Robert Garriott explains Sony-NCsoft deal

American-branch CEO says a desire for entry into the console market was behind the Korean publisher's alliance with the Japanese game giant.

Gamers have been waiting for more than six years to scribble on lauded game designer Richard Garriott's Tabula Rasa, and on October 16, NCsoft will finally end the wait. Though the sci-fi massively multiplayer online game isn't currently slated to appear on the PlayStation 3, a strong possibility of such occurrence was raised during this year's E3 Media & Business Summit, when Sony announced it would be partnering with NCsoft on several unspecified games for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable.

While it's natural that Sony would want to acquire talent such as Richard Garriott for work on its platforms, the NCsoft partnership left many scratching their heads. That's because Sony has its own online-centric studio, Sony Online Entertainment (EverQuest, Star Wars Galaxies), which is an active rival of the South Korea-based publisher.

In a recent post to NCsoft's Web site, CEO of NCsoft North America Robert Garriott, Richard's older brother, addressed the eyebrow-raising deal. He indicated that it was NCsoft's urge to reach the console market, not necessarily Sony's desire for a new online studio, which sparked the arrangement. The elder Garriott noted, "We don't want to limit ourselves to the PC, especially while the console market continues to grow by leaps and bounds with every new generation...and console makers want to get into the online space." [Ellipsis in original.]

In contrast to development partner Cryptic Studios--which is currently working on a Marvel superheroes MMOG for the Xbox 360 and Windows Vista--NCsoft was attracted to the PS3 due to Sony's ability to provide "the best Internet connectivity and greatest freedom of Web access and interaction available to the user." Robert Garriott also mentioned that the focus of the partnership is for PS3 development "and perhaps the PSP." (SOE is currently working on a DC Comics-inspired MMOG for the PC and PS3.)

As for when NCsoft will debut the fruits of its labor on Sony's console, the elder Garriott said it is aiming for the 2008 holiday season. Though no specific titles were mentioned, he insinuated that the first project would be either a port or an extension to one of NCsoft's current properties. The publisher's portfolio includes Guild Wars, Lineage II, City of Heroes, and the forthcoming Tabula Rasa.

"We won't just be porting our games over to the PS3," explained the senior Garriott. "We want to make new products using our current, popular Intellectual Properties (IPs) that will take advantage of the console, specifically in terms of user interface, connectivity, and play styles."

When NCsoft games do begin appearing on Sony platforms, Robert Garriott said that they will follow all current business models, including subscription, microtransactions, and free-to-play games with membership options.

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98 comments
yeheedee
yeheedee

Kez1984 Posted May 22, 2008 2:59 am PT Another company sells out.... yeah well if u havent noticed MONEY makes the world go round

fps_d0minat0r
fps_d0minat0r

is guild wars really gonna be on ps3? or is it just a roumor? you can use USB/bluetooth keyboard and mouse on ps3 so it wouldnt be a bad idea.

Kez1984
Kez1984

Another company sells out....

calanorn
calanorn

saying buy both is all good and well but as i own all consoles and one hell of a pc i can understand why pc gamers are worried about all these games being ported. after the games get ported into some dumbed down version (far cry anyone?) the pc gamers get shafted on the next version for console controllers. I enjoy pc and console but there IP's should be kept seperate or atleast developed seperately and any mmo should never be cross platformed that stuff just dont work wont work and plain sucks.

t37nguye
t37nguye

"We don't want to limit ourselves to the PC, especially while the console market continues to grow by leaps and bounds with every new generation..." They've made a wise move. This is a great news for PS3. Can't wait for Guild Wars on PS3. Based on what they said the main reason they chose the PS3 is because the PSN is FREE. Since Guild Wars is free to play, it totally makes sense when they chose to port the game to PS3.

chrisandjess
chrisandjess

Actually I think this is the best news I've read in a while, IMO. I have no doubt that, in time, the PS3 will win the console war, just as Sony won the last 2. NCSoft should still make all the decisions about their games, but the thought of playing Guild Wars 2, City of Heros/ Villains (and any sequels), Lineage and Tabula Rasa on the PS3..... Well, I just can't wait. And to say that console gamers shouldn't get MMO's is an idiotic statement, there's too much potential for profit in that market.

33T_L33T
33T_L33T

Guild Wars 2 for PS3 would kickass, especially if you could use your PC character on the console. Who cares about MMOG's being PC gamers "Last Stand" against the console, buy both and stop fighting... The only problem is making the gameplay fair for both PS3/PC users. If there was a PS3 server, and a PC server for Guild Wars 2, it would be lame...

kalli_bumbo
kalli_bumbo

Now i probably want GW2 on PS3 if the keyboard and mouse will go on sale:S...and i agree with : telmplargunman

kalli_bumbo
kalli_bumbo

well...Guild Wars isnt for PS3 or PSP,i mean cmon the controls will be retarded and hard to play.I think they are not gonna make it on PS3,thats insane...i just liek it how it is,On PC.

Gotharr
Gotharr

Always first creater of a game is better than second.And i dont like to see my best game on the worst mmorpg game becuase sony built it not ncsoft and arena net.So do it yourself ncsoft.

Tenamor
Tenamor

I really hope they don't make ANY GW games for the PS3, PSP, or anything sony... Like Templargunman said, MMO's arn't for consoles, they're PC gamer's last stand against the console gamers... And besides, I doubt they would bother wasting the money making GW for a sony console, they're(PS3, PSP) doing horribly in sales, and frankly, just about every game for it has gotten sub-par reviews, so a GW game on the PS3 or PSP wouldn't do the series any good for ratings.

templargunman
templargunman

They won't make it for the ps3, obviously, mmos aren't for consoles, they're PC's last stand against the hordes of console gamers

barne1dr
barne1dr

please allow SOE to make ZERO decisions about your games - they will bring them to utter ruin...utter. Sony sucks and have no problem throwing away fans in their arrogance, don't turn down that path - I like NCSoft.

XeroComplex
XeroComplex

I just hope Guild Wars doesnt move onto the PS3... And please, SOE? NCSoft has much more potential these days... I have to admit, I don't like sony that much, they seem a little shady to me...

CrushedGroove
CrushedGroove

I am glad to hear the prospect of MMO's coming to any console platform. I really hope it helps the PS3 out. My only fear is that SOE will convince NCSoft to crank out exspansions like SOE did with Everquest. I know EQ was very succesful, but the number of exspansions coming out every time you turn around was overwhelming. But best wishes to both parties involved.

NandoSupes
NandoSupes

I bet the Guild Wars 2 will be multiplatform,PC and PS3 thats my prediction.

ninjasam
ninjasam

huff, all you need to do is release marvel vs capcom 2, or 3, for ps3 or psp. The sales will skyrocket i swear.

the_real_VIP
the_real_VIP

"Homerj: Sony needs to do something. For them, software talent at any price is a bargain. And I wouldnt hold my breath for ANY MMO to be 'free-to-play', its a rarity and not generally part of the whole business model for that genre. If NCsoft sends an MMO to PS3, the users WILL pay, unless Sony is willing to pony that revenue stream upfront." Ever heard of another NCsoft MMO game called Guild Wars where there's no regular fee at all to play?

Homerj
Homerj

Sony needs to do something. For them, software talent at any price is a bargain. And I wouldnt hold my breath for ANY MMO to be 'free-to-play', its a rarity and not generally part of the whole business model for that genre. If NCsoft sends an MMO to PS3, the users WILL pay, unless Sony is willing to pony that revenue stream upfront.

ADPJFC
ADPJFC

@lostn: Jeez, did you even read the article? Please do, before you start asking needless questions. This is right there in the text of the article, if you only bother to read properly before asking: "CEO of NCsoft North America Robert Garriott, Richard's older brother, "

uberjannie
uberjannie

SOE cant make games... Its a joke that they are releasing anymore MMOG's? Man.. this is going to fail. So many MMO games coming out, 90% suck

yugimasa9999
yugimasa9999

Guild wars on the PS3 FTW !!! FTW !!! FTW !!!!

Merl57
Merl57

that would be ood playing gw2 with ps3 people

SalarianChemist
SalarianChemist

Most people don't care about this guy, because he doesn't have a reputation for creating quality software. 20 years ago there were low-budget videogames created for the PC, Mac, Amiga, and and Commodore computers, but we are living in a different era...this was a poor business deal that won't benefit consumers.

lostn
lostn

Who is Robert Garriot? Typo on the headline?

nathris
nathris

Well MMOs on the ps3 is great, it probably the only thing that will save them. Although SOE is almost as bad at MMOs as NCsoft is(SWG was actually fun at one point), so I don't know how long these titles will last.

mwa
mwa

lol title says robert garriot...who the hell is that? nvm, it's richard's brother

rbrtchng1
rbrtchng1

Free to PLAY MMO on PS3 JYEAH!! 360 should learn something from them.

nfc1nfl
nfc1nfl

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

SentientGames
SentientGames

Sony needs to start making some more games for the PS3, and actually give us some good reasons to buy the damn thing, before anyone can claim that they rule. Oh, and ChaosXeno, the guy didn't mention Microsnatch anywhere in his comment. If anyone is a fangirl, it's you.

blackace
blackace

I hope Richard Garriott understands that porting MMORPG over to the PS3 won't be the same as porting it to the XBox 360. If they think they can get it done by 2008, they may be mistaken. Porting one of these games over to the PS3 is going to be hell. I wish them luck. I don't expect we'll see anything from NCSoft on the PS3 until 2009 and it definitely won't look or play as good as it did on the PC. Making a brand new MMO IP from scratch would be their best choice.

dbeddow
dbeddow

Hope NCSoft makes better than Auto Assault, that game was shiite.

AngelCage
AngelCage

"the best Internet connectivity and greatest freedom of Web access and interaction available to the user." .-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-. What the... This guy is insane, Smart move from sony, but is a lot smart the move from micro$oft+tecmo

wars45
wars45

SONEY STILL RULES

Temmehkan
Temmehkan

i think people are misunderstanding here, sony didn;t go and buy a deal with ncsoft, ncsoft went to sony themselves to make a deal

ChaosXeno
ChaosXeno

Fallenone where in this article does it say sony bought this exclusivity? Did you even watch all of E3 or just your M$ fanboyism just over-ride and stop at the Boring MS presentation?

GunGriffin
GunGriffin

it's good to see that both Sony and this newly partnered company are going to finaly bring some major RPG titles to both the PSP (witch I own!) and the PS3. Nice to see Sony is finaly working on getting more new products out on the market for their gamers that are starting to get board with the same old games over and over agian. Still it would be great to have a MMORPG on the PSP as a first time for any handheld! I Hope it happens!

Old_Gooseberry
Old_Gooseberry

This game will never make it to the ps3, not sure what Garriott is smoking. I just don't see it ever happening... from what I saw from playing the beta the PC sales are going to bomb.

BDL91
BDL91

Smart move by sony

marwan89
marwan89

great news more exclusives

Peltz999
Peltz999

Tabula Rasa is currently the one that fits best for crossplatform. While playing one uses very few buttons and the most difficult thing would be managing the backpack and locker inventory.

FallenOneX
FallenOneX

Wow, Sony bought more exclusives. Remember When Jack Tretton said that Sony didn't do that, and then Peter Dille said that the comment was that Sony doesn't have to pay for them? Is it really a big deal? No, companies have been doing it for years. But to lie about....... this is how negativity towards certain companies starts.

M3mOrY
M3mOrY

Gah, i'd love for Lineage 2 to hit the Xbox 360... guess that's out of the book, for now.

Trajectorize
Trajectorize

I'm pretty sure it won't be Guild Wars 2 that this deal involves. NCSoft are only the publishers of the game; it's developed by ArenaNet, and they have already announced plans for it to be on PC (Windows XP, I believe) earlier this year.

robert13007
robert13007

Confusion, confusion and more confusion; at least they were right about that. First off these guys hate each other, but they are in the deal with making peace over counsel version MMO's (odd)? Garriott has stated he does not like several games that NC Soft has under its belt, including Guild Wars. Even though Garriott denies it now; I doubt he really does. Who in the world is running the show here? It just makes me wonder if it's not going to end up as another corporate take over. For I am not going to take ones man word, over that of an entire corporation.

Ebonyassassin2
Ebonyassassin2

Guild Wars =/= MMORPG, it is an RPG that is online, not an MMORPG, therefor you can't even compare to it WOW or EQ. @DiscGuru the reason they won't pick it up for the 360 is that people would be required to pay the subscription fee for Xbox Live just to play their games, they are going with the PS3 because they wish they games to have free online and just a purchase price, and the hardware of the PS3 is quite a bit higher up when compared to the 360.