Why Aren't There More Console MMOs?

Illustration for article titled Why Arent There More Console MMOs?

Back in April, Dan Rubenfield (Ultima Online, Star Wars Galaxies, etc.) ranted, raved, and put MMO developers 'on notice.' And, at the end, admonished developers to "quit making PC games. It's a waste of time and money." Unsurprisingly, people hit back, and now over at GameSetWatch, Joe Ludwig (producer of Pirates of the Burning Sea) has a snappy little response detailing six reasons why MMOs are just plain harder to develop for consoles versus PCs. Does that mean it won't start happening in greater numbers? Of course not:

There is enough money to be made in console games that future MMO releases there are inevitable. It's just a question of when they arrive.

Several console MMOs have already launched. The most successful of these by far is Final Fantasy XI on the PlayStation 2. Everquest Online Adventures and Phantasy Star Universe (and Phantasy Star Online before it) are two more examples. There are probably more that I'm not coming up with. All of these games have seen some modest success, but none of them are either major console hits or major MMO hits.

... Eventually MMOs are going to come to consoles. It's just going to take them a while to get there, and they will probably never emerge in the same numbers as they do on PCs. Buck up, Dan. We'll get there some day.

He also points out that according to NPD, developing for PCs is anything but a waste of money. Overall, it's a really reasonable response to a sometimes reasonable, sometimes really not rant.

Why Aren't There More Console MMOs? [GameSetWatch]

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DISCUSSION

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Foxstar loves Bashcraft

Digimon Online is said to be coming to PS3 if the rumors are right.

FFXI is also playable on PS3, provided that is you have a 20, 60 or 80 gig..and the 80gig system is said to have some sort of 'issues'. So MMO's are already here. The real issue is more then anything that if you tie a MMO to a console, it limits what you can do as the years go by..FFXI is a prime showing of that.

@SortaKindaAGamer:As someone who's been playing FFXI from it's 2004 launch and played EQ for PS2, there is no good reason you can't play a MMO on a controller. FFXI is perhaps the best use of a controller used in a MMORPG as you can play without a keyboard at all (Though you will need a keyboard to avoid making macros into a day long task when building them and to chat with people)

@wild homes 5: no disassemble!:Not completely true. If you really worked at it, you could play FFXI completely with nothing else but a Duel Shock 3/Sixaxis.

@z0phi3l:There's a little something called macros.

@thefremen:Sony failed to get the PS2 HDD out early enough in the PS2's lifespan for devs to make use of it and for some reason even when it's installed, you still can't op to save games right to the HDD, you have to enter into the bios and fool transfer from your cards to the HDD and so on.

@thefremen:Your fonts might have been screwed up. Bad controls? I can't attest there, I enjoy the DS3 more then the keyboard.

@Walker:See FFXI, Everquest for PS2.

@Chewbenator:See FFXI, Everquest for PS2.

What this is really is the devs do not want to be stuck bound to a console, but I can't understand why more of them don't try. SE's got 500k paying accounts a month at the very least and each account is a flat $14 and that's only if they don't have mules, which run $1 for every single extra mule.