Two years ago, NCsoft dealt a harsh blow to a certain subset of gaming fans when it canned the development of Project HON. This MMO was to be a glorious exercise in mecha combat, but scandals and a decision to reallocate development resources meant that it was never to be.
So where can that kid who grew up playing with giant robots go to get a Voltron, Transformers, or Macross fix these days? While many MMOs offer the occasional mech experience, there aren’t as many games that go all-in on that Pacific Rim experience.
But in the interests of a thought experiment and because I have fond memories of slapping five metal lions together to form the ultimate defender of the universe, here are 10 online games that offered or still do offer the thrill of high-tech mech and robot warfare.
During a weekend stream of RuneScape, Jagex Community Manager Shaun “Shauny” Akerman appears to have let slip a logo for an unannounced Jagex project called “Next-Gen.” The community is more or less united behind Shauny, who expresses concern on the video that he may be fired. He won’t be, by the by; another mod posted,
“Don’t worry, Shauny! Honest mistake, we all make them. This was a slide from an internal company livestream, so there must have been something leftover from that. God bless you Shauny – we just have to teach you to cut feed when a stream is over!”
Other folks on Reddit are a bit more cynical, suggesting that the whole thing was an intentional leak by the studio in the service of starting up the rumormill on whatever Jagex is working on next.
So what the heck is it? It could be RuneScape Remastered, which Jagex confirmed last year. It could be the VR tech for RuneScape the company hinted at earlier this spring. It could be just a throwback to RuneScape 3’s internal name. Or it could be a new property altogether, though it hasn’t had the best track record there (RIP, Stellar Dawn and Transformers Universe).
You know that when Dark Optimus Prime shows up, things just got real.
Tencent’s team brawler Transformers Online is adding the sinister version of the Autobots’ commander with its new round of closed beta testing. The next CBT is scheduled for May 18th in China and will not reset players’ progress in the game.
With Transformers Online’s limited multiplayer focus and its current status as a Chinese-only title, is it worth getting excited over it? Well, it’s still giant transforming robots beating the crap out of each other free from the hack thumb of Michael Bay, so we’re going to say “maybe!”
Check out the new closed beta trailer below!
In a perfect world, we’d already be playing a true Transformers MMORPG and enjoying every minute of customizable robots, on-the-go transformations, and roleplaying as slow-witted mechanical dinosaurs. Alas, our faulty world has yet to cough up such a game, and so we’re left looking from afar at China’s Transformers Online, which as MMO Culture notes, is really just a team shooter like Overwatch, only with much less personality.
Still, if you’re curious how the game functions, you can check out the following videos smuggled out from Transformers Online’s closed beta test 3. Players can choose several match modes to experience, including capture the flag, team deathmatch, and escort the payload. Because if there’s one thing that all gamers love, it’s escorting things!
There are always going to be differences in opinion about what should be done with an IP based upon a franchise. That’s just natural. The same core universe could be used to make a sprawling sandbox with weak combat but a robust non-combat market and profession system, or it could be used to make a combat-focused experience that focuses on energetic fights, nifty story moments, and little else. In both cases, even if you don’t like the end result, you can understand exactly why the IP was used for this.
Our column today is not about those games. No, this is about games that completely failed to make use of their licenses to IPs, produced totles that did not in any way logically follow from the license that was given, or otherwise took pure gold and turned it into something… less than gold. There’s room to debate whether some of these IPs would ever make good MMOs, but boy, the uses we have were pretty bad.
Can we collectively accept that? Marketing, developers, and players alike? Launch is launch. When your game launches, it has launched. If I can reach another decade on this planet without ever hearing the term “soft launch” again except as a historical footnote, I will be… well, I don’t know that I’ll be happy, but I’ll certainly be happy with that particular development.
Unfortunately, I appear to be on the wrong side of this. Early access and points related have disrupted the very concept of a launch state, and developers have been working hard to redefine “launch” as an arbitrary goal line rather than a term referring to the point when a game is bought and paid for. But I think more so than the ambiguity of testing terms, the way we’ve diluted the idea of launch has really had an impact on our perceptions of products and the state of a game.
Last week’s Overthinking question was a very broad one all about genre-wide wishes that go unfulfilled. But what if we drill that down? That’s what MOP Patron Roger’s doing with his question to us this week:
“What neat thing would you like in your favorite MMO that would probably not get added?”
Real housing in World of Warcraft? Real crafting in SWTOR? Actual players in… nah, I can’t do it. This one could get catty quickly, so let’s try to avoid that as we dig in — pick your three favorite living MMORPGs, tell us something players always beg for, and then tell us why it’s never gonna happen. Onward!
It’s become tradition to fare well the MMOs that sunsetted in the preceding year, but that wasn’t always the case. At the beginning of 2015, in saying goodbye to 2014’s sunsetted games, I tried to put that into perspective.
Almost exactly a year ago, I wrote about how Vanguard’s early stumbles foreshadowed the changing MMORPG industry. In January 2007, when Vanguard lurched its way to launch, the genre was barely a decade old; it was booming, and it had never suffered hardship on a massive scale. In the west, we’d seen only three “major” MMOs sunset (Motor City Online, Earth and Beyond, and Asheron’s Call 2), and only one MMO, Anarchy Online, had “gone F2P,” though we hadn’t yet thought to call it yet because it was such a rare and new thing. In fact, it wasn’t until 2008’s first big wave of AAA, post-World of Warcraft MMOs launched and mostly flopped that MMORPG players gave much thought to the future of the genre and how WoW had reshaped (and possibly broken) it. Maybe not even then.
In 2016 and in 2015, sunsets are increasingly common, a result of market oversaturation, business model struggles, and changing gamer tastes and investment options. Let’s revisit the games we lost in 2015 and consider what their sunsets portend for the year ahead.
Make no mistake, even with the recent launch of Heroes of the Storm, MOBAs are crashing and burning all over the place these days. We’ve seen titles like Transformers Universe, Solstice Arena, Infinite Crisis, Dawngate, and Wrath of Heroes flame out against the shared monopoly of League of Legends and Dota 2, and the consensus around the Massively OP office is that this is only the beginning of a possible Great MOBA Crash.
Of course, this could be trying to connect dots in the effort of seeing a trend. After all, games are born and die all of the time, so why should MOBAs be any different? What do you think: Are MOBAs destined for a Great Crash or is there enough interest and innovation to expand the field and keep current titles running?
Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
There’s a new boss in town at Jagex. Rod Cousens, previously the CEO of Codemasters, has moved shop to be the new CEO of Jagex. His now-vacant post at Codemasters will be occupied by the company’s COO, Frank Sagnier.
Jagex, best known for RuneScape, has recently undergone several layoffs and cancelled its Transformers Universe title before it had even left beta. Its previous CEO, Mark Gerhard, had announced his planned departure from the company back in September. Jagex’s official statement claims that Cousen will be overseeing the launch of two new games along with an undisclosed number of other games currently in development away from the public eye.
A job posting for a lead programmer revealed that RuneScape developer Jagex is indeed working on a new MMO.
The secretive posting says that the studio is offering “an amazing opportunity for a lead programmer to define the technological path of an undisclosed MMO.” No further details on what this mystery game is were mentioned.
Jagex has had a troubled history of getting a second big online title to market. It has previously developed and canceled Stellar Dawn and Transformers Universe.
; via: VG247