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Role Playing (Games)

Interplay Developing $75 Million Fallout MMOG 132

Next Generation has very, very good news for RPG fans. Interplay is going to be developing a Fallout Massively Multiplayer Online Game ... and they're in it for serious. The official announcement says that they're going to be throwing $75 Million (dollars!) at development for this thing. From the article: "Production is proposed to begin as early as 2007, with a launch slated for Q3 2010. The company's proposal expects 1 million subscribers during the first year, and projects profitability in year two, revenue of $160 million annually after its first year and net income of $50 million annually starting in year three." Those are fighting words, and the 1 Million club they're aiming for ... maybe not so easy to get into. Also, didn't Interplay go out of business?
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Interplay Developing $75 Million Fallout MMOG

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  • by trawg ( 308495 ) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @07:04AM (#17220756) Homepage
    ...or, how to get investors to give you a dumptruck full of money:

    1) Show them the statistics that explain how video games are now bigger than the movie industry.
    2) Show them Blizzard press releases announcing the number of million subscribers (we'll call this x.
    3) Explain how each of those people not only shelled out for the game, but pays per $y month for playing.
    4) Create a PowerPoint presentation which shows xxy (ensure your projector screen has enough room for all the zeros that come after the $ sign.
    5) Let investors know where the dump truck is parked.

    In all seriousness - I can't believe Fallout has the brand awareness that the Warcraft brand does. Whoever managed to scrounge together $75m should get some sort of medal. These guys are going to have to be in it for the long haul, but I wonder how much of that cash is going to be allocated towards the marketing budget to try to get WoW players to switch teams.

    Not only that, they've got a three year development window to compete with. Who knows what other massive mass-market brands are going to get their MMOs out the door in that time, further chewing away at the potential player base (I'm waiting for the Harry Potter MMO to come out and rule the world - hell, if they make it kid safe and put in enough decent content...).
  • by DoctaWatson ( 38667 ) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @08:29AM (#17221274)
    MMO's have a tendency to, how should I put this, erode their source materials.

    There's few things worse than seeing a world or setting that you've loved for years suddenly inhabited by psychotic idiots. One of those few things is when the people in charge of managing that world start changing it to cater to said psychotic idiots.

    For reference, see Ultima Online or Star Wars Galaxies.

    Fallout deserves better.
  • Re:Potential? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by montyzooooma ( 853414 ) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @09:27AM (#17221760)
    "Basically a Fallout MMORPG would be unquestionably cool"

    What about it would be cool? What was cool about Fallout was the non-linear nature of the map, random encounters, NPC party interaction etc etc. The tactical combat had its charm (though I preferred FO Tactics version that gave you more control. One of my favourite games that and I don't care what people say.) Above all the feeling that what you were doing had an impact on the gameworld. You'll have none of that with an MMO. This may even be a MMO in the vein of the console action RPG that came out (the OTHER "BOS" I think it was.)

    As somebody already said this sounds a lot like talking up the share price to keep money coming in to pay whatever salaries are still left at Interplay. Logically Interplay shouldn't be making an MMO(RPG) because everything they've touched lately has turned to crap. I'd have more faith in this actually happening (see the Phantom or the Gizmondo(sp) if you want to see how capital can be raised to grow lemons or just plant lemon seeds) if they were partnering with NCSoft or similar (or even Turbine...)

  • Re:Another MMOG? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MeanderingMind ( 884641 ) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @11:40AM (#17223362) Homepage Journal
    I think you aren't clear on what MMOGs are. That's Massively (as in huge) Multiplayer (as in many people) Online (as in the internet) Games (as in fun).

    These games weren't designed with single player in mind. FFXI and WoW are clear evidence in this. Both require parties for much of their content. If you're looking at MMOGs and thinking "I wish that were single player" I recommend avoiding the genre as a whole. To want an offline, single player experience from a game designed for a massive number of people online at once is somewhat silly.

    Diablo 2 and Half-Life were excellent games both in their single player and multiplayer aspects. The key difference here is they were not MMOGs. Their fundamental designs were for a single player game, but were well adaptable to multiplayer fun.

    The cost is really the largest factor for many people, but I don't even think about it anymore. $15 a month is three movie rentals from Blockbuster or less than two tickets to an actual theatre (not counting food if you pay those outrageous prices). That's 4 to 6 hours of entertainment. There have been months in the past where I've played WoW for just a couple of hours the whole month and I don't feel I've wasted my $15. Just because I could get more out of my money by playing the game night and day doesn't mean I didn't get my money's worth by only playing a few hours.

    I guess it's all just an American drive to maximize our dollar.
  • by dinhluong ( 1039392 ) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @11:41AM (#17223380)
    Assuming, of course, that they actually get it out the door.

    • SPECIAL and the skills/traits/perks system is awesome, but it is kinda meaningless when people get up to level 50 or so and have every possible skill maxed out and obtain every perk possible.
    • Tactical combat will be a bitch. What are you going to do - make every person in the world take turns?
    • A "wasteland" isn't a wasteland with 1 million people running around doing the same damn quests as me.

    With those three points alone, everything I love about Fallout is ruined. It's been said before, and I'll say it again - Fallout Online = FOOL.
  • Re:2010? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by crabpeople ( 720852 ) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @12:54PM (#17224532) Journal
    "they're depressing"

    A wild west fallen society libertarian dream is depressing? Man.. Depressing is if I have to sit at this desk for the next 50 years paying off debt, acomplishing absolutely nothing, and never having the thrill of driving battle hardended muscle cars over the sun parched alkali flats hearding brahmin, or possibly a zardoz-esque population of sub humans.

    Do you even know what happiness is?

  • by brkello ( 642429 ) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @05:57PM (#17229370)
    If it is better than WoW, people will switch. If the market was based on brand awareness, then SWG would be the most popular MMO. It's not like Everquest was something anyone heard of when it came out. I would worry about making the game fun for casuals but still giving content to the hardcores (like WoW does but do it better somehow - if I knew how I would be working in the industry).

    You are right that branding can make a difference...but I honestly believe that if the build it bigger and better, the players will come. But I agree with you totally on HP...if I were blizzard I would license Harry Potter and create a huge money vault where I could swim in the billions of dollars worth of paper cash and gold.

Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them. -- Bill Vaughn