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Games Entertainment

Stargate Worlds Beta Begins Oct. 15th 84

Kotaku reports that the closed beta for Stargate Worlds, an MMO based on the popular Stargate television shows, will begin on October 15th. Registration is open at the game's website. Gamespy has some new screenshots available, and a Youtube channel has been opened for videos about the game. We discussed the early plans for Stargate Worlds a couple years ago.
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Stargate Worlds Beta Begins Oct. 15th

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  • by bconway ( 63464 ) on Saturday October 04, 2008 @01:14AM (#25254069) Homepage

    MMOs require a significant time investment, and most people don't play more than one at a time. To grow a healthy population and to attract people away from other games, you need to offer something novel. Taking yet another Sci-Fi property (that's already been done to death) and throwing it into an MMO is a sure-fire way to fail.

  • by Ostracus ( 1354233 ) on Saturday October 04, 2008 @01:56AM (#25254241) Journal

    "MMOs require a significant time investment, and most people don't play more than one at a time. "

    Take one failing economy and add a dash of living with one's parents and suddenly people have plenty of time.

  • Re:Looks like ass (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Saturday October 04, 2008 @05:45AM (#25254953) Homepage

    SG1 managed a fairly consistent look (it looked a lot like Canada, except with medieval villages ;-) ), so I'm a little surprised that none of the screenshots seem to reflect this. Maybe trees are just too boring?

    That's a bug, not a feature. Even earth isn't anywhere near that consistent, and yet all planets in this galaxy and beyond look like Canada? There should be deserts and rain forests, great plains and high mountains, islands and reefs at the very least, if not even more exotic. So while not exactly canon I consider that a practical limitation just like convienently humans, goa'uld, jaffa, wraiths and so on all look humanoid, while the story is better than most you know it's so humans can play all the roles without CG or puppets.

  • by Austerity Empowers ( 669817 ) on Saturday October 04, 2008 @12:08PM (#25256255)

    But he may have a point about being able to play only one MMOG at a time, and how carefully us users are going to analyze it before we even pay a single dollar.

  • by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Saturday October 04, 2008 @12:30PM (#25256357)

    I think the key word here is *novel*. You're seeing a new flood of MMOs, because publishers and developers are salivating all over themselves, seeing how WoW is raking in more cash yearly than some third-world countries. Obviously, they want a piece of the action too. Unfortunately, the MMO is a bit of a different beast than most games.

    1) The development costs are more significant. By definition, MMOs have to be very content-rich game. Moreover, you have the added technical complication of developing a server infrastructure along with your game.

    2) It's much harder to innovate in terms of gameplay. Fast action in an MMO is still damn near technically impossible with today's internet. Too many users simply don't have the low latency needed to compete in a twitch game. As such, most MMOs end up doing statistical combat. Point and click on a monster, and the server rolls the dice. The other problem is world persistence - you can't dramatically alter the state of the world without impacting every other player. As such, most MMO games simply punt on this. The player can't truly alter the state of the world, and so any actions ultimately feel futile.

    3) A pay-to-play model is a limiting factor. People play a fewer number of MMOs than traditional games because of the monthly fee. As such, the market space is more fiercely competitive in an already competitive industry. Gamers already playing with one game are highly unlikely to subscribe to another game. Additionally, many gamers are simply uncomfortable with the notion of paying for a game, and then *also* paying a monthly fee, and so won't be a part of the market regardless.

    4) MMOs require a minimum amount of user participation in order to remain commercially viable. Unless the game develops a certain amount of traction, the servers are likely to shut down. After that, the game becomes unplayable forever. Gamers are aware of this, and so are often wary of MMOs that seem questionable.

    We've already seen EA try and fail in this space. Earth and Beyond, The Sims Online, etc... Others have also had their share of failure: Asheron's Call 2, Auto Assault... These are not piddling startup companies or unknown properties here.

    I think we're heading for a large number of MMOs released in the near future, and an almost equally large number of MMO failures and closures about a year or two from now. After that, only the largest competitors will be left, along with a small number of innovators. And by then, most publishers will be scared to death of the MMO market.

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. -- Wernher von Braun