Friday 11 February 2011

Our hopes and expectations

GamaSutra have an interesting interview with Bill Roper looking back on Hellgate: London. Sounds like a fairly familiar story; great ambition, a passionate developer communicating that ambition perhaps a little too early, big ideas that prove impractical, ultimately having to release a scaled back game earlier than they’d like due to financial pressure. Not a million miles from APB by all accounts, or several other MMOG releases.

I was also listening to the splendid One Life Left crew discussing their ideas for getting OBEs by force, and after various hypothetical axe-kicks, face-stomps and arm-bars upon poor industry luminaries, the plan of attack to get hold of Peter Molyneux’s OBE was to find a group of gamers, hold up a list of his grand announcements about Fable, then hold up Fable itself and let them sort him out. Despite some residual antipathy, though, Fable generally got pretty decent, if unspectacular, reviews on what was actually released rather than what was promised, and didn’t implode, dragging the company with it. Though non-massive games aren’t entirely immune to crashing and burning under a weight of expectation, it seems like a far smaller percentage suffer that fate. Is it the greater complexity of MMOGs, a general problem with the genre, are the audience more discerning or do they have unrealistic demands?

Mind you, I’d quite like to see a Microsoft MMOG with Peter Molyneux at the helm, maybe for a nice, low-key IP without too many heavily invested fans like the Twilight saga. Just to see if the internet can, literally, explode…

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