Jeff Strain is a man on a mission and that mission is to bring a zombie-based MMOG to consoles. In a recent blog, Strain draws some parallels to the past belief that FPS games could never work on a console and compares it to the same current belief that many developers hold for console MMOGs. We've heard many developers claim to be bringing their MMOGs to the console such as Cryptic Studios with Champions Online and Funcom with Age of Conan, but despite those goals very few have managed to launch an MMOG on the console. Strain believes that in order to make a great console MMOG developers need to think about how games will be made and not how they are currently made as he notes porting World of Warcraft to a console just wouldn't work, but designing a game with console features in mind could. It's certainly an interesting read that offers a look at how Strain views the process of console MMOG development.
The problem, of course, is that they are looking at it through the lens of the games they can see today, rather than the games that might be designed differently tomorrow. Does anyone really believe you can take a game like World of Warcraft, polished though it may be, and port it to the Xbox 360 or Playstation 3 and have a great game experience? Of course not. A great console MMO will require rethinking the fundamentals, starting with the user interface and all the way through the core combat mechanics, social infrastructure, avatar control, world interaction, and sense of pacing and scale.