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MMORPG.com Staff Blog

The staff of MMORPG.com gets together to bring you some behind the scenes insights on stories, the industry and the site itself.

Author: staffblog

Contributors: BillMurphy,MikeB,garrett,SBFord,Grakulen,

Community Spotlight: Console MMOs

Posted by MikeB Thursday December 23 2010 at 3:45PM
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This week's Community Spotlight focuses on the thread "Why no console mmorpgs?" by KarmaCry7. KarmaCry7 wants to know why we arent' seeing more console MMOs hit the market, going so far as to assert that console MMOs are the future:

At this point I would like to see a great or even decent xbox live mmorpg. AoC was supposed to release console versions but they never did. This is a market that is hungry for convenient online interaction and Final Fantasy and Phantasy Star only gave a very small effort in motivating the market to become an active part of their community growth.

I look at some PC games as being a waste of time and effort. Having to download strange patches, graphics that look out of wack because you don't meet the requirements as advertised etc. Payment transactions for monthly fee payments can be a pain. It just seems that the console generation of mmos can become a lot larger, more stable, reliable and long lasting. I just want to see more X-Box mmos to be considered by devs.

I'll go as far as to say every sorry and failing PC mmorpg would be considered by me if they were available for download on live.


Games I would sub on X Box Live


1. Star Wars Galaxies
2. War Hammer
3. City of Heroes
4. Age of Conan
5. Everquest 2


If these games were there, I'll be building my network on live and would actually care that these games still exist.

What does the MMORPG.com community think about the state of console MMOs? Find out below!

Loke666 sees similarities between the state of console FPS games a decade ago and the current state of console MMOs, feeling that its simply a matter of time until console MMOs are much more prevalent:

You can't just port a game, it would be pretty bad and I doubt most X-box users would like it. To make a good console MMO you need to make a console MMO from the start. We already seen tries to make games for both with rather bad results, FF XI excluded.

There are some companies making MMOs exclusively for X-box even if nothing is released yet. Most promising with most experienced devs is Zombie labs lead by Jeff Strain (Diablo, Warcraft 3, Wow, GW 1 & 2).

There will be rather popular console MMOs, 10 years ago few people believed in console FPS games. But they will need to find the right mechanics for a game like that. That will happen but it might take a while.

Your list however have only smaller games and porting them would most likely not lead to much, AoC were actually made to be both for PC and X-box but the console version was canned.

EQ Next will most likely release on PS3 as well as PC, but I can promise you that no SOE will be ported to X.box ever. SOE is however spending the time with making the next EQ game multi platform and I doubt they would spend all the job on the current game that is 6 years old.

Omali notes that there are several console MMOs already running, but points to Microsoft as someone to blame for a variety of announced console MMO projects never seeing the light of day:

There are console MMOs. Playstation 3 has Final Fantasy XI, Massive Action Game, and soon to be DC Universe Online (already in beta), Final Fantasy XIV, the Undead Labs zombie MMO, Turbine's console MMO, and a few other titles not coming to mind right away.

As for the Xbox360, you have Final Fantasy XI and that's pretty much all, but if you want an idea as to why there are no MMOs coming to the 360, you should ask Microsoft. There have been numerous reports of Microsoft blocking MMO initiatives in the past. Funcom noted Microsoft's resistance as the reason Age of Conan hasn't come out on the 360, and Cryptic has done the same noting that Champions Online and Star Trek Online were announced to be virtually finished on the 360 before they were canned. Square Enix has stated that Final Fantasy XIV on the 360 is a possibility, but that Microsoft is the main issue blocking any progress, and has even gone as far as saying that Final Fantasy XI is only on Xbox Live because it was released in Live's infancy, and Microsoft didn't have the kind of strict guidelines that they have now.

Antaran sees the console development cycle as a significant barrier to successful MMOs on consoles:

Don't get me wrong guys and gals, i'm not a hater of consoles at all, i just don't see the longevity of MMOs on them from a developer point of view. think of it this way, a company makes an MMO for Xbox, 2-3 years later a new xbox comes along and fair enough it may be backwards compatable for a majority of disc based games or downloaded games but the coding for the MMO would have to be altered in a huge way and therefore be completely buggering for the people who don't buy the new one as well as it costing the developer even more money which, everyone knows, devs prefer not to invest huge amounts of time and money in MMOs after they've launched aside from patches now and then and more money making ideas from expansions.

As many users have noted it's true there are a few console MMOs floating around, and it is also true that many console MMO projects have been nixed due to issues between developers and Microsoft (who also have a terrible track record with MMOs on the PC), but while there have been many failures and a good deal of resistance to console MMOs I definitely have to agree with Loke666 as far as the similarities between console MMOs now and console FPS games just a decade ago.

Once the logistics are figured out and a game comes along that targets the console gamer demographic I think we'll start seeing many more of them. Console MMOs need their "Halo" in order to clear the way. No one believed FPS games could work well on consoles until Halo came around, and well, now here we are, with FPS games being developed primarily for the console gamer demographic and the PC gamer getting the ports. I still feel like we're in the Twilight Zone with regards to that, but I digress.

In the near future we have DC Universe Online, which works great with both a mouse and keyboard as well as controller, and just may strike a balance between console gamer and PC gamer tastes. It's definitely a game I'm keeping my eye on if just to see how it all plays out on the console side of things. Having played the game myself I can definitely see the concessions made in the interface and game controls for console users, but I also don't find the game suffers much at all for that, it all works pretty well and that's a good sign.

While I'm a passionate PC gamer (I also play on consoles), I'm just as passionate about the MMO genre in particular, and I'd love to see it grow across platforms.

Liltawen writes:

There were going to be a bunch of X-box MMOs but Microsoft killed them all.

We'll see how DCUo does. I'm sure alot of companies will be watching it really closely.

Thu Dec 23 2010 7:02PM Report
haratu writes:

Consoles have the problem that adults with consoles often have PCs, so given the choice would probably play an MMO on PC (or plug thier television into their PC).

An MMO for the console has to be accessible to children and teenagers. Somethign like WoW, or similar games would do well on console becasue they are accessible to children, as opposed to something like AoC which has a more mature (age wise) population.

Note that I dont mean to say that only children play consoles, just that the audience that would play an mmo as an adult would most likely use their PC. The way around this would be to make the console game have a PC game packaged with it for free (or vice versa), allowing them to pick and choose their platform depending on what they felt like. This has been done in the past with a few Mac/PC games back in the 90s.

Thu Dec 23 2010 8:48PM Report
gaeanprayer writes:

I'm not going to address the above spammer, even though he's been doing it for a little while now, seeing as it's near the holidays and you're likely undermanned as people spend time with family. *cough*

 

As for console MMOs, I happen to love my PS3, but I would never play an MMO on it, and if there were ever an MMO exclusively for consoles I'd ignore it no matter how good it's supposed to be. I don't want to drag my ps3 around for those times when I'm on the road or visiting family and need to escape from their incessant chatter, when with a laptop I can log into my favorite MMO whenever I so desire. I'm also not going to  play an MMO on a PS3 when doing so means I also need my iPod, a TV to hook my system up to, etc., when all of this and more is available for me on my PC.

I WILL play my PS3 when I'm burnt out on MMOs, or there's just a good game coming out I really want in on (MvC3? Yes, pls).

Also is it just me, or has this never really been done well yet? I'm seeing the same issues with the UI and control scheme in DCUO as I saw for FF14, people complaining it's not Windows friendly. The same issues were intial for FF11 as well, though I'm assuming that got fixed pretty quickly since I didn't hear about it for long. That or I just wasn't paying attention. Point is, it seems difficult to get them perfectly synched on completely different platforms.

Thu Dec 23 2010 10:37PM Report
jinxxed0 writes:

If my gaming PC weren't dead and I was on it, I'd most likely go on and on about how the PC would be better for MMOs. But now that my PC is dead and it would take a long time save up again for a new one, I welcome console MMO's. Not every adult makes a good enough paycheck to buy a big gaming rig. And I understand that more than ever. It took me about 2 or 3 years to save up for my PC thats now dead.

 

And Now it'll take me even longer. So now I just have a PC that can barely handle 5+ year old games. I got invited to DCUO's closed beta based on the sign up i did with my old PC, so I never got to play it because i got invited months after the PC died.I'd love to play it on PS3.

 

However, even after all of that. I can still say, the way something like City of heroes works, it wuld suck on the consoles. Through out the game in the mid levels to the high levels, you'll need to access 10-20+ powers at a time while fighting enemies. That wont work unless revamped the whole system. At that point they may as well make a new game.

Fri Dec 24 2010 7:12AM Report
Senadina writes:

I see a major barrier being console gamer's resistancde to monthly payments. Many console players are kids who cannot afford a subscription, and others just see it as a foreign concept. I have found this to be true with the attitude I've seen regarding DCUO. Post after post from the console crowd decrying a monthly fee. It makes me fear for the future of DCUO on PS3. Still gonna try it on the console tho, and hope for the best.

Fri Dec 24 2010 10:15AM Report
sfly2000 writes:

Because consoles are for dumbed down games.

Sat Dec 25 2010 7:32AM Report
sfly2000 writes:

But yeah...everything is moving this way unfortunately....so don't you worry....

Sat Dec 25 2010 7:33AM Report
getajob92 writes:

I agree with most everything said.  But... "No one believed FPS games could work well on consoles until Halo came around..."  *ahem* Goldeneye/Perfect Dark anyone?

Thu Oct 13 2011 12:25AM Report

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