While Runescape has attracted lots of runescape accounts for sale a month, Sony is aiming for tens of millions of users with Free Realms. The game differs from WoW and Runescape in not confining players to professions, factions or guilds. Sony says players can be a Ninja one minute and a go-kart driver the next. Because the game is launched from the browser, it takes the form of a full-screen downloaded client, with the website being used to store account information and introduce social networking elements.
Sony expects to earn most of its revenues from virtual goods, but it has the same $5 a month premium subscription as RS account. It has also introduced both a virtual- and physical-world trading-card game for Free Realms. Sony and EA’s games mark the entry of the major publishers into virtual worlds for younger players. It will be interesting to see what impact they can have and whether there is the right approach to a market largely created by smaller independent companies to date.