I'm not sure I completely understand what the Fury League is, but it sounds like Auran has changed its struggling Fury from an action-based fantasy MMO, into an action-based fantasy MMO where you can make money.
Okay, there's more to it than the cash-for-gaming aspect. Instead of earning abilities, new players will receive all 400+ on offer and 10,000 worth of Fury gold to deck themselves out. Sounds a bit like the tournament servers Blizzard recently introduced to World of Warcraft, but I could be mistaken.
According to the press release, Auran believes it's finally found the right balance of elements for its game, with CEO Tony Hilliam stating that "there are two things [our core community]really want - a game where skill is rewarded not time played and the chance to win cool prizes". $25,000 in prizes is a hunky number, but it's a far cry from the arse-kicking $1 million worth Auran offered during the game's beta.
You can't blame Auran for putting continued effort into making the game respectable. It's just hard to see how those efforts will be rewarded after the game's bumpy reception and the subsequent downsizing of the studio.
Full release after the jump.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Fury League - Where Gamers turn their Skill into Cash. 2,000 individual cash prizes to be won this month.
Brisbane, Australia, May 8 2008. Auran Games, creators of Fury, the fast-paced arena combat game, today announced the launch of a new skill-based online competitive format called Fury League (www.FuryLeague.com). Players can not only test their skills against other players but also win Fury Gold which can be converted into real cash.
To introduce players to the new "turn skill into cash" concept, the Fury League Qualifying Season will run throughout the month of May. This is a totally free to play Qualifying Season aimed at building a large social and competitive online community based around fast paced arena combat.
To get the competitive juices flowing, and to ensure plenty of hard fought competition, the Qualifying Season will culminate in two special "Cash Ladders". The top 1,000 players on each Ladder will win cash prizes with a total of $25,000 to be won. The first Cash Ladder will kick off May 20 with players competing in 8 v 8 team Vortex. The second will begin on May 27 with players competing in the 4 v 4 Elimination game type.
In addition to the Cash Ladders, for every game played during the Qualifying Season players earn one Free game entry in Fury League which will kick off in June. Players can earn up to a maximum of 1,000 free game entries, so players of every skill level will be rewarded for participating in Qualifying Season matches.
"We have listened to our core community and there are two things they really want - a game where skill is rewarded not time played and the chance to win cool prizes," said Tony Hilliam, Auran CEO. "We are very excited to deliver the ultimate skill-based competitive online game that will satisfy both these wishes - tangible cash prizes and a game where skill is your only advantage."
"We have been working very hard behind the scenes and in consultation with our players identifying what worked well in Fury and what didn't," Hilliam continued. "We have created a safer environment for new players to learn the fast-paced action, and we have totally removed any "grind" for gear or abilities. This is the perfect opportunity for players to step up and test their skill for free and earn cash for playing games."
"Our statistics show that once people win three to five games, chances are they are hooked," said Cameron McNeil, Fury Lead Designer. "So ensuring a fair fight is the key to growing our player population. By putting up $25,000 in cash prizes for the Qualifying Season, we are confident we'll see a huge increase in player numbers. This will lead to closer matches and ultimately more fun for everyone. Rising up the Ladders to win bigger cash prizes is also a great incentive for players to push through the learning curve and discover the depth Fury combat has to offer."
"To ensure a level playing field, we have given all 400+ abilities to almost 200,000 existing player accounts and every new player receives these abilities for free as well," said Cameron. "In addition, everyone who logs on this month receives 10,000 Fury Gold to spend on new armor for use in the Qualifying Season, prior to an inventory reset in June. There are also new starter and advanced Archetypes designed by top players in the Fury community, and of course a host of other game and performance improvements. We are really looking forward to building the Fury League community to the point of offering hundreds of thousands of Fury Gold prizes every month."
Fury League is the result of three years of previous Fury development and experience plus six further months of re-engineering, re-design and improvements. No other game has ever created a level playing field where players can turn their gaming skills into cash every month. Every player has access to the same items and abilities from the start and so the winners will be those players that develop the best combination of character customization, map knowledge, combat awareness, individual skill and teamwork.
Fury League will operate much more like an online sport than a traditional computer game. Rather than character progression or an unfolding story, players work on improving their performance as an individual and as a team member. Players can simply have fun with friends and see who has the best score on a given day, or they can get more serious and compete for prize money.
Fury League will continue to evolve and expand over the coming months with the ability to challenge other players for Gold and to spectate on other matches. Existing Fury players will also be compensated for prior purchases as part of the transition to Fury League.
More information about Fury League can be found at www.FuryLeague.com About Fury League: Fury League is a free to play (F2P) fast-paced arena combat game where players can turn their skill into cash. All players have equal access the same equipment and abilities from the start and so individual skill is the difference between winning and losing. Players compete in 6 different game types and can win Fury Gold prizes. Importantly, Fury Gold can also be converted into cash, with a small processing fee applying to each withdrawal. Withdrawals are limited to one per account per month.
Two game types are free to play forever, and the other 4 game types (Premium Games) will require a Fury Gold entry fee (from a few cents per game). Every player also starts each month with 10 free Premium Game entries. Fury Gold can be purchased from the online Fury store using credit card or Paypal with additional payment methods to come. Players can also choose a $10 monthly subscription and receive unlimited free Premium Games plus special sanctuary (non-combat) items and emotes.
Players can also use Fury Gold to enter additional "Gold Ladders" for a chance to win major Fury Gold prizes. The Gold Ladder prizes will be awarded to the top 50% of entries so even if you aren't competing for 1st place, you will win Fury Gold by finishing ahead of half the field.
In the next major update, players will have the ability to enter Fury Gold Challenge matches where players wager Fury Gold, with a winner take all prize pool. Future updates will offer spectating options plus a Live Tournament mode where players vie for supremacy in a live knock-out competition.
Existing Fury players can log on and patch directly to the latest Fury League build and all players who purchased Fury or items from the Fury store will be compensated for their prior support. Players who purchase Fury from a retail store or online will receive Fury Gold and a month free subscription. Earn Free Games during Qualifying Season The game types that earn free Premium Games are:
Vortex - two 8 man teams compete to return 4 crystals to their base before their opponents. Stealing crystals and mounting a good defence to protect your own crystals is the difference between winning and losing. Controlling both the Team Offense and Defense nodes can also make this task much easier.
Elimination 4 v 4 - a team-based best of 5 round elimination match on mid-sized arenas. Knowledge of power-up placement and map layout, combined with teamwork are the keys to success.
Elimination 1 v 1 - played on smaller arenas, 1 v 1 is best of 3 round elimination match requiring a mix of DPS and survivability. Winning is often about having the right abilities on your quickbar to counter your opponent in any situation.
Bloodbath - a free for all slug fest where players must decide whether to fight or flee. Collect points by killing other players and target the Top 5 Leaders to earn maximum points.
Carnage - two teams compete for a high score by killing computer opponents and picking up the Blood Tokens they leave behind. Take 10 tokens back to your base and the winners are the team with the highest tally after 8 minutes. The other team can be slowed down by taking down their players before they return the tokens to their base.
In addition, Bloodbath Training Grounds is the ideal place for new players to test their skills against some fairly friendly computer opponents in a free for all Bloodbath contest. Until you can consistently win at Training Grounds, we suggest you stay away from the more competitive game types.