Well maybe not everyone but there were quite a few gamers that owned the just discontinued Sega Dreamcast and purchased Alien Front Online. This game was probably one of the worst launches in history as far as picking up any momentum from the publisher. The Dreamcast has been discontinued about half a year prior to Alien Front Online being released and offered free to play on on-line servers. Sega didn’t help the matter when they, later, changed those free to play servers to “pay to play” ones which hurt the player base enjoying AFO. Good job Sega.
If you are not familiar with Alien Front Online, don’t worry you are not alone, it is an online 3D shooter for up to eight players. This was accomplished on a 56k modem (or with the ultra rare broadband adapter) by having up to four players on each console and connecting to the other players on another console through the Internet. It was not true eight player on-line like we know it today but for the time, it was revolutionary and quite fun.
There was a limited single player mode available for players to familiarize themselves with the controls and how Alien Front Online played. This mode was quite limited as the game was intended to be played online (hence the name).
Online play was set in arenas with players taking the role of either human combatants or alien invaders. Rounds were played for a set number of minutes and required everyone to defend themselves and be on the offensive while trying to find supplies scattered around the level. As usual for this type of game, the side with the most kills when the timer runs out, wins.
Sega really messed up the launch, and support, for Alien Front Online. First, they discontinue support for the console six months earlier. Then they release this online game with free to play on servers but later change those to a pay model that turned off a lot of players. Then they don’t allow players an easy method to play on-line afterwards (such as opening up their networking protocols). No wonder support for Sega was at an all time low around this period of history.
Alien Front Online hit the Sega Dreamcast on August 9th, 2001. There was never a Japanese release of AFO so this is one of the rare North American only titles for the system.
If you want a copy of Alien Front Online you can check these on-line retailers: