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Undead Labs' Jeff Strain Talks Console MMOs

Posted Jun 10, 2010 by Michael Bitton

Undead Labs' Jeff Strain Talks Console MMOs

One of the three original founders of ArenaNet and ex-World of Warcraft lead programmer Jeff Strain ventured out on his own in 2009 to form Undead Labs, a studio focused squarely on creating MMOZ (Massively Multiplayer Zombie Game) which is being developed solely for the console gamer. With few exceptions, console MMOs have been like the elusive fabled Unicorn, however, Undead Labs is determined to change that and Jeff discusses the why and the how in this latest update to the Undead Labs blog.

The crux of his point about console MMOs centers around the situation of console FPS games roughly 10 years ago before Halo came in to change things forever. Everyone back then said FPS games just don't work on consoles and then Bungie came in and turned all that on their heads. Undead Labs intends to do the same by developing an MMO that isn't simply a port of a PC counterpart, instead, they intend to develop MMOZ from the ground up with the kinds of changes and accomodations an MMO would need to "work" on a console, as well as incorporate important gameplay, interface and design changes that console gamers expect in their games. Some examples Jeff provides include the user interface, which is typically cluttered and full of information overload on most PC MMOs, while console gamers prefer a less intrustive UI, and the use of voice chat, which is ubiquitous on the console and pretty much expected at this point.

There's a lot of information to digest, so be sure to check out the full post here.

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Michael Bitton / Michael Bitton / Michael began his career at the WarCry Network in 2005 as the site manager for several different WarCry fansite portals. In 2008, Michael worked for the startup magazine Massive Gamer as a columnist and online news editor. In June of 2009, Michael joined MMORPG.com as the site's Community Manager. Follow him on Twitter @eMikeB

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