Somewhere along the line, I went from being the premiere gamer in my household to dead last, even behind my 8 year old son in hours of gaming per week. Seeking to stop and reverse this alarming trend, I decided to spend a little time exploring the beta of a new MMO from SOE. While the game really looks good and I think has a lot of potential, it also reminded me of the great need for large betas. Not really a complaint or a slam. People too often forget that beta means test in the development world. And I should note that it made me hunt down and remove Zimbra Desktop which sucks down a lot of resources even when you are not using it. Just sitting there it had swiped 100MB of memory and I suspect it was responsible for some Firefox slowness and wonkiness I’d been seeing. So thanks SOE! Nothing like seeking gaming goodness to get one to do some digital housekeeping!
Back to gaming. Thanks to Google Reader, keeping up with gaming news from a variety of sources has gotten a lot easier. One source I discovered that way is Massively. Judging by the stories and the ads in the news stream, there are a buttload of MMOs, most free to play, out there now. It’s like the plague of list your Top 5 X applications on Facebook! From what I’ve read, most are not top quality, but for free, what do you expect? That aside, someone must be making money on this. Probably the game engine house most of these are probably using along with the server hosting facilities. It definitely bears further investigation. If computing horsepower of the magnitude needed to support the typical MMO, plus bandwidth is widely available and cheap, that just screams opportunity. And so far, at least, the economic downturn hasn’t greatly impacted the gaming industry.