Nottingham-based developer Monumental Games announced the launch of Prime, its 3D MMO engine designed specifically for browser-based "light persistent state worlds".
The toolkit is designed to be fully browser-based and compatible with Facebook, and requires users to download a plug-in that's under 1MB in size. The studio says that Prime helps significantly reduce the investment needed for developers to build 3D-rendered MMOs from scratch.
Monumental adds that it took advantage of its experience developing both browser-based and home console titles, such as free-to-play MMO Football Superstars
and 3D Facebook MMO Little Horror
, while working on Prime's technology -- promising that the engine'sperformance is optimized for all network types.
The company formally launched Prime last week at GamesCom and intends to roll the middleware out to a select group of developers before making it more widely available.
Prime's launch comes just four months after Monumental closed its Manchester office
after failing to hire the 22 employees needed to fulfill the requirements for a $3.2 million grant, which was awarded to the studio earlier this year. The firm maintains offices in Nottingham and Pune, India.
"Our aim is to make Prime the premier middleware choice for the creation of LPSW games," says Monumental's business development director Mike Cox. "To reach the next level of social gaming, browser-based MMOs need to look and feel just as good as console games."
He continues, "Prime will make this much easier to achieve, freeing developers to concentrate on design and gameplay without the need to build the engine that powers it. We are already talking to a number of developers and we’re excited about what they might come up with."