Firefly Studios has announced the development of Stronghold Kingdoms, the first castle-based MMO.

Classic Stronghold goes online in a world where players can besiege the castle that's never been taken, overthrow tyrants, bankroll your factions war effort, pillage your neighbour's resources, peacefully raise sheep or do it all. The choice is the player's as they go about their medieval life played out in real time against thousands of online opponents.

Strong and well planned castles will form the heart of any lord's domain, but players can also specialise via a vast research tree. Beginning life as humble peasant, each promotion brings research points to spend on specialising in areas including trading, diplomacy, warfare, farming and more. As their power grows, players can eventually expand out of their local parish and join in a countrywide war for the Crown.

Look out for new game features which will be announced in the coming months. The game's currently scheduled for release in 2010.