Pantheon and MMOs like it are bringing our dream future one step closer (or at least, Lt. Barclay’s dream future), Brad McQuaid suggests in a new interview this week. MMORPG veterans know McQuaid as a pioneer of the genre, first with EverQuest, then with the stalled and now sunsetted Vanguard, and now with the upcoming MMO Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen.
“I want to be immersed, I want to escape into a fantasy or sci-fi world. [MMO developers are] making the very, very early foundations of the Holodeck. Letting people recreate the 1930s or build new virtual worlds – that’s what MMOs are, they’re the genesis of that. Because they involve real people and that social aspect, because they’re so immersive – and will be even more so in the future, with VR coming – I lose myself in them. I don’t sit there thinking I’m playing a game; I’m really there. And that’s what interests me.”
McQuaid says the MMO is not dead and that he’s working to change that perception by catering to an “underserved” audience of virtual world gamers and “abandoned MMO fans.”
“People think the RTS is dead, old-style MMOs are dead, that everyone wants an easy game, that no one has an attention span anymore and wants to just hop around,” he notes. “That may be true now that the games space has grown an order of magnitude since EverQuest, but that doesn’t mean the group of players that do want a more involved, social, challenging game don’t exist. Maybe since the pie is bigger, they don’t occupy as big a space. But they’re still there, and they feel orphaned right now, they feel left out.”
Definitely worth a full read over on GI.biz, as there’s more on business models, community matchmaking, and the changing gaming landscape.