After going deep under cover i.e. it went dark due to the process that is developing a game, The Agency from Sony Online Entertainment may finally be ready for its latest mission: hitting retail. In an interview with Eurogamer, SOE President John Smeldey confirmed that The Agency is indeed on track for a 2011 release. When the game will release in the year is anyone’s guess as Smeldey said “We're not giving out a specific date yet because we don't know it.”
The Agency has been an interesting project to watch over the years as it’s a 3rd person action based MMO in which players can assume the role of a spy/mercenary as they globe trot and battle various factions. Well at least that’s what The Agency was until SOE suddenly revamped the game into a somewhat straight laced fps game. Oh, I must not forget to mention that The Agency also spawned a Facebook game which somehow came out before the proper game did. Guess SOE decided they needed to use some of those art assets from the original concept of the game in some capacity instead of throwing them in the bin.
Smeldey also revealed that the SOE’s Free Realms is up for submission as SCEA and SCEE with the game likely to drop on the PSN in February for North America and March for Europe. I’m not exactly the chap to go to concerning PC based MMO’s, but Free Realms is a somewhat kid centric game in gamers can explore a lush world, battle creatures and talk to crazy flying squirrel creatures. Free Realms is a free-to-play title on the PC and Smeldey revealed that the game would also be free-to-play on the PS3 as well.
I wasn’t aware that another PlanetSide game was in the works, but Smeldey also dropped a nugget of info on PlanetSide Next, the sequel to the cult hit fps MMO that came out for the PC in 2003. According to Smeldey, PlanetSide Next will drop sometime in 2011, just like The Agency. I know Smeldey hasn’t exactly given us firm release dates as The Agency is just set for a 2011 release while PlanetSide Next is presumably a Q2 2011 title, but at least we’re not far off from some new MM0 action.
So far PS3 gamers have adopted DC Universe Online so maybe we’re finally at the point where console gamers are going to become MMO fanatics, all thanks to SOE actually making an initiative to release some games that are compelling or at least cater to a specific audience.