A job ad posted on LinkedIn has revealed that Microsoft-owned UK developer Lionhead is working on an MMO title for the Next Xbox.
The ad, spotted by Superannuation, is a new IP.
"Opportunity to work on MMO like title for next generation consoles. AAA game and budget!" the ad explains.
"This is to assist in the development of a major brand new IP that is being targeted for the future generation of platforms and will be an RPG based game with a radical new take on how co-operative and multiplayer gameplay feeds into the experience, while blending online and single-player into one complete experience. "
In addition, the game will have a complex progression system, multiple routes through the campaign, and an MMO like multiplayer experience that will affect the outcome of the player experience, and many other attributes surrounding their profile (such as the environment and the outcome of certain actions)”.
That Microsoft is looking to branch into the MMO space is great news for the genre and yet another sign of big structural changes for the next generation of consoles.
MMOs have famously failed to take off on current machines, in part due to the strict payment structures and online rules imposed by platform holders – most notably Microsoft.
But times are changing. Just this morning Ubisoft suggested that the free-to-play model will play a big part on next-gen machines. Don't be surprised if this new MMO proves to be F2P too.