Pirates of the Burning Sea Launched

A Press Release from the folks behind Pirates of the Burning Sea:

YO HO HO! PIRATES OF THE BURNING SEA™
SETS SAIL TODAY
New Online PC Game Delivers Unique Swashbuckling Action Experience

SAN DIEGO, CA – Jan. 22, 2008 – Grab your parrot, raise the gang plank and ready the cannons with Pirates of the Burning Sea™ (PotBS), the hotly anticipated online PC game where players can clash on land and sea. This new title from Sony Online Entertainment LLC’s (SOE) Platform Publishing label, and Flying Lab Software LLC (FLS), is available today at participating retail outlets worldwide and as a digital download through www.station.com and www.direct2drive.com for a suggested retail price of US$49.99, with a monthly subscription fee of US$14.99 plus applicable taxes.
“After years of hard work by our top-notch crew, we are thrilled to announce players can now conquer the virtual Caribbean, circa 1720, in Pirates of the Burning Sea,” said Russell Williams, CEO of Flying Lab Software in Seattle. “Working together with SOE’s Platform Publishing, we are able to launch this game simultaneously in the U.S. and Europe and release localized versions in English, French, Spanish and German, allowing players from all over to captain a ship in this world full of swashbuckling and high-seas adventure.”
Players start by joining the French, Spanish, English or Pirate nations as a naval officer, freetrader, privateer or pirate. At sea, players can blow enemy ships out of the water. On land, players can engage in a world of action and peril rife with sword fights. A unique economy lets players become captains of industry, running mines, lumber mills, shipyards and other large-scale operations. Players produce all the various goods needed to supply others with the raw materials to conquer the Caribbean, one port at a time. A player-generated content system lets gamers create their own sail and flag designs and even model their own ships.
Set in the New World circa 1720, PotBS recreates a dramatic time of conflict and riches with action for every play style, from epic ship combat to building an empire. With more than one thousand missions per nation, dozens of ports to explore, and the entire Caribbean as their domain, players will find an online experience like no other.
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Pirates of the Burning Sea game features:
• Join one of four nations (Pirate, English, French, or Spanish)
• Every player is the captain of their very own ship in massive naval battles
• Duel other players to control more than 80 conquerable ports in the Caribbean
• Explore the world and make a name for yourself with more than 1,000 missions per nation
• Economy driven by players, who manufacture and sell all ships and equipment found in the game
• Take command of more than 50 historical ships
• Design your own flags and sails
• Build your very own or customize any of the ships in-game to your liking
• Choose from three different combat styles – deadly and formal Fencing, flashy, dual-wielding Florentine or rowdy and treacherous Dirty Fighting
• Participate in epic PvP sea battles with up to 25 players per side

For more information on Pirates of the Burning Sea, log onto www.piratesoftheburningsea.com or the community site at www.burningsea.com

About Platform Publishing™

Based in San Diego, CA, Platform Publishing is a cross-platform publishing, distribution and marketing label, with an exciting library of interactive entertainment products from third-party developers and content providers for personal computers, game consoles and mobile devices. The label puts talented developers and publishers together with Platform Publishing’s high caliber suite of services and support, including top-notch distribution, marketing and technology resources. Platform Publishing is a DBA of Sony Online Entertainment LLC. For more information, please visit www.platformpublishing.com.

SOE and the SOE logo are registered trademarks and Platform Publishing and the Platform Publishing logo are trademarks of Sony Online Entertainment LLC. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

About Flying Lab Software

Flying Lab Software, a Seattle-based game development company, is the maker of the critically acclaimed Rails Across America. Their current project is Pirates of the Burning Sea, an innovative massively multiplayer online role-playing game of adventure and naval combat in the age of sail.

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Missing the Old Chicago Reader

Here’s something from the folks at Gapers Block that sums things up quite well for those of us who read the Chicago Reader in times gone past:

I thought it wouldn’t matter, but it turns out that it does.

I figured that I didn’t really “read” The Reader, I mostly just looked at the ads. It was still my preferred place to look at what movies were playing, a way to keep up on shows that I would never go to see, and get decent reviews of restaurants that were worth reading unlike most of the pap from Metromix.

And after “reading” a copy last weekend, I decided that I was wrong: I did *read* The Reader. No quotes necessary, but the past tense is required as there is little left to read.

The columns were good. I liked having original content — stuff I couldn’t find anywhere else, a *voice* I couldn’t find anywhere else in the city — and I actually did read it. The Chicago stuff–the details about the TIFs and the City File and my all time favorite, “We Read Bob Greene So You Don’t Have To”.

The Reader feels like a vehicle for syndicated crap. It’s completely lost its voice.

I know the newspaper industry has changed: it was hard to imagine that the new owners wouldn’t make some cuts. But for this reader, they cut the wrong bits and excised the soul of the paper.

So the informed public finds itself in a weird spot: the established papers don’t have the resources to continue publish a substantial “local” product. (Will the Red Eye break a Blagojevich or Stroger corruption scandal?) The nascent blogerati have not the time or money to take their place. (I don’t think Gapers Block, as much as I love it, will do so either.)

I’ll miss The Reader, especially for the days when it lived up to its name.