OverviewIn 1999, when iMagic Online issued their development team an ultimatum to relocate from Texas to Carolina or lose their jobs, John "Killer" MacQueen and many of the WarBirds development team got together behind a project to build an MMO game development and operations platform called "Playnet" and an MMO game developer subsidiary, Cornered Rat Software [a reference to the position the ultimatum put them in].
The launch of their first game, WWII Online: BlitzKrieg, in June of 2001 was a disaster. Numerous development and performance issues were topped by their primary ISPs turning on their 100Mb pipe but leaving it in the 1.5Mb configuration used during the beta phase.
This resulted in a contractual dispute dealing in hefty sums of money that forced the company to lay off a great many developers and into Chapter 11. This undoubtedly prevented the company from being able to triage the launch in the way most MMO companies do after exhausting their publisher's patience and having to release ahead of when they might have liked to.
Largely a simulation/sandbox, players who braved the launch issues then had to face the complexity of the simulation and the size of the game, which combined to present a staggering learning curve.
The small percentage that persisted through all of that have been rewarded with 10 years of what they often describe as the most challenging, dedicated PvP.
Playnet eventually discontinued their MMO platform project and today Playnet and Cornered Rats (CRS) are essentially the same entity.
In 2006 a Chinese company, Happyoo, approached Playnet/CRS with a view to a Chinese release, which has been in development for some time, and is currently in a semi-live state.
Cornered Rat Software has periodically been contracted by various military organizations to leverage the simulation aspect of their product, but by and large the company continues to be supported by their single MMO/PVP offering.
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- Cornered Rat Software -- The official homepage