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[Column] General: A 'Next Gen' Opportunity

BillMurphyBillMurphy Managing EditorBerea, OHPosts: 2,373MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

Do the next generation consoles offer a new opportunity for the MMO genre? Read on for our thoughts.

I realize most of you reading this are likely members of the elite PC master race or just don’t want to get your MMO experience on the consoles, but the fact of the matter is that MMO development is an extremely expensive endeavor. Our best chances to see this genre truly grow and reach its potential lie in whether or not these games can attract enough of a player base to justify the costs. Having MMOs launch on PC as well as consoles gives developers and publishers potential for additional revenue and would likely broaden the scope of MMO projects that can be greenlit as a result.

Read Michael Bitton's A 'Next Gen' Opportunity.


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Comments

  • DauzqulDauzqul Detroit, MIPosts: 1,408Member Uncommon

    I don't mind MMOs being on console. What I do mind, however, is my game being dumbed down to the point where I'm limited to basic features and controls. Moreover, the community of the console crowd is absolutely horrid. If you think all the "bro, lolz, <racial comment>, cool story, QQ" lingo is bad via PC, you have no idea what it's like via console.

    Since "community" is supposed to be one of the biggest aspects of a MASSIVE MULTIPLAYER RPG, the console isn't ideal.

     

    As for developmental costs, I have no idea why these big companies like Activision, Blizzard, EA spend millions upon millions to make their games. Compare Path of Exile to Diablo 3. Which one costed more to make? Which one has more respect?

  • Shana77Shana77 UtrechtPosts: 207Member
    I think that the most succeful MMO's won't be PC ports but will really be games developed with that console in mind. The great successes that launched the FPS for consoles where not Half Life and Doom or Quake ports, it was games like Goldeneye for the N64 and Halo for the Xbox, games specifically tailored to the power and controls of a console. 
  • DauzqulDauzqul Detroit, MIPosts: 1,408Member Uncommon
    Also, the console community will rage if the developers allowed mouse and keyboard. It would be too much of an "advantage", the reason why they refuse to allow mouse and keyboard for Call of Duty, Halo, etc.
  • BadSpockBadSpock Somewhere, MIPosts: 7,974Member

    I can't wait for the first AAA console focused (instead of PC port) MMO of the new console generation.

    Console = online community - and yes there are just as many ass-hat PC gamers as their are "xbox kids."

    Between the two major consoles there are something like 100-150 million gamers just waiting to be exposed to the MMORPG genre.

    I can't wait.

    Control scheme doesn't matter anymore. Mouse/keyboard, controller... those arguments are so freaking beat to death - leave the horse alone! It's dead Jim.
  • bliss14bliss14 eleva, WIPosts: 565Member
    Originally posted by Dauzqul
    Also, the console community will rage if the developers allowed mouse and keyboard. It would be too much of an "advantage", the reason why they refuse to allow mouse and keyboard for Call of Duty, Halo, etc.

    They don't allow mouse/keyboard for shooters?  I can't imagine how awkward that must be.

  • winterwinter El Paso, TXPosts: 2,276Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Dauzqul

    I don't mind MMOs being on console. What I do mind, however, is my game being dumbed down to the point where I'm limited to basic features and controls. Moreover, the community of the console crowd is absolutely horrid. If you think all the "bro, lolz, <racial comment>, cool story, QQ" lingo is bad via PC, you have no idea what it's like via console.

    Since "community" is supposed to be one of the biggest aspects of a MASSIVE MULTIPLAYER RPG, the console isn't ideal.

     

    As for developmental costs, I have no idea why these big companies like Activision, Blizzard, EA spend millions upon millions to make their games. Compare Path of Exile to Diablo 3. Which one costed more to make? Which one has more respect?

      This^^

     Having new MMO's dumbed down graphically and in depth so they can be played on yesterdays PS2 and xbox's IS NOT advancing the genre in a postive manner

  • kadepsysonkadepsyson sun prairie, WIPosts: 1,937Member
    Originally posted by bliss14
    Originally posted by Dauzqul
    Also, the console community will rage if the developers allowed mouse and keyboard. It would be too much of an "advantage", the reason why they refuse to allow mouse and keyboard for Call of Duty, Halo, etc.

    They don't allow mouse/keyboard for shooters?  I can't imagine how awkward that must be.

    You have never used a controller before I take it?  Anyways, welcome to video gaming.

     

    I hope there are no PS4 exclusive MMORPGs created - considering how close Sony is to bankruptcy, if they fold then the MMO won't have any ability to have players login.  I also hope MMORPGs don't require the use of a Kinect, or the Sony Kinect they just unveiled.

    El Psy Congroo

  • nbtscannbtscan Phoenix, AZPosts: 781Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by BadSpock

    I can't wait for the first AAA console focused (instead of PC port) MMO of the new console generation.

    This is all well and good if it's exclusive for console.  Porting the other way around is always bad for PC since consoles hardly ever match up to specs of PCs.  The only real example I have is FFXI since it's the only multi-platform MMO that I know of.  It's still going strong and yet it's finally discontinuting PS2 support for their newest expansion because of the memory limitations that PCs don't suffer from.

    If a game is being developed for console and PC, the framework needs to be designed based on the PC specs and scaled down for the console, IMO.  I'm sure SE plans to release ARR on PS4 if it doesn't end up being a colossal failure a second time.  Right now the PS4 specs are pretty similar to a high end gaming machine, but at the rate technology is changing, two years from now even the PS4 will be no match for a PC.  The developer/producer, Yoshida, wants to keep improving the graphical technology of the PC game as new technologies are made available, something not easily done when developing for both platforms when console is your base.  The PC version is not launching with DX11 because of the tight schedule they're on and they absolutely have to make good on their promise of delivering the game to the PS3 crowd.  

  • bliss14bliss14 eleva, WIPosts: 565Member
    Originally posted by kadepsyson
    Originally posted by bliss14
    Originally posted by Dauzqul
    Also, the console community will rage if the developers allowed mouse and keyboard. It would be too much of an "advantage", the reason why they refuse to allow mouse and keyboard for Call of Duty, Halo, etc.

    They don't allow mouse/keyboard for shooters?  I can't imagine how awkward that must be.

    You have never used a controller before I take it?  Anyways, welcome to video gaming.

     

    I hope there are no PS4 exclusive MMORPGs created - considering how close Sony is to bankruptcy, if they fold then the MMO won't have any ability to have players login.  I also hope MMORPGs don't require the use of a Kinect, or the Sony Kinect they just unveiled.

     

    Thanks for the welcome :)  I know they used to always use controllers, I just thought by now they would have evolved.   I wouldn't mind playing games on a console if they allowed m/k.

  • RaventreeRaventree Yourtown, MNPosts: 456Member
    I agree with some of the points of the article and I am all for cross-platform MMOs.  I think the mouse and keyboard are an advantage to the gamepad though, so I would be reluctant to fight other players using a gamepad if they can react faster and more accurately with their PC than I could ever hope to on my Xbox.  Spltting up the servers by platform, however, fragments the community and makes me worry that I might choose the platform that turns into a ghost town.  It is a dilemma.

    Currently playing:
    Rift
    Played:
    SWToR, Aion,EQ, Dark Age of Camelot
    World of Warcraft, AoC

  • koboldfodderkoboldfodder Danbury, DEPosts: 390Member Uncommon

    I would never play a MMO on a console, and I would never play a MMO that is cross platform....it always ends in disaster.  Take a look at the epic failure FFXIV was in terms of it's technical meltdowns.

     

    What I really hate is when they make a game for PCs, but design it on a console.  Take a look at Skyrim.  It takes about 10 seconds of play before any PC user can tell that game was designed on a console.  You still cannot map your numpad, this is the only game since 1996 that you cannot actually re-map keys.  You have to use third party software like AutoHotkey for this. 

     

    I play computer games with mouse and keyboard.  I play MMOs with mouse and keyboard.  The mouse allows for pinpoint precision and the keyboard lets me map things however I want AND I can communicate with other players by typing.

     

    You cannot do that on consoles, and since community and communication are so vital to MMOs....why even bother with consoles.  They are totally inferior in every way.

     

    You can upgrade PCs anytime you want.  With a console, you are basically stuck with the stuff inside. 

     

    Die consoles, DIE!  Do you hear me, just die already.  If I want to play rinky dink Mario or something like that then I will use a console....but for real games or modded games or MMOs, I will take a PC every time.

  • BattlerockBattlerock Youngstown, OHPosts: 1,393Member
    That new ps4 controller is going to have a keyboard touch screen and open up the doors dor better console community bonding.
  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,672Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by kadepsyson
    Originally posted by bliss14
    Originally posted by Dauzqul
    Also, the console community will rage if the developers allowed mouse and keyboard. It would be too much of an "advantage", the reason why they refuse to allow mouse and keyboard for Call of Duty, Halo, etc.

    They don't allow mouse/keyboard for shooters?  I can't imagine how awkward that must be.

    You have never used a controller before I take it?  Anyways, welcome to video gaming.

    Someone used to a controller finds it more comfortable to use. If you're used to a mouse and keyboard, though, a controller is often a rather awkward device. DUST 514 on PS3 allows both. So far there hasn't been any raging so it seems like things are playing out well there.

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • erictlewiserictlewis Cottondale, ALPosts: 3,026Member Uncommon

    The problem is and will continue to be the UI,  I tried dcuo, and well thee are others newer games tha are headed our way.  They all had bad ui ports to the pc.  I t just really killed the game for me, and others if you read the forums. 

     

  • superniceguysuperniceguy AnchorheadPosts: 2,278Member Uncommon

    What about the Wii U?

    I think its unique controller could be used to display the UI, and the toolbars, taking away all the clutter from the screen.

    http://www.officialnintendomagazine.co.uk/37027/wii-u-could-be-first-console-to-run-a-mmorpg-without-compromise-funcom/

    Also there was a rumour about a MMO coming to Wii U from LA at E3 last year, but I never saw anything come from that though.

     

    Wii U could be the new home for massively multiplayer role-playing games. That's the word from Funcom developer Joel Bylos who told Official Nintendo Magazine that he's excited about the possibilities of the touchscreen controller.

    As a lead content designer at Funcom - a studio specialising in MMO games such as Anarchy Online, Age Of Conan and the forthcoming Secret World - Bylos knows a thing or two about MMORPGs.

    "Wii U could be the first real console on which running an MMORPG without compromise is plausible," said Bylos. "The controller is perfect for lining up those rows of hotbars that are essential in most MMOs. A customisable touchscreen interface combined with the 3D spatial movement of a console controller could be a winner."

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,784Member Uncommon

    The next generation consoles from both Sony and Microsoft will be nearly using PC hardware on both the CPU and GPU side, so porting between either of those and PC should be easier than it's ever been.  The Wii U has really gimpy hardware, though--the nearest comparison is an Xbox 360.

    -----

    The column didn't even touch what might be the biggest barrier:  the fee that a console owner takes to get access to their console.  If you make a game for PC, then you get to keep all of the revenue.  If you make a game for a console, then Sony or Microsoft or whoever takes about 30% of your revenue.  For single-player games, the anti-piracy controls in the console can more than make up for this.  But for MMORPGs that intrinsically need a connection to your servers in order to run, the console's anti-piracy controls are useless or even a nuisance.

    If you price your game the same for the PC and console versions and half of the people who would have played the PC version decide to buy the console version instead, you just lost 15% of your revenue.  If you charge 43% more for the console version to compensate, will you really get enough customers on the console version to justify the cost of porting your game there?

    And what if you want to someday go to any variety of a "free to play" model?  Console vendors have taken a dim view of this in the past, and could easily veto it.  The reasons why a console vendor would veto a free to play model are sound:  if you lose money on selling consoles and make it up by taking a cut of game sales, then you'd better get a lot of game sales.  If you buy a PlayStation or Xbox and never buy any games for it, then Sony or Microsoft just lost money on you.

    The problem with "free to play" is that the games attract a lot of people who will never pay anything.  And what about the "whales" who pay a ton of money, which is what "free to play" games make much of their money off of?  They'll probably mostly play the PC version, meaning that the console vendor doesn't get a cut of their revenue, either.  Allowing "free to play" MMORPGs would likely lead to selling more consoles without getting a commensurate increase in game sales.  That's why Microsoft and Sony have blocked it in the past, and will likely block it in the future.

    And if you want to allow an account to be used across platforms, it gets worse.  If an account gets used on both the PlayStation and Xbox versions, do Sony and Microsoft each get 30% of your revenue, leaving the game developer with only 40%?  Is revenue commensurate with how much time a player spends using that particular platform?  Sony and Microsoft are likely to take a different view of what is fair than game developers, and if they can't agree to it, they can block all future updates.

    How would you like to play a console MMORPG for a year, and then suddenly Sony or Microsoft suddenly decides to block all future updates for that game?  Think that sounds rather far fetched?  It's already happened:  look up the iOS version of SkyDrive.  Apple took the view that if a SkyDrive account had ever been accessed from iOS, then Apple should get 30% of the revenue from that account forever.  Microsoft said no, we're not going to give Apple a cut of the revenue from accounts that no longer use iOS.  Regardless of which side you think is more reasonable, the outcome ended up being that Apple blocked SkyDrive from getting any more updates, ever.

  • RaventreeRaventree Yourtown, MNPosts: 456Member
    Originally posted by koboldfodder

    Die consoles, DIE!  Do you hear me, just die already.  If I want to play rinky dink Mario or something like that then I will use a console....but for real games or modded games or MMOs, I will take a PC every time.

    After reading this 17 times I started to get the impression that maybe you aren't so big on consoles.  I'm not sure where I got that impression from, but it is hard to shake.

    Currently playing:
    Rift
    Played:
    SWToR, Aion,EQ, Dark Age of Camelot
    World of Warcraft, AoC

  • nbtscannbtscan Phoenix, AZPosts: 781Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by superniceguy

    What about the Wii U?

    I think its unique controller could be used to display the UI, and the toolbars, taking away all the clutter from the screen.

    http://www.officialnintendomagazine.co.uk/37027/wii-u-could-be-first-console-to-run-a-mmorpg-without-compromise-funcom/

    Also there was a rumour about a MMO coming to Wii U from LA at E3 last year, but I never saw anything come from that though.

    If it hasn't already, Dragon Quest X was supposed to be on the Wii U, but it's currently a Japanese exclusive title.

  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,221Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Raventree
    Originally posted by koboldfodder

    Die consoles, DIE!  Do you hear me, just die already.  If I want to play rinky dink Mario or something like that then I will use a console....but for real games or modded games or MMOs, I will take a PC every time.

    After reading this 17 times I started to get the impression that maybe you aren't so big on consoles.  I'm not sure where I got that impression from, but it is hard to shake.

    Raventree you're reading too much into that post.  All I got from it is he likes to play Mario on occasion.  Am I missing something? image

  • SchroesCatSchroesCat OffenbachPosts: 44Member

    Reading that, makes me feel nauseous. What I hear is:

    Please, us poor developers have to make the big money. That is why we are creating mediocre crap that appeals to the masses - the biggest (and lowest) common denominator.

    You have my sympathies. Everyone has to make money. But with statements like this you will not get mine. Nor my interest.

     

    *edit to add* Sorry, nothing personal. Sounds good to me, to make whatever you do cross-platform. Of course. It is so much "blahblah" about the economics, that the whole point of a multiplayer RPG seems to have gotten lost somehow. Long ago. At least the point why some of the older folk once got ignited by this genre. Because, really... is the point of a "roleplaying" game, in a "fantasy" world... to kill 10 rats? To watch some experience, item, crafting meter or whatever rise?

    Once upon a time, it was a "game". About creativity, about story. About cooperative story-telling and writing. About epic tales, heroic deeds, and heroic defeats. In games there is usually some kind of thrill involved, which comes with risk. 

    All I see is mind-dumbing shallowness and boredom nowadays. 

    But this is just a rant. Not directed at the OP. I just think that there are better arguments for your cross-platform cause than to appeal on our sympathy for the poor gaming companies that also have to make money. We know they have to. We all have to.

     
  • AmsaiAmsai Montgomery, ALPosts: 88Member Uncommon

    @ Koboldfodder

    Dude, you are an ass. You arent the one that gets to decide what a "real" game is. The mario series is and always will be one of the best games of its type. I wouldnt have spent so many hours playing them if I didnt think they were "real" games. You are however entitled to your completely crazy opinion though.  And from a huge console/gamepad fan........ fuck off.

     

    Also I really appreciate those who have posted intellegently on the topic. I am very much in favor of console MMOs. Console MMOs are totally doable (more so with the next gen consoles), and in my opinion have been pretty successful and a big hit with me. Now thats not to say there arent problems. And anyone that says a console MMO cant have depth is an idiot. Now maybe you dont like it or maybe a game is poorly done, but thats no indidcation of depth or immersion. FFXI absolutely captivated me for 8+years. Also depth is not equal to the number of buttons you can press. Chess for instance is very simple and yet filled with such depth and complexity at the same time.

     

    Quizzical is 100% right. And these present the only real barrier to MMOs on consoles. As for  a MMO being discontinued or blocked, these are possibilities, but worth the risk to me. I will say though that this could happen with PC MMOs that go bankrupt. And that this is only a huge problem if there isnt another platform option. Take FFXI for instance, sure they will drop support for PS2 players for the new expansion, but you still have the option to play with a gamepad on PC.

     

    Cross-platform is just fine as an option too. There is absolutely no reason to make niche community (XBOX only) MMOs or to seperate communitues outside of what Quizz said. Which I think if the console MMO market takes off, there will be a change in the culture over at Playstation and Xbox networks (if thats not already in the works for the next gens).

     

    There are issues with controls but these are more minor than most people make out. I play most MMOs with a gamepad using 3rd party programs. I have only run into 2 problems when it comes to controls: 1) FPS style aiming (analog sticks arent very friendly  for this) and 2) ground targeting like in GW2 (same analog stick problem). So pretty much ANY tab target game that doesnt use ground targeting is completely fine with a gamepad. I have been playing MMOs for years like this.

     

    I also play plenty of PvP and pretty consistently win about 75-80% of my encounters. Not once have I ever lost in PvP and thought: Its cause I use a gamepad. Nope. The other guy was just better than me.... thats all. Now addmitedly trying to go 1 on 1 with FPS set up and not being able to use ground targeting skills in PvP would be a different story. I wouldnt normally try it, but it does depend on the game. There is nothing wrong with my gamepad, it will not have some severe loss in how fast it sends a signal vs a keyboard. There is nothing wrong with my reaction time. I wonder how many PC players would feel like I just castrated them, if I let them know they were just beaten by a filthy mouth-breathing gamepad user? Oh the drama.

     

    Remember in the last paragraph where I say it depends on the game? 2 examples where I wa able to play a game just fine even with the gamepad issues I mentioned earlier. 1) TERA - it was designed with gamepad in mind as well and they did a good job. Despite it being true aim type of game, I never had any issues playing a melee or a tank. Now ranged classes were a different story. Archer class felt much much better with M+KB. 2) GW2 - aside form the ground targeting, this game was made to be played with a gamepad. That being said, I played it anyway, and had a very successful (if not short: just didnt like the game after a few months) PvP career as a Thief and I built my character around my playstyle which obviously didnt include ground targeting. Fear not though as I still had a number of self targeted skills for comboing with others.

     

    Feel free to field me for any "But how can you possibly do X?" questions. Ill just say this again. Aside from what Quizz said, there really is no problem with console MMOs or cross-platform MMOs for that matter. As long as companies do like what SE is doing with having both gamepad and M+KB users in mind and not just junk ports to eachother its perfectly fine. I think the most important thing to users is viable choices. And lets not forget the untapped console MMO market in the already saturated MMO market what better way to get customers than  with a market with limited competition? The other day there was a rumor about EQ Next being PS4 exlusive. While I dont believe it will be only on PS4  and not PC (even at first) Its pretty obvious that it will be exclusive to that CONSOLE. I wouldnt be suprised if SoE does this, becuase their only direct and current MMO competition per sub-genre (high fantasy)  would be FFXIV. And even then they will be able to appeal to different people as one is complete themepark and the other is Sandbox.

     

    Final thoughts: Its going to happen. Might as well not fight it, cause its going to happen. Now whether it will be implemented in good and fun ways is a different story.

  • YazeedYazeed KSAPosts: 29Member
    How about u leave mmorpg games to us pc gamers and u go play CoD pls
    This theard is stupid
    Does we will see mmo name on console games ?
    The answer is yes
    Does it full mmorpg style ?
    No
    Is it better to shate mmorpg games to console?
    Nope , cus it ganna be consolte style dumbazz
    And if you complain about how mmo cost and blah blah then make a fking good game as wow and start make huge profit ... about console it already got games and fans so leave us some of pc style that we like
  • AmsaiAmsai Montgomery, ALPosts: 88Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Yazeed
    How about u leave mmorpg games to us pc gamers and u go play CoD pls
    Thats kinda selfish. Im not asking for PC gaming to go away, Im asking to be able to play an MMO on console. And why CoD? Cant I go play Zelda or Metal Gear instead?
    This theard is stupid
    How so?
    Does we will see mmo name on console games ?
    The answer is yes
    Does it full mmorpg style ?
    No
    I dont see why it cant be a full MMO, FFXI was a full MMO. Now it wasnt a sandbox. If you only recognize that as the only legitimate form of MMO, then thats a different debate then console MMOs. A console MMO can be as deep and engauging as a PC one. Just depends on what the devs want to do.
    Is it better to shate mmorpg games to console?
    Nope , cus it ganna be consolte style dumbazz
    Please explain. What is console style? Why would it have to be any style? If its cross-platform, then why couldnt you have it be both styles?
    And if you complain about how mmo cost and blah blah then make a fking good game as wow and start make huge profit ... about console it already got games and fans so leave us some of pc style that we like
    You  seem rather selish and paranoid. Why would I take your PC style? And why are you trying so hard to make it an US vs Them issue. Consoles do have a lot of good games. But not many MMOs yet. And why should I have to go play only console games? Cant I play both? 

     

  • FARGIN_WARFARGIN_WAR New York, NYPosts: 166Member

    I'm not sure console companies should bother to try. Let me explain. While I am not a console fan or owner I have no problem with the idea of MMOs being developed for them. However once you factor in the cost and the sheer amount of time it takes to create an MMO, unless the game company was very lucky, by the time their game makes it to launch the console or consoles, it was designed for are going to be getting a bit stale. It seems a very risky business.

    I feel that if console makers want to branch out into different types of games I'd recommend something like MOBAs. Since they are easier, or at least quicker to create and seem to currently be wildly popular, possibly even more so than MMOs, I'd say that would be a far safer investment.

    image

    If you don’t do stupid things while you’re young, you’ll have nothing to smile about when you’re old.

  • Loke666Loke666 MalmöPosts: 18,030Member Uncommon

    The problem really is that games made both for PC and consoles need to have completely different UI for the platforms, playing with mouse and controlers are just too different and few games have done a good compromise.

    In fact I wonder if the basic game mechanics shouldnt be different while the world would be the same. Making the console version more action based do have its merits, the question is just if they could balance it so both types would work on the same server.

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