December 15, 2006 – Furcadia, enters the record books this Saturday as the first MMO to be online for 10 years continuously. “This is a momentous occasion for online gaming” says Furcadia co-founder Dr. Cat. “Never before has any MMO been continuously available, allowing its community to grow and develop, for this length of time”. Furcadia is an online social game where players can customize their own characters and interact with other players. As the longest running online game, Furcadia’s anniversary marks a huge development in the possibilities of Massive Multiplayer Online (MMO) games. Currently, over 60,000 people play Furcadia regularly, and over 2 million characters have been created in the game over the past ten years. To celebrate this 10th anniversary, Furcadia plans to allow players to use all premium avatars (including dragons) and wings for free all day on the 16th. In addition, the founders, Dr. Cat and ‘Manda, will be giving a talk on the history of the game and their careers in the gaming industry on the in-game events channel.
Furcadia began as the brainchild of founders Dr. Cat and 'Manda, who each have over 25 years in the gaming industry, from pen-and-paper roleplaying to online fantasy games. They worked on games like Ultima and Masters of Magic, moving from Commodore 64 and Nintendo Gameboy to PCs and the Internet. In 1995, they developed a visionary idea for online gaming, and launched Furcadia in December of 1996. The initial idea was to develop a game based on user created content, with more of the roleplaying and social elements instead of the usual hack and slash. “We wanted to make a game for EVERYONE, one where people would create, socialize, share, make friends, fall in love -- everything else people do in life besides beating up monsters,” says Dr. Cat of Dragon's Eye Productions. Then, in 1999,
the creators moved to a then novel business model of selling premium items within a free to play game. This allows for a larger audience, with differing levels of ability (or interest) to pay, and the free players make the game more interesting for the paying customers through the content they create.
Throughout the 10-year run, Furcadia has had over two million accounts created for the game, with players from all over the world. The game is designed and engineered to run in a single world no matter how large it gets. This allows the development of a larger society with the maximum amount of interaction between players, as opposed to most other games which fragment their players into smaller, arbitrary groupings.
Additionally, easy creation tools allow players to design and publish “Dreams”, allowing players to share their unique content with everyone in the game. Most areas within the game are created by players, including castles and spaceships, puzzles, quests, festivals, and re-creations of classic videogames. Future plans for the game include adding pets, moving to a new, 24-bit graphics engine, and a “spectator mode” that will permit players to view player-created “shows.” A planned new component to the online economy will pay players "royalties" in-game based on how much their creations are viewed or used. "Attention is the currency of the future", according to Dr. Cat.
Furcadia’s 10th anniversary celebration begins on December 15, 2006, with a homecoming day invitation for all past and current players, and the free premium avatar and wings usage is scheduled for December 16. A celebrity auction is set for the 17th, with a historical tour of player-created areas on the 18th. Volunteer (Beekins’) Appreciation day is the 19th, with roleplaying day on the 20th, and a “Groups and Guilds” day set for December 21st. Other activities include special anniversary ecards and a new web forum. More information on the 10th anniversary can be found at http://www.furcadia.com/tenth/.
About Dragon's Eye Productions:
http://www.furcadia.com is a privately held Texas corporation, founded in 1991. It is a full service developer, publisher, and operator of online games. Its release of DragonSpires in 1994 pioneered the market. Dragon's Eye has also provided consulting services to other game developers and publishers, on titles such as Ultima Underworld and many others. The company is currently focused mainly on its flagship title, Furcadia.