G*: NCsoft 'Thinking And Planning' For Console MMOs
In a discussion at the G* game trade conference in Busan, South Korea, NCsoft PR team leader Jin-Won Yun has told Gamasutra that the company is looking into bringing a multi-platform MMO to console.
“After we finished [PC MMO] Aion
,” he began, “we started thinking about what it would take to make an MMO come to consoles. We’re testing that possibility. We’re not in the development process yet, but we’re in the thinking and planning stages,” Yun admitted.
What kind of shape might this game take? NCsoft is looking platform-agnostic. “We believe that there’s potential in multi-platform MMOs,” says Yun, “like Final Fantasy XI
, for example. That’s one of the patterns that might be possible, but we’re keeping all options open.”
If NCsoft brings a cross-platform MMO to console, it would only be the second time this has been done in any major capacity. But the precedent has been a good one.
Final Fantasy XI
has proved to not be huge, but still steady for Square Enix, and all versions of the game, PC, PS2, and 360, share the same servers. NCsoft isn’t just jumping straight in though. “We have to analyze the patterns of the users,” Yun says. “We don’t have a real console userbase in Korea, which makes it difficult for us to study from this side.”
It's not the first time that NCsoft, a company known for PC MMO development, has looked into console development. In 2007, NCsoft and Sony announced a partnership
that would bring new MMOs to PlayStation 3. But reports emerged
that the partnership had stalled.
NCsoft most recently released the fantasy MMORPG Aion
to critical acclaim and quick initial sales. Sales of Aion
boxes in the West have moved over 1 million units as of October, and over 800,000 registered accounts have been opened in the Western subscription markets. While the company isn’t sharing subscription numbers yet, the Korean version has a concurrent user count of over 200,000.