Gaming Massively

Monday, August 31, 2009

MMOs and Consoles: a Winning Combination?

Slashdot pointed me to an interview with Cryptic Studios' Jack Emmert, in which he says that Microsoft is holding up the 360 release of Champions Online due to not being quite sure how to handle it (vis-a-vis XBox Live). I wonder if this is another facet of what seems like the on-going 'MMO on consoles not happening' saga. I feel like, given the number of console owners, MMOs should be a bigger presence on them than they are. Of course, there's the complexity of development and all that, but given that "around 90 per cent of the game code is shared between platforms", it doesn't seem insurmountable. On the other hand, that article also notes the complexity of the rules to be followed from platform to platform, which seems to move us towards the xbox problem. Other places have also noted the problem with payment models on other console-based MMOs. I wonder if the console makers are shooting themselves in the foot, or if, given that "MMOs have the 'highest failure rate of any entertainment product'", they'll be just fine even if no MMO ever makes it to their door.

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