a chance to sit down with Kevin O'Hara, designer for the hotly anticipated SOE spy-thriller The Agency. Among the things O'Hara touches on during the interview are his thoughts on what subscription model they'll use (it's completely up in the air at this point), the wisdom behind directing the game at consoles (O'Hara believes the shooter gameplay will endear it to that audience), and how bosses in a spy game might be slightly atypical (you may travel to their volcano lair and win the day with a hand of poker instead of fighting).
One thing I found particularly interesting was the way they're trying to balance fast action with the fun and sense of place that comes from existing in a persistent world. The Agency as he describes it will have a "hub-and-spoke feel to it" where most of the mission-based content will necessarily be instanced. He also mentioned how PvP will be accessible at the touch of a button, tossing you right into the middle of a multiplayer map. In this respect I almost feel like they're paying too much homage to the game's shooter roots. If I wanted to jump into multiplayer deathmatch utterly lacking in context, I'd put in Call of Duty 4. I'm hoping they give slightly more of an incentive to make it akin to traditional MMO PvP. Just, ya know, with guns and spy gadgets.