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June 28, 2007
Flying Lab Software Joins the SOE Team!

Today it was announced that, Pirates of the Burning Sea, the hotly anticipated MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) game developed by Flying Lab Software LLC featuring high seas action and swashbuckling adventure in a bold world of pirates and plunder, will be published by Sony Online Entertainment LLC’s Platform Publishing label. CEO Rusty Williams has been alluding to a publishing deal on the official website for the last few months, teasing readers with the upcoming possibilities. Today the curiosity has been quenched. MPOGD was able to get the first interview with Flying Lab Software’s Russell Williams.

MPOGD: Congratulations on finalizing this deal! I know that it’s been in the works for awhile. Can you give us general details of SOE’s involvement?

Williams: Sure. We’ve handed over the delivery pieces to SOE, which are retail distribution, localization, marketing, billing, and the launcher. We handle building the game, running the game (the actual servers), community management, and customer support.

MPOGD: People will be asking so I’ll get it in here first. Will Burning Sea be a part of the Station Pass?

Williams: Absolutely.

MPOGD: So Pirates of the Burning Sea is amazingly creative and I can just assume that there are a multitude of publishers out there who would scoop it. What made SOE a more viable publisher? What was the attraction?

Williams: We weren’t looking for a traditional publishing model, where the publisher finances the game and takes ownership and the lion’s share of the profit. We’re a completely independent studio, and we didn’t want to lose that. SOE’s Platform Publishing lets us leverage SOE’s strengths while keeping our independence.

MPOGD: There is always a fear that a publisher will come in and change mechanics or story of a title. How will this publishing deal change the current development plan?

Williams: We have some work to do in integrating with their launcher and billing system, and we’ll be integrating some code to make it easier for them to localize the game. Otherwise, no changes.

People keep thinking of this in the traditional publishing paradigm. SOE’s changing that, and I believe that if you care about the future of MMOs, this is the most exciting to happen to our industry since Ultima Online.

MPOGD: We are definitely excited that Burning Sea will now be available to a larger population of gamers. Can you give us the details on how the title will be delivered now?

Williams: We’ll have a great retail presence for the game launch, as well as multiple digital distribution points. No matter how you want to buy the game, we’ll have a way for you to do it.

Thank you so much for you time and we really look forward to seeing more details on this incredibly innovative title.

You can find out more about Pirates of the Burning Sea at the official website. Also for an inside look, check out the details from my recent visit to Flying Lab Softwares Offices in Seattle at


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