Former BioWare head checks in with updates on his team’s SpatialOS online RPG

    
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Back in March of last year, Improbable, the company behind persistent online world engine SpatialOS, announced the opening of a couple of new studios and the start of several projects. One of those studios is being headed by Aaryn Flynn, former head of the BioWare studio responsible for games like Dragon Age, Mass Effect, and Star Wars: The Old Republic. In a PC Games Insider interview, Flynn has checked in with how his team is doing on its still-unnamed online RPG.

Flynn is generally vague, but does confirm that the game will be a new IP and will feature “a lot of diverse activities that are coming together to create a great experience for players.” The studio he heads has thus far hired over 100 people for this project, many of whom are vets of the Dragon Age and Mass Effect series. The game will, unsurprisingly, feature some form of persistent online world as Flynn talks about the challenges of what persistence does with online RPGs in the interview.

Flynn admits that he has no idea when this new online RPG will make it to market, but seems focused on making the studio’s vision a reality. “We want to continue to grow our experience, and enrich it and then continue to assess it and see what we’re ready to bring this thing to market,” said Flynn. “I don’t know when we’re going to get it to market exactly.”

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Raleigh-St-Clair
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Raleigh-St-Clair

There’s a thing! It might happen! Wheeeeee!

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Java Jawa

I’m gonna rate this one cautiously optimistic.

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HolyAvengerOne

There’s so little info on this one that I feel like not rating it at all ;)

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Connor

SpatialOS is like the gaming world’s irresponsible parent where every time they say they’re definitely going to show up on time and sober to your birthday party you just kinda nod and agree with it to avoid an argument.

You show me a developer capable of bringing a viable SpatialOS MMO to market and I’ll show you someone with the kind of fiscal knowledge to cancel out the country’s debt.

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HolyAvengerOne

A few things about SpatialOS: given the average length of development for an MMO (5 years) and the fact SpatialOS is relatively new (a bit less than 5 years since it’s publicly available), it’s expected you won’t have a ton of games using it yet.

Despite that, I can think of 3 games that are/were using it: Skies Adrift (closed down for other reasons), Life Beyond (early alpha) and Fragmented (early alpha, but looking solid). But true, nine of them are in market per se at this point.

Another thing to kind in mind about SpatialOS is that MMOs aren’t their primary business, nor revenue stream. They are first and foremost (and the reason they got most of their funding, now valued at over 2B USD) a (wait for it… spatial!) simulation platform aiming at researchers and industrials, in fields like nuclear physics and biochemistry.

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kothoses

You, I like you, I have nothing to add to the discussion, it is just discussion porn for me to see some one actually looking at an issue in more broad terms rather than just memeing along to what ever tune reddit plays.

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rk70534

SEED is another high profile MMO in development which is using it.

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Lethality

That’s all incorrect.

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HolyAvengerOne

No.

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Utakata

The obligatory, “Care to elaborate?” o.O

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Bruno Brito

Do you really think he’s capable to elaborate beyond “gamers suck”?

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Utakata

Well…to be fair, he has elaborated why gamers suck. But his elaborations are so far off the mark and reality, one can only conclude it’s made in a jaded opinion at best. >.<

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angrakhan

I think their big Daddy Warbucks is quite literally war bucks. Once you start getting DoD contracts the money is just going to be getting delivered in dump trucks. Ever hear of a DoD project that was under budget? Me either.

https://improbable.io/defence

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HolyAvengerOne

Well, sounds like they’re trying to push that for sure :D

I don’t know if they actually got an actual at-scale defence contract, but most of their money (and valuation) as of last year seemed to be coming from the Softbank deal: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-09/softbank-backed-effort-to-revolutionize-gaming-industry-is-struggling

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angrakhan

The article you linked literally states this:

“In the absence of significant game traffic on its platform, Improbable has said its main revenue source has come from defense industry projects.”

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HolyAvengerOne

Yep, still a difference between getting contracts as your main revenue source (investments aren’t revenue), but that doesn’t mean DoD is rolling in truckloads of cash either ;)