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Wednesday, February 21, 2001

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Trade Wars Remake Coming to the Mac
8:42 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Realm Interactive has announced they are remaking the classic Trade Wars license into a new massively-multiplayer online game called Trade Wars: Dark Millennium. A few of you old-school gamers may recall the hours spent on 2400 baud modems playing the original Trade Wars, as a turn-based game on BBSs (bulletin-board systems). They will be taking the depth of storyline and strategy from the original concept and turning it into a realtime online game with 3D hardware support, though the goal is to keep the gameplay fun and innovative. This title will initially be released for Windows, with Mac and Linux clients following soon after. Here's a clip from the press release on their site:

Realm Interactive, a massively multiplayer game developer, has announced the production of a modernized version of the classic BBS game - Trade Wars 2002.  Realm has recently purchased the rights to the Trade Wars name from Epic Interactive Strategy and its new title will be called Trade Wars: Dark Millennium™.  Even today, Trade Wars invokes nostalgia among thousands of game players who still play the original version.  Keeping the spirit of the original, Trade Wars: Dark Millennium will be a MMPOG real time strategy game (RTS) set in a vast universe composed of thousands of players.

 Key features in the game include the ability to:     

  • Command distinct cultures, each with their own technology and special abilities, towards a goal of domination and riches;
  • Travel through an enormous virtual 3D world comprised of both planetary and space environments;
  • Build empires with other players and work towards common goals; and
  • Establish trade routes, mine resources, pirate, hunt creatures, and wage war against opposing empires.

Trade Wars is expected to be released during the second half of 2001 running on Windows 95/98/2000/NT.  Realm’s technology is being built from the ground up with cross platform compatibility in mind.  Realm plans to release Trade Wars on Macintosh, Linux and the console systems soon thereafter. 

Realm Interactive is a startup game development studio based out of Phoenix, AZ.  Realm is focused on developing Trade Wars as its first title and is building a reusable cross platform MMPOG development infrastructure.  With the release of Internet enabled console systems and the penetration of Internet broadband access, Realm is working hard to position itself as one of the premiere MMPOG production houses.

This is great news for both new- and old-school Mac gamers, who have largely been left out of the next-gen 3D massively-multiplayer genre (as well as space-based games in general). It sounds like Trade Wars may be further away than the end of the year, but we will keep you posted on its status. The site promises a content update this Friday, with the addition of a FAQ, more screen shots and a forum.

Play Trade Wars 2002 (list of free servers)
Trade Wars: Dark Millennium Web Site

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