A few weeks ago, Valve’s Gabe Newell, an advocate of the PC gaming platform, spoke well of Nintendo’s next generation console. It was at that same time that he wished to make a game for the platform, of which an MMORPG was hinted at. Now we hear Paul Barnett from Electronic Arts who opines that Nintendo could be the company to resolve the console MMO problem – despite SOE’s recent efforts with The Agency, and Funcom with Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures.
Paul Barnett of EA Mythic is one of the developers behind Warhammer Online, but he doesn’t believe that he can resolve the uneasiness when trying to approach MMO game development on consoles. “I wouldn’t know how to do [make a console MMO game],” he admitted.
Instead, he thinks that of the many icons in the console segment, Nintendo would most likely come up with an awesome idea that would solidify MMO presence on consoles:
The number-one problem of a developer of an MMO these days is it’s very hard to be creative and keep your eye on the target when almost everyone has only ever played one of these games and it dominates their thinking. You would have to build something very console centric from the get-go. I think probably the best chance of someone doing something like that is Nintendo – doing something crazy that no one expects.
Nintendo’s Wii is the very personification of the company’s ability to attack competition sideways, and Barnett believes that this type of thinking would allow the Japanese gaming giant to reshape the development of console MMO games.
He noted that EA’s Rock Band, which allows for online play around a central community, drew close to MMO-style games, and was quoted to have said this:
It’s somewhere in there. I don’t know what it is, but that’s perhaps the closest I’ve seen to convincing console people to do things together, to do things online, to do things that cost money, to earn income.