Disney reveals Pirates online plans

Ad-supported mode will make upcoming game free for those who don't mind walking the plank with a Prius or PowerBar somewhere in the mix.

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If you had to pick an existing franchise to build a massively multiplayer role-playing game around, it doesn't get much bigger than Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest was the top-grossing movie of 2006, and Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End could very well claim that honor this year. Not surprisingly, Disney Online has been working on an online game that will let players create a pirate character, adventure alongside hundreds of other players, and interact with virtual versions of Captain Jack Sparrow, Elizabeth Swann, Will Turner, and other characters from the movies.

With the game's launch set sometime this spring, Disney Online today revealed that the game will feature a free, ad-supported mode of play as well as a traditional subscription model.

Consumers will have two options when Pirates launches. The basic access plan will give players access to many of the game's features for as long as they like, and there will be no subscription fee for the basic mode. Instead, the basic access will be supported by some type of contextual advertising that's not in the game itself.

No advertising partners were announced today.

At this point, it sounds like the basic access mode will run inside a bordered window, with the ads bordering the game. If users want to gain access to all the content in the game, as well as run without ads, they can choose the advanced subscription mode.

Disney Online has announced that Pirates will have a $9.95 monthly fee.

Given the popularity of the movie franchise, particularly among families and kids, Pirates is being positioned as a much more user- and family-friendly style of massively multiplayer game. For example, the game's system requirements will be very low, to ensure that vast percentage of the movie's fan base will be able to play the game on their systems. The graphics aren't cutting-edge, but they do have an animated cartoon style to them, which should certainly appeal to the teen crowd that Disney Online is aiming for.

Players will be able to pursue a wide variety of quests in the game, with the overall goal of trying to become the most notorious pirate of the Caribbean. Activities will include sword fighting, card playing in taverns, ship battles, and much more. The game features locales from the movies, as well as some created for the game. In addition, a new villain, Jolly Rodger, makes an appearance leading an army of the undead. Players can also expect to encounter Davy Jones and his crew throughout their adventures.

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atony12

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i think burning sea looks a lil better

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snowyjoe

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I would like to put this in simple gaming terms THIS IS PRETTY MUCH THE SAME AS RUNE SCAPE! you get to play free for a while then you subscribe and play it for the rest of your life. because half of it is free, and their are millons of fans out their lots of people will play it = goood. The graphics side is some what desapointing but the horrible, horrible graphics of runescape didnt stop me from playing it with me and my friends. If this game gets big, we can hope for a better version (i hope) with better graphics. I mean a PotC MMORPG is better than nothing! The way i see it, i would like to thank disney for making this game :D P.S i play WoW, eve online and SW galaxies, im not a 5 year old that only plays RC.

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frozenwind_16

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I understand where a lot of you guys are coming from about the graphics, but allow me to put my own two cents in here. Unlike some of you, I don't own a PS3 or a superpowered, upgraded computer with the newest, most powerful graphics card on the planet. I'm a broke college student, so for me, the two biggest factors for an MMO are the accessability and the system requirements. A big problem I've had with MMOs (and yes, I have played a few) is that the free service is either extremely limited or completely nonexistent. Even if a game has community support (such as WoW), it doesn't help me if I can't get into the game to start with. The charges for monthly or yearly service add up after a while, and I can't afford to spend everything I have on just gaming. (And classes cut into what time I have for gaming, too!) The graphics for Pirates Online are designed so that everyone can play. Yes, even us lowly losers on basic, unupgraded computers. I'm one of those people; Halo PC is about as far as my laptop AND main PC can go. I can't run Half-Life 2 past Route Kanal. So before you start saying that the graphics suck, remember: a lot of us don't have huge, kajillion gigabyte Intel computers with the can opener and time machine attachments. If the game works, if not paying the premium price still allows me full access, and if the gameplay is fun and allows for a lot of self-guided adventures, then the graphics don't matter to me.

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CraZkid37

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Being a huge fan of the trilogy... ill sure as hell play this - or at least try it. I mean hey, its free! I do like better graphics but im sure it will just take some getting used to.

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soadfreek409

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Good graphics are not needed to make a good game.. Game content is a lot more important to me than graphics. I would play Goldeneye or Conker on N64 over a next-gen hack and slash any day of the week.. Not to mention it's free to play online. This looks like a solid MMORPG. I'm really looking forward to playing it. Finally we get a game where you can make your own pirate have your own ship and crew and do what you want.. FINALLY! This is kind of off-topic, but Gods & Heroes looks good as well.. Finally a roman MMORPG! Worth playing at least.

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MuscleCarMan

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is this game a joke? Those screenshots look like theyre straight off a PS or a N64.

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QWERTY099

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Something very special might be coming

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luqman_dexter

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r u gonna hav 2 buy it in stores or juz download it?

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stfolife

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yeah the beta is gr8

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Doctor_Wario

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Very excited about this. Can't wait for the game, and all the better if it's free!

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HawkeyeRyan

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Yay, at last Disney brings something free to the mmorpg market. At lest its FREE and 3D. I enjoy Maple Story but we need something 3d thats free. I enjoy Pirates of the Caribbean very much. Oh it will be nice to climb aboard the Black Pearl, talk to Captain Jack Sparrow and avoid Davy Jones. Maybe POTC online will feature some historical accuracy. Let's hope POTC At Worlds End will be a good film, including good sword fights, I'm looking forward to film footage like a trailer or something.

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sieg6529

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good marketing, decent idea, but left in the hands of a company known for occassionally dropping the ball, hard.

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puablo

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You know what, I actually like this idea. Here's why, you can try before you buy, and if you really like it, pay to remove the ads. Sadly I don't think a model like this is going to produce a quality game, but I do agree with an earlier poster that such a theme could make a great MMORPG if done right.

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Catastrophe123

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Sounds good.

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fahad2mail

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i dont like this game.

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CheddarLimbo

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I'm not really their target demo, but my nephews will go bonkers when they hear about this. Great idea from Disney.

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The_Weekend

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hahaha ... cute idea

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Muzykmann

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Does anyone else feel like an MMORPG based on pirate legend would rule? That's not to say that this is the one, as they seem to be toning it down for kids, but seriously. Get a good game developer on an MMORPG where I can dawn an eyepatch, buy a boat, and explore the ocean in search of buried treasure? Hellz yah. Sign me up.

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warden72

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No in-game ads, huh? Darn. I was hoping to see a Prius-vs-Prius commercial with frigates.....

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cjcr_alexandru

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Not for me. I'm too old for this. :)

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rpgisforme

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Kudos to Disney! As a parent who enjoys the chances I get to play games with my kids, and I have 4. I applaud a company that is giving me a brand new avenue to explore with them. Plus it may be just this type of thing and with such a kid friendly, good name behind it that might get some of those hating, anti-game parents to take a second look and realise that gaming is not some horrible monster to be avoided at all costs. WTG Disney

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chrisdojo

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the town looks pretty empty.... will have to pass on this game for sure!

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KingSigy

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Well, its great that other Pirate games were classic. i love playing Jack Sparrow's game..................

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superdance14

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I got a bad feeling about this.

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S2333

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I'll try it out. I enjoyed Toontown for the teamwork in battles and the cooperation in missions/quests

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twoism

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This'll probably feature the same cheap fighting system as Toon Town

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Fax_Modem

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I must say that I am quite impressed with the idea of a Pirates-MMORPG. Not simply because I like the franchise but because Disney are tapping into an overlooked market...MMO's for kids! Yes, adds in a game seem a bit dodgy at best and yes, it might get in the way of game-experience but if that means kids and their parents can try out an MMO for free then I welcome the idea. And for the graphics, I actually applaud Disney for not overloading the games with killer-graphics so that everyone can enjoy the game regardless of hardware specs. All developers should learn from that. Now I just wonder how they will get around the whole "children-chatting-online"-thing

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datniccah187

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Pirates? i've heard a lot of people mention this game i still haven't done much research into what its really about. I'm thinking about checking it out not to buy it but just to get the jiste of what it is and what not. See what the big deal is about this game, because quite a few people have been speeking highly of it. Want to see if i think its going to live up to the hype people are giving it.

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deactivated-57cb19bb35169

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I'm pretty disappointed with Disney on this for one major reason only: in-game advertising.....in a game set in the 18th Century? That's just despicable. The graphics look pretty bad, true, but these are just preliminary screenshots so its too early to tell. Regardless, I say if you want an MMORPG set in that era concentrating on seafaring; check out Pirates of the Burning Sea.

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TheSpidren

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Horrible idea. Movie-games are bad enough, I'd hate to see what Movie-MMO games are like! And look at those screenshots! You don't need high poly models and high res textures to make a good looking game! Just look at World of Warcraft! It needs a better art style, because the direction where it's headed now goes nowhere but "WUDA LOOKD REALISTIC 6 YEERS AGO!"

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Kbs64

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Those graphics look so BORING. I'm not one to say that I care about graphics as much as gameplay but at least make the graphics interesting. God!! Those pictures look like they have no emotion or feeling!!! I've had more fun looking at an Art Gallery then these lame graphics.

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SpecterX3

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Dude retro graphics rock, they shoulda made this full out blocky characters. Pirates are old school, so the graphics must be too. I DEMAND CONSISTANCE!

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Indianasasin

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Adds blended into the game is much better then ads outside the game...

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asmodeus_z

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Somehow, I'm just not looking forward to it ...

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lilmp89

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LessThanMike, I'll have to go with exactly what you said...I'm a great fan, but the game looks like it was made for the 64...

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LessThanMike

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it's a really ugly game...i'm not gonna lie

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CyphenX

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So they're going to make an ugly version of "Yohoho: Puzzle Pirates" with Johnny Depp in it? Call me crazy, but I'm not that impressed...

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Curly21029

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I can't wait to try out the message filtering...always fun times in the kids' games. ;)

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ConquerorTulin

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This game makes Crysis look like Superman 64.

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Valen_Ca

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This doesn't sound very good, now if Sega put out a Skies of Arcadia MMO now that would be something worth looking for.

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vaderspower

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KingKongofDeath Graphics are the absolute pits. Damn I wish someone made a good pirate MMORPG. That would be amazing. ----- ----- Check out Pirates of the Burning Sea (www.burningsea.com). Expected release date is in June of this year.

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Simulator_Shock

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I agree with everyone that the gaphics are pretty bland, but I think that we should all wait and see how this game fares before we all redicule it.

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Kenzo287

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it sounds good if my computer vcan play it (not likely)

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titomag

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if its not the graphics that will be driving me mad...it will be the adds :lol:

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Penacilen

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ship battles sound fun.

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anarchicgoth

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ugh- another MMO!?? Why! Plus the graphics look muddy and have very little textures- and did you see that guys face!!! What a mustache!

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waleedarshad

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WoW

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Kenichi34

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My God, everyone here complaining about the graphics. They look FINE, at least playable and tolerable. It's an interesting concept and has potential. Let's not judge a game before we at least give it a try, all right?

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f4t4lfury

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That's an interesting concept. I'm eager to see how it works out.

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Squids-Ahoy

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Interesting payment method.

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