DC Universe signals new start for console MMO

Today marks the UK release of what many hope will be the turning point in the MMO genre’s stuttering fortunes on consoles – Sony Online Entertainment’s DC Universe Online.

To date the only MMO titles to launch on current-gen machines are Square Enix’ Final Fantasy XI and Sega’s Phantasy Star Universe, neither of which proved particularly successful.

However, SOE’s superhero outing – which launches in the UK today on both PS3 and PC with a monthly subscription price of 9.99 – hopes to reinvigorate the sector.

"It’s a really big deal," SOE president John Smedley told Eurogamer.

"For us it opens up an entirely new market to the PS3 users who are already used to some awesome action games. This game is built from the ground up to be playable on both the PS3 and PC, so it really makes a big difference as opposed to just porting it.

"We’ve built something pretty amazing – an action MMO that hasn’t been done before, letting thousands of players play together in the same world and really fulfil their hero fantasy. A person could be in London throwing a bus and a person could be in Frankfurt getting hit by it. It took us a long time to get right."

In addition Smedley has pledged to release regular DLC for the game in the form of free patches over PSN.

"Instead of DLC you get patches every few weeks and every few months you get big patches," he added. "And you get a lot more content than you do with a standard game where you might get DLC once or twice a year. You’re going to be getting things every single month, and major content updates.

"This is a game we intend to have live for, you know, five, ten years. Some of our games have been running for 12 years. We’re in this for the long-haul, and we’re there to support our customers.

"The plans are about a month out you can start expecting major pieces of content and major new features to come in. We’ll be adding all kinds of cool stuff. We’re not quite ready to reveal what our after-launch plans are yet. The monthly subscription fee means players can expect a lot of new content from us."

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