Turbine opens up on console MMOGs

Lord of the Rings Online developer sees a massively multiplayer move to the living room; talks up possibilities of integrating motion-sensing or music-game peripherals.

by

EDINBURGH--According to Turbine executive Nathan Jones, the massively multiplayer online gaming genre is only going to expand. Speaking at the Edinburgh Interactive Festival today, the Lord of the Rings Online developer's vice president of corporate and business development gave his views on the future of massively multiplayer online games, pointing to social networks and consoles as two expanding frontiers.

MMOGs like Lord of the Rings Online combine social networks with games.

"MMOs offer the best of social networks, virtual worlds, and games," Jones said, with the caveat that there is still room for expansion. He cited his company's own MY LOTRO Web site, which integrates social networking features and game data to enable the firm to maintain "almost continuous engagement" with users. Creating minigames on sites such as Facebook and MySpace also expands the reach of the community and provides a way for new consumers to be reached and drawn into the game, he concluded.

Beyond the expansion of current games, Jones' Edinburgh lecture touched on the lack of MMO games on consoles. He noted that companies are increasingly looking to bring their MMO games to the living room, "whether that's an extension to an existing game or a new one."

When asked about the possibility of integrating peripherals like the Wii Remote or rhythm game controllers, Jones said that this would be tied inexorably with the move to the console. "Once there, it opens up a whole other category of opportunities," he said.               

Discussion

31 comments
runtheplacered
runtheplacered

On top of that, LOTRO is definitely the best MMO on the market right now. You can debate whether or not being the best of "basically crap" means anything or not. But, LOTRO definitely isn't "average", since the "average" is somewhere around abysmal.

runtheplacered
runtheplacered

@ tommynj, DDO definitely wasn't awful. I'd wager to bet you have never played it. It serves the exact purpose it was intended to serve and you can have fun doing it. I hope you're not judging it as a sandbox MMO. No, of course you're not. You've played it, right?

tommynj
tommynj

Turbine may want to learn how to make a good mmo before putting any mmo on the console. Lotro was average at best and Dungeons and Dragons was awful. Though it is good to hear that mmos eventually will be on consoles. I love playing on my 360.

Barighm
Barighm

About time someone else noticed the lack of MMO's on consoles! There are practically none out there, save for one forgotten one and FF11 which is actually a PC MMO ported to console (I hear it doesn't work). If somebody would just make a console centric MMO, designed for, and created by developers who specialize in, consoles, I'll bet anything it would totally clean up the console market. And it's not like MMO's don't work for consoles, it's just nobody has tried a console centric design. They keep using PC designs, and of course those don't work too well. How about this: a game like Dark Alliance or Champions of Norrath given the MMO treatment? Now that would rock.

Zloth2
Zloth2

Oblivion is a shallow gaming experience!? I've got over 100 hours of gameplay that says otherwise. The thing is awesome on the PC with all the mods.

sircyrus
sircyrus

And the broader your audience, the less focussed your game is. That's exactly the problem with multiplatform gaming. It tries to appeal to everyone, and becomes a "jack-of-all-trades, master of none." A broad-reaching but extremely shallow gaming experience. Just like Oblivion. And Thief 3. And the numerous other multiplatform games which have fallen short of expectations, and suffered from PC-specific issues like poor optimization due to multiplatforming (ie: GTA4).

xJackelx
xJackelx

In regards to "Console MMO's destroying the PC gaming Industry." Software companies will create products that will make them money. Square-Enix has proved this can be done from both a sales and profit potential. They hit multiple markets across multiple platforms and did it without the need for specific console add-ons. Yes it did require the hard-drive for the ps2 (which was included with the game) but the ps2 was not the only option, therefor not making it a requirement to enjoy the game, just enjoying it on that system. A lot of these posts are playing a blame game, it's like saying computer gaming killed Pen-n-Paper and Board Games. The more markets you can hit, the broader your audience can be.

sircyrus
sircyrus

So he hopes that multiplatform gaming will hit the MMO in full force. For the sake of PC gamers, I hope he is wrong. Multiplatforming is showing itself to be the surest way to destroy the PC gaming industry.

dzfunk64
dzfunk64

Jagex has confirmed several times that they will be porting RuneScape to consoles, and was the first company to announce such plans, yet there's no news post about it? Why?! Quit being so biased about what news you post, GameSpot! I don't understand why you ignore RuneScape, but not these other MMORPGs, when RuneScape is currently the second biggest MMOG (in terms of players).

alixkid
alixkid

Come on Turbine Make a new MMO of AC...Please >

Bobzfamily
Bobzfamily

Back when I was into MMO's and I played half a dozen of them, I'd sy that my favourites were WoW and LOTRO. Turbine's game is so fantastic but bringing it to consoles would meet with failure. The control scheme just wouldn't work with the hotkey schemes.

Melty123
Melty123

LOTRO seemed like a solid game, and I really enjoy LOTR games already on X360 so a LORTO on X360 would be great.

Ryuketsu2043
Ryuketsu2043

LOTRO is the best mmo out there at the moment for my. I've always loved turbine

ISuPrEmAcY32I
ISuPrEmAcY32I

It is possible to integrate a keyboard onto your 360, at least for use with MSN messenger etc. Maybe they could go the route of bundling a wireless keyboard, which is fairly inexpensive, into the game and for use with the game. I dunno if that would be the most pracitcal, as then you'd basically be playing a pc game through your tv, and really, who wants to sit on their couch with a huge keyboard on their lap. i dunno.

starbead
starbead

Would a decent console MMO have to be bundled with a custom controller? Neither MS nor Sony will allow a game to be released for their console that doesn't operate with the default controller (or come bundled with its own). Take WoW, for example. I started on launch day with a Warlock. Got her to around level 52 and deleted her because at the time I didn't know about Cosmos, et al and ran out of spaces for my new abilities. How do you put that many actions on a 360/PS3 contoller? Would people pay $100-150 for an MMO with a custom controller in the box?

Cwagmire21
Cwagmire21

@somberfox Not necessarily. Now these companies can't get casual gamers to grind for items like WoW players but what about a game similar to Animal Crossing but a MMO? I think you could get some casual gamers into that.

xJackelx
xJackelx

All current gen consoles offer USB and Internet support. This is in reply to all those commenting saying you'd need "add-ons for a specific MMO." While I can understand MMO's on a PC being superior for custom features, there is nothing wrong with kicking back on your couch and enjoying a night of MMO'ing.

somberfox
somberfox

The idea of a Wii mmorpg is hilarious. The casual Wii audience and the hardcore mmorpg audience are completely opposite demographics. A Wii mmo would end up a miserable failure.

console-deity
console-deity

@ Born_Lucky it's more publishers who want to spread MMO's, but yeah we gamers would get screwed if they expanded into our territory.

NuKkU
NuKkU

Thats cool i have yet to see a good console MMO but maybe we will see a good one out of Turbine who knows(but i still have my bets on DC Universe to be the first good console MMO)

torak101
torak101

Consoles are an inferior game platform for MMORPG's (as well as shooters but thats not the point) Turbine has always been a poorly managed / unfocused company. Look at the track record. AC - dead, AC2 - dead and shut down, DDO - dead but trying a go at F2P before they bury it. LotR a marginal success on a good day.

wis3boi
wis3boi

MMOs on PC > MMO on anything else. You'd need a keyboard addon for a console MMO, and that just means more to the price, plus bigger hard drives, monthly fees on top of Xbox LIVE if that's the system you are playing on....its a lost cause. Now if they wanted something similar for consoles, try a Guild Wars game for consoles...it MIGHT work better

ColdfireTrilogy
ColdfireTrilogy

yuk this is gonna be ugly looking, its necessary so that consoles eventually can play MMOS, but i dont see it working out well until a larger hand peripheral is used such as a keyboard. That or its really really dumbed down from what PC MMOs are.

Gruug
Gruug

I would never play an MMO on a console. I spend a lot of time playing MMO's and my wife would not stand for me to tie up the TV for that long. Besides, I can currently play my MMO on my PC and watch TV at the same time.

jazilla
jazilla

I see complaints, but this is the same as the multiplayer console stuff going on too. Get everyone interested in online multiplayer and your job becomes twice as easy. I actually miss 4 player in the living room, and that was on a way smaller TV with awful resolution lol.

Born_Lucky
Born_Lucky

It takes more time, effort and talent to make a quality singleplayer game. Developers would love to see everything go online - that way, they could rake in twice the profits with half the work. Of course, gamers would be the ones getting screwed - but I don't think developers care about that.

Nitronic12
Nitronic12

turbine you've already killed lotr... dont do this... focus on fixing the pc mmo's first