In my opinion, console MMOs are going to be a major addition to the MMO industry. Sure, there have been some, but I see huge dollars out there for the first next gen console MMO that lands. Of course, there are challenges with console MMOs. However, if there was ever going to be a case where the challenges are going to be reduced it will be where the platform and the MMO developer both work for the same company, as is the case where Sony Online Entertainment’s DC Universe Online is going to launch as a Sony Playstation 3 title.
Which is why it strikes me as funny that the DCUO website doesn’t work on the PS3, so if you wanted to sign up to beta, you need to locate yourself a PC. Also, no official date for the start of the DCUO PS3 beta (just that it is soon) and no final confirmation of the payment methods that PS3 players can use.
If Sony can’t even sort out the details on one of their own titles, what chance does a third party MMO developer have in releasing a next gen console MMO?
SOE is a very disorganised company. They get very muddled with the deals they offer for EQ2. A while back when I investigated it recruit a friend was basically a worse deal than just buying the game for a new player. So what was happening was a friend would ask a friend to try it, expect to get a horse and some other rewards, then his newbie friend would tell him he bought the deal instead. It was complained about quite a lot on the forum and the red name response was along the lines of “shrug, it’s up to Marketing”.
So in answer to your question a third party MMO developer has no worse chance to release a next gen console MMO because SOE don’t have a PS3-viewable site. That’s just SOE Marketing being their usual disorganised selves I’m afraid.
It seems to me from the outside that there are very firm internal walls. So where in another company someone in a random department, anyone, just the person who notices the problem, could alert Marketing in SOE that kind of feedback does not seem to happen.
It doesn’t mean DCUO won’t work as a console MMO. If it’s fun enough it will. I think though the bar for console games is set by single player titles. If it’s not as visceral to shoot someone as in best-selling action console games then I don’t think it will sell very well. Bad marketing is a handicap but it won’t stop a good game. But it will need to be as much fun to fight in regardless of the massively multiplayer aspects as other console games.
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