Petroglyph carving out MMORTS

Star Wars: Empire at War developer teams with Trion World on yet-to-be-detailed massively multiplayer online strategy title.

Aside from being formed by Westwood Studios veterans, Petroglyph is perhaps best known for its work on real-time strategy title Star Wars: Empire at War, released to rave reviews in 2006. Therefore, it was with some surprise when Petroglyph announced in December that it would be dipping its toes into the massively multiplayer online gaming genre with Mytheon, a free-to-play role-playing/strategy hybrid that would be published by newcomer True Games.

Cave paintings may or may not be involved.

Now, it appears as if the independent studio intends to wade a bit deeper into the MMOG pool. Trion World Network has announced that it has partnered with Petroglyph on an as-yet-to-be-named massively multiplayer online real-time strategy game.

Aside from talking up the Petroglyph team's previous work on such titles as Command & Conquer and Dune II, Trion revealed no relevant gameplay details about the upcoming project. However, Petroglyph appears to be taking an ambitious approach to the project, with Trion CEO Lars Buttler saying of the game that it will be "the world's first truly high-end MMORTS."

According to Trion, its deal with Petroglyph is the first it has made with a third-party developer for use with its server architecture known as the Trion Platform. The publisher-developer formed in 2006 under Might and Magic series creator and former NCsoft developer Jon Van Caneghem and former EA vice president of global online Lars Buttler. In September, the company revealed that it had secured $70 million in additional venture capital funding, building on a $30 million investment it had previously received.

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31 comments
StoneFace1970
StoneFace1970

For those asking how a MMORTS works just search for MMORTS and you can browse the two genre sites covering them. The genre has been about since 1998 proper and is small still, more down to the tech imo which is just starting to become capable of fulfilling folks expectations. As for Petroglyph, I look forward to seeing what they will bring to this great genre. The server architecture, the Trion Platform , seems to be along the same lines as Nice Tech's AliceServer which Time of Defiance has been run on since 2005 - should be interesting to see what this beast can handle. It still makes me sad that folks will post without even checking a search engine or wiki - really quite quick and easy and allows the debates to move along much quicker to the genre specific sticky areas that need dealing with to become more widely played.

Spybreak
Spybreak

I am glad they are finally adopting the industry's evolution to online play. Hope it works with bad ping lol, (me).

Javico3000
Javico3000

I hope it doesnt come out mediocre just because its free-to-play

Halias
Halias

This won't be the first mmorts, not sure if anyone heard about "Mankind", but that one has been around for a long time. It had its flaws however, which is why I'm curious (and of course excited) about what ol' westwooders can do with the genre.

Grandhand
Grandhand

the article specifiacly says its a "free-to-play role-playing/strategy hybrid" so yes, it will be an RPG albiet with some RTS features

Pete5506
Pete5506

different but it could be good

ONS47
ONS47

DotA Online!

tonyhawksP8
tonyhawksP8

Massive Multiplayer Online Real Time Strategy I like the sounds of it, thought it was an RPG for a sec.

VexedLucifer
VexedLucifer

Just give a player a planet. The Star Wars Universe has an infinite amount anyways. Could have sides. Like Republic and CIS. (I like the Clone Wars Era more than the Civil War Era). With an actual senate that guilds send a representative to. =O Would be interesting lol.

QingJao86
QingJao86

Tony my guess is it will be like Endwar. Though it does sound interesting.

tony2077ca
tony2077ca

i'm confused about the mmorts stuff how will they do it

AncientDozer
AncientDozer

Well, Nappan, that's the tricky thing about an MMO RTS. It's difficult to pull off but if you think about it, imagine having a persistant world, a LARGE persistant world, where you don't manage just one character but an entire army with bases/cities? If it could be pulled off, that would be amazing. It wouldn't just be little skirmishes, it'd be huge battles. You'd have actual wars. All regular RTS multiplayer games are are little skirmishes on small maps with a hundred soldiers if we're lucky.

MCarlozzi
MCarlozzi

Okay, I'll buy into the concept, but what’s the story going to focus on? Companies have beat the Star Wars universe to death, its getting repetitive. With that being said, I’ll still buy it.

HeadrockBeats
HeadrockBeats

Wow... if Empire at War hadn't ****ed I might actually be excited. I'm not a huge RTS fan, but that had to be the worst RTS engine I had ever played, and now they want to make something infinitely more complicated? Nonono, back to the drawing board please.

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

@"teirdome" -" Uh... what? That isn't AT ALL probable. I mean, I'm not trashing the idea, but blizz already has that planned, and it isn't going to be an MMO.

xXFr34k_0uTXx
xXFr34k_0uTXx

Sounds pretty difficult to me, regarding how fans will compete and play the game so they get their fair share of satisfaction.. The MMORTS genre would be very much different from the MMORPG genre in terms of freedom and difficulty ... you kind of just jump right into an RPG ... Should be interesting if it all works out . . .

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

Awesome. BTW, for those of you who don't see how this could work, just check out any one of the EXISTING MMORTS's out there. There are even a few good ones.

nappan
nappan

How would an MMORTS bring something new to the table instead of a regular RTS with full multiplayer (what RTS DOESN'T!?!?)... and maybe add a territory tracking system (like Endwar). Where's the need or desire to make it MMO?

shakmaster13
shakmaster13

These guys pretty much invented the RTS genre. I would love to see how an MMORTS would turn out.

chibi-acer
chibi-acer

I know it had a lot of fans, but I didn't really care for Star Wars: Empire at War. If it wasn't for the Star Wars theme I don't think the game would have done very well. It was just so-so RTS wise, IMO.

adecoy95
adecoy95

nothing kills game companys faster than mmo development these days

athenian29
athenian29

As long as these guys stay afloat, I'm happy. Remember, everybody. This is Westwood now.

enix165
enix165

Well, sounds interesting, but Empire At War wasn't any good IMO...=/ Maybe if one of Ensemble's remnants or Blizzard made it, I'd want it...

konradak
konradak

I wana see this in action.

Otoribashi
Otoribashi

The strategy genre is my favorite and for it to combine mmo, it will be interesting to see the outcome.

Csalbertcs
Csalbertcs

Empire at War is a great game. I'm glad they are expanding into a new gaming genre while still staying to their roots, but this is basically make it or break for Petroglyph as it is generally a small studio. I will definitely download this game since it's F2P.

teirdome
teirdome

Looking at the elements in DoW2, it seems like the MMORTS is extremely close. Personally, I think that it is highly probable that the third game of the Starcraft 2 series will be an MMO as well. It's time that the parts of the genre started moving in that direction.

THA-TODD-BEAST
THA-TODD-BEAST

This is an intriguing idea. I just hope they can pull it off well. I didn't care for Empire at War at all. The turn-based stuff just completely ruined it for me.