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Role Playing (Games)

Exploring the Marvel Universe Online 88

Posted by Zonk
from the i-think-there-will-be-super-heroes dept.
In the wake of yesterday's formal announcement of the Marvel Online title, Gamespot has an interview with 'Cryptic Studios' creative director, Jack Emmert, and Marvel Entertainment's vice president of Interactive, Ames Kirshen — as well as Microsoft Game Studios' senior director of business development, Frank Pape. They discuss the details of a game on Windows and the 360 (both will play in the same world), how the game will reflect the comics, and why Cryptic is involved. From the article: "Cryptic with their great pedigree, their great track record on the City of Heroes franchise — it was the perfect partner. We have access to all the characters in the history and lore of the Marvel universe to put into this game. So we're super excited. I mean this is, for an MMO player and for folks on the console that want to play an MMO and bringing in a new audience, it's as compelling a statement as we can make." And here I thought they were going to talk about that little multi-year lawsuit between Cryptic and Marvel.
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Exploring the Marvel Universe Online

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  • by ironwill96 (736883) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @10:47AM (#16230555) Homepage Journal
    1. Make a comic-themed MMO. 2. Get sued by Marvel, make comic-themed MMO for them that competes against two of your own products. 3. Profit?!?

    Jack "Statesman" Emmert claims that the new MMO will be more "story" based and tied into new comic book storylines etc and that they will continue to support the COX (City of Villains and City of Heroes) games. However, it seems to me that they must be competing with themselves on some level, even if with two separate development teams at Cryptic handling the different games. Can anyone here imagine them *not* using the same style of character creator that they have in the COX games? It is brilliantly executed and almost necessary for this type of game so I'm pretty sure we will see it in some form in the Marvel MMO. The Marvel MMO will probably have 40-50% nicer looking graphics which is going to woo a lot of people as well as full permission to use all Marvel charactes in the story which is also going to draw a lot of fans. I think the COX games have reached their peak in subscribers and once the Marvel MMO comes out, they will in all likelihood lose customers. However, Cryptic is probably making a % of all profits from the Marvel MMO so this works out well for them but not so great for long-term support for the COX games.
  • Won't fly (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jarnis (266190) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @11:05AM (#16230907)
    Cryptic never had enough devs to actually develop City of Heroes forward from it's intial smack-endless-piles-of-baddies-with-mad-AE-attacks gameplay. The game has zero content.

    Yes, they relesed an expansion, that copypasted half the powers from Heroes side, and dropped another pile of nearly contect-free stuff and told people to go level again from zero.

    Also, a superhero game with a license is the silliest idea ever. Either you have 200 spidermans zipping around (beyond silly), or you can't allow players to play 'name' characters, at which point the whole point of a license goes out of the window. People play license games to 'be the hero' so to speak, and that doesn't work in a MMO. The concept is just broken out of the gate.

    Expect a weak ripoff of City of Heroes with marvel (tm)(R)'s added all around, with some weak license-tieins like 'name' heroes giving missions to the player characters, and maybe villains as bosses to whack. With zero endgame gameplay at launch and nearly zero post-launch content.

    MMOs live and die on the _gameplay_, not any license or logo, and while Cryptic did prove with CoH/CoV that they can make a workable superhero combat system that's cool for roughly two weeks, they also proved they couldn't design their way out of a paper bag beyond the combat system. All the bolted-on stuff has been broken - PvP was riddled by extra rules and special pvp nerfs to powers, base system was so badly designed it was unusable to most of the playerbase and the 'crafting' introduced in CoV was so bad it makes EQ2's crafting system look great in comparison.

    WoW upped the bar on the amount of content and gameplay required to keep people hooked on a MMO. And even WoW faces constant whines how there's not enough to do. I can't blame people for trying, but I sincerely doubt Marvel Online will be a success - if it even gets out of the gate (Microsoft has a tendency to kill off/sell off MMO projects when their beancounters get the willies during development)
  • by Keith Russell (4440) * <[keith.russell] [at] []> on Thursday September 28, 2006 @12:43PM (#16232901) Journal
    Just look at DAOC after Warhammer Online was announced.

    Well, this isn't quite the same thing. With DAOC and Warhammer, that was pretty much the same team moving on to the next big thing on their own.

    One thing Positron said in his letter to The Cities community [] was that the Cities and Marvel Universe will have totally separate dev teams. And with the kinds of cash Marvel and Microsoft can throw at Marvel Universe, Cryptic wouldn't have to siphon any money from the Cities' team. In fact, I doubt Jack Emmert would agree to this deal if he didn't think the Cities would be self-sustaining throughout the process.

    IMHO, keeping the teams separate is almost a necessity. Neither team will want new features to be dependent on the other. Certainly, there will be a new client engine, since the Cities are OpenGL. Marvel Universe will run on both Windows and XBox 360, so Direct3D would be an engineering no-brainer even if Microsoft wasn't publishing the title. And, if nothing else, the inevitable rivalry between the Cities and Marvel Universe will push both teams to prove their own worth. Marvel Universe doesn't want to be seen as a mere "re-skin" of City of Heroes, with Jean Gray and Xavier's School standing where Ms. Liberty and City Hall used to be, and the Cities don't want to be reduced to one large beta test for Marvel.

Happiness is a positive cash flow.