Free Realms Announces its 12 millionth Registered User

Free Realms, Hoverboarding

At a rate of about one million new registered users every month, Free Realms, the family-friendly virtual world, is growing amazingly fast. Of course, a registered user doesn’t necessarily mean an actual player is attached to the account, or that there are that many active players, but the landmark number is impressive nonetheless. The press release reveals that it’s twelve millionth registered user coincides with Sony Online Entertainment‘s “Summer Camp” promotion for Free Realms.

“Our players wanted a summer of fun in Free Realms, so that’s what we’ve provided. With new items, jobs and quests being added to the virtual world, there are more ways than ever to explore Free Realms,” said John Smedley, president of SOE. “Our continued innovation and consistent player engagement have built an incredible forward momentum to take Free Realms into its second year, and beyond.”

While Summer Camp officially started earlier this month, its many events are still in full swing. Beginning Friday, July 2, SOE is running a “Double Station Cash” weekend to celebrate the Fourth of July. Players who purchase Station Cash cards can redeem them during the event for double their value in Station Cash. This cash can be used to purchase virtual goods and upgrade their membership status in Free Realms. This event begins on Friday, July 2, and ends on Monday, July 5.

Free Realms is essentially free-to-play, but members get a few extra perks for subscribing to the game. SOE is offering a free trial membership over the Fourth of July weekend, granting players access to all membership content during the trial period.

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Bears go on upbeat // `Can’t wait’ for Bucs after opening romp over Giants

Chicago Sun-Times September 16, 1987 | Brian Hewitt The pride is back. And we’re not talking about Lee Iacocca here.

The chip on wide receiver Dennis McKinnon’s shoulder is back, too. So is the smile on defensive end Dan Hampton’s face and the twinkle in coach Mike Ditka’s eye.

Football is fun again for the Bears. They had a riot ous time routing the Super Bowl champion New York Giants in their season opener 34-19 Monday night at Soldier Field on national television. And they can’t wait for next Sunday’s home game against the undefeated Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

“We’re licking our chops,” McKinnon said Tuesday. “Tampa Bay knows they haven’t beaten us in years. They may have looked great Sunday. But they gotta come here now.” The Bucs upset the Atlanta Falcons 48-10 as veteran quarterback Steve DeBerg threw a team record five touchdown passes. Will the hype that preceded the Giant game spill over into this game between two undefeated teams? site how many plays did shakespeare write

“The Giant game was global,” Ditka said, poking fun at his interrogators and himself. “This one is galactic.” “It’s funny,” Hampton said. “In the meeting room today we had a lot of fun. It’s good to be back in a happy meeting room for a change. The reason it wasn’t as much fun last year was because we weren’t winning as big and we weren’t as together. The Giant game was reminiscent of two years ago and I think that’s a healthy sign.” What a difference a year makes. Last year the Bears went 14-2. But McKinnon couldn’t play because of a knee injury. Hampton refused interviews because he perceived a media circus had pitched its tents around the team. And Ditka was defensive at times to the point of being offensive.

Now even cautious quarterback Mike Tomczak is threatening to loosen up. Tomczak completed 20-of-34 passes against the Giants for 292 yards. The last time the Bears had a quarterback who posted those kinds of numbers in big games, Madison Ave. turned him into a cult figure. Then they named a restaurant after him. here how many plays did shakespeare write

“I might open a Polish beef stand,” Tomczak allowed Tuesday.

“The big question was could we win without Jim McMahon,” McKinnon said. “I think we proved that against the Giants.” They did so on offense by utilizing play-action passes to freeze the Giant linebackers on first down. Plus they ran at Pro Bowl Giant linebacker Lawrence Taylor instead of away from him where his pursuit is lethal.

They did so on defense through near flawless execution of defensive coordinator Vince Tobin’s scheme to play more man-to-man pass coverage. Most teams play mostly zone against the Giants. Tobin figured correctly that man-to-man would take away quarterback Phil Simms’ uncanny ability to find receivers out of the backfield.

“It was interesting,” Ditka said. “Because when I went back and looked at films after we talked about it and saw how many people do play them with a lot of zone, I saw how many plays they hit on zone. We just tried to make it tougher for him (Simms) to throw the ball in there.” And they did so on both sides of the ball by being physical. “Last year everybody talked about the Giants’ great physical strength and how they could physically overwhelm people,” Hampton said. “I didn’t see that. I think it was the other way around. Coach Ditka calls it Bear football. Call it whatever you want to. It leaves welts. In my estimation we should beat everybody because we have the best players.” Brian Hewitt