Artix Entertainment is an indie gaming company that trades excusively 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 availible 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 Adventure Quest, 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 Dragon Fable as sort of 'minigame'.
Then along came Dragon Fable that same year, which proved to be a huge success- possibly even outdoing Adventure Quest 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.
All of their games so far take place in the same universe, or at least in alternate continuities 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. The only exception to this are Epic Duel and Hero Smash, 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.
- Adventure Quest: (2005) Flagship game, and original creation. A fantasy RPG, featuring dragons, elves, magic potions, mad wizards (benign and otherwise), attack kittens, werewolves, heroes, pirates, ninjas, kung fu masters, frogzards and other assorted insanity.
- Dragon Fable: (2005) Prequel to AdventureQuest, set five years earlier. The setting is pretty much the same as AdventureQuest, just 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-fi-ness and very little traditional magic. It also features quite a few prominent characters from other AE games, and/or expies of the selfsame (maybe), which is... interesting, to say the least.
- Adventure Quest Worlds: (2008) AE's resident Flash-based MMO, happening after the Time Dragon was slain and merged the other games of the same continuity. The setting incorporates many elements from both Adventure Quest and Dragon Fable, but mainly the latter game.
- Warp Force: (2009) Expansion to the original Adventure Quest and uses the same gameplay elements and style, except with a more space-y flair due to its setting.
- Epic Duel: AE's second Flash-based MMO. Epic Duel 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 Adventure Quest, since it was developed with its own mythology in mind.
- Hero Smash: (2010) AE's third MMO, though the second once actually created by AE, like Epic Duel 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.
- A fourth MMO in 2012 has recently been announced (which will be in 3D) and should go into beta in Summer of 2012, there is very little information on this game at the moment except that it will be aimed at a more mature audience that AE's previous games.
- Yet another PvP MMO (2012) has also yet be announced called Over Soul, it now involves 'possessing AQW characters' and has a card-based battle system, there is currently no release date announced but the fact that this game has a forum and the 3d game doesn't yet have one seems to suggest that this will be released before the 3d game. It also appears that this game will be much Darker and Edgier than any of AE's previous games, even though it's now set in a similar universe to AQW.
- Allegedly Free Game: Most of their games' online adverts always say Free To Play! until you want bonuses... (See Bribing Your Way to Victory)
- Art Evolution: The original art of Adventure Quest and the most recent art nowadays, especially the monster's graphics.
- Author Avatar: Practically all important, and a lot of secondary, NPCs are based on and named after staff members. Most notably Artix himself, who appears in-game as an overzealous 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.
- Death Is a Slap on The Wrist: In any given AE game (excluding mini-games), the worst consequence death will have is that you have to start the quest over.
- Death Is Not Permanent: See above.
- Direct Demographic: AE has a very close relationship to its player base, often directly involving them in the creation process, creating quests that are impossible to finish without the cooperation of several players (despite being in single-player games), and sometimes even bringing forum antics into the games themselves.
- Fan Disservice: This pic from the September 14, 2010 MechQuest DNs. Complete with Troll Face.
- Idiot Hero: All player characters are this.
- Improbable Weapon User: AE likes to give their players odd weapons, such as deadly cupcakes, candy-cane rockets and squirtguns.
- Incredibly Lame Pun: Constantly.
- 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
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Vaal, Vampire Lord Incubus, Sepulchure, The DeathScythe, The Nightmare Queen? Yeah, not nice.
- Parental Bonus: Many of the jokes and puns.
- Shout-Out: Loads and loads. Examples include the Frogzard Hunter, Robina Hood, Light's Sabers and Kent Parker
- Wolverine Publicity: Drakath who appears in Adventure Quest, Dragon Fable and Adventure Quest Worlds (the latter as its Big Bad).
- War Is Hell: Mechquest and Epic Duel are the prime examples.