Last August, Las Vegas-based developer Petroglyph unintentionally made headlines. The shop, which traditionally specialized in such real-time strategy games as Star Wars: Empire at War and Universe at War: Earth Assault, posted a job listing for a massively multiplayer online role-playing game designer.
The position's duties were described in detail, with the hire being "responsible for understanding, refining, maintaining, and disseminating the game design vision, game design, mission building, gameplay balancing, and game proposal development of a massive multiplayer online game."
With such unambiguity, the question wasn't if Petroglyph would announce an MMOG, but when: Today, as it turns out. This afternoon, the company unveiled Mytheon, a new project that will focus on the same Greek mythology that inspired God of War. According to the developer the game "uniquely combines the best elements of action, strategy and RPG gameplay with a heavy emphasis on collectability and combat."
"Emphasis" indeed: Mytheon will be free to play, getting its income solely from microtransactions. Gameplay will center on a variety of "power stones" that can be used to cast spells or summon minions. In real-time combat, the game's three character classes will each specialize in a different type of stone, which presumably must be purchased a la cards in Magic: The Gathering (without the physical cards, obviously.) Mytheon will also feature more traditional MMORPG elements such as player versus player, group raiding, and social networking services in addition to solo play.
Published by Orange County-based start-up True Games, which is controlled by Indian multimedia company UTV Software Communications, Mytheon will go online in fall 2009. Though no specific territories were mentioned in the announcement, the teaser site for the game has region-specific editions for the United States, Spain, Turkey, Germany, and France. It should be noted that the site also references Norse mythology, with allusions to the Egyptian pantheon appearing Mytheon's press materials.