Anarchy Online: Wikis


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Anarchy Online
Two complementary metal forms are shown partially buried in red sand. Below them is a text: "Anarchy Online: The Future In Your Hands".
Developer(s) Funcom
Publisher(s) Funcom
Designer(s) Gaute Godager
Writer(s) Ragnar Tørnquist
Engine Dreamworld Engine (Randy 3.1)
Version 18.3.1
Platform(s) Windows
Release date(s) June 27, 2001
Genre(s) Sci-Fi MMORPG
Mode(s) Multiplayer
Rating(s) ESRB: T
Media Download, CD
System requirements Recommended

Anarchy Online is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) published and developed by Funcom. Released in the summer of 2001, the game was first in the genre to include a science-fiction setting, dynamic quests, free trials, and in-game advertising. During its first month of release, many stability, registration, and billing issues hurt public perception of the game. This troubled launch, often echoed by modern reviewers, contrasts with the generally positive critical reception of the game and its expansions; not least was the Shadowlands expansion in 2003 that earned several Editor's Choice awards.

The game's ongoing story revolves around the fictional desert planet Rubi-Ka, the source of a valuable mineral known as "notum". Fighting for military and political power on Rubi-Ka are the Omni-Tek corporation (owners of the planet's thousand-year lease), the separatist Clans, terrorist groups, aliens, and ancient civilizations. The narrative was developed to be played out as a series of virtual role-play events over the course of four years, influenced by the actions of those playing the game. Players assume the roles of new colonists to Rubi-Ka, represented by a persistent 3D virtual world. With no specific objective to win the game, they improve their characters' skill and status over time. This free-form progression leads to social networking, cooperation, and conflict with other players.

After eight years, Anarchy Online has become one of the oldest games in its genre still online. Its "Free Play" program, started in 2004, allows new players indefinite access to the original game in return for viewing in-game advertisements. Vital to the game's continued operation, the program created 400,000 new subscriptions in its first ten months, and had generated US$1 million in advertising revenue by 2006. Funcom is currently in the process of upgrading the game's 3D rendering engine to a more modern version, the same engine used in their 2008 MMORPG Age of Conan.



Anarchy Online takes place on the fictional planet Rubi-Ka. According to the game's back story, "the Source" of all life deep inside the planet created the first beings, who called themselves the Xan. They began as a small, perfect, immortal civilization, living in peace and harmony. The Xans' eventual discovery and research of the Source's power lead them to create powerful technology. They built a great civilization, but this made them greedy and arrogant. Two factions formed within the Xan, calling themselves the Redeemed and the Unredeemed. These groups fought over how best to use the Source—now strained and unstable from their tampering. They tried in vain to fix the problem, but discovered it was too late; the Source would soon destroy the planet. Rubi-Ka was ripped apart in a cataclysm, leaving it a barren rock. The Source, and small fragments of the Xans' dead civilization, were thrown into another dimension known as the Shadowlands. The survivors left in search of other habitable planets, where they planted versions of their species; they hoped that one would prosper and eventually return to Rubi-Ka. Earth was one of their destinations.[1]

In the year 28,708 AD, a mining survey ship from the megacorporation Omni-Tek rediscovered Rubi-Ka. The Interstellar Confederation of Corporations (ICC) granted Omni-Tek a thousand-year lease on the planet shortly after. It was a seemingly useless, arid landscape far from civilization, until the discovery of the mineral notum, unique to Rubi-Ka. Research of notum and its properties led to major leaps forward in nanotechnology, making possible the creation of powerful new technology, as well as the resurrection of the dead. After terraforming a portion of Rubi-Ka and constructing several cities, outposts, and transportation infrastructure, the company began importing colonists under contract as miners and other professions.[1]

The first five hundred years of Omni-Tek's control of Rubi-Ka were marked with an exemplary worker treatment record, but as time passed, their policies degraded. Their scientists' tinkering with the mutating effects of notum on the colonists in a quest for efficiency lead to huge numbers of failed experiments. Survivors of these experiments became the game's four playable races, or Breeds, each designed by Omni-Tek to specialize in a type of work. Together with the original "Solitus" race, the genetically engineered Herculean "Atrox," the intelligent "Nanomages," and the nimble "Opifexes," they continued their labor in the midst of an increasingly hostile and totalitarian culture. This caused a significant number of workers to rebel, and begin trading stolen notum to a rival corporation. These rebel groups, collectively calling themselves the Clans, fought a series of wars with Omni-Tek over the next several centuries.[1]

Interactive story

Anarchy Online's story, from the players point of view, began in 29,475, after the most recent peace treaty had been signed between Omni-Tek and the Clans. ICC peacekeeping troops later moved into some cities to protect neutral observers of the war who had rejected their contractual obligations with Omni-Tek, but did not align themselves with the Clans. Omni-Tek, the Clans, and the neutral observers make up the game's three playable factions and control much of Rubi-Ka's terraformed surface.

Writers Ragnar Tørnquist and Aaron de Orive developed the story, originally planned to take place between 2001 and 2005. Tørnquist is known for writing the stories for Funcom's The Longest Journey series of adventure games, while De Orive had been the lead content designer and writer for Electronic Arts' Ultima Online 2. Tørnquist published his short novel Prophet Without Honor (Anarchy Online Book 1) in January 2001 that serves as a historical primer to Anarchy Online's fictional universe.[2]

Later extended beyond the 2005 conclusion, the story is designed to be played out as a series of virtual role-playing events in the game world, starting with an event on Halloween night in 2001.[3] Participants—players and Funcom staff—assume the roles and personalities of their characters to act out the events. Beginning with some stated premise and a rough outline, they improvise based on the situation. The outcome is ultimately decided, or at least influenced, by their actions.[4] With the marketing slogan "The Future In Your Hands", players were encouraged to participate in these events, and influence the overall story's direction.[5][6]

Influence on events is evidenced in a New York Times article about player Rick Stenlund in 2003. Funcom had just proposed small changes to the Meta-Physicist profession. Objecting to the changes, he used the game's message boards to organize a virtual protest rally. Stenlund's popularity—his character "Thedeacon" was well-known among players at the time—helped him gather 100 others at the event they named "Black Sunday". Administrators responded by attending the rally with official characters, and incorporating it into the game's timeline.[7]

After scientists opened a portal to the Shadowlands, players found the Source, killing the guardian the Xan had left there to protect it. This prompted an alien race known as the Kyr'ozch to begin attacking Rubi-Ka. The story's current plots revolve around the fight by all sides for control of the planet.[1][8]


Screenshot of a man in a desert locale shooting a small creature with a pistol. Some ruins and a large wall are seen in the background. Several buttons and other objects line the periphery of the image.
A player fights a small computer-controlled creature near a city occupied by the Clan faction

Players assume the roles of new colonists to Rubi-Ka or the Shadowlands. There are three game servers: two for English-speaking players and one for German-speaking players, each holding an identical copy of the game's persistent 3D virtual world. The worlds are occupied by human players, and computer-controlled characters, both friendly and hostile. Characters are not able to interact with one another across servers.[9]

The game begins with the player creating a unique character, choosing its name, gender, height, weight, and facial features. Each character is also one of the four humanoid "breeds". The final choice is that of the character's profession, similar to the character classes of other role-playing games: Adventurer, Agent, Bureaucrat, Doctor, Enforcer, Engineer, Fixer, Keeper, Martial Artist, Meta-Physicist, Nano Technician, Shade, Soldier, or Trader. Each profession has access to a unique set of abilities, such as healing or slowing down enemies.[10] If players chose not to remain members of the initial neutral faction, they are able to join either Omni-Tek or the Clans.[11]

With no specific objective to win Anarchy Online, the player advances the game through the improvement of a character's skills over time. The game's multiplayer nature and "free-form" gameplay encourage creating social networks, and cooperating and fighting with other players.[4][12] Players interact with Anarchy Online's interface via a keyboard and mouse. The game's heads-up display consists of a series of windows, menus and buttons located on the periphery of the screen. Players communicate with each other by typing text in chat windows, and occasionally through emotive character animations. Communication with computer-controlled characters is done via text windows, in which players chose from a menu of possible responses to the conversation being shown.[13] Like most role playing games, Anarchy Online provides structure for role-playing events. Most major cities include night clubs and other venues specifically for this.[12] Events are organized either by players, or officially by Funcom staff.[14]

Groups of players, large or small, are often required to complete objectives. In addition to forming teams and informal chat groups, joining a player organization is encouraged. These are, like guilds in similar games, officially recognized groups bound together for technical and social benefits. Organizations are able to build their own cities across the game world, control areas of land, run player markets, and access other special content.[15][16]

Among the most distinct gameplay elements of Anarchy Online are dynamic missions.[17] Missions, or quests, are a traditional gameplay elements in the role playing genre. The player or team is given a set of tasks—usually related to the story—to complete somewhere in the game world; in return, they are rewarded with experience points, items, and money.[18] Dynamic missions are similar to traditional missions in purpose, but are created at the player's request. Once they choose its difficulty and other options, the game generates a new indoor area filled with computer-controlled enemies. The player or team are told to go to its location, and finish some task inside for their reward.[19] Dynamic missions, like many other encounters in Anarchy Online, are "instanced": each mission area is available only to the owners of the mission.[20]

Skill system

Much of what characters can do, and how well they do it, is determined by the game's eighty-three distinct character skills. A skill is a numerical representation of a character's proficiency in some area, starting at zero. As players kill computer-controlled enemies, they gain experience points for their character; after gaining enough points, the character levels up. The current maximum level is 220. At each new level, the character is given some "skill points", which are used to increase any combination of the eighty-three skills that they choose.[21]

The eighty-three skills are grouped into ten categories, each benefiting the character in different ways. Ability skills (e.g. Strength, Stamina, Intelligence, etc.), for example, are tied to the character's breed and magnify the effects of other skills. Weapon skills (e.g. Assault Rifle, Bow, Pistol, etc.) affect the amount of damage inflicted by those weapons. Utility skills (e.g. Concealment, Trap Disarming, Hacking, etc.) improve how well the character can perform various special actions.[21]

Any character can access and increase any skill. The character's profession, however, provides unique resources—"perks", "alien perks", "research", and "nano programs"—that increase specific skill further. This makes each profession more adept at elements of gameplay than others. Doctors, for instance, can increase skills related to healing much higher than a Soldier because of these additional resources. Perks are chosen from a menu when the character reaches certain levels. Alien perks are gained when the player kills enough of a specific type of alien enemy.[22] Research is gained by diverting a percentage of earned experience points toward personal or faction-specific research projects, instead of new levels.[23] Nano programs give temporary increases to certain skills.[24]

Characters' equipment—armor, weapons, or other item used by the character—increase their skill further. Each character has fifty-eight slots corresponding to parts of the body in which certain types of equipment can be placed in. Using any one piece requires that some set of the character's eighty-three skills be at a certain minimum level. Because equipment both gives and requires various amounts of skill, players can leverage several pieces with low requirements in order to use a piece with much higher requirements.[25] Equipment, and most other items in the game, are found on the bodies of killed enemies, made by combining several other items, or purchased from shops and other players. The rarity and amount of skill points given by some equipment means considerable effort goes into the acquisition and trade of them.[26]


After targeting another character and initiating combat, the player their opponent will damage each other automatically with their weapons; this continues until the player stops, or the target is dead. Each profession's unique nano programs, perks and research also provide combat abilities, used by the player during the fight. These can heal the owner, cause additional damage, lower the skills of the enemy, blind them, or otherwise hinder the enemy's ability to fight. Once the target is dead, the player is able to loot money and items from the enemy's body.[27]

When a player's character dies it is resurrected at the "insurance terminal" where they last saved. These terminals, usually located in cities and outposts across the game world, save the experience points of the character; this essentially saves their progress. After death, the characters skills are reduced for several minutes, making them much less powerful in combat during that period.[28]

Combat between two or more human players, known as "player vs player" or "PvP", is encouraged by both the reward of special equipment, and the social nature of the game.[29] Killing other players also rewards characters with a "PvP ranking", permanently shown beside the player's name, which represent how many other human players they have killed.[30] Player versus player combat is controlled by the percentage of "suppression gas" in the area that dictates whether a player can start combat unprovoked with another player. Generally, this percentage approaches 100% in major cities, providing safe havens, and decreases while moving to more remote areas.[30][31][32] This type of fighting can take place in: areas of 25% suppression gas and below, in arenas located in major cities, in any area by requesting a duel, or other places specifically designed for it.[30]

Several areas in the game are designed for combat between large numbers of players. "Land Control Areas", for example, are small sites of land found throughout the game world owned by player organizations. Here they can build towers which give skill bonuses to all members. The number of sites is limited encouraging groups to fight the incumbent owner for control, although it is not necessary to be a member of the attacking or defending organization to take part.[33][34] Many organizations build alliances with others to raise their chances of success.[4]

Another example are the "battle stations", a series of enclosed games that take place between the three factions. Each side fights to capture and hold points on a map, increasing their score, until the winning score is reached and winner rewarded.[35] There are also several weaponized vehicles characters can pilot including mechs and anti-personnel turrets which are meant for use on land control areas and the battle stations. The vehicle's combat abilities are not affected by characters skills.[23]



Preliminary development for Anarchy Online began in 1995 at Funcom's Oslo, Norway studios.[36][37] Up to that point, the company had only developed offline video games for consoles, including the critically successful Speed Punks for the PlayStation.[38][39] In a 2007 interview, former project lead Gaute Godager said Funcom's management wanted to put substantial resources into developing a new MMORPG; they believed the genre's user base would expand in the coming years. Unlike most other games in the genre, which had traditional role-playing fantasy themes, Anarchy Online featured a science-fiction theme.[40] The game would also feature a relatively large playable area, and graphics that were, at the time, more advanced than existing MMORPGs.[41] Godager said he and many other developers saw the idea as "crazy," describing the project as "very ambitious".[42] The project's team grew steadily between 1995 and 2001 to include at least 70 developers.[43]

In a 2001 interview, gameworld designer Morten Byrom said that the process of creating Rubi-Ka's virtual world had "taken more time and effort than anyone imagined when we first started." The team took inspiration from a number of sources including science-fiction books, movies, architecture in Oslo, and other games in the genre. They stated one of the biggest challenges as finding ways to encourage players to use the entire game world as they play, not "gather in one corner". Byrom said he wanted to give the world as much detail as possible to make the game "convincing" to the player.[44]

The game's dynamic missions are created by what Funcom calls the "Auto Content Generator", also used in their later titles. When a player requests a mission, the game uses building blocks—a set of hallways and rooms—to generate an indoor area composed of a random assortment of those blocks. It then fills the indoor area with specific types of computer-controlled enemies. Each mission is based on a visual template related to its location, such as a subway or alien mothership. The alien mothership template, for instance, consists of hallways and rooms decorated as the interior of the mothership; the area is then filled with alien enemies.[45]

Composers Morten Sørlie, Tor Linløkken, and Bjørn Arve Lagim created the soundtrack and music of Anarchy Online. Using a system they call "Sample-based Interactive Music", the game mixes numerous music samples to create dynamic music. By starting, stopping, fading, and layering samples based on where the player is, and what they are doing, the game creates a continuous stream of background music. Bjørn Arve Lagim stated the music in inspired by the "traditional sound" of a film score, using both orchestral and electronic instruments.[46] Longer full-length versions of some songs were later released on compact disc with a special edition of the game in 2002.[47]

Anarchy Online was officially announced at the 2000 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). GameSpot, and other online sites, published articles tracking the game's development over the next year.[48] It made its second appearance at E3 in May 2001, one month before launch. Based on the beta version shown there, GameSpot stated they were "confident in the game's progress, given what we've seen".[49][50] At the European Computer Trade Show in 2001 it was awarded Multiplayer Game of Show.[51] A public beta test began two weeks before launch, during which 100,000 players downloaded and played pre-release versions of the game, helping the company find bugs and other technical problems with the software.[52]


Anarchy Online officially launched to the public on June 27, 2001, in the United States and Norway, and on September 28 in the rest of Europe.[53] In addition to being distributed as a retail box from physical and online stores, Anarchy Online was one of the first MMORPGs available via online digital distribution.[54][55] The first month of the game's release was marked with many stability, registration, and billing issues. Customers were unable to register to play using the product keys included with their installation discs. Others were accidentally billed for the registration fee twice, although they were never charged for the second bill. The game software would crash repeatedly, according to game reviewers and players. Significant portions of the game world were inaccessible, and the game's servers were routinely out of service.

Computer Gaming Magazine claimed that while initial problems are common among games in the genre, Anarchy Online was "arguably less stable" than its competitors were at launch.[56] Funcom officially acknowledged the issues 6 days later in a statement posted on their website, announcing no customers would be billed for play time until problems were resolved.[57][58] In an August 2001 interview, community manager Tor Wigmostad stated that "things did not go as well as we had planned," and that the problems "could have been avoided by an extended release date and better planning."[59]

Two months after its release in August 2001, Funcom began offering free trial subscriptions, now common practice for other games in the MMOG genre.[54][60][61] New players were able to sign up for accounts that remained free for a limited number of days. This required them to supply some personal information, including a credit card number. After their trial period, players could either cancel their accounts, or keep them to continue playing the game at the cost of the monthly subscription fee.[62]


Periodic free updates are released as content patches, on an average of three per month since the game's release. These fix bugs, and add relatively small amounts of new content. The patches are downloaded and installed automatically when players start the game software.[63] Larger updates, called expansion packs and booster packs, are available for purchase to further extend the game, typically add new playable areas, creatures, equipment, and story progression. Expansions tend to introduce large amounts of new content; boosters are considered "too large" for a patch, but "not large enough" to warrant a full expansion.[64]

List of Anarchy Online expansion and booster packs
Title Year Type Notes
Notum Wars 2002 booster Notum Wars was the game's first major content update in 2002. It introduced the land control areas which are now a central gameplay feature. It also added a new character creation system, flying vehicles, aesthetic improvements to the game world, and improvements to the game's rendering engine.[33]
Shadowlands 2003 expansion Shadowlands has been the largest expansion to date. Seven themed areas, and dozens of other new locations significantly added to the game's playable area. It raised the maximum character level from 200 to 220, and introduced the perk system. Also included were a new user interface, two new player professions, slight improvements to the game's rendering engine, and a "flood" of new items.[65]
Alien Invasion 2004 expansion Most of Alien Invasion's content centered around player organizations. "City plots" were placed throughout Rubi-Ka which organizations can buy to erect custom cities. These cities give skill bonuses, access to unique equipment, new dynamic missions, and venues for role-play events. It also included a new starter area—which serves as a training ground for new characters—and new user interface. The perk system was extended with the introduction of "alien experience points".[66]
Lost Eden 2006 expansion Lost Eden was the first expansion released after the original story had ended. It focused almost entirely on player versus player combat. The battle stations were introduced, and the pilotable vehicles for use on them and the land control areas. New weapons and armor affect skills useful against other players. It also introduced the research skill system.[32]
Legacy of the Xan 2009 booster Legacy of the Xan focused on "end-game" content for existing players. It added new areas, equipment, and weapons for players whose characters have reached a high level.[67]

Free Play program

Screenshot of a large billboard standing beside a building in a futuristic city. Billboard shows a colorful advertisement reading "Stacker 2, 6-Hour Power(tm)
A billboard in a city controlled by Omni-Tek showing an advertisement for Stacker energy drinks; the revenue generated by Massive Incorporated's advertising aids in keeping the game free to play.[68]

On December 15, 2004, Funcom replaced trial subscriptions with a business model supported by in-game advertising called the "Free Play" program.[68] Under this program, new players are allowed indefinite access to the game without supplying a credit card number. The offer does not include access to content added with expansion or booster packs, with the exception of the first booster pack Notum Wars. Free subscribers are shown advertisements provided by Massive Incorporated, a company that supplies in-game advertising. The ads appear on virtual billboards placed in high traffic areas of the game world. Paying customers have the option to replace these ads with ones for fictitious products related to the game.[69]

The Free Play program was originally set to last one year, but its length has been extended every year since its creation; the program's current scheduled end date is January 15, 2011.[70] Former game director Craig "Silirrion" Morrison stated in a 2008 interview that the program has "been a vital part of the success of the game."[71] In January 2008, Funcom rebranded their subscription model as a "tier subscription system", adding a third options for customers to access to the game. Customers can access the original game and Notum Wars booster pack for free via the Free Play program, pay the full monthly subscription fee for access to all expansion and booster packs, or pay a reduced monthly fee for access to only the Shadowlands expansion pack.[72]


Funcom announced in January 2008 that they would be updating the game's 3D rendering engine.[73] While the current engine—Funcom's proprietary Dreamworld—had received incremental improvements with the Notum Wars booster in 2002 and Shadowlands expansion in 2003, the 2008 announcement stated it would be completely replaced with more modern software to "release the game fresh".[74][33][65] Originally, a modified version of the open source rendering engine OGRE was used.[74] Funcom released a short video demonstrating an early version of its implementation, and stated it would be completed by the end of 2008.[75][76] OGRE was dropped in May 2009 because it did not provide "the full featureset" they had anticipated. Current game director Colin Cragg stated Anarchy Online's "small development team" could not afford the "growing [cost] estimates" involved in making the necessary modifications to it.[74][77]

Funcom decided to instead use a recent version of the Dreamworld engine, the same version used for their 2008 MMORPG Age of Conan.[77] This new engine features improved water rendering, particle effects, and character animation. It also includes incremental improvements to technologies already used in Anarchy Online, such as the dynamic weather system.[78][79] No new release date has been announced, although periodic status updates are published in the game's official weekly development blog Friday With Means.[80]


Review scores
Publication Score
G4 4 / 5 [66] (Alien Invasion)
GameSpot 7.6 / 10 [41]

8.5 / 10 [12] (Shadowlands)

GameSpy 79 / 100 [17]

4 / 5 [81] (Shadowlands)

3.5 / 5 [82] (Alien Invasion)

GamesRadar 7 / 10 [32] (Lost Eden)
IGN 7.2 / 10 [26]

8.8 / 10 [65] (Shadowlands)

After the launch of Anarchy Online and the subsequent technical problems, Funcom issued a statement to reviewers asking them to "hold back on a full review until we have solved these problems."[56] Some video game reviewers, such as Computer Games Magazine, published reviews anyway; others, such as GameSpy who described the game as "nearly unplayable", chose to wait one month before publishing a formal review. The troubled release has had a lasting effect on the game's reputation, and is nearly always mentioned in the generally positive reviews of later expansion packs as a juxtaposition.[31][65]

While Anarchy Online's launch problems had a negative effect on initial critics, the game itself was generally reviewed favorably; it scored an average of 7.6 out of 10 from GameSpy, GameSpot, and IGN. GameSpy later described it as "a promising game with some big technical flaws." IGN called it a "brilliant, engaging, profound MMORPG," but added it came with "atrocious technical problems."[26] PC Gamer magazine said that it "will be [...] the next great MMORPG," but that the game needed "some serious work" before it would reach its potential; they would award the game with Best Massively Multiplayer Game the next year.[83][84]

Computer Gaming Magazine described Anarchy Online as a "'science-fiction' Everquest"—Everquest was a popular fantasy MMORPG at the time—in that it took the traditional fantasy elements of the genre and gave them "science-y sounding" words. They went on to praise the game's large, detailed game world, and its "evolutionary" user interface.[56] GameSpy said the game's soundtrack was "grand, cinematic, and very appropriate" in their review.[17] PC Gamer magazine said that the intricate skill system gave the game "incredible character depth".[84]

The dynamic mission system was met with mixed reviews. PC Gamer called it a "brilliant" solution to camping—the practice of waiting for a computer-controlled character in the outdoor game world to appear so it can be killed and items looted.[84] Computer Gaming Magazine said that while the missions were a good idea in theory, they are "too simple and similar", claiming that this caused players to become bored and camp for items outside anyway. Visually, they called the missions "cramped, boxy, and generally unappealing," compared to the rest of the game.[56]

The first booster pack Notum Wars was released in 2002; at that time, the first expansion pack Shadowlands had already been announced. Staci Krause of IGN noted the new character creation interface made the game's introduction to new players easier. The "land control" areas, one of the major additions in Notum Wars, were described by Krause as "not only interesting, but fun." She also said that the new additions to the game world, and improvements to the 3D rendering engine, "add to the sense that Rubi-Ka is a busy planet."[33] Yahoo! criticized the land control areas as being complicated, expensive, and that participation in battles was difficult for players not in an organization.[31]

The Shadowlands expansion was the most critically acclaimed by far, winning several Editor's Choice Awards from IGN, CNet, GameSpot, GameSpy and others in 2003.[85] Critics applauded the size and scope of it, such as Andrew Park of GameSpot who called it "absolutely enormous."[12][65] Tom Chick of GameSpy praised the "distinctive and exotic" art direction of the new areas. Critics of Shadowlands noted that the expansion's design was too "fantasy oriented", as compared to the original game.[81]

Alien Invasion, released in 2004, did not receive the same abundance of praise as its predecessor, although most scores were above 7 out of 10. The new content it introduced, in critics' eyes, was not designed for new players. G4 TV wrote that it would be a "tough sell to new players", but added it "offer[s] existing players a solid reason to keep playing."[66] GameSpy wrote that the expansion's new features, such as improved user interface and chat system, "make the game more enjoyable to play."[82]

After eight years, Anarchy Online has become one of the longest-running MMORPGs in operation.[86] Publications who had reviewed the game's previous additions did not review the Lost Eden expansion in 2006, or the Legacy of The Xan booster in 2009. Games Radar's Sarah Borger wrote of Lost Eden that the game's aging graphics and user interface "make the world hard to interact with," but she went on to acclaim the new player versus player content it added.[32]

Sales and subscriptions

Five days after the game's launch, public relations director Marit Lund announced that "35,000 registered accounts" had been created.[57][87] By 2002, the total number of subscriptions created since launch was stated as 150,000.[88] After the release of the Shadowlands and Alien Invasion expansion packs, total subscriptions had risen to 700,000 in late 2004.[54] Sales of the game, its expansion packs, and monthly customer subscriptions had generated US$28 million dollars by 2005.[89]

The "free play" program, started in 2004, has had the most significant effect on subscriptions to date. ”More than 400,000 new players" signed up for free subscriptions in the program's first ten months according to Funcom CEO Trond Arne Aas.[90] The next year, the number of free subscriptions created, independent of paid subscriptions, was stated as one million.[70] The income from the program—which had generated $1,000,000 by its second year—supplements revenue from paid accounts.[89][91]

Funcom attributed "higher than expected" company profits in 2006 to Lost Eden's release in December of that year.[91][92] Subscription revenue during this time was described as "steady" and "profitable". Subscription revenue remained "steady" for the next three years, until 2009 when they were described as "slowly declining".[93][94] It was stated that close to two million subscriptions, both free and paid, had been created by July 2008.[36]

Notes and references

  1. ^ a b c d "Anarchy Online: The Story So Far". Funcom. 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-16. 
  2. ^ Tørnquist, Ragnar. Prophet Without Honour (Anarchy Online Book One). Funcom. ISBN 8299596106. 
  3. ^ "Interview with Terri Perkins from FunCom". IGDA Online Games Quarterly. International Game Developer's Association. 2004-11-01. Archived from the original on 2005-04-08. Retrieved 2008-08-16. 
  4. ^ a b c Burn, Andrew; Carr, Diane. (September 2003). "Signs From A Strange Planet: Role Play And Social Performance In Anarchy Online". COSIGN Proceedings 2003, 3rd Conference on Computational Semiotics for Games and New Media. University of Teesside. pp. 14–21. Retrieved 2009-08-17. 
  5. ^ "Anarchy Online Story Coming This Halloween". Funcom. 2001-10-05. Archived from the original on 2002-12-01. Retrieved 2009-08-19. 
  6. ^ Park, Andrew (07/13/2001). "Anarchy Online (PC) Review". CNet. Retrieved 2008-08-16. 
  7. ^ Schiesel, Seth (2003-06-12). "Voyage to a Strange Planet". The New York Times. pp. (3). Retrieved 2008-08-16. 
  8. ^ "Anarchy Online: Timeline". Funcom. 2008.,1006,1031. Retrieved 2008-08-16. 
  9. ^ Peter, Zackariassion; Timothy L Wilson (December 2004). "Massively Multiplayer Online Games: A 21st Century Service?" (PDF). Other Players Conference. IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark: Center for Computer Games Research. pp. 5. 
  10. ^ Getting Started on Rubi-ka pg. 9–15
  11. ^ Getting Started on Rubi-ka pg. 53
  12. ^ a b c d Park, Andrew (2003-10-04). "Anarchy Online: Shadowlands Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  13. ^ Getting Started on Rubi-ka pg. 17–19
  14. ^ "Advisors of Rubi-Ka". Funcom. 2007. Retrieved 2009-08-15. 
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External links


Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Wikia Gaming, your source for walkthroughs, games, guides, and more!

Anarchy Online

Developer(s) Funcom
Publisher(s) Funcom
Release date June 27, 2001
Mode(s) Multiplayer
Age rating(s) ESRB: T
Platform(s) PC
Credits | Soundtrack | Codes | Walkthrough

Anarchy Online is a massive multi-player role-playing game set in a sci-fi universe in a full 3D engine.

In the year 29475 AD, mankind have settled the barren planet Rubi-ka, whose only resource is Notum, a power source for the ubiquitous nano-tech. The mega-corp Omni-Tek has an iron-clad hold on the planet, but there are underground guerilla clans forming, hoping to overthrown the tyrants... You are the latest inhabitant of Rubi-ka... Would you join the mega-corp, the clans, or remain a neutral spectator?

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