There comes a time in every young MMOGs life when it has to
be decided, Is this game ready to stand on its own? Last week
Online developer Sony Online Entertainment
answered that question with a
resounding Not yet! Much to the dismay of fans who have been awaiting this
new take on a super hero realm, they will have to wait until early 2011 before
they get a chance to don their capes and tights.
For those who have been religiously following DCUO, the
announcement was far from unexpected.
Very few details have emerged on the game
outside of the typical convention showings leading many to believe that there
just hasnt been much to tell. Is this low show in hype a sign of things to
come? Have players lost interest in a super hero niche market or will DCUO
manage to drive the excitement in time for a late launch?
In the Wake of Champions Online
Reach new heights with comic book icons.
Super hero games are not new to the MMOG genre. Many of us
City of Heroes or
Champions Online only to find that both are
lacking a bit in the way of the excitement that gamers crave. Sure, its fun to
try on costumes and create a new persona that will save or destroy the world,
but for many that is where the fun stops.
Both of these games were developed by Cryptic Studios who
actually did quite well with CoH. The game managed to snag a loyal fan base and
NCsoft, the company that purchased the game from of Cryptic, enjoys as a
regular, if meager, source of income from its following.
Having just released last year, Champions Online has been
the game most compared to the upcoming DCUO and unfortunately this comparison
tends to shed a less than favorable light on the niche for potential players
looking to get into a new super hero incarnation. CO revved up the hype and
brought in a good amount of pre-sales, often topping sales charts, only to
plummet into obscurity a few months after launch. What went wrong? Probably a
lot in implementation, but definitely not the idea behind the game because I
still believe that the super hero MMOG concept is pure gold.
Shaking off the Bad Mojo
MMOGs have been coming and going at an increasingly rapid,
and rather scary, pace these days. Pre-launch sales prove that MMO gamers are
begging for a game and pre-sales for Champions Online prove that gamers still
want to see a good super hero game. This is a gaming market just ripe for
plucking if only someone can make a game with a little bit of mojo and staying
Sony Online Entertainment has one of the most popular
intellectual properties cradled in their hands. Even If you arent a comic book
fan, which admittedly Im not, nearly all of us have watched a Superman or
Batman movie at some point in our lives. It is these icons, the names and
characters that have been a part of our lives for decades, which will get the
ball rolling for DCUO.
Don't expect the same old MMORPG combat, DCUO plans
A game cannot live off of IP recognition alone though, and
players demand a strong game with good progression and interesting gameplay but
above all of this, players deserve a playable, finished, and completely
supported product. Its too early to speculate on how innovative DCUOs
gameplay is, but there are high hopes for a game that takes the tried and true
MMOG style and adds a big ole injection of fast-paced gameplay. If there is one
thing that we know about DCUO thus far, it is that this is not your MMORPG from
yesteryear; this is a whole new blend of MMO and action fighting style combat
meant to make the most of your skills as a gamer and as a gamer, I dig that.
A New Hero in Town
This leads me back to DCUOs announcement. It does my heart
good to see a gaming company delaying a launch to work on making their game
better before they present it to the public. On the Ten Ton Hammer forums, SOE
DCUO Community Manager Tony RadarX Jones
made this statement, The iconic
figures in this game have been heroes for many of us since we were kids. The DC
Universe deserves as much attention and polish as we can give it. It is a sign
of good things to come that the developers of DCUO are dedicated to making the
best game that they can make and are willing to lose a few bucks in longer
development to ensure the long term success of their game.
Even better news is that SOE made the announcement while
showing their dedicated fans that they value their support. Customers who
pre-order the game before November 15, 2010 will be given
beta access by
November 30th and the opportunity to participate in an end-of-beta
event that will saturate players in the ongoing epic storyline that shapes DCUO.
With beta in full swing and the DCUO developers finally
reaching towards the end of their development while focusing on putting those
finishing touches on this much anticipated game, we can all finally expect to
see more of what SOE is bringing to the table with their own take on super hero
madness and I expect that it will knock your socks off. Keep your browser tuned
in to Ten Ton Hammer for all the
latest and greatest DC Universe Online news.
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