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News & Features Discussion  » General: Editorial: What's Next for EA Mythic?

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  Dana

Novice Member

Joined: 1/07/04
Posts: 2425

 
OP  10/09/06 1:14:12 PM#1

When EA bought Mythic, it gave them experts to run their MMORPGs. While Mythic may have a potential hit on their hands with Warhammer Online, it is impossible to believe that everyone involved is just going to sit around and wait for it to launch. Thus, the question becomes, what else could EA Mythic be working on? With the Electronic Arts catalogue of IPs and the muscle they provide, we look at some of the likely candidates.

This is a speculative editorial about what makes the most sense to us and not necessarily what EA or EA Mythic have planned.

To date, it seems like EA may have understood their mistakes. They've set the newly dubbed EA Mythic up as the head of their MMO operations. Both their surviving MMOGs, along with the current and upcoming Mythic games report through a single structure overseen by people who have had great success in this industry. The earliest indications seem to show that perhaps Electronic Arts has learned a lesson.

EA is not, however, a small company with finite ambitions. It is only logical to assume that while Warhammer Online may look like it has the makings of being a big hit, they are not going to rest all their MMO hopes on one potential star and two aging veterans. One has to ask then, what else might they be working on?

Enjoy the full article here.

Dana Massey
Formerly of MMORPG.com
Currently Lead Designer for Bit Trap Studios

  Ryowulf

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/28/05
Posts: 671

10/09/06 1:47:58 PM#2
I don't know if everyone would want to be Harry Potter. There isn't anything special about him. That is to say in a way that Jedi were/are special in SW. You want to be a clever wizard who's average in magical talent?
  Arremus

Novice Member

Joined: 3/08/04
Posts: 659

"... One crowded hour of glorious life,
Is worth an age without a name."
- Thomas Osbert Mordaunt

10/09/06 2:04:08 PM#3
That's not it though.
MMOs are (or at least should be) about creating an alternate world that you can exist in as your character, living out a role(play) if you so wish etc.
I can imagine there would be thousands upon thousands of kids - and adults - who would just love the idea of being able to get home from school or work and log in as a student at Hogwhatsits, having selected their special magical trait at creation etc.
It wouldn't be a case of everyone being Harry Potter, but having the opportunity to exist in Harry's world as just another little-bit-special kid with a penchant for the Magick Arts.
God, I can imagine such a game being a monster if done well..

I mean, I think of the series of books I just love. Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles.. Raymond E Feist's epic novels. I'd love the opportunity to be able to exist within worlds created around these IPs... As long as it was done very, very well. And therein lays the problem.

Do it well and they'll be Dev Gods. Screw it up bad and they'll never be forgiven (ie SWG...).

But yeah, good thought provoking article Dana.

My prayer is that some gaming company will eventually come out with an MMO that isn't just linear quests, but a fully interactive, deep, customisable, random-stat-crafting epic world of goodness... But I can dream I guess.


"(The) Iraqi people owe the American people a huge debt of gratitude." - George W Bush.
Oh. My. God.

  tkobo

Novice Member

Joined: 3/17/06
Posts: 472

Current MMO dev teams = Keystone cops.A pure comedy of errors,sadly its not as intentional.

10/09/06 2:42:55 PM#4

Potter's world would be an excellent IP for an MMO.

However i dont think theres an MMO company (or group that could be newly formed from the existing MMO devs) that would actually manage to get it right.

It could be made into an incredible rpg mmo,with classes as instanced encounters(some)(some not) and the players having to attend them as per the curricular.

Have the classes work as a normal class (emense amounts of lore and information), but have adventure events take place during them  and clues  given out to adventures  in ones that dont have a specific adventure event happen.Some instanced, some not.

Make the player LIVE the school life and keep things happening to entertain /provide adventure to them while they do.

The key would be to make each class an adventure in some way.The more unexpected the type of adveture that occurs the better.

They could even give each player an arch nemesis,that follows and evolves (levels,or improves their skills) just like the players char.An improved version of what CoH did.Even make it so guilds could have their arch foes as well as players.So that a whole guild can follow the same core story line as a guild.

The possiblities are immense.The fan base even more so.

Though i must confess im not a dedicated  potter fan.If done right, i'd give it a try.

All uses of the word "class" here, refer to the teaching event .NOT to any arificial role or skill set.

  Wieland

Novice Member

Joined: 4/07/03
Posts: 27

10/09/06 2:45:29 PM#5

Privateer/Wing Commander Online

But with 3 problems:

Privateer/Wing Commander is a thing of the past like the Ultima series. The kids might have never heard of it.

Eve Online is the current king in the Space MMO sector and hard to beat.

Some guys are working on a Space MMO for NCSoft(those guys have worked on titles like Privateer and Wing Commander before)

  Hakiko

Novice Member

Joined: 6/13/06
Posts: 103

10/09/06 2:45:36 PM#6
Of course EA has another huge property to work with: Madden. While sports MMOs aren't big here yet. They are getting popular in Asia. An NFL MMO could be huge.
  SteamRanger

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/24/03
Posts: 921

I don''t have to know how to make a better game, I only need to know where the "CANCEL" button is!

10/09/06 2:52:44 PM#7
Ultima X Odyssey had real promise before they shelved the game. It was shaping up to be a decent competitor for WOW. They could do worse than blowing the dust off an already started project.

"Soloists and those who prefer small groups should never have to feel like they''re the ones getting the proverbial table scraps, as it were." - Scott Hartsman, Senior Producer, Everquest II
"People love groups. Its a fallacy that people want to play solo all the time." - Scott Hartsman, Executive Producer, Rift

  sleepyguyftl

Novice Member

Joined: 3/22/03
Posts: 650

10/09/06 2:53:51 PM#8
Concerning Earth and Beyond. I personally feel that they will bring it back in it's original form on gametap. Just wait and see.
  Robbgobb

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/03/03
Posts: 429

10/09/06 2:58:41 PM#9
I have to say that I would love to see Earth and Beyond: The Return. It is the only MMO my wife has ever played and she still says she wished it would return. I think Imperator would be cool as well. I don't know about any other suggestion. I would love to see them come out with something new. I would love to see something based in a universe like Heavy Gear RPG. I am still surprised there has not been an MMO based on mechanized armor. That seems like a game that has plenty of money sinks in. It is not like most where someone just tries and get a set of armor or 2 and a few weapons. One could really try and have muliple machines that would open up new ways to play. With a sort of gladiator system in place with mercenary missions, that would open many ways to play as well. One could start of trying to earn the money to buy their own ride or trying to join a mercenary company and get a machine from a battle field and salvage it.
  itzit

Novice Member

Joined: 12/25/04
Posts: 210

10/09/06 2:59:24 PM#10

Originally posted by Arremus
That's not it though.
MMOs are (or at least should be) about creating an alternate world that you can exist in as your character, living out a role(play) if you so wish etc.
I can imagine there would be thousands upon thousands of kids - and adults - who would just love the idea of being able to get home from school or work and log in as a student at Hogwhatsits, having selected their special magical trait at creation etc.
It wouldn't be a case of everyone being Harry Potter, but having the opportunity to exist in Harry's world as just another little-bit-special kid with a penchant for the Magick Arts.
God, I can imagine such a game being a monster if done well..

I mean, I think of the series of books I just love. Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles.. Raymond E Feist's epic novels. I'd love the opportunity to be able to exist within worlds created around these IPs... As long as it was done very, very well. And therein lays the problem.

Do it well and they'll be Dev Gods. Screw it up bad and they'll never be forgiven (ie SWG...).

But yeah, good thought provoking article Dana.

My prayer is that some gaming company will eventually come out with an MMO that isn't just linear quests, but a fully interactive, deep, customisable, random-stat-crafting epic world of goodness... But I can dream I guess.

Though I am sure some people don't like them, I am a big fan of the Wheel of Time books, And I think it would be a good setting for an Rpg. If done right it could be a massive world for an MMO. It has a deep story to it already and a pretty big fan base.
itzit Xfire Miniprofile
  toria

Novice Member

Joined: 6/22/04
Posts: 75

DaOc...

10/09/06 3:11:42 PM#11
The idea for a wheel of time MMorpg, would be great i think. I to also loved the series.. and wouold like to see that possibly play in it if it ever happens..

right now i am playing daoc, and have been since released, have tried other games with newer graphics  and what on, but find myself always comming back to daoc.. for the stype of game play and i still think its very pretty.. in alot of ways.. although they have changed alot of things in the game as far as classes and everything.. would still play it.. no matter what new game came out..

right now i dont forsee anything else to my likeing as a game

Playing daoc and loving it totally..
have Played
Eq,Eq2,WoW,Coh,Cov,
and other..
which i have forgotten..

  Liddokun

Novice Member

Joined: 7/08/03
Posts: 1666

10/09/06 3:25:43 PM#12
Farscape Online. Complete with the possibility of piloting a Leviathan (reward after a very lengthy adventure).
  avienthas

Novice Member

Joined: 6/26/06
Posts: 93

10/09/06 3:38:40 PM#13
I have promised myself never to preorder a MMORPG, but if UO2 ever comes that far, I will preorder it.  

  User Deleted
10/09/06 3:48:38 PM#14

Harry Potter Online FTW!!!

Just imagine all the things you can do...

Long live EA Mythic! And hope that they bring great MMOs for years to come!

Oh, and if Peter Jackson and James Cameron made a MMO movie thing, that would be freakin amazing! Peter Jackson had great success with Lord of The Rings and James Cameron did to with Titanic...

God i can see it now..........................

  GungaDin

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/06/05
Posts: 496

10/09/06 3:52:43 PM#15

ULTIMA ONLINE 2.     Simple as that.   The amount of Veterans returning plus the player base in UO 1 would make the game an easy success.  I would like MMORPG.com to put up a poll, Who would try Ultima Online 2 if it was made and released.  I think the numbers selecting Yes would be staggering. 

And guess what, if they kept the overall graphics 2D but better, say like a Diablo 2 engine..... it still would rule.   Remember, a game with an easier graphics engine would allow for more people to run the game and cause less lag.  Everything does not have to be 3D with super graphics.  Just a good idea with a solid concept. 

I know EA is afraid that UO2 would bomb, but a shot never taken is a goal never scored.  I think Wayne Gretzky's father said that :)

I've played no MMORPG since DEC 2006, I'm wating for my next Ultima Online, and I think many are too.

  raykor

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/28/05
Posts: 326

10/09/06 4:08:13 PM#16

I think their next project will be WAR 40k.  Imperator indicates that Mythic was thinking of doing a non-fantasy MMO.  They already have the Warhammer license, a working relationship with Games Workshop, and a rich IP that while familiar is completely different from the fantasy WAR.  Makes sense to me.

I would love to see this happen; ideally with FPS combat but I doubt they have the huevos to take that risk.

  Lyolas

Novice Member

Joined: 10/02/06
Posts: 60

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

10/09/06 4:20:13 PM#17

I think the abysmal failures of Asheron's Call 2 and EverQuest II are reason enough to not even consider Ultima Online II or DAoC 2. This is not to say I wouldn't love to see a 3D UO, as I very much would. But, I am one of the old gaming vets of SP RPGs of many years ago, namely the original Ultima Series and to this day still fondly remember my time in that world, particularly in the Ultima VII: The Black Gate title. But as stated in the article, kids today have no idea who The Avatar was and it would have to be mighty damned good to get them interested.

I see now in recent news, UO is finally getting a substantial facelift but unfortunately, they are sticking to a top-down isometric view of the game. This appears to me to be more of a way to milk the current users for more time than anything else. In the same way, the recent expansions to EQ, EQ2 (while they place thier hopes on Vanguard), and DAoC are in a similar vein, simply ways to keep the vets happy a while longer before they lose all of them too to newer games. There will be no significant influx of new blood into any of those titles now, every one of them is in serious decline, even though that decline can go on for years.

I don't know whether to worry about Mythic's work or be glad since the aquisition by EA. I hope it turns out to be reason to be glad. But given what I saw them allow with UO, I can't help but worry a little about that. Then again, if Mythic is truly being given a lot of control over thier MMO decision making, then I would think there is hope for good things down the road. If EA management will listen to and trust Mythic management, good things will come. If they don't, this aquisition will not produce any real fruit.

Harry Potter will not happen and should not happen. This is a recipe for failure from the word go. I could go on at great length about why but I won't. Adults who play MMORPGs do not want to play a MMORPG based on a children's book series I would be willing to bet real money. Dumbing down the genre to cater to young children who rely on parents to pay for such things would never work either - I think Disney has already tried similar ventures haven't they? I can't recall what they were but that in and of itself is telling, don't you think?

It's Warhammer for now basically and beyond that I have to say all bets are off and all speculation is wild speculation. I doubt they have really begun to think a lot about that themselves. They have enough irons in the fire right now, so I would hope they are not wasting time and effort on daydreams.

The correct way to at least attempt a 2.0 MMORPG is NOT to replace a title with a new game that uses the lore and world of an existing and previously successful title. The way to make this work if it can at all, is to make a REAL version 2.0 of the EXISTING game for its subscribers that is actually good enough on its own merits to draw new ones. We have already seen the outcome of abandoning the existing user base while trying to milk an IP for all its worth - it does not work.

Personally, I think they should completely replace the graphics engine in Ultima Online, go 3D and make it compete with modern games in visual quality, without changing the underlying game mechanics much and when they do this, I think they should also start anew with the classic servers route that eschews the likes of Todd McFarlane action figure mobs, Samurai warriors, etc. and return to Ultima's roots and former glory. Now, there is a project worth doing. I would play that game in a heartbeat. I want the real deal, real Ultima in a modern looking game and I bet I am not alone there.

Mythic has sort of done this for DAoC it seems to me with the cluster of classic servers where most of their players play today, but in what I consider to be something of a half-baked way vs rolling out and marketing the daylights out of a 2.0 that is really DAoC, but DAoC revamped in a big enough way to be called a version 2, vs an expansion. I guess that's my point too. Rather than more expansions for MMORPGs, at some point doing a real and major upgrade to an existing game and calling it 2.0 and marketing that project aggressively seems to me like something that at least ought to be tried vs allowing aging greats like UO and DAoC to slowly fade into oblivion.

He who hesitates is lost.

  dustyfog

Novice Member

Joined: 12/18/03
Posts: 17

10/09/06 4:48:08 PM#18

Hmmmm.... I'm 40 years old and I would highly enjoy playing in Harry's world :)

But the series I'd most like to see a game based on is The Heralds of Valdemar books by Mercedes Lackey !! other than that I'd like to see a good Vampire based mmorpg. I;ve been a DAOC player since release and unless something spectacular comes along will prolly subscribe to it till the day it dies  and like one of the above posters I believe if EA listens to Mythic and lets them have control there are no limits to the games they can make .

  MisterJaw

Novice Member

Joined: 2/03/04
Posts: 49

Gold buyers: Go to Hell. Go directly to Hell. Do not see St. Peter. Do not collect Salvation.

10/09/06 5:06:04 PM#19

I and a good-sized group of BethSoft junkies would chew off their left arm and hand it to the company who makes The Elder Scrolls: Tamriel Online a reality.

BethSoft said they weren't gonna do it.  Then again, they are selling their crappy "official mods" instead of releasing them for free: like the current pool of talented modders are required to do by law.  People change... I guess.

If BethSoft wants money, they can stop nickel-and-diming their customer base and start by licensing the Hero Engine.  Get on it, people!

Oh yeah - this was about EA/Mythic.  Hogwart's Academy Online would put a spiked choke chain around WoW's neck.  Casual gamers around the world would rejoice in assembling their school gear from Diagon Alley, riding the Hogwart's Express, collecting cards from Chocolate Frogs, casting cantrips to turn their friend's hair orange, exploring the dungeons and suffering the tortures of detention with Mr. Filch.  No one will miss the screaming.

"Mr. Filch," you ask?  Why, yes!  You couldn't have Hogwart's during Harry Potter's time or even during the time of Harry's parents.  It would most certainly have to occur well before: before Dumbledore first became headmaster, for instance.  We need some familiarity, but do not want to rewrite characters.

There should be a marked difference between a first year and a seventh year (and any adults of varying proficiency, naturally), but if the game incorporates D&D-like munchkinfest leveling, I'll be sorely put off.  Should the "perfect build" for a witch or wizard arise, I'll swear off MMOGs until someone does something NEW!  Until then, hope to see you at Ollivander's!

EDIT: After reading a post that was done while I was typing, I see an argument against a Potter world that has some fine counterpoints.  I think the only thing I can say to the negative perspective of a Harry Potter online game that is only for kids is, "I agree!"

It should be a game for adults.  That's where J.K. Rowling is moving towards and that's where the focus should be.  Perhaps you might have missed it, but the ratings on the latest Potter films only dodge an "R" rating because they have no sex/nudity and don't excessively curse.  Hogwart's Academy Online should be for adults and children alike.  Just like every other MMOG with a "T for Teen" rating.  Go from ten years old to 150 or more, if you can manage it.  Everyone will do their time in Hogwart's Castle.  After that:

Go off and be a dragon trainer.  Keep the muggles confounded.  Become a star Quidditch athlete.  Open a shop for potions.  Work for the Ministry of Magic.  Become a ruthlessly powerful witch, not-so-secretly pledged to the Dark Arts.  Become an adventurer of sorts, hunting down giants and trolls and werewolves.

  BountyGreg

Novice Member

Joined: 5/14/06
Posts: 37

10/09/06 5:12:16 PM#20
I know for sure, James Cameron is already working on a MMO, with the Multiverse Engine, since they actually advertise it. I doubt EA Mythic would go that deep and work with such an early build of a Middleware. They have the people and money to create their own engine.
EA has hundreds of IPs so it could be anything, I'd bet on something new tho, a brand new IP would be something more in the style of Mythic and EA probably can't wait to have something new.
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