Rumor: IO Interactive’s Microsoft-backed Project Dragon might be an MMO

    
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Clever Redditors caught an interesting snippet from the Xbox Two podcast that portends some intriguing news for MMO players. Back in April, there were rumors floating around that IO Interactive’s next game – Project Dragon – was going to be a Microsoft-backed fantasy RPG that took the studio in a totally new direction. It didn’t sound as if it’d be in our wheelhouse, so we didn’t pay much attention to it.

But during the Xbox Two podcast streamed during E3 this week, the casters discuss the rumors and scuttlebutt in more depth, suggesting that not only is it an MMO, but it’s a big one.

“It’s brand-new,” tech journalist Jez Corden says of the “worst kept-secret ever,” noting he doesn’t think we’ll hear more until 2022 or 2023. “They literally only signed that in like February, I believe. In fact, I think it might’ve been pitched in February and then only signed in like March maybe.”

“I will say that Project Dragon is massively ambitious. It’s a hugely ambitious game. The things they’re trying to do for that game is sort of like – I don’t know, it sounds impossible. Maybe some of this stuff will be scaled back for launch, or maybe it’s just sort of like their North Star, what they’re gunning for right now. Maybe it won’t look anything like what I think it looks like by the time it launches, besides being like a medieval RPG. But from what I understand, this game is like a massive undertaking – basically an MMO, I think, but like a next-gen MMO. Next-gen connected sort of service game. They want to take on the likes of World of Warcraft and stuff with this stuff.”

Source: YouTube via Reddit
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kjempff

A mmo from IO ? I am going to remain sceptic. And … What they mean by mmo and next gen is probably not the same as you think it is. In general, the danish gaming industry (IO is located in Denmark) has so far not been interested in or worked up experience with mmos/arpgs or similar projects.
But hey, the “next gen” revolution might come from unexpected sources :D

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Danny Smith

I’m super into the IOI Hitman games and about a year or two ago i got included in some focus testing thing they were doing online and while a lot of it seemed to be gauging interest in the “ghost” mode of hitman where two friends race each other to get to the target but there were also some things asking about interest in an open medieval/fantasy world around the time they confirmed they were working on two new games.

Obviously one is James Bond which i’m personally not a bond fan but who else but the Hitman devs do you give that IP to right? but the other is still unknown so hearing this doesn’t sound that surprising.

Honestly if it was some weird blend of Hitman, Hunt Showdown and stuff like Robin Hood with multiple players trying to assassinate a target in a fantasy/medeival sandbox that could be a pretty solid idea in theory.

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iShirow

On the topic of “Next-Gen” I hope for one day for MMORPGS to start moving away from the theme park ride model that is often used now a days.

If anything, if they are making you pay for a monthly sub, I would love for MMOs to go into a live model, where GMs take over the role as actual DMs who change and affect the world the server is being played on, each server tailoring a different experience.

For example, during weekends the DM would take over as an avatar of a last boss and the story would be branched differently according to players meeting certain goals and trials. Each DM would have a different personality which would make unique storytellers.

Think I remember reading of a scrapped game where they had a player acting as the boss of a dungeon while fighting against live players clearing it, sort of a mish mash of a tower defense style game vs a classic mmorpg game hybrid. If it could be made on a grander scale I would love to see that too.

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Giggilybits

This is an excellent idea.

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TomTurtle

Time will tell.

While I’d like to see what exactly a “next-gen” MMO is, I’m not going to get my hopes up just like that. I’ve seen too many lofty goals and pronouncements over the years that did not pan out. And somehow I doubt one can tell ahead of time if it’d truly be “next-gen” or not until after the fact. While it could reasonably push the genre forward, it’d have to land and stick first.

Not that I’m against them pulling it off. The genre could always use more success stories.

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Greaterdivinity

medieval RPG

Darn.

The things they’re trying to do for that game is sort of like – I don’t know, it sounds impossible.

Are we still talking Project Dragon? Or are we talking Star Citizen and some of the crowdfunded MMO’s : P

They want to take on the likes of World of Warcraft and stuff with this stuff.

Wat?

I’ll wait to hear more, Jez is a good dude but I don’t know how familiar he is with MMO’s. Comparing stuff to WoW nowadays is…odd, and it’s weird that it remains the primary (only) reference point for a lot of non-MMO gaming media when we have the likes of at least ESO and FFXIV that are doing fantastic and putting out content at a more consistent rate than WoW is nowadays while being a similar size.

Though if it was just pitched/signed off on earlier this year yeah…I’m not expecting to hear anything for a long time. If it remains as ambitious as hinted now, I’d say 2024/5, if they scale back maybe 2023.

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psytic

WoW is still double the size of any competitor. For some reason people like to split Retail from Classic+BC but I think WoW is WoW. They have Sub fees, Boosts, Pets, Transmogs and token sales to draw revenue from for both. Its still easily the biggest western cash cow. I agree they should be looking at some of this emergent and sand box gameplay newer games are coming up with instead of just dollar signs though.

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Greaterdivinity

It is? When did Blizzard release player numbers? Because they stopped doing that long ago and I don’t think we’ve seen any data on how many folks are actually playing WoW in years. Just stuff like “XX% increased engagement/subs” which, without a base number to reference, is pretty meaningless.

Fisty
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Fisty

I swear, someone is going to make a Ready Player One type of world one day. We can’t be that far off.

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angrakhan

I dunno, have you played a VR game recently? We’re waaaaaay far off. Entire senses far off. For example touch. Pick up that VR warhammer and swing it. What’s it weigh? Nothing. What happens when you connect said hammer with your target. What do you feel? Nothing. What about simulated heat/cold/wind/rain/other weather effects? Nope. How about jumping off a cliff and feeling weightless? Nope. Gravity still works much like you would expect even with your VR headset on. Smells? Thankfully no.

Sorry but the level of simulation shown in Ready Player One requires a level of technology not even discussed in Ready Player One. Namely you would need some sort of direct brain stimulation similar to The Matrix before you’re going to be able to experience things that defy the laws of physics and no one is even talking about that much less working on it. Probably a bunch of ethics concerns with something like that.

Fisty
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Fisty

Are we way far off in the way that Atari vs. my PC today? Cause, that doesn’t seem like a long time to me. Someone is talking about it, somewhere.

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angrakhan

Well either your math or your memory is bad. The Atari 2600 was released in 1977, so 44 years ago. I was alive back then. I don’t know about you but I’m 48 and 44 years from now I’ll be 92. Assuming I’m still alive (which is probably a long shot) it will seem like a LONG time to me.

Also keep in mind the difference between the Atari 2600 and a modern PC is ultimately more of the same. More memory, more CPU, more pixels, colors, sounds, frame rate, and resolution. It’s just a more developed version of the same tech. However, here we’re talking about needing to simulate experiences that to date are not really possible to simulate like g-forces without using a centrifuge or literally putting someone in an airplane or underwater. Making a controller feel heavy and behave like it’s 5 feet long without literally handing someone a 10 lb sledgehammer. Producing the feeling of wind and rain without a wind tunnel.

These are not things you are going to solve with simply adding more transistors on a piece of silicone.

Fisty
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Fisty

I dunno why you’re pooping on my dream. VR will come around, so will haptic feedback. Lots of work is being done in the implant world, so it’s possible that more common sensory links aren’t too far off. Gravity would be difficult, but it wouldn’t have to be implemented… not to get millions more gamers interested in super cool haptic VR. Everyone uses social media. If the entry was lower in price, it wouldn’t be that big of surprise to see people go into a virtual world. It just needs to be popular, trend, be the new fad. Anyway, thanks for the input

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angrakhan

Oh I don’t mean to poop on your VR dreams. I do think VR is moving forward although at a slower pace than I would like. Have you seen the Omni VR Treadmill? I think that is the next level for VR and will go a long way towards full immersion. Just being able to walk infinitely in any direction without bonking into a real-world wall is going to solve a lot of the limitations of VR right now. That’s technology that is actively in development and close to release.