles, Crafting, Hands-On, Crime, CrimeCraft

Despite its unfortunate name, Vogster's CrimeCraft seems to be a promising contender in the crop of games launching in 2009, according to a recent review at Gamespy. First announced earlier last year, CrimeCraft boasts what they call a "persistent-world next-gen shooter", or PWNS for short. Can an MMO shooter work? Ask Planetside, Tabula Rasa and Huxley (if he ever shows up).

Unnecessary snark aside, the screenshots in this review article look gorgeous. The gameplay seems promising, with PvE, deathmatch PvP and a crafting system that is aimed at using some real sponsorship promotion (think CoH ads, but on clothes). Yet the one part that raised our collective eyebrows was the mention of a persistent world, yet it is said to include only persistent towns, much like Guild Wars and Diablo II. Granted the game isn't finished and is still in a closed beta at this point, but Vogster's senior marketing manager Casey Dickinson mentioned that they're thinking of ways to "liven up" the game's persistent lobbies.

MMOGology: Grand Theft MMO

New Titles, Opinion, MMOGology, Crime, Rumors, CrimeCraft

On Tuesday, April 29th, 2008 Rockstar Games released Grand Theft Auto IV (GTA IV), one of the most anticipated games of 2008. Based on early reviews (all of which have been unanimously positive) it looks like the latest installment in the series has exceeded expectations. Everything about GTA IV appears to have been kicked up a notch. The graphics are more realistic, the gameplay has been refined and tightened, and the characters and storyline have more depth. While this type of evolution is to be expected, one of the most interesting new features about GTA IV is that you can play it online. Unlike previous versions of the Grand Theft Auto series, this one will allow Xbox 360 and PS3 owners the ability to play with up to sixteen friends online. While sixteen players doesn't exactly qualify as "massively multiplayer", it's a step in the right direction for those of us eagerly anticipating a GTA-style MMO.

It seems like a natural progression for Rockstar to bring their venerable series to the massively multiplayer arena. After all, you've got a built in, recognizable franchise name based around the most classic multiplayer concept known to man – cops and robbers. I think every child has played a real life version of this game at some point in their lives (although perhaps more G rated). It's one of those universal themes that everyone instantly "gets", and yet, no MMO developer has cashed in on the concept. The time seems ripe for Rockstar to join Blizzard in the money printing business.

So how realistic is it that Rockstar might be producing a Grand Theft Auto MMO? Is such a game already in development? I did a little digging and I'll show you what I've been able to find thus far after the break. I'll also fill you in on a few MMOs with similar concepts that you might be able to play as early as this time next year.

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Can a crime MMO actually work?

New Titles, Opinion, All Points Bulletin, Crime, CrimeCraft

A crime MMO might seem like a great idea, riding on the coattails of such gaming successes as the GTA series and Max Payne, but what about in the MMO space? Would killing the mafia boss or jumping your car over a moving train be quite as fun and translate as well if it were done as an online multiplayer experience? Well, so far we have two shots at it (pun intended): All Points Bulletin and the recently-announced CrimeCraft. Will these games, and the possible onslaught of copycat games be able to recreate the success of their single-player ancestors?

In a recent article at MMOcrunch, they take a look at these possibilities and break down the genre according to what most interests us. They make a very good point about how most of the fun in these games is usually the destructive environments and generally screwing with the AI by blocking the streets with burned-out cars and downed telephone poles. This would not work quite as well in an MMO setting, unless someone at Realtime Worlds or Vogster Entertainment can prove us wrong.

Vogster Entertainment introduces CrimeCraft

New Titles, Crime, MMOFPS, CrimeCraft

CrimeCraft concept artCrimeCraft, a "gritty, crime drama MMO", has just been announced by Vogster Entertainment for your enjoyment. Hopefully no company will have an objection to the name.

Vogster has yet to release in-depth information for the game, but their website points to a third-person shooter MMO that pushes cooperation via a fleshed out economy and territory control. They've already licensed out the Unreal Engine for the game, so we can expect some fun with physics and a polished graphics system.

Vogster has announced that CrimeCraft will include five classes and feature an advanced character customization system, as well as allow players to evolve their characters through special fighting skills. Gangs will be able to claim control of territory and defend their holds from rival gangs, all while running from the police.

Right now though, the game looks to be a version of All Points Bulletin except minus the police and with alot more dystopia. The game is set in a city where crime controls the streets and the cops can do little more than shrug and bunker down in specially sectioned off areas. Sounds to this blogger like someone needs to call out the tanks.

We'll be following CrimeCraft and giving you more information as it's released. Until then, enjoy their teaser site.

[Via TenTonHammer]

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