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Home » Featured, News

Consoles are the future of MMOs – Turbine

Submitted by on Tuesday, 22 September 20094 Comments

TurbineCraig Alexander, VP of product development over at Turbine, knows a thing or two about MMOs.

So, when he stepped up and presented a talk at GDC in Austin, Texas, you know a lot of people would take what he had to say seriously.

And what’s more serious than a vanguard of the massive multiple online arena announcing that the future of MMOs are not on their current breeding ground, the PC, but on consoles.

And, what’s more, if you’re going to make an MMO for this new market, you’re better off starting with the PS3.

Sure, we’re been promised the era of the console MMO for some time now, and let’s face it, we’re still waiting for the big guys to show up. SOE’s The Agency has gone through another recent spat of “it’s cancelled” rumour-mongering (SOE have confirmed that the rumours are just that, hearsay) and it won’t be until next year until we get our paws of Final Fantasy XIV, but what of the near future? What of the MMOs we should start to see toward the end of 2010 and beyond?

Craig reckons the future of MMOs is bright, and it starts on the PS3.

In fairness, Craig’s comments on why the PS3 should be your lead platform when contemplating a console based MMO are less to do with how the PS3 is an MMO developer’s dream and more to do with the known hardships of PS3 development in general. Less available (direct) memory, a slower Blu-ray drive compared to DVD9 (which can affect streaming) and the known issue of Sony’s tools being slightly more prickly than Microsoft’s set – not to mention that whole minefield of multi-core technology – Craig admonishes jumpy designers looking to develop an MMO for the two main consoles (Craig dismisses the Wii almost entirely and equates it to yesterday’s technology) to “resist the urge to make the 360 lead SKU”. After all, it’s much easier to go from the PS3 to Microsoft’s hardware rather than the other way around.

Apart from telling us what every developer already knows (yes, we get it, 360 games practically write themselves compared to crafting a game on the PS3), it’s rather intriguing to hear these positive comments from such a respected luminary of the MMO genre.

We have no doubt that the PS3 is the perfect environment for MMOs to grow and capture a whole new legion of gamers who are just waiting to invest countless hours online in a persistent world. They just need to get here already.

Turbine’s unannounced (but we know it exists) console MMO is currently in development and has already cost the company $20 million so far. Turbine Inc. have already released the popular MMOs Dungeons and Dragons Online and Lord of the Rings Online for the PC market.