I know that consoles get a large part of gaming journalism traffic, but honestly 2012 could truly be the year of MMO’s and Free-to-play browser games. Stop laughing. I’m dead ass. Let’s start with Planetside 2. This is the sequel to one of the best MMO’s ever created. I’m dead ass. Stop laughing. Anyway, the original was a great MMOFPS title that had gamer’s engaged in global warfare taking up tasks to help their faction win the day. On going, progressive Planetside had elements that to this day have not been quite executed correctly in other ambitious games.
SOE’s GDC 2012 showcase showed off where Planetside 2 is going. The game is still in alpha so there is not much player interaction, nonetheless you still are privy to the magnitude in which SOE is trying to take the franchise. Creative Director Matt Higby gives a unique perspective of how customization, infantry combat, air combat, load out options, where the team is going with respect to the games overall design direction. If you don’t at least walk away interested (liar) I’d wager you wouldn’t mind heading over to the planetside2 website when you do change your mind. Oh please feel free to sign up for the beta…It’s open.
While showcasing the Unreal Engine 4 behind closed doors of GDC 2012, Epic Games VP Mark Rein in a conversation with CVG spoke on what he feels Epic Games role is to the gaming industry. Does he have a point? Should a successful industry like Gaming continue, or is there a plateau Â that exists for everyone to be comfortable with? Going into detail Reign says; .Â ”Don’t worry. We are absolutely every day [pushing platform holders],”. “This is why we did Samaritan and why we’re doing a really high-end demo in the room here. We really are pushing these guys, because if they don’t, Apple will go right past them.” It is this type of logic that has made Epic Games one of the quintessential developers of our gaming era. Obviously many loathe for both their success, and ingenuity, but Mark in further details why his companies focus is such,Â ”Not everybody in the games business is going to use our technology and that’s OK. But if we can help the games business as a whole then we help the people that use our technology, we help ourselves, we help consumers”. While going on to addÂ ”We really like the big screen, home console experience and we really like IPad gaming. We like all these gaming experiences and we don’t think consumers want them to go away”.
Are game system publishers paying attention to Mark Rein? I would venture to say yes. Part of this is common sense, but at the same time paying attention the changing landscape of the gaming business. Going back to 2006 it where not for Epic Games pushing Microsoft to include additional memory in their soon to be released Xbox 360, not only would Gears of War not have looked, and done spectacular. The very success that Microsoft enjoys today with their console platform would not exist. This isn’t some Doomsday theory, or hindsight 20/20 yapping going on. The visceral loathing, competition, and ultimate dominance that Sony had with it’s Playstation line was super formidable with gamer’s. All any gamer has to do is look to the legion of fan boys that populated the internet game forums admonishing Microsoft. From Windows to it’s executives all bullet points where on Microsoft’s back. At the same time the Xbox 360 platform had a lot going for it in terms of features especially it’s expansion of Xbox Live into a central gaming experience. Without the push from Epic games How successful do we think Microsoft’s platform would have been today? Mind you there are many other developers who are pushing in their own way as well. Take the independent game developers out there. You are seeing great games emerging on mobile platforms like the Ipad, and Android devices. Â We can even look to even Sony first party David Cage with his GDC 2012 “Kara” demo this week. Push is what the Game industry is about. Being on that edge, and making a home for creativity, and gaming to flourish. We all know that Apple get’s it. They not only get it, they want it all. If gaming publishers are turning a blind eye to their assets, and the industry ecosystem they dwell in then they need to further listen,Â ”The only way they’re [consoles] going to go away is if they don’t stay true to what they are. The console gaming experience is about delivering something that’s way out past the bleeding edge and subsidising it through the software royalty model - just like Apple does with the phones. It’s not that much different.”Â Â ”That’s the console gaming model, and if you don’t do that - if you don’t stretch just far enough, you don’t just have enough of a difference to make people want to take the leap with you… it all falls down. Mark Rein concludes by stating;Â Â ”That’s the console gaming model, and if you don’t do that - if you don’t stretch just far enough, you don’t just have enough of a difference to make people want to take the leap with you… it all falls down. Steve Jobs would be proud, but pissed…