Blizzard's Next Gen MMO - Another Update

Posted by Daeity On Saturday, August 7, 2010

It appears that Activision Blizzard's quarterly earnings report came out yesterday after my post, it actually addresses one of the updates I had provided in regards to Blizzard's Next-Gen MMO - ie, Activision is investing heavy into the new MMO, which will kick development into high gear "very soon" as previously stated.

They'll be moving employees over from other departments (e.g. Cataclysm team) within the next few months.

What's funny about the Activision Blizzard news release though, is that people think that this is "new" information. Hundreds of online news services have been posting that Blizzard's MMO will be based on a NEW IP which is apparently "new and exciting" information. That information however is actually over a year old.

So anyways, one item I forget to mention in the previous post was the release date for the game. As mentioned, even though they've been working on the "next-gen MMO" for 3 years - there hasn't been a lot of progress. Analysts have predicted that the game will be released by 2012 or 2013. However, at their current pace (although development will start increasing soon), a release date of 2015 is more likely (with beta testing in 2014).

A streaming MMO is a possibility for the next gen consoles (PS4/XBOX720) but I still have no confirmation on that from my source. There have only been some discussions and some unrelated experimentation (from the next gen MMO project). And there's basically no team tasked with creating it as of yet (not until they confirm that it can actually work well).

Other than that, Blizzard biggest concern for their product on next gen consoles is the interface.. if motion-tracking software is a bust (which it is), expect standard keyboard/mouse setups for the consoles. Blizzard will probably release customized kb/mouse hardware as well for the consoles. (Gotta milk revenue wherever you can right?)

Note: The reason I say motion-tracking tech (like Kinect) is a bust for their next-gen MMO is because it's not really applicable for twitch-based/fast-action combat. It's fine for dancing, jumping, and fun kids games.. but not a game with consequences and competition where accuracy of commands and every second is critical. As it stands, the retail product has been called very laggy, unresponsive, and inaccurate. Check out Microsoft's faked Starwars Kinect footage by the way.. the actor mimicked everything the character on the screen did (the entire exercise was probably practiced over-and-over to make it look real). It's not good when a product is constantly failing during demonstrations.