It’s hard to believe that AO has been around as long as it has. To kick off its 10th birthday Funcom is throwing a party in-game starting Friday. Feel free to jump in and enjoy the festivities.

From the press release:

    This month Funcom is celebrating the ten year anniversary for ‘Anarchy Online’! On the 27th of June 2001 the world’s first science fiction- based massively multiplayer online game launched, and now, a decade later, thousands of players still call the world of Rubi-ka their home.

    The history of ’Anarchy Online’ is one of innovation and pioneer work. The development started as early as 1995, in an age when the Internet was reserved for hardcore adopters. The initial design document even questioned whether the Internet had a future, and the stated hope was to get at least 2500 players. For Funcom, ‘Anarchy Online’ has always been a proving ground for new and exciting ideas, both in terms of gameplay, technology and business models. Instancing, massive player vs. player combat, digital download of games, in-game advertisement, virtual world radio, concerts, virtual items, ‘freemium’ business models – the list goes on. These are but some of the areas where ’Anarchy Online’ has served as an initiator and innovator.

    Now, millions of gamers and many innovations later, Funcom are ready to throw down the biggest party on Rubi-Ka to date.

    “When Anarchy Online launched ten years ago nobody would have predicted where it would go, and that we would even see this day are all thanks to the dedication of our players and our community”, says Colin Cragg, Game Director on Anarchy Online. “I have so many fond memories from the years with Anarchy Online, and there are so many people to thank. The span of time and the way our world has touched the lives of so many is something we will always cherish. The fact that the kids of couples who met in AO are now playing our game says it all. I feel incredibly grateful to have been a part of Anarchy Online, and can’t wait to see what the future holds in store for us all.”

    As a part of the celebration Funcom is adding new content to boost the festivities. Ranging from an all new birthday raid to new vehicles, clothes, gear, action figures and pets, players will have tons of new content to play around with. Players who choose to re-subscribe during the festivities will even get a special “Heckler of Celebration” social pet, and many other benefits. The Heckler is known as one of the most notorious monsters in ’Anarchy Online’, and it comes complete with a rocky personality and a 10th anniversary Birthday Hat.

    And of course, no celebration would be complete without a grand party, and we’re featuring music from the founders of the world’s first virtual game radio. The combined efforts of Funcom, in-game volunteers and Gridstream Productions is going to bring it to you live with one of the biggest AO parties ever. Running over three days on two dimensions, this is the Anarchy event of the decade. The party starts this Friday, and a complete list of times can be found on the official site.

    We hope you will join us for the party, and if you have not been to Rubi-Ka for a while we are certain that you have a lot of exciting new content to catch up on.

    See you on Rubi-Ka!

    Note: if you have uninstalled the game, or want to try Anarchy Online for the first time, please go to