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Gamasutra - Opinion: Why Microsoft Loses MMOs (And Why The PS3 Will Win the Genre)

by Woges, 2008-04-30 23:15:22

Michael Zenke's opinion piece on Microsoft's missed opportunities.

If you look down the big list of canceled or never-released massively multiplayer games, Microsoft’s name comes up a suspicious number of times. The closure of Asheron's Call 2 is probably the most high-profile of these. Mythica, True Fantasy Online, Vanguard, and now Marvel Universe were all dented by the Redmond giant’s deft touch.

On a fundamental corporate level, I think that the company just doesn’t understand the whole MMO ‘thing’. The Xbox Live service is a known quantity at this point, and it's probably one of the defining elements of this generation of consoles. That said, having the patience to see something like an MMO through to completion is a very different task.

Even more than that, I think Microsoft’s short-sightedness when it comes to this genre has left a huge opening for Sony and the PlayStation 3. Though there are no firm plans in the public eye right now, the tide is rising for MMO experiences on Sony’s console. I think it's possible that Microsoft has ceded this fight without even firing a shot.

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