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Truly global game communication

January 2, 2008

For most MMOGs that implement chat channels, friend lists and similar community tools they are quite limited. Typically chat channels are restricted to specific servers, perhaps also factions and any identification is tied to a specific character. Some exceptions here are a couple of the SOE games where chat can work across multiple games, as well as friend lists (still tied to a character though, AFAIK). In City of Heroes/Villains there are global chat channels across all CoH/CoV servers in a region and your identity is not tied to a specific character.

I would like to see these concepts be expanded beyond games from a specific company and more generally exposed throughout many different games. If I want to chat with a friend I can do that in game regardless of whether they are in the same game, a different game or online somewhere else.

This is of course what tools like XFire already has implemented and it also border on usage of tools and services like Skype, MSN and Yahoo Messenger. But one still need external tools and these tools need to be compatible for it to work.

There has been standardization efforts in this are in terms of instant messaging in general, such as XMPP, but has not reached wide acceptance across many popular products in this area. Nevertheless, it would be nice to see an effort from game companies to extend part of their chat and friend list functionality to the rest of the world as well.

Categories: MMO Games
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