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Stargate I have a fundamental issue with paying an ongoing fee to play an endless video game, but even I had to sign up for the Stargate Worlds beta.  It's almost time for the MMORPG to begin a closed beta cycle and fans of the Stargate universe are now able to sign up for a possible crack at shooting Goa'uld, opening the iris, befriending the Asgard, and all those other things that a SG team does offworld.  Stargate fansite GateWorld has the details.

FireSky, a Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment company, announced on April 17 that they would be publishing the title. Stargate Worlds will contain a brand new story set between Seasons Eight and Nine, and will allow users to play human Stargate personnel, Jaffa, Goa'uld and Asgard.

"A game is nothing without players. We're fired up to finally get our game in the hands of the community," said Dan Elggren, Stargate Worlds studio head. "We're at the point where we need external testers to take Stargate Worlds to the finish line. Our devoted fans have helped guide us for more than two years through our forums. Together, we're going to craft a balanced, polished, and most of all, fun game."

It would take quite a lot to convince me to pay for the final version of the game, but I'll gladly muck around in the beta for free.  Note that since the game's plot is set between the post-Goa'uld and pre-Ori eras of Stargate SG-1 (if that makes no sense to you then you probably aren't the target market for this game), meaning that the developers can unleash whatever new crazy aliens they want without interfering with the television franchises.  I'm curious how the developers will get past the issue that thousands of players can't all be a part of the flagship SG-1 team.  The appeal of games based on television and movies involves players controlling their favorite characters.  I want to play as Jack O'Neill, not as a low-level expendable red shirt grunt on the SG-87 team.