While massively multiplayer games are predominantly a PC-based affair, various companies have tried to establish a market on consoles – with mixed results.
The 2003 title EverQuest Online Adventures struggled to recreate its predecessor’s success on PS2, but Sega has seen relatively strong performances from its Phantasy Star Online titles, which began with the original Dreamcast release in 2000 and since has hit Xbox 360 and the PSP.
Over the years, developers have pledged to bring their PC MMOs to consoles but ultimately failed to deliver, with Xbox 360 ports of APB and Age of Conan the most notable games that were expected, but remain absent.
However, with upcoming titles like The Agency, DC Universe Online and Final Fantasy XIV, the PlayStation 3 is shaping up to be the console MMO’s best hope. In Japan the machine is already host to a nuber of free-to-play massively multiplayer games.
FFXIV producer Hiromichi Tanaka says: “Most MMOs are designed for PC and just trying to transfer to consoles doesn’t work. We really need to satisfy both the PC and console audiences because they’re looking for different things. It’s difficult to find a balance between the two.”
To read MCV's full analysis of the MMO sector, click here.