I was sitting on this idea last night before I drifted into my nightly hibernation, what if consoles had a successful MMORPG? They already exist in the form of Final Fantasy 11 and EverQuest, but what if larger games and larger developers were at play? Lately, or at all really I’ve been seeing is how an MMORPG would fail miserably in the console world, but I think not! Just going to lay it out plain and simple and talk about the reasons people are giving why it wouldn’t work and then saying why it would, because I think it would.
People are saying that the player base of the current consoles combined alone are not enough to support a MMORPG community. Now, it’s roughly estimated that over 50% of the households in the USA have gaming consoles, thats over 50,000,000 consoles. As if that’s not enough, guess what, America is not the only country with access to gaming consoles! Assuming that not all these consoles are played by gamers who will play an MMORPG. A large portion of gamers do play RPG’s and if they don’t they undoubtedly somehow indulge in multiplayer games. Combine multiplayer gamers and RPG gamers and you have a vast audience that you can tailor your game to cater to. These are all assumptions, theres no guarantee that every multiplayer gamer and every RPG gamer is going to be attracted to this game, everybody has their own opinion and are attracted to different things.
There’s also the argument that console controllers are not made to support the massive amount of key binds that games like World of Warcraft, Guild Wars or EVE Online have. But who says console MMORPG’s have to follow this pattern? I mean a PC MMORPG is completely different from a console one, there are special people who play WoW with a controller, god knows why but they do, which goes to show that there are portions of the market that would be attracted to a console MMORPG. Key binds do not have to be an issue as a console MMORPG doesn’t have to be a port of a PC game, it could and should be made from scratch to tailor to the console market.
The combat system for Dark Souls and the multiplayer of that game already show true traits of what a console MMORPG would feel like. Blocking, parrying and exploiting your enemies weaknesses and openings. Combine that with a leveling system like Skyrim or Darksiders, talent systems and all and create a open world for the players to roam and you’ll be set. Games like Dark Souls and Skyrim have already set a pretty decent benchmark for where console MMORPGs should be aiming for. If you take into account the dynamics of Dragon Age and the standard tank, heal and dps mechanics and combine that with the above stated game mechanics and you’ll have a pretty decent game already.
Dungeon systems and team work are core mechanics that have already been implemented in the console gaming community. It’s not like any of this is new, the only thing developers need to do is make an awesome RPG and incorporate multiplayer into the open world. It seems very simple and very plausible, but would it be able to sell to the community? Would the developers make enough money to not make a loss?
Well, games like Halo have thousands upon thousands of players in a single lobby. Games like Dark Souls, Dragon Age, Elder Scrolls and many more cater to masses of players. Pitch it the right way to the right audience and people will create a hype and before you know it you’ll have a popular console MMORPG. The only real challenge with a console MMORPG as I see it is the chat functions, it would have to be implemented via speech through a microphone or keyboard attachment to the console via USB port.
I’m really interested in this and I would gladly pursue making an MMORPG if I had any developer skill at all, but sadly I don’t. However, I do believe that an MMORPG would thrive quite well on a console despite what most people think, the base for it is already there, someone just needs to build on the foundation that already stands there. Several games have already paved the way, we need more supporters!
But seriously, what do you think about a console MMORPG?!