So will the use of horribly limiting IPs to create MMOs ever disappear?
Probably not. Internet MMO communities are constantly creating lists of
the "best untapped properties," which leads to even more fascination
with the development of MMOs in known worlds. With worlds like those
found in Harry Potter, the Wheel of Time, the Malazan Book of the
Fallen, the Forgotten Realms, Dune, Pokemon, and so many others, we
will always have development studios striving to find the sweet spot
that really calls to MMO gamers.
In an almost laugh-inducing moment,
while I was writing this article, I found a piece of information that
was truly intriguing. Ironically, the first true graphics-based MMO was
actually developed around a licensed IP. The original Neverwinter
(available on the early AOL) found its
way onto store shelves
due to the fact it was based on the Dungeons and Dragons
game. With a foundation built squarely on the back of a licensed IP,
these MMO blacksmiths have certainly come a long way in stretching the
minds of gamers into realms that are not only perfect for MMO gaming,
but also full of ways for gamers to become the hero.
To end this article, I’ll let your panel of developers give
you their closing comments. As my final question to the panel of
developers, I asked them all what they’d like to tell the
gaming public about original IPs. I’ll let the developers
speak for themselves.
Making an original IP
from the ground up is not for the faint of heart.
[Developers] need a strong guiding vision and a talented team capable
of turning that vision into something tangible. [The team should]
identify the pillars that the IP is built upon and use those as a razor
to determine which ideas fit and which need to be cut away. Most of
all, remember that there is no detail too small to ignore. Attention to
detail is what separates excellence from mediocrity.
Play more games! The
original IP you play today may be the Halo of
Embrace them. Give them
a try. To me, games are sort of like wine.
There are several well-established brands, and whenever I sit down for
a nice meal at a restaurant I have to admit I often go for that
Chardonnay I always enjoy. Sometimes, though, it can be hugely
rewarding to try something new, something I've never heard of, and
suddenly the whole bottle is gone! It's the same with games –
often there comes a long something that you've never heard of before,
but then you decide to give it a try and you end up playing it into the
wee hours of the morning.
Everything at one point
or another was original IP. It all has to come
from somewhere. What happens when we simply sublet all of our future
products based on the focused creations of others? We lose our sense of
creativity and innovation IMO. Don't get me wrong; you can take other
IP and do something unique with it, but that's more the exception than
the rule. At the same time, there's nothing wrong with taking something
people like and giving them a way to experience it in a whole new way.
But creating something people have never experienced before also has
We would like to remind
the general gaming public that some properties
are easily converted into online games, but some are not. Instant
recognition brings with it the shackles of cannon. Global
Agenda, on the other hand, was built from the ground up to be an
enthralling, entertaining, and rewarding experience for its players,
not an homage to finicky fans of some existing intellectual property.
However, we do reserve
the right to contradict everything we just said
in this interview in the indeterminate future, singing the virtues of
using well-developed, existing IPs if we ever announce Global Agenda 2!