Gaming Massively

Saturday, July 4, 2009

What are they up to now? 38 Studios edition

It's funny how conservative young people can be. Keen has a post up, noting concern over recent statements by 38 Studios in an interview with Joystiq about their recent acquisition of Big Huge games. In the post, Keen notes that he is concerned that the game isn't well defined, and that makes him 'uneasy'.

Of course, the trick here is that with RA Salvatore, they don't need a game at all. They could create an IP and go crazy with it on t-shirts, posters, etc. (gotta keep all the artists busy somehow - otherwise why pay them?) and make a killing. The story will sell - we know that. And so do they. So take as a given that the key element - the IP - will be successful.

Now it's gravy time. And here there is some legitimate room for concern. The game could be built just like every other game that's been built on a successful IP. I'm thinking here of movie games (E.T. on the Atari 2600, anyone?) But let's, for the moment, give them the benefit of the doubt - these are professional game makers. With nothing defined except for the fact that they will have an awesome and successful storyline on which to build a game, I think it's a bit premature to start worrying the sky is falling (will fall).

The other nice thing is that, even if the main game sucks at first, with the funds they'll have from everything else (those t-shirts, etc.) they should have time to hold on and make it right. I think that's the biggest thing people forget is that longevity is the biggest factor in making a good game (or anything else - everyone knows the first gen has bugs). With their plans for making money in a variety of ways, they should have the resources to take their time and polish it up to shiny. And because the IP should be good, at least we can expect any games to come out to at least have a credible story - that may not help the game, but it can't hurt.

Finally, the only way gaming, as a genre, is going to get better is by people pushing the envelope. So if they release 15 crappy games and one truly new thing, we'll all be happier than if they released nothing at all.

Patience, Grasshopper.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wheel of Time MMO?

Slashdot, which seems to be chock full of gaming news today, has an extended article on the plans for movies, games, and an MMO based on Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. If you aren't familiar, this is a series of books that has been going on for two decades, and although Jordan passed away, he left extensive notes which Brandon Sanderson will complete the series with. There's apparently around 4 million words in the series (based on a post Brandon made), so heaven knows the IP is ripe for plucking. We'll see how well the folks at Red Eagle can pluck.

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Stargate Worlds

Well, West Karana may not believe in Stargate Worlds (or Stargate at all, apparently), but The Common Sense Gamer certainly does!
Stargate: SG-1 [...] lasted 10 seasons and is probably THE longest running sci-fi series in television history. I’m going to tell you… we have nine of those seasons (…don’t think that season ten is out yet…) and each one is very solid. The series itself is very well written with a deep story line with lots of "meaning of life" stuff in it. The characters, although a bit weak to start, really, really grow on you….especially Jack O'Niell.

I do think the IP is very strong. The game? We'll see.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Star Trek craziness

Well, I never held much hope for it, but news that Star Trek's MMO has been purchased and repositioned is still something of a shock. It's funny how the most valuable IPs can be abused in this fashion - it's why I never expect any of them to do anything. Large players are only too happy to throw together any crap thing under the assumption it will sell regardless, and Star Trek has certainly been a victim of that. It's funny - Star Trek has, to my mind, one of the most well developed background stories, something I've asserted again and again was part of the key to success for an MMO. And yet I just can't believe anyone would make a good game out of it. Oh well. Still plenty of time for the new owners to prove me wrong.

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