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August 16th, 2009, 11:18
Im not in general against MMOs, even if i never played MMOs for more than a few hours and only for press reasons (previews).
In my opinion the problems with all MMOs on the market are the limited tools for developers and little ressources an hardware site. A compelling RPG (single) has an interesting story with a main plot and many side-plots with hundreds of varied quests, some of them even building up on each other. Most important, the ongoing story should depend on the decisions, the player makes on his way. So (s)he has the illusion really to be part of the story. This effect can be realized by the developers, because there is only "one" main character to build around a compelling story.

Theoretically this also could be realized in an MMO, but the "costs" for this task would be immense - perhaps fictional with this generation of tools, server-performance, internet-bandwidh and available (payable) manpower.
But experts are working on new, much better and quicker web-protocols with multiple performance compared to now. Server-Performance also is growing, the idea of "cloud computing" opens whole new worlds, not even for "serious" software developers, but also for game programmers. And with new developer tools in the future it is possible, that creating scripts, AI and all the other parts of an RPG could much quicker and with less manpower be done. If this will really happen in the near future, MMO could reach a level of quality, some single RPG have already.

Bethesda for sure works on an online version of its most valuable IP - no developer can risk to ignore a market, that is already so succesfull in generating money over a long period of time and is growing rapidly.
The 1 Mio. $ question is, if Bethesda will be able to transfere the key-elements of success from its single RPG to an online version? Dealing with the existing technical limits, i listed above. Or are they already working on next generation tools and infrastructure? This would be the first real competition for Blizzard and its IP.
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