New MMO Studio Formed by Mythic, SOE Veterans

New MMO Studio Formed by Mythic, SOE Veterans

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Second Star Interactive will use its parent company's HeroEngine to build a new MMO for release in 2011.

Here's the quick corporate background: Idea Fabrik is a German company that bought the HeroEngine and HeroCloud development tools from Simutronics Corp in 2010. HeroEngine is licensed for a bunch of upcoming 3D online games, the most high profile of which is BioWare's upcoming The Old Republic. In order to stay close to the game development world, Idea Fabrik formed the new MMO studio based in northern Virginia in the U.S. Headed by Darrin Hyrup, a founder of Mythic Entertainment and 26-year veteran of online games, Second Star Interactive will use the HeroEngine to create a new MMO set to release by the end of 2011.

"Developing our own games is a critical part of our efforts to expand and enhance our technology because it keeps us close to the HeroEngine user experience," said Neil Harris of Idea Fabrik. "Darrin and the Second Star team bring a wealth of experience and practical contributions to the table that will help us grow both as a technology provider and as a company."

Also on board are several Mythic vets such as Lori Hyrup, lead designer of Dark Age of Camelot, and, I suppose, wife of Darrin. Cooper Buckingham, lead designer, was most recently of Sony Online Entertainment but also contributed to Warhammer Online, Dark Age of Camelot, Gods and Heroes, and The Sims. The team is rounded out with Tim Cotten as technical lead bringing his Ultima Online chops, and Art Director Eric Piccione who was not only responsible for the look of UO and DAoC but also teaches videogame art direction at George Washington University.

There's no word on what type of MMO that Second Star Interactive is working on, but given the experience of the staff it will probably be a fantasy RPG. I'm not sure that bankrolling a new MMORPG in this market is necessarily a sound business decision but there could be some leeway in the free to play market. Still, even with all the experience here, is there enough room for Second Star Interactive?

Source: Vertical Wire via Joystiq

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An MMO in a year?

Even with Gates, Molyneux, Jobs and Meier onboard, I'd be amazed if they can do that.

Do they even know what they're making?

Hope the best for them but this all sounds very depressing so far. Sad to say.

Trying to think what they could be working on. Hoping it's not just another bland fantasy. Need soemthing not only original, but catchy and fun. Would love for them to completely catch us all off-guard on this one.

The_root_of_all_evil:
An MMO in a year?

Even with Gates, Molyneux, Jobs and Meier onboard, I'd be amazed if they can do that.

Well they can, but it will suck and be very, very, very buggy.

New Troll:
Do they even know what they're making?

Hope the best for them but this all sounds very depressing so far. Sad to say.

Trying to think what they could be working on. Hoping it's not just another bland fantasy. Need soemthing not only original, but catchy and fun. Would love for them to completely catch us all off-guard on this one.

As far as I can tell, the entire point of this MMO is just going to be fooling around with this engine. Players will, for all intents and purposes, apparently be paying money to help them figure out the potential of their own engine. Of course, the game can still be fun. It will be interesting to see what they accomplish.

Irridium:

The_root_of_all_evil:
An MMO in a year?

Even with Gates, Molyneux, Jobs and Meier onboard, I'd be amazed if they can do that.

Well they can, but it will suck and be very, very, very buggy.

Which is almost as terrible as forty cakes, because these guys come from a pedigree stock.

I remember when this was tried before and we got that amazing success called Vanguard: Saga of Heroes! The ultimate success where the all-star company folded the day the game was released, sold to SOE, fired the employee's (using guards to get their stuff), lawsuits, affairs, etc. It couldn't have gone better! Right?....

The only way the combined forces of SOE and Mythic could make something that failed to suck is if they created a vacuum cleaner.

Kidding aside Free Realms from SOE was a damn good "playground" environment.

A functioning and good MMO in less then a year? I'll believe it when I see it.

New Troll:
Do they even know what they're making?

Hope the best for them but this all sounds very depressing so far. Sad to say.

Trying to think what they could be working on. Hoping it's not just another bland fantasy. Need soemthing not only original, but catchy and fun. Would love for them to completely catch us all off-guard on this one.

They're making an MMO. It's something they have lots of experience in.

I think they can do it. I hope they can do it. I don't see them making a WoW killer, but I do see them making a good game, given all of the talent they're bringing in.

RelexCryo:

New Troll:
Do they even know what they're making?

Hope the best for them but this all sounds very depressing so far. Sad to say.

Trying to think what they could be working on. Hoping it's not just another bland fantasy. Need soemthing not only original, but catchy and fun. Would love for them to completely catch us all off-guard on this one.

As far as I can tell, the entire point of this MMO is just going to be fooling around with this engine. Players will, for all intents and purposes, apparently be paying money to help them figure out the potential of their own engine. Of course, the game can still be fun. It will be interesting to see what they accomplish.

An MMO is the most expensive project you can tackle in the video game industry. The smallest MMO could cost the same as an AAA title.

This is not the sort of project you'd use just to test your engine.

SteelStallion:

RelexCryo:

New Troll:
Do they even know what they're making?

Hope the best for them but this all sounds very depressing so far. Sad to say.

Trying to think what they could be working on. Hoping it's not just another bland fantasy. Need soemthing not only original, but catchy and fun. Would love for them to completely catch us all off-guard on this one.

As far as I can tell, the entire point of this MMO is just going to be fooling around with this engine. Players will, for all intents and purposes, apparently be paying money to help them figure out the potential of their own engine. Of course, the game can still be fun. It will be interesting to see what they accomplish.

An MMO is the most expensive project you can tackle in the video game industry. The smallest MMO could cost the same as an AAA title.

This is not the sort of project you'd use just to test your engine.

That's an interesting statement, considering I see new MMO's like, all the time. Trickster, Kitsu Saga, Fiesta Online, Runes of Magic, Allods, Rappelz, Aika...The list just goes on and on.

RelexCryo:

SteelStallion:

RelexCryo:

As far as I can tell, the entire point of this MMO is just going to be fooling around with this engine. Players will, for all intents and purposes, apparently be paying money to help them figure out the potential of their own engine. Of course, the game can still be fun. It will be interesting to see what they accomplish.

An MMO is the most expensive project you can tackle in the video game industry. The smallest MMO could cost the same as an AAA title.

This is not the sort of project you'd use just to test your engine.

That's an interesting statement, considering I see new MMO's like, all the time. Trickster, Kitsu Saga, Fiesta Online, Runes of Magic, Allods, Rappelz, Aika...The list just goes on and on.

Well, I don't like comparing the Asian MMO market with the Western one. They churn those things out like no tomorrow, and most of them are poorly made and very cookie cutter as a result. Those MMOs are less of an investment risk because of the ridiculously large market they have for them in those countries, and they thrive off of constant advertising and micro-managing.

But a Western MMO wouldn't carry much weight over there, just like those MMOs wouldn't carry weight over here. I see your point but it's sort of different.

This already sounds like it will end in disaster. Is this a record for fastest bad feeling for a product ever made?

vxicepickxv:
They're making an MMO. It's something they have lots of experience in.

I think they can do it. I hope they can do it. I don't see them making a WoW killer, but I do see them making a good game, given all of the talent they're bringing in.

Realize it's an MMO and that's what worries me the most in the already flooded and generally disasterous market. And listing thier MMO accomplishments isn't as reassuring as it should be considering not only have thier accomplishments already have fallen to the side but also there are several other struggling MMOs which have just as good of talent.

Still, I hope them the best, and that's not only because I'm wanting something new to blow me away. Or maybe it is, but whatever.

Why are people still trying to make MMOs right now?

WoW is currently dominating in the West with the slack taken up by Eve, WAR, LOTR, the NCSoft ones.
Thos NCSoft games and Lineage dominate in the East (along with others I imagine).

Upcoming is The Old Republic and Guild Wars 2, both of which are tipped to steal some of the WoW userbase. Add to that the wildcard that is The Secret World, which may end up stealing hearts due to being unique, and it should be obvious that there is absolutely no fucking way this market can be broken in to.

You'd have more luck if you tried to sell porn on the internet.

DAOC2! DAOC2! DAOC2! Please God let it be something Dark age of Camelotey.

The_root_of_all_evil:
An MMO in a year?

Even with Gates, Molyneux, Jobs and Meier onboard, I'd be amazed if they can do that.

They may have already been working on it, who knows.

Casimir_Effect:
Why are people still trying to make MMOs right now?

WoW is currently dominating in the West with the slack taken up by Eve, WAR, LOTR, the NCSoft ones.
Thos NCSoft games and Lineage dominate in the East (along with others I imagine).

Upcoming is The Old Republic and Guild Wars 2, both of which are tipped to steal some of the WoW userbase. Add to that the wildcard that is The Secret World, which may end up stealing hearts due to being unique, and it should be obvious that there is absolutely no fucking way this market can be broken in to.

You'd have more luck if you tried to sell porn on the internet.

There are waaaay more MMO's than that living quite happily with strong communities and a decent income.

People often say the industry is too hard to break into but as the type of person who has played countless MMO's, especially niche ones like Roma Victor, Dawntide, Mortal Online, Xsyon, there is a huge, huge number of mmo gamers looking for something different. Many MMO veterans are sick of the "themepark" mmo's like WoW or Aion and are looking for a return to the pre-trammel Ultima Online sandbox experience.

Games like Mortal Online are living on this.

For all the people that play them, MMO's are probably the genre people have the least knowledge about because few ever look past the big titles like WoW. It's akin to someone saying there is no point trying to make a console game because COD dominates the market.

Just when you think Mythic have broken all their teeth from hitting every stair on the way down, somehow EA managed to find more.

This is the ultimate game of kick the puppy.

Ok so a free-to-play MMORPG with premium content that is strictly non-combat and cosmetic, also allow them to be tradeable and generate a coin to gold ratio by implementing an exchange market. Think I'm crazy? Check out Perfect World International. PWI sold $10 clothing bundles and made a fortune with every sale. By selling point cards they can insure that the younger audience will be able to work at the house and earn money to pay for the money, thereby creating jobs!

Okay that last bit had a slight bit of sarcasm in it...

good for darrin. always liked mythic, played some of their pre-DAOC products, didnt much care for the drama surrounding WAR and the EA crap and how he got forced out of his company. hopefully this MMO won't be crap but i certainly won't hold my breath.

Irridium:

The_root_of_all_evil:
An MMO in a year?

Even with Gates, Molyneux, Jobs and Meier onboard, I'd be amazed if they can do that.

Well they can, but it will suck and be very, very, very buggy.

Its most likely because the market accepts unfinished products as retail releases as of late..

"Still, even with all the experience here, is there enough room for Second Star Interactive?"

Your statement assumes that the market is already saturated, I've seen nothing to suggest this is the case. Even within the pay to play subscription marketplace what has been lacking is enough quality to retain customers, not customers themselves.

"Headed by Darrin Hyrup, a founder of Mythic Entertainment and 26-year veteran of online games, Second Star Interactive will use the HeroEngine to create a new MMO set to release by the end of 2011."

This is the more pertinent point. Even if they already have the core of an MMO ready with their toolsets, a year is incredibly fast to develop an MMO when you consider how long EA-Bioware have taken with SW:TOR using the same toolsets.

We worked with the group from Idea Fabrik until the end of last year, when they refused to pay us what they owed us and cut ties. I can tell you that they have not put any previous work into an MMO. When we left, they were still debating which Facebook game they wanted to make.

This is nothing more than another burst of hype from them to push their stock price up. This company has yet to deliver on anything it's promised. They said outright that they know 95% of these games fail, so they don't care if one ever succeeds or is even finished. They make their money by selling hype to investors.

I dunno, I have been a fan of Darrin's for a while, I played his online games back before teh intarbwebz was even popular. He is a really good story/game designer. :)

 

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