CipSoft, a German developer, recently announced that they're bringing their MMORPG, TibiaME, to the iPhone. On the surface, this isn't too interesting—TibiaME is an old-school 2D RPG, and it's not exactly mainstream...
However, TibiaME has quite the history: launched in 2003, it's been thriving on other mobile platforms like Symbian and Java. While its iPhone launch is in September, TibiaME can already tout 50,000 players. Nice! MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games) thrive based in part on their player bases, and having a large one like that from the get-go is great.
As for TibiaME's other features, well, there are plenty. Firstly, it's free to play (though an in-app purchase will purportedly upgrade you to Premium). Secondly, it's persistent and real-time. To me, those are the most significant...but let's look at the (partial) list provided by the developer.
2 different character classes (warrior and wizard) with their own individual skills and powers
12 huge islands with different themes like ice, desert or jungle
Many cities with shops, depots, trade and guild halls
150+ fierce monsters like cyclops, orcs, trolls, dragons or even vampires
200+ challenging and funny quests like “Overcome the monster phobia” or “Stop the mad magician”
12 episodic and 2 major content updates per year featuring new areas, quests and monsters
Classic fantasy RPG, real-time, mobile, with plenty of content? Yes, please.
The iPhone has seen other MMO RPGs before, such as IMO: World of Magic and Pocket Legends, but none have had the advantage of an initial player base. Besides that, TibiaME looks like an interesting, classic-style RPG, and I'm looking forward to playing it when it comes out. Don't be put off by the screenshots; they're from the mobile phone versions of the game. Purportedly, the iPhone app will benefit from an overhauled client and graphics.
TibiaME makes its iPhone debut in September 2010.