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Turbine Spent $20M Developing Console MMO

Turbine, the developer behind the Lord of the Rings and the Dungeons & Dragons MMORPGs, is currently working on a MMOG for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles. The game will be the third of its kind on the current consoles, following Final Fantasy XI and Phantasy Star Universe; Cryptic's Champions Online is ready to publication on the Xbox 360 only, however the company is waiting on Microsoft to iron out the legal details.

According to a recent statement made at GDC Austin, project development VP Craig Alexander said that the unnamed MMOG has already cost the company a whopping $20 million, and it's only been in development for a year and a half. He also hinted that the game is expected to hit the market in 2011, and could even use the free-to-play model.

But why develop for the consoles? After success with its two MMORPGs for the PC, it would seem fitting that the developer would continue its successful trend. Alexander said in his presentation that the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 offer a "superior MMO platform," that there's an untapped market worth around $2.3 billion (or beeeellion if you were Dr. Evil). In addition, the PC isn't necessarily the home of MMOGs anymore. After all, the FPS genre migrated just fine over to the consoles.

According to Eurogamer, the upcoming MMOG isn't a port of an existing title: Turbine has built this game from the ground up specifically for the consoles. Alexander said that the core technology is what already cost the company $20 million; Turbine hasn't spent a dime on the actual game itself. He also said that "grinding" is not ideal for console gamers. With that said, does Turbine plan to rewrite the overall structure of MMORPGs?

  • smlong
    FPS genere migrated fine to consoles? BS!

    People that play FPS games with a hand held controller on a console just don't know any better.
    Reply
  • the alan parsons project
    Reply
  • Tedders
    preparation "H"
    Reply
  • virtualban
    With all the variations of joysticks available for consoles, is there any copyright/patent preventing them mapping analog input to a mouselike device?
    Reply
  • ssalim
    free-to-play model. Nice!
    Reply
  • Pei-chen
    Typing with Wii remote anyone?
    Reply
  • tayb
    smlongFPS genere migrated fine to consoles? BS!People that play FPS games with a hand held controller on a console just don't know any better.
    Then I guess the overwhelming majority of people playing FPS games just don't know any better?
    Reply
  • climber
    Cryptic's Champions Online is ready to publication on the Xbox 360 only...

    Come on folks, I'm not writing for an online publication, therefore my bad grammar is permissible in some way, a writer for an online publication doesn't have the same leeway, get it right! Try, "is ready for publication"
    Reply
  • jellico
    virtualbanWith all the variations of joysticks available for consoles, is there any copyright/patent preventing them mapping analog input to a mouselike device?Not likely. First of all, modern mice aren't analog anymore (if ever they truly were). Your movements are analog and the mouse is the A2D converter. In simple programming terms, a mouse (buttons excluded) doesn't do anything that a thumbstick doesn't do. A thumbstick maps movement along the X and Y axis, just like the mouse. The only difference is that the thumbstick measures the degree of movement along these axis' whereas the mouse movement approximates true position of the cursor on the screen. However, someone wanting to create such an input for a console machine need only write an extra routine to extrapolate the thumbstick equivalent input of mouse movements.

    So, as I said, it is unlikely in the extreme that use of a mouselike device could be prevented.
    Reply
  • Xzar
    PCs are meant to be used 12-16+ hours a day for gaming.

    However, consoles are much more flimsy by comparison. Therefore the players of this new MMO will burn out their console pretty fast, especially if they have the same low quality standards as the Xbox 360.
    Reply