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Defiance dev: MMO’s “stigmatised” as “men-in-tights” PC genre

Wednesday, 20th March 2013 21:25 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Defiance executive producer Nathan Richardsson has said nobody’s convinced console gamers that MMOs are good value, because current-generation hardware just wasn’t designed with massively multiplayer experiences in mind.

“There is no denying that doing MMOs on consoles is difficult. When they were envisioned, the massive online model with aggressive evolution of the game and dynamic universes wasn’t part of their core purpose. This has discouraged a lot of developers, going the paths of less resistance and sticking to other platforms,” Richardsson told OXM.

“That being said, what’s commonly associated with the word ‘MMO’ has a lot of connotations on consoles and even the most known games of the genre are experiences which would be a really poor experience on consoles. So yes but I think everyone is also just waiting for the answer to the question, ‘what is a massive online game on console?’”

DUST 514 is probably one of the few console titles to make a claim at MMO status, but it looks like a rising trend. Defiance, which launches in early April, is also a sci-fi shooter, and will be followed next year by Bungie’s Destiny – something of a rival. But Richardsson says this is all for the good.

“I don’t think it’s a threat at all, I think it’ll broaden the audience and introduce people to massive collaborative experiences as well as make online gaming more approachable. It’s at the point where ‘MMO’ is very much associated – and even stigmatised – with a certain men-in-tights deep-and-wide subscription type of game,” he said.

“There is a place for massive online experience which doesn’t have that learning cliff and is more a transmedia experience. I believe both Destiny and Defiance will be examples of where we’re trying that out, breaking new ground and there is more than enough room for us, and others.”

Defiance will be available on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, and has ties to the SyFy series of the same name.

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