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Kids

The Stream Team: Leaping into LEGO Minifigures Online's open beta

Betas, Video, New Titles, Kids, Family, Livestream, The Stream Team

Massively's MJ is beyond excited to delve into the wonderful world of LEGOs in the new LEGO Minifigures Online. That's right, she gets to live out her LEGO fantasies as an adorable little figurine who is out for adventure. The hardest part may be choosing what to play: Will she be a Librarian, a Mermaid, a Trendsetter, or a Forest Maiden? Perhaps she'll bust out of her female mold and be a Skydiver, a Cyclops, or even a Grandpa. Join us live at 7:00 p.m. for a look at all the choices and MJ's first moments in the game's newly opened beta.

Game: LEGO Minifigures Online
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Thursday, June 19th, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Super Hero Squad Online brings out achievements

Super-hero, Patches, Previews, Free-to-Play, Kids, Family

SHSO
The achievements are coming! Hear ye, hear he! The achievements are coming!

Sorry, we're trying a new type of news dispersal technique at Massively that involves riding around on horses and shouting at townfolk. In any case, Super Hero Squad Online is prepping a "doozy" of an update for the game, and one of the big additions that will be in it is an achievement system. According to the team, achievements "range from simple things like destroying a Troublebot to silly things like farting in the Asgard throne room to really hard things like getting an Adamantium score 1,000 times."

There will be over 5,000 achievements added to the game including destiny achievement sets that earn special rewards.

Assemble to try the LEGO Minifigures Online open beta

Betas, News Items, Free-to-Play, Mobile, Kids, Family, Miscellaneous

Brick by brick.
If you miss being able to play with LEGO bricks in an online environment, you'll be happy to know that LEGO Minifigures Online has just entered open beta. The last time a LEGO-themed game came out, it didn't turn out so well, but the new game is a very different experience, allowing players to take control of the many LEGO minifigures currently available to adventure in a variety of LEGO-themed environs.

Currently, the beta test is available only for Windows computers in English, with other localizations and a tablet client slated for release during the test process. Open beta will also see the refinement of game mechanics and the free-to-play business model, so nothing that's in the game right now is set in stone. If you've been feeling the loss of brick-based gameplay, now might be the time to jump in and start playing for yourself.

[Source: Funcom press release]

New LEGO Minifigures Online vid features Medieval World

Fantasy, Video, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Free-to-Play, Kids, Family

LEGO MFO
Funcom's latest LEGO Minifigures Online video reveals the game's Medieval World. Players of the "brickalicious" free-to-play title will need to capture the Medieval World's "wicked Elementius the Pieromancer (wanted for pie-throwing) while facing pointy-teethed monstrosities such as trolls, ogres, and dragons."

Click past the cut to have a look!

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See MapleStory 2's bubbly 3-D in action

Betas, Fantasy, Trailers, Video, MapleStory, New Titles, Free-to-Play, Kids, Family

MapleStory 2
"Oh yeah," you think, looking at the headline. "They are working on a MapleStory 2. I forgot about that!"

That's right, buckaroos: Nexon is charging ahead with a sequel (well, technically a prequel) to the colorful 2-D MMO, and today the publisher has a gameplay trailer to prove it. In the trailer, you can see the transition to chunky 3-D graphics as characters boogie, battle, and be Little Bo Peep to a flock of sheep.

MapleStory 2 will be throwing a "Supporter's Day" for select fans in late June and should enter Korean closed beta later this year. We've got the new trailer for you after the break.

[Source: Nexon press release]

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Pirate101's spring 2014 update is live

Fantasy, Video, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, Kids, Family, Pirate101

Pirate101
Pirate101's spring 2014 update is now live. The patch has added new free-to-play areas, advanced pets, and advanced companions to the game. KingsIsle has published a lengthy list of update notes, and you'll probably also want to take a(nother) look at the update trailer. We've embedded it for you after the break.

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Funcom's LEGO Minifigures Online open beta coming in June

Betas, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Free-to-Play, Mobile, Kids

LEGO Minifigures Online pirates
Funcom's LEGO Minifigures Online has been in closed beta for several months, but now the company says its free-to-play PC, iOS, and Android title will go into open beta this June.

"This is an invaluable opportunity to collect feedback directly from players," says executive producer Lawrence Poe. "We'll be using that feedback over the summer to help us focus our efforts where they are most needed and deliver the best possible experience when we launch in the fall."

Funcom secures $1.6 million in additional equity

Business Models, MMO Industry, News Items, Casual, Kids

Funcom logo
Funcom's website has published news of a move that gives the firm $1.6 million of additional equity as it prepares to launch LEGO Minifigures Online.

In May of 2012, Funcom reached an agreement with US fund manager Yorkville Advisors and is now partially exercising the resulting option. "We are very pleased to have increased the company's financial flexibility with funds that will be used in preparing for the launch of LEGO Minifigures Online," explained CEO Ole Schreiner explained in a prepared statement. "We have several times expressed a need for additional equity and have considered different alternatives to secure this. This facility has been available to us since 2012, but the timing has not been right before."

WildStar dev donates LEGO sculpture to Child's Play charity

Fantasy, Video, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, Kids, WildStar

At PAX East 2014
WildStar developer Carbine Studios made a special donation at PAX East this year that included a $10,000 check and a 50,000-piece LEGO Rocket House that will be auctioned off for the Child's Play charity.

The rocket house LEGO sculpture stands three feet tall and four feet long and was created by LEGO artist Mariann Asanuma specifically for the charity. The sculpture will be auctioned off at the annual Child's Play Dinner later this year with all proceeds going towards partner hospitals and facilities.

"We wanted to not only find a fun way to bring a small piece of WildStar to life, but also see the efforts go to a good cause," said Mona Hamilton, vice president of brands, Carbine Studios. "Child's Play is a wonderful charity doing really great things with the gaming industry and we're looking forward to seeing the result of the auction later this year. It was also important for us to say thanks by giving back to the Boston community; they've been great to us over the years at PAX East."

You can check out a video of the LEGO sculpture being assembled just after the jump below.

[Source: Carbine press release]

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Super Hero Squad Online commemorates its third birthday

Super-hero, Trailers, Video, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Casual, Kids, Family, Anniversaries

SHSO
Who says kids MMOs are dead? Not Super Hero Squad Online! The adorable chibi-superhero MMO turns three this week, boasting seven million registrations since launch, 144 different playable heroes, playable villains, and even a new crafting system.

The celebratory game additions and perks include new characters (Spider-Ham, Captain America Stealth, Falcon EXO-7, and Winter Solider), new world event heroes, hero sales, Facebook giveaways, a 20%-off sub sale through April, and a birthday card contest.

Enjoy the festivities in the brand-new trailer below.

[Source: Gazillion press release]

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The Daily Grind: Are kids MMOs in danger of dying out?

Culture, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Kids, Family

Pirate101
As a parent of toddlers, I have often wondered what games I will be playing with them when they get old enough to want to dive into MMOs (if they ever want to, that is). Considering that during this past year we've seen several kid-friendly titles shut down, I'm worried that there might not be any left in a few years.

Recall that Clone Wars Adventures, Free Realms, Pirates of the Caribbean Online, and Toontown Online have been terminated in the past 12 months and answer me this: Are kids MMOs in danger of dying out? I can take heart that KingsIsle is still going strong and that LEGO Minifigures Online is in development, but I don't see a lot of interest in studios making MMOs for the much younger set. What do you think?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

The Inochi Project offers adorable robot-animals in exchange for Kickstarter money

Sci-Fi, Galleries, Screenshots, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Game Mechanics, New Titles, News Items, Kids, Family, Crowdfunding

Inochi
If you've got some money burning a hole in your pocket and a love for all things robot and cute, then Forwardfor's Inochi Project Kickstarter campaign would like to have a chat with you.

Launching today, the campaign seeks £30,000 (about $50,000 US) to help accelerate further development on the MMO. The game will allow players to create their own robot animals (ani-mechs), customize homes, participate in battle arenas, explore cities, and fight against the rust plague that is turning ani-mechs into rust-covered villains.

Stretch goals climb upward to £350,000 (about $586,000 US), but pledges begin at $1.60 US. If you want to play the beta, $16 is your buy-in. We've got the trailer after the cut!

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Today's your last chance to play Free Realms and Clone Wars Adventures

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, Browser, Casual, Free Realms, Kids, Clone Wars Adventures, Sunsets

Clone Wars Adventures main cast
Per SOE's announcement last January, today is your final opportunity to play its Free Realms and Clone Wars Adventures MMOs. If you can't play, be sure to join Massively's Larry Everett for a farewell stream later tonight.

The best of Massively's MMO Family column

MMO Industry, Massively Meta, Casual, Kids, MMO Family, Family, Miscellaneous

Pirate101
While young children aren't Massively's target demographic, we frequently encounter MMOs that appeal to kids as well as MMO gamers with kids. That's why we ran the MMO Family column for over four years. Helmed first by Lisa Poisso and then Karen Bryan, the column reviewed kid-friendly games and offered advice and insight on how to survive as the parent of budding MMO gamers.

Enjoy our picks for the very best of their collected work in MMO Family.

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LEGO Minifigures Online previews a world of pirates

Betas, Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Previews, News Items, Kids, Family

I apologize for the opening except not.
It's a world of peg-legs and hooks for hands, it's a world of parrots and coastal lands. It's a giant pastiche on the wide-open seas, it's a pirate world after all. Yes, that's the obvious takeaway from the newest preview from LEGO Minifigures Online, showing off the game's nautical land of cutthroats and cutlasses for all to see. And as you might expect, it's playing the routine straight to the hilt.

So what can you expect from the game's Pirate World? If you said "pirate ghosts, sea creatures, and gold," you've seen a movie within the last decade and you are entirely right. Still, it looks to be exactly the sort of broad-strokes swashbuckling that can provide plenty of fun. So if you're eager to slap on an eyepatch and say "arr" more than entirely necessary, hop on past the break to check out the full video.

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