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The Agency still has a pulse, fact sheet confirms

New Titles, The Agency, Consoles, Spy

Sony Online Entertainment could have a PC and console hit on their hands if their spies and mercenaries MMO The Agency lives up to expectations. The Agency has fallen off of the media radar of late, but development is moving ahead on the title.The last word we've received on when we'll be able to get our hands on the game is that The Agency will be released in 2010. Massively has some previous coverage of The Agency but we're always looking out for more info, and that's what we found today.

While we've touched upon some of this information in the past, SOE has released a brief fact sheet that explains the concepts behind The Agency and its "modern setting of bullets, bomb blasts, and betrayal." We're still hoping that there will be more info announced about the game at the E3 Expo in June, but until SOE declassifies their intel, you can check out The Agency fact sheet below the cut:

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Global Agenda answer center updated

Sci-Fi, New Titles, Spy, Global Agenda

Hi-Rez Studios have updated their answer center for their upcoming MMO, Global Agenda, which enters beta later this year. The game, which they are describing as spy-fi, is set on a post world war three earth that is ruled by an oppressive global government and promises to feature 3rd person fast-paced combat.

Although most of the information has been previously available, the updated site does contain useful information such as reiterating that the game will be subscription based, contains PvE content as well as PvP and will rely heavily on instances in order to provide battles that will allow 10 players on each side. Perhaps most importantly, the site confirms that the game does not feature elves.

Global Agenda fiction: The Utopian

Sci-Fi, New Titles, Spy, Global Agenda

Global Agenda developers, Hi-Rez Studios, has released some fiction for their upcoming game. Global Agenda is a subscription based action MMO that uses the Unreal 3 engine and is currently slated for release at the end of the year, with a beta in Q2 this year. The game is set in the 22nd century and features fast paced PvP action in a world that has been devastated by the third world war and is now governed by a single world order, the Commonwealth.

The story chronicles Steven, who is a 17 year old growing up in Commonwealth Prime. This is a city where everybody is controlled down to the level of having a prescribed routine that they must stick to perfectly and without question. Steven tries to break this routine in little ways whenever he can but his actions, however, have consequences.

You can read the story over at MMORPG.com, and don't forget to check out our previous coverage of Global Agenda.

Global Agenda announces fan video contest

Sci-Fi, Video, Contests, Events (Real-World), New Titles, Machinima, Spy, Global Agenda

As Hi-Rez Studios prepares for Global Agenda's launch later this year, they've recently announced a video contest where fans can create their own promotional videos and win valuable prizes. This contest, which runs from now until May 10th, is supplemented by their Fan Video Kit, providing would-be directors with all the assets they'd need to create the best promotional video.

This contest will be done in conjunction with Hi-Rez Studios' YouTube channel, as all video submissions must be on YouTube. Winners will be judged on several different categories, including Most Humorous, Best Representation of the Game, Best 30-second Commercial, Best Produced and Most Viral. The "Overall Best" winner will receive a $200 Amazon gift certificate, and all winners will receive a special mention on the website and an upcoming press release. If you think you've got what it takes to make the best Global Agenda promotional video, head on over to their forums to read the complete rules. Also be sure to watch the team's promotional video -- for this promotional video contest -- just after the cut below.

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Video interview tells us more about Global Agenda's storyline

Sci-Fi, Video, Interviews, MMO Industry, New Titles, Previews, PvP, PvE, Spy, Global Agenda

When you think of Global Agenda, what do you think? Action-packed PvP, right? While that's a huge part of this upcoming game from Hi-Rez Studios, there is a story side that we don't hear much about. In the latest Game Trailers video from GDC, they interview Global Agenda's Executive Producer, Todd Harris, about more of the storyline and PvE aspects of the game. All the while, we get treated to some amazing in-game combat footage, showing off the updated look and animations in the game as it approaches its beta period.

In this video we learn about the primary entity in the game, known as the Commonwealth. Your character begins as a fugitive from the Commonwealth who escapes to join player-run agencies, where the real action begins. From here, these agencies (or guilds, if you will) fight for control over the scarce land and resources left after World War 3 wiped the slate clean. Wanna find out more? Check out the entire video interview embedded after the cut below.

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GDC09: Catching up with Global Agenda

Sci-Fi, Screenshots, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, Massively Meta, Hands-On, Spy, Global Agenda, Interviews (Massively's), Hands-On (Massively's), Events (Massively's Coverage)

Last year, we had the opportunity to visit Hi-Rez Studios to get one of the first press hands-on looks at Global Agenda. While the game is still in the alpha test now, closed beta is about to begin soon. In order to gear up for these next stages of development, Hi-Rez brought Global Agenda to the GDC audience to try it out for themselves. This is actually the first public hands-on of the game at GDC, so it was a key moment for the team.

So what has changed since our tour in October? Well, quite a bit, actually. This public showing brings out some exciting new developments from the Hi-Rez team, including brand new upgraded face customization and an improved tutorial. In addition, the AI, UI and graphics have all experienced quite a bit of tightening and polishing. With Hi-Rez implementing their own in-house motion capture studio, the character animation is among some of the best you'll see in an MMO. What hasn't changed? Well, I still get my butt kicked in the game quite frequently. But I love a good challenge.

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Massively interviews Wild Bill Stealey on his military MMO project

Historical, Sci-Fi, Interviews, MMO Industry, PvP, War, Massively Meta, Spy, Interviews (Massively's)

You may have heard the recent news concerning MicroProse co-founder J.W. "Wild Bill" Stealey diving into the MMO business. You may have heard that he plans to get together with some of his old crew, like Fred Schmidt and Jim Bull, to make an action-based military MMO. Yet, did you know that this is simply the tip of the iceberg when to comes to what Wild Bill and his team have in store for us?

To find out more information on this newly announced project, we jumped at the chance to sit down with Wild Bill and get some more intel on his classified operation. If you were ever a big fan of the MicroProse age of military simulation games, or you're just tired of the same old fantasy MMOs, this interview may get your excitement levels up. Wild Bill Stealey has a passion for what he knows best, and it's evident in this interview. Could a massive, persistent, military PvP world be exactly what you've been waiting for? Follow along below for more on what the folks at Thriller New Media have in store for the MMO world.

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Ex-MicroProse founder creates military-focused MMO studio

MMO Industry, War, Spy, MMOFPS

As more companies develop for the non-fantasy MMO genre, Thriller Publishing of Austin, TX recently announced the formation of Thriller New Media, which will focus on the creation and operation of MMOs, books, movies and other popular entertainment media. Not only do they plan to launch services within the next year or so, but they also plan to create their own social networking platform for all Thriller content. It is said that this content will focus on "military and espionage-themed topics".

What makes this company so special though is the fact that it is created by such big names as J.W. "Wild Bill" Stealey, of MicroProse fame. In addition, the company's President and CEO is Fred Schmidt, who you may recognize from MicroProse, Origin and NCsoft. "We have a number of great game products under evaluation, some already under option agreements, and are looking for more," says Schmidt. "At the same time, we are developing our own social networking platform through which all Thriller content, and much more, will be presented. Look for specific announcements to be made later this year."

Global Agenda announces new fansite kit and beta contest

Betas, Sci-Fi, Contests, Culture, Forums, MMO Industry, New Titles, Spy, Global Agenda

Are you eagerly awaiting Hi-Rez Studios' new spy-fi MMO Global Agenda? Are you so excited by the game that you'd create a fansite about it? Well, let Hi-Rez help you out a bit with a newly announced fansite kit and beta key contest. Simply download their fansite kit, promote it and enter their fansite contest for a chance to win tons of exciting prizes.

The top three sites will be chosen and announced on May 8th, 2009. These sites will win everything from exclusive Global Agenda artwork for their site, beta keys for the site's members, links to the fansite from the official GA site and credit towards the GA T-shirt and merchandise shop. This seems like a fantastic opportunity to give yourself and your fansite community a head start into this popular new MMO which is slated for release later this year.

Global Agenda gears up for closed beta with Internap technology

Betas, Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, New Titles, Spy, Global Agenda

As the Global Agenda team at Hi-Rez Studios gears up for their closed beta in Q2 of this year, they've made the announcement that their server technology will be in good hands. Internap Network Services Corp will be providing the "breakthrough experience" for Global Agenda with their Performance IP network and Managed Server hosting services.

"Given our game's fast pace and huge scale, we needed a solution that offers the lowest network latency possible, while giving us great flexibility in managing spikes in demand," said Stewart Chisam, vice president of game operations at Hi-Rez Studios. "The combination of Performance IP and Managed Server from Internap solves that problem for us and offers a scalable, secure and reliable technology platform to support the players of Global Agenda. Just a few years ago, network and server overhead precluded the development of this type of game. That has all changed. Global Agenda is a breakthrough game from both a technology perspective and a gameplay perspective, and we are very excited to bring it to market using Internap's infrastructure services."

Global Agenda releases new batch of screenshots

Betas, Sci-Fi, Screenshots, New Titles, Spy, Global Agenda

The good people at Hi-Rez Studios continue to update us eager fans with more screenshots for their upcoming spy-fi MMO Global Agenda. At the end of every week we get a new batch of in-game imagery, and the last few have been exclusives courtesy of MMORPG.com. In them, we see some gorgeous action shots of characters both dishing out and patching up the battle damage.

Global Agenda is set to unleash a beta within Q2 of this year, and the studio is naming a launch window towards the end of the year. You can head on over to their website to sign yourself up for a chance at the closed beta, and be one of the first to experience the game first-hand.

Global Agenda announces closed beta signups and target launch date

Betas, Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, New Titles, Spy, Global Agenda

Hi-Rez Studios has announced today that their spy-fi MMO Global Agenda will be entering closed beta in the second quarter of 2009. On top of that, the press release states that the game itself is slated for release in late 2009. This is certainly exciting news for those fans who have been following the game since they left stealth mode just last year.

"Our alpha testing has gone very well - in terms of game stability and, most importantly, very positive feedback from an active alpha community," said Todd Harris, Executive Producer of Hi-Rez Studios. "Based on these results we are excited about aggressively growing the Global Agenda player community in Beta." Be sure to check out the entire press release, linked below, for more information on what will be included in the closed beta, and how you can get your hands on an application.

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Global Agenda interview hints at upcoming beta

Betas, Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, Interviews, MMO Industry, Spy, Global Agenda

Here at Massively, we've been strong supporters of the upcoming action-based MMO Global Agenda from Hi-Rez Studios for a while now. As we get more updates about the game, and more fans converge around its development, we're excited to see the buzz grow. In a recent interview at WarCry, Global Agenda's Associate Producer Michal Adam gives us the goods on the new "spy-fi" MMO.

Most of this interview deals with the whats, whys and hows of the game, as Adam explains the general premise of Global Agenda. Of interest to those eagerly awaiting the game though, this caught our eye: "We've actually been testing the game internally for over a year. This summer (June 2008) we launched a closed alpha test program that currently has a community of over 1,000 players. We will evaluate our testing status next quarter but I'd say we're 'very near' a closed beta."

Take a look at the complete WarCry interview, and don't forget to peruse our own extensive ongoing coverage of Hi-Rez Studio's Global Agenda.

New Global Agenda concept art released

Sci-Fi, Galleries, MMO Industry, New Titles, Spy, Global Agenda

Hi-Rez Studios has just released their fourth set of concept art images for their upcoming spy-fi MMO Global Agenda. In these shots, we see more of the variety we've come to appreciate from this upcoming game. There's an ominous urban environment entitled Commonwealth Prime, a gorgeous desert backdrop to the Mercenary Compound and the electrifying energy of the Atmospheric Particle Forge.

If you're getting as excited for Global Agenda as we are, head on over to the game's main website for more information on the game, news on Hi-Rez Studios and a way to sign up for the latest updates and even the beta! Plus, don't miss our continued coverage of the game and extensive gallery of the game and studio, linked below.

The Agency's character advancement stays true to skill-based gameplay

Game Mechanics, New Titles, PvP, The Agency, Spy

In most MMOs, we're used to our time investment leading to a character that is overwhelmingly powerful, compared to a player that is fresh out of the gates. For example, a level 30 is going to thrash a level 10 in World of Warcraft or Warhammer Online, barring gross incompetence from the higher level. However, The Agency's developers are making sure that a ranked-up character isn't guaranteed to beat down a rookie in PvP combat, as SOE Seattle game designer and writer Matt Staroscik detailed in a recent interview.

This doesn't mean that there's no point to leveling up a toon -- Staroscik reminded us that players will gain new skills and weapon techniques as they play, and the ability to equip different gear. These perks will make an experienced player a tad more deadly, but a newcomer that takes quickly to the shooter gameplay should be able to hold their own. It sounds quite similar to Call of Duty 4's multiplayer advancement.

Staroscik also mentioned the "alias" outfits that we've heard about in the past. The system sounds like it could provide a nice change from being a heavily-armed bad-ass, provided that there's some variety to the missions that come up.

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