Artix Entertainment is an indie gaming company that trades exclusively in browser-based Flash games. All of their games are free to play, but generate revenue by allowing you to bribe your way to victory, usually in the form of permanent upgrades and/or special in-game currency only available by purchasing with real-world money.
AE started as Adam Bohn (more widely known by his 'screen name' "Artix von Krieger," or, usually, just "Artix") and a few of his best friends in high school, piecing together a rather crude RPG in Adobe Flash (Flash was relatively unknown at the time)...It took off in a major way.
Their prototype game (called Land of Rising Evil) soon turned into AdventureQuest, nowadays with thousands of players online at any given time. Their second 'game project' was another RPG in the same vein, called ArchKnight. A demo was produced, but the game never progressed beyond that stage, although the main story and some characters have now been integrated into DragonFable as sort of 'minigame'.
Then along came DragonFable that same year, which proved to be a huge success- possibly even outdoing AdventureQuest itself. From there, they just started expanding exponentially, and today, their portfolio also contains another RPG (featuring Humongous Mecha), a Flash-based MMORPG, a slew of minigames and many more RPG in the works.
Most of their games so far take place in the same universe- or at least in alternate timelines of the same universe, separated by anything from ''five years'' (and two-days worth of travel) to 5,000 years and a few million light years away... The only exceptions to this are EpicDuel and HeroSmash, the first of which is unrelated to the Artix Entertainment continuity due to the fact that it had been developed independently prior to the merger with AE.
- AdventureQuest: (2002) Flagship game, and original creation. A fantasy RPG, featuring dragons, elves, magic potions, mad wizards (benign and otherwise), attack kittens, werewolves, heroes, pirates, ninjas, kungfu masters, frogzards and other assorted insanity.
- DragonFable: (2005) Darker and Edgier Prequel to AdventureQuest, set five years earlier. The setting is pretty much the same as AdventureQuest, just way earlier, in a different location.
- MechQuest: (2007) Another prequel to AdventureQuest- this one set 5,000 years before it. It features Humongous Mecha, Faster-Than-Light Travel, general sci-ficness and very little traditional magic. It also features quite a few prominent characters from other AE games, and/or copies of the selfsame (maybe), which is... interesting, to say the least!
- AdventureQuest Worlds: (2008) AE's resident Flash-based MMO, happening after the Time Dragon was slain and merged the other games together (of the same continuity)! The setting incorporates many elements from both AdventureQuest and DragonFable, but mainly the latter game.
- WarpForce: (2009) Expansion to the original AdventureQuest and uses the same gameplay elements and style, except with a more spacey flair due to its setting.
- EpicDuel: AE's second Flash-based MMO. EpicDuel was developed independently by Epic Inventions, LLC, a smaller gaming company which was purchased by Artix, and the developers brought on as Artix Entertainment employees. It takes place outside of the world of AdventureQuest, since it was developed with its own mythology in mind.
- HeroSmash: (2010) AE's third MMO, though the second once actually created by AE, like EpicDuel this appears to take place in an entirely different world to most of the other AE games though details are pretty limited right now. It is a superhero based game and is currently in the beta stages of testing.
- Legend of Lore: There is very little information on this game at the moment except that it will be aimed at a more mature audience than AE's other previous games. Currently on hold.
- Oversoul (2012) Now in Beta, it is mildly successful, it is a bit like Pokemon in the way that you can possess other NPC characters, but is possible not to. The micro-currency is 'Soul Gems' which, on victory, allow you the chance to guarantee (think of a Master Ball from Pokémon) a character possession. There are over 115 characters to possess.
- Battle Gems (2014) in the App-store. It is considered to be a Broad Strokes summary of Adventure Quest, where your character uses colorful gems to battle new weird monsters.
- AdventureQuest 3D (2016) A 3D reenvisioning of the original AdventureQuest in 3D, and the fourth MMO. Revolutionary in that it features cross-platforming, allowing players to play simultaneously on PC and mobile devices (android, and apple). Heavily incorporates elements from AdventureQuestWorlds, as well as a lot of original material.
Tropes associated with Artix Entertainment:
- Amazing Technicolor Population: You can give your character virtually any hair or skin color you want. Wanna have neon green skin and a hot pink mohawk? Go right ahead.
- Allegedly Free Game: Most of their games' online adverts always say Free To Play! until you want bonuses... (See Bribing Your Way to Victory)
- Alternate Self: The player characters of each game are alternate versions to each other. In AdventureQuest Worlds this is a major plot point with the revelation that the AQW hero is actually an in-universe amalgamation of the AdventureQuest, DragonFable, and MechQuest heroes.
- Art Evolution: The original western-styled art of AdventureQuest compared to the more recent anime-styled art nowadays, especially the monster's graphics.
- Author Avatar: Practically all important (and a lot of secondary) NPCs are either based on and named after staff members. Most notably Artix himself, who appears in-game himself as an overzealous holy Paladin.
- Bribing Your Way to Victory: A majority of their major games offer the opportunity to permanently upgrade your character to give them access to the best equipment, and then goes further in making various types of in-game currency necessary for buying the very best available (practically) only by real-world purchase or completing sponsor offers.
- CamelCase: All of the games' titles.
- Character Customization: All PlayerCharacters can be customized.
- Crisis Crossover: The 10th anniversary Gameocide event, where all six main games went to war at the same time, with only one week to defeat 10 million monsters. And the players pulled it off.
- Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: In any given AE game (excluding mini-games), the worst consequences death will have is that you have to restart the current quest all over again.
- Death Is Not Permanent: See above.
- Denser and Wackier: Battle Gems is significantly more sillier and lighthearted compared to the other Artix Entertainment games, with a complete lack of a fourth wall, an avalanche of spoofs, and actually poking fun at game cliches.
- Direct Demographic: AE has a very close relationship to its players/fandom, often directly involving them in the creation process, creating many quests that are impossible to finish without the cooperation of several players (despite being in single-player games), and sometimes even bringing the forum antics into their games themselves.
- Fan Disservice: This picture from the September 14, 2010 MechQuest DNs◊. Complete with Troll Face.
- Idiot Hero: Player characters flip between this and Only Sane Man as needed.
- Improbable Weapon User: AE likes to give their players odd weapons, such as deadly cupcakes, candy-cane rockets and squirt-guns.
- It Will Never Catch On: Flash-animated RPG games in 2005.
- Light Is Not Good: Sek-Duat, Kingadent Slugwrath, Brilhado, The Inquisitors of the Citadel, and Maximilian Lionfang
- Mix-and-Match Critters: The iconic moglins of the franchise look a bit like teddy bears with giant rabbit ears.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Vaal, Vampire-Lord Incubus, Sepulchure, The DeathScythe, The Nightmare Queen, Kathool Atchoo, Caitiff? Yeah, not so nice.
- Parental Bonus: Many of these jokes and puns.
- Series Mascot: Artix von Kreiger, Twilly, Robina Hood, and Zorbak.
- Shout-Out: Loads and loads over the years. Minor examples include the Frogzard Hunter, Robina Hood, Light's Sabers and Kent Parker's comic book store.
- Villainous Breakdown: Chairman Platinum does not take it well when Operation Gameocide fails.
- Wolverine Publicity:
- War Is Hell: MechQuest and EpicDuel are the prime examples.