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The Old Republic “under consideration” for console, says Gibeau

Wednesday, 22nd October 2008 03:48 GMT By Patrick Garratt

Speaking to Eurogamer at today’s Star Wars: The Old Republic reveal in San Francisco, EA online boss Frank Gibeau said that both the BioWare MMO and Warhammer Online may make the move to console.

“They’re both under consideration,” he said, although he added: “We’re not really in a place to commit or announce anything specific with regards to those.”

The exec explained that many factors needed to be assessed before making a concrete decision.

“We’ve got this product, and we’ve got Warhammer at play,” he said.

“So we’re trying to look at the primary research required to understand how would you deploy it, what the client size looks like, how big is the back-end, what the play experience looks like… Once we’ve got some of those questions answered, we’ll be able to decide which is the right play to go after.”

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3 Comments

  1. Blerk

    May as well save your money, man.

    #1 6 years ago
  2. Esha

    I agree.

    And I hate it when I have something controversial to point out, I never know how to do it without getting under someone’s skin, but I’ll try anyway…

    There’s a fundamental flaw in most MMOs, it even exists in my favourite series of MMOs (the City of games). This flaw won’t easily allow said MMOs to be fairly translated to a console. Can anyone guess what this flaw is?

    As a clue, Guild Wars doesn’t suffer from it.

    The flaw is this, and it most prominently affects Warcraft, but it effects all MMOs to a degree, especially those with modifiable interfaces: I have a million-billion bars. How does that successfully translate to a pad with only so many buttons and combinations thereof? Do they plan on making a keyboard mandatory?

    Guild Wars is the perfect candidate for a console MMO (even though it isn’t strictly an MMO). The reason for this is that Guild Wars gets around the Million Bars Problem, it has one bar and all players can only have a maximum of eight skills at their disposal. These skills can only be swapped out in a hub, or resting zone.

    Thus a player must strategise and learn which skill set they wish to use before setting out on a particular adventure. A lot of Guild Wars skills are rolled into one cleverly too, so this skill does that, and that, thus actually removing the need for many skills on a bar. The only other game I’ve seen try this are, indeed, the City of Heroes/Villains games.

    I think that if an MMO is released for consoles though, it needs to be designed with game-pads in mind, and the limited bar system of Guild Wars is perfect for that. Four front buttons, four shoulder buttons, eight in total, eight on the bar.

    But if a game can have infinite bars which are 12 buttons long, like almost every other MMO… well, good luck translating that to a console. I don’t know if it’s even worthwhile trying.

    Additional: As for menu systems and stuff, start and select can act as modifiers to enter a player into a menu where the buttons behave differently, or the D-pad could enter into those menus, or the D-pad could simply be used for those menus. With the Guild Wars approach, the implementation is amazingly easy. That’s why I’d really like to see that kind of system in the first Western console MMO.

    #2 6 years ago
  3. SplatteredHouse

    Warhammer should be prioritised for consoles, the brand after all, does have previous form and recognition/appreciation on those platforms.

    #3 6 years ago

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