“Our online trading card games have been hugely successful, and the chance to take our digital trading cards into the physical world with an industry leader like Topps is a fantastic opportunity for us as a company,” said John Smedley, President of Sony Online Entertainment.Could this mean a physical version of the Everquest card-game Legends of Norrath won't be far behind? Hit the jump for the full press release, along with some rather fanciful card artwork.
SONY ONLINE ENTERTAINMENT AND THE TOPPS COMPANY ANNOUNCE FREE REALMS TRADING CARD GAME Play Around The Block Or Around The World With Physical and Digital Free Realms Trading Cards! DENVER – Nov. 24, 2008 – Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE) and The Topps Company announced an exclusive long-term licensing agreement allowing Topps to create a physical trading card game based on SOE’s upcoming and highly-anticipated online game Free Realms™. The physical trading card game complements the digital trading card game playable within Free Realms, allowing players to enjoy the game in front of their computer and around the world. “Our online trading card games have been hugely successful, and the chance to take our digital trading cards into the physical world with an industry leader like Topps is a fantastic opportunity for us as a company,” said John Smedley, President of Sony Online Entertainment. In October 2007, Michael Eisner’s The Tornante Company and Madison Dearborn Partners, LLC. acquired The Topps Company, Inc, a leading creator and marketer of distinctive confectionery items and sports and entertainment cards for well over 50 years. “As Topps continues to evolve into an entertainment media company, building bridges between offline and online experiences, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with Sony Online Entertainment on Free Realms, a company that understands the relevance of cross-platform entertainment and is always on the cutting edge of online and digital media development,” said Michael Eisner. The digital version of the Free Realms Trading Card Game launches simultaneously with the launch of the Free Realms online game, while the Topps products will be available in Spring 2009. Topps will offer an exclusive Passport to Free Realms Starter Pack jam-packed with Free Realms physical and digital loot (price TBD), as well as 11-card booster packs ($3.99 SRP each), featuring a loot card in every pack, wherever Topps entertainment products are sold. Developed at Sony Online Entertainment’s Denver studio, the Free Realms Trading Card Game integrates the trading card game format with the exciting world of the Free Realms online game. Players can buy cards, build decks, collect, trade and battle with friends and even quest through Free Realms virtual matches in the online game or by purchasing physical packs of game cards! The Free Realms Trading Card Game features: Exciting Gameplay: The Free Realms Trading Card Game brings the rich and exciting world of Free Realms to the familiar trading card game format. Physical and Digital Cards: Explore the world of Free Realms with beautifully-illustrated cards that add a whole new level of wonder! Over 200 cards are expected to be available by the time the physical game launches in the spring, with more planned in successive releases. Online or Offline Gameplay: With both a digital and physical version of the Free Realms Trading Card Game, players may participate in whatever way suits them, making it possible to adventure and enjoy Free Realms anywhere, anytime! Loot In Every Pack: Every Free Realms Trading Card Game pack features a loot card that is redeemable for fantastic Free Realms virtual items like exclusive pets, clothing, race car enhancements, wands, house items, special character effects, and more! For more information, visit the official Free Realms Trading Card Game site at http://www.freerealms.com/tradingcardgame.