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Author Topic: Blizzard Veteran Founds New studio, Zombie-based MMO Announced  (Read 2799 times)
stopcasting
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« on: December 09, 2009, 10:17:43 PM »

According to A Talk with Jeff Strain, a Blizzard veteran who founded ArenaNet and was NCsoft's President of Product Development before leaving, he has founded a new studio called Undead Labs and is planning a brand new title about zombies. The zombie-based MMO will be a console MMORPG.
   
"You look at the name Undead Labs. There's a reason that is unique," he explains. "I'm very specifically setting out to make the best zombie MMO ever. This is what my company does and I wanted the aim of the company to reflect that and I wanted the people that work with me to share that passion for zombies and console games. Another part of it is that I don't intend to be a 300 or 400 person office. I think there are smarter ways to develop MMOs and my goal is to have a studio that can stay nice and small, but still really deliver content at that AAA level... the biggest thing for me -- when a team gets that big -- is the loss of culture, and the loss of identity. I would really like to build a studio that can maintain its spirit over time. It's going to take some very different thinking about production."

Anyhow, I confidently expects to the game.
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Rapturous
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« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2009, 01:44:34 AM »

Any reliable sources for this?  Am I slow on picking up on this?

If this is true, I foresee another Guild Wars epidemic on Blizzard's hands.  Not that they have a lot to worry about.
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« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2009, 05:40:41 PM »

Not that they have a lot to worry about.

World of Warcraft is the only thing that can kill World of Warcraft.

And no, I didn't type that incorrectly.
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Larahl
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« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2009, 11:04:13 AM »

A zombie MMO? I don't how he's planning to make that work to become a AAA title, but it turns out good, I'm in.

And Akanbe is right. Everyone is looking for the World of WarCraft killer, but as he said; only World of WarCraft can kill World of WarCraft.
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« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2009, 05:22:51 PM »

a game doesnt need to be a WoW killer. i know plenty of people myself included that dont like WoW. so i continue to play ffxi.
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« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2009, 06:33:18 PM »

No a game doesnt need to be, and your right, plenty of people dont like it.  But there are a shitton that do, and as far as I know its the most fiscally succesful mmo released, so yeah, everyone wants to be a WoW killer, because being a WoW killer means big $$$
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« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2009, 11:00:58 AM »

You know, I'd say everyone would LIKE to be a WoW killer, but I wouldn't say it's everyone's actual goal.  There are plenty of games out there in every genre that aren't even trying to knock off the champs - I'm writing up a review right now on Fate (yeah, it's old), which was clearly supposed to appeal to fans of Diablo II, but I never got any sense that they were trying to capture the market.  They were just trying to make back their development costs and then some.
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« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2009, 06:05:36 AM »

 I bet it has the all too common mmo problem of players walking speed being too slow.
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« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2009, 08:41:33 AM »

It boils down to a very severely overlooked fact: Anything that changed how games play, that made a sufficient brand name for itself, wasn't trying to be an "x-killer". You're either a competitor, an innovator, or an improviser. Sonic didn't ape Mario, it was made to compete. World of Warcraft didn't ape Everquest, it improved on the formula. Final Fantasy didn't ape Dragon Warrior, it innovated on the genre.

Whenever you position your marketing as an "x-killer", you immediately undercut your image. Sure it may stir up interest in the short term, but it generally means the game is going to be dismissed shortly after release. It devalues a brand and in extreme cases, ruins credibility. You can't live life on the other side like Tim Schafer -- where your originality renders your games difficult to approach -- but you can't play to the mould either.

Given the choice of course, I'd pick Schafer's side. It's still not an easy place to live, but at least I'd have my integrity, which is worth way more to me than a paycheque.
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« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2009, 10:50:20 AM »

I bet it has the all too common mmo problem of players walking speed being too slow.

Whatever jackfuck realized the extra 45 minutes per-day-per-player amounts to $$$$$$$ at the end of the month can suck my flaming internet dick. I understand the whole corporation/money/profit thing, though in FFXI, transportation sure became less of a hassle late in its life. Free OP warps and level 1 item for movement speed+12% with charges, and now 8% available to Moogle Kupo'd'etat players.

I hope slow moving in MMOs becomes a thing of the past. Though the fact I'm saying this in a thread based on a zombie MMO, it leaves me fervently perturbed as to a resolution of this monstrous debacle.
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