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MMO episodes to mimic TV shows

James Egan

Massively's recent ION Game Conference coverage featured an article on developing MMO's as if they were TV shows. This idea was introduced by FireSky's Joseph Ybarra, Senior VP of Strategic Operations. FireSky hopes to run with the concept of dishing up MMO content updates in episodes, with predictable development cycles of roughly six weeks. This marriage between MMO and TV production could also lead to developing 'pilot games,' which makes sense from a company perspective. After all, it involves smaller budgets and entails less risk. The developer can expend a small amount (by standard game development budgets) and gauge player interest. If that title proves to be popular, future iterations of the game could be developed with larger budgets, building upon the storyline of the previous episodes.

Do you think that gamers would have more of a say in what the creators do with these stories than they do with TV shows, since an episodic MMO is an interactive medium? Would this be a welcome change in the MMO industry, as opposed to waiting for a few years for that next game?

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