Free Realms
A Farewell to Free Realms

Free Realms will shut down forever at 6pm PT (9pm ET) on Monday, March 31, 2014.

I spent the past month trying to come up with how I wanted to write this article. Should I reflect on all the changes and updates to the game? Ponder the reasoning behind the game shutting its doors? Be angry, be happy, be sad? I still don't know, to be honest.

I've seen plenty of friends be affected by other game closures, but this is the first one to hit home. My entire household of five has played, or still plays, Free Realms. My youngest two children are playing as I write this, with my six year old (whose first video game was Free Realms, starting at the age of 2.5) alternating between happiness at the various things he's accomplishing, and grief at losing his beloved characters forever.

I can't blame him one bit. His sadness is mine.

Free Realms was the first MMO where I actually felt part of a community. Starting even in the beta, players banded together in friendships that still remain. Guilds like Gone Postal, Mystic Mayhem, FR Insider and Bunny Foo Foo made an indelible mark on many people. Even as the older crowd moved on as the game aged, many of us still kept in touch, checked in on the game, and so on.

Continue after the jump for the full article.

General News
SOE Maintenance: Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Sony Online Entertainment has announced maintenance on the morning of March 26.  It is expected to take approximately 2 hours. This will impact the following services:

  • Login for Free Realms and Clone Wars Adventures players will be impacted starting at 8:00 AM to approximately 10:00 AM PDT.
  • Free Realms and Clone Wars Adventures players who are already logged in may be disconnected and unable to log back in starting at 8:00 AM to approximately 10:00 AM PDT.
  • Account management may be unavailable starting at 8:00 AM to approximately 10:00 AM PDT.
  • Commerce transactions, including purchases on our websites and in-game marketplaces may be unavailable between 8:00 AM and approximately 10:00 AM PDT.
  • Login for all SOE forums may be affected, you may lose permissions and experience occasional disconnects between 8:00 AM and approximately 10:00 AM PDT.

Free Realms
Final Game Sunset Customer Service Notification

For the final two weeks of Free Realms, SOE has lowered all Marketplace items to 1SC. As announced on the forums:

Dear Free Realms Players,

As previously announced, we wanted to remind you that game services for Free Realms will be discontinued the evening of March 31, 2014. We are proud of everything Free Realms has accomplished and have enjoyed bringing you the fun and adventure of the “Realms” over the last few years. It has been a memorable journey, and we thank you for all of your dedication and support.

On Tuesday, March 18th, most items in the Free Realms Marketplace will be reduced to 1 SC each for you to enjoy over the last couple of weeks. For more details and information please visit SOE Customer Service.

Thank you again,
Sony Online Entertainment LLC (& Amnerys)

A downtime was also announced, which will bring this Marketplace update:

We will bring the Free Realms servers offline on Tuesday, March 18th, 2014 at 6:00am PT for an update. Anticipated downtime is around 1 hour.

General News
SOE All-Access Program Update

Today Linda "Brasse" Carlson, Director of Global Community Relations at Sony Online Entertainment, updated the SOE All Access FAQ. As previously announced, the new and improved All Access plan is slated to start April 16, 2014. Today's update includes information on multiple month purchases, Silver membership (EQ/EQII), multiple game memberships on one account and multiple memberships on different accounts, and EQN Landmark info. 

You can check out the updated FAQ on the Station Forums here. Updates are noted in BLUE.

General News
Year of EverQuest: March Update Video

SOE has released their March edition of the Year of EverQuest video series, featuring Thom Terrazas, Terry Michaels and Holly Longdale all discussing what players can look forward to in their respective games over the next month. Check it out after the jump!

General News
SOE All-Access Changes Update

Across all its social media feeds today Sony Online Entertainment announced:

UPDATE: To allow our technical teams more time to test the program and processes, the date for implementation of the new SOE All Access has been moved from April 2nd to April 16th, 2014. The FAQ has been updated accordingly!

These changes, which have been heavily modified since they were originally announced on January 3rd, can be seen on all SOE game forums, including the SOE Community forum

Free Realms
Free Realms Sunset FAQ

Yesterday, Free Realms Community Manager Amnerys posted a FAQ on the official forum about the game's sunset, scheduled on March 31, 2014.

  • Sony Online Entertainment will retain all of the code and data from Free Realms and will not authorize any kind of emulator
  • Free Realms websites and forums will be removed when the game shuts down
  • Items and trading cards will continue to be accessible through March 31, 2014
  • Station Cash will remain in SOE Wallet and will be available in other SOE games
  • Further concerns can be posted in the FAQ thread or directly to Customer Service