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Galactic Command Online: Derek Smart’s last game?

Smart’s studio 3000AD has announced Galactic Command Online. Going by the feature list, GCO is essentially Smart’s last 100 games condensed into MMO form.

You can’t argue his style of game is ripe for an MMO treatment, though the man himself is reluctant to place Galactic Command Online in the same genre as the likes of World of Warcraft. In his words: “…The game isn’t really an MMO in that sense of the word (it’s not more an MMO than APB, Global Agenda, Crimecraft etc) but unfortunately thats the terminology the industry seems to have stuck with – as are we”.

With the amount of support, updates and expansions MMOs require these days, it’s been stipulated that GCO could be 3000AD’s last game. And it could be. But, judging by the (lack of) success of recent MMO launches, it might not be for the reasons the company has stated.

What Smart has going for him is his unwavering passion and vision, even if these qualities put him on the wrong side of the flame-proof fence in many an Internet forum. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s these very qualities the genre needs to kick it in the dice bag and get out of the exhausting cycle of pumping out endless WoW-clones.

I guess we’ll see how GCO stacks up against EVE and Infinity: Quest for Earth. My guess is, like Smart’s other games, it’ll cater to the exquisitely niche audience of gamers that love Battlecruiser, and perhaps the much larger group stuck on the never-ending geas for an online version of Bell and Braben’s Elite. As long as 3000AD keeps this in mind when it comes to the pricing micro-transactions and server costs, there’s no reason it can’t be sustainable.

~ by Logan on October 15, 2009.

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