DC Universe Online Knocked Into Early 2011

Illustration for article titled DC Universe Online Knocked Into Early 2011

Not even the combined powers of all of DC's super heroes could keep Sony Online Entertainment's DC Universe Online from being pushed back to early 2011, but new beta testing details cast light to the game's blackest night.

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A fall release for DC Universe seemed like the sort of unlikely scenario you'd only find in comic books, but fans had hope. Now Sony Online Entertainment dashes those hopes, pushing back the eagerly anticipated MMO until early 2011. SOE president John Smedley says the delay will give developers extra time to "address community feedback in a meaningful way."

He also says this is the first MMO on the PlayStation 3, but if they delay it too far into 2011, Final Fantasy XIV will secure that title in March. Smedley says information on the new launch date will come as the game gets deeper into external beta.

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Speaking of external beta, there is good news for hopeful players. Along with the delay, SOE reveals that players with VIP access codes and those registered with the DCUO website should begin receiving beta invites as early as next week. North American fans who preorder the game by November 15 are guaranteed beta access by November 30. Anyone who preorders after November 15 will gain beta access a week prior to launch.

All beta participants will be able to take part in the Battle of the Legends end of beta event, securing them a special emblem available in-game once DCUO launches.

Those wishing to secure a chance at beta access without preordering have until tonight at 11:59PM Pacific to register at the DC Universe Online website.

In other good news, PlayStation 3 owners will get a collector's edition similar to the one revealed for PC earlier this year, complete with the DCUO Batman statue, the limited edition Art of DC Universe Online art book, the DCUO Legends Issue #0 comic book with a Jim Lee variant cover, the DCUO Prestige comic presentation of the DCUO back-story and the limited edition Jim Lee-drawn poster Version of the Issue #0 comic book variant cover.

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Fans can use the extra time to drum up the $100 that collector's edition will cost.

So, show of hands - who is disappointed?

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DISCUSSION

Any MMO that pushes things back to get it right is doing at least something right, but the news doesn't exactly speak well for DCUO, as it suggests the 'community issues' were something so fundamental that they couldn't just be a 'knob' turned to tune down certain abilities or up. That something had to go back to formula, or some new material had to get in. And at the end of the day we're only really talking about 3-4 months, which in game development speak doesn't mean much in the way of change.

I want it to succeed. I want there to be an MMO that bridges the gap between consoles and PC so the genre can expand out of its current fantasy-as-WoW rut. I want a damned Superhero MMO that doesn't just paint a Superheroesque veneer over glorified fetch quests written by guys trying WAYYYYY too hard to be funny. And doing it alongside iconic characters and in a story written by the guys writing the books? Awesome. but I have doubts, and I will continue to have doubts. I take this news as troubling.

As an aside, for those who really bitch about the 'subscription' service, look, it's really simple. Either a game has a big, open world for hundreds or thousands or more to inhabit at the same time, which means server costs up the ass (I dunno if you know this, but servers that can handle that kinda data load are pricey. We're not talking a Counterstrike server, here) and want continued delivery of content—you pay the price. It's how MMOs work. 'But but but Freemium!' you said—only works on a smaller scale. 'But but but Guild Wars!' you say (a fine game, for the record!). Guild Wars is an upscale Diablo with rolling expansions disguising the cost of maintence. Which is fine, it's an alternative, but it's not the way of all things and you still pay regularly to get the content, it's just a matter of how. I am getting extremely tired of hearing people complain about $15 a month as if they're taking a huge fee: I'm not rolling in cash. $15 is one night at a resturant. It's a movie ticket. It's a piece and a half of DLC. Hell if I buy two cases of soda less a month, I 'break even' on the fee. I manage just fine. And I often pay double because my wife wants to play it with me.