Earlier today fans of Massively Multiplayer Online Games were given a rare treat: a look into the future of the genre. Five veteran members of the gaming industry debated the finer points of MMO game creation as it exists today, and how the games of tomorrow will be bolted together. Participants included Cryptic Studios' Jack Emmert, NCsoft's Matt Miller, BioWare's Ray Muzyka, Nexon's Min Kim, and Blizzard's Rob Pardo. Each designer brought their own unique points of view to the conversation, and their visible conflicts made for a not only entertaining but informational dialogue.
The biggest point of contention during the discussion was the subject of Microtransactions; while Nexon's business model is based entirely on that concept, Cryptic's Emmert was a staunch opponent of the practice in general and as a "magic bullet" in specific. Mr. Emmert also dug several times at Blizzard and Rob Pardo, cracking jokes like "Isn't it true that Blizzard is going to buy the entire continent of Africa?" and essentially stating that the Massive gaming industry is deeply sick as a result of WoW's success.
The entire liveblog of the discussion is available over at Massively, and is well worth a look.
Gallery: GDC08: The Future of MMOs