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So 2010 then…SciFi MMOs?

December 10, 2009 5 comments

Over a year ago I wrote about that 2009 could potentially be the year of SciFi MMOs.  Well, that did not quite haappen.

Of more than 10 games mentioned there are only two that has been released this year – Champions Online and Fallen Earth. Personally I do like both games and I am glad that there was something non-fantasy released. But for the rest, maybe there are some hope for next year?

  • Stargate Worlds seems to more or less have died, or at leat gone into hibernation. There has been rumors that the developers switched to work on a shooter instead named Stargate:Resistance. Probably not much hope here.
  • Jumpgate Evolution is in beta it seems, so there is at least a somewhat high probability that it will show up before the end of 2010.
  • Black Prophecy from Reakktor (makers of Neocron) is not yet in beta and seems to aiming for a similar target to Jumpgate Evolution I think. The screenshots look nice.
  • Earthrise does look promising to me and may be a future rival to Fallen Earth, both being post-apocalyptic and a bit sandboxy. This one probably has the edge in terms of graphics, ramains to be seen what the gameplay will be.
  • Mechscape is no more. Instead Jagex, the makers decided to start with a new/different MMO instead, although still with a SciFi oriented theme – Stellar Dawn.  This may just be a matter of changing the name, or perhaps a bit more. Not exactly crystal clear.
  • Star Trek Online – this game is currently in closed beta and scheduled for release in February 2010. This is the game that is probably most certain to be released in 2010 of the titles mentioned in this post. I am not a Trekkie or a big Star Trek fan, but I am interested in seeing what Cryptic will come up with, since the time in development has been relatively short compared to many other MMOs.
  • Blackstar was a SciFi MMO in development by Space Time Studios, but after NCSoft dropped out as a publisher they struggled. Not sure what state this game is not, but they seem to have a vampire-themed “freemium” MMO  in an alpha stage as far as I can tell, Empire of Night. And they seem to have started to do stuff on iPhone as well.

Not mentioned in my 2009 post, but probably worth mentioning here (maybe there will be something in 2010…):

  • Global Agenda – shooter/spy action MMO in SciFi setting.  This one is in beta now and seem to be progressing well. I liked their No Elves video and the game does look neat, although not quite sure if this will be the game for me.
  • Star Wars – The Old Republic. Many people seem to be excited about this one. I think this may still be uncertain for 2010, although they do seem to do a good job marketing wise. I have only briefly played one Bioware game before (Neverwinter Nights), so I do not share the built-in enthusiasm many other seem to have here. But I am curious to see what they do with the Star Wars franschise.

Hopefully most of these that are still worked on will release sometime in 2010…

2009 – the year of SciFi MMOs?

July 21, 2008 1 comment

Many blog discussions and topics seem to have been centered around some fantasy games and expansions from Mythic Entertainment, Funcom and Blizzard this year. Not that many and not something I share a few others excitement for.

Next year seems to have potential for more interesting prospects though and this in the SciFi area of MMOGs:

  • Stargate Worlds seems to be aiming for an early 2009 release. Based on the Stargare SG-1 TV series, one of the things they emphasize is their strong story content. They are taking beta applications, over 150000 has reportedly signed up so far.
  • Jumpgate Evolution is space oriented SciFi MMOG, where NetDevil has based it on their old Jumpgate game and then work to make an improved and evolved version of it. Seems much a combat and trade oriented game with player driven economy. They are taking beta applications.
  • Black Prophecy seems also to be a space oriented game, from Reakktor – creators of Neocron/Neocron 2. I have not seen much information abouth this game. Screenshots on their site looks spectacular. They are taking beta applications.
  • Earthrise is a game with a postapocalyptic theme from Masthead Studios.  Character development is purely skill oriented, promises player driven economy and extensive crafting and territorial PvP.
  • MechScape is a new MMO from JagEx, creators of RuneScape. It will likely be a browser-based MMORPG like RuneScape

Depending on who you ask, some would also put superhero games like Champions Online and DC Universe Online as SciFi games, both which seem to be aiming for 2009. So far there has only been two games released in this area and these have been siamese twins with each other, so one may argue that they are just one game. SciFi has a broad definition, so it certainly can include these games as well, although it may not be what everyone thinks of when talking about SciFi.

Some other SciFi games being developed have not had any release plans announced yet. Fallen Earth developers says it is ready when it is ready. Cryptic Studios will likely announce a SciFi game in development in a week, which many belive may be Star Trek Online. BlackStar is the game from Space Time Studios which may still be looking for a publisher. These may not be released during 2009 though.

It does show some potentially exciting future in the area of MMORPGs, at least for us who would be very happy to play more SciFi oriented games rather than the fantasy themes that are currently dominating.

I would not be surprised if there are more games than these, but these were those that I could think of right away that I have seen mentioned.