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E308: DC Universe Online already 'released' inside SOE

Michael Zenke

We had a lengthy chat with the folks behind Sony Online Entertainment's upcoming super-hero MMO, DC Universe Online. Creative Director Chris Cao and SOE-Austin VP of development John Blakely were extremely forthcoming with details and preview information on the gigantic game. Make sure to check back over the next day or so for more on your passage into the world of the DC heroes. For now, we wanted to mention that (surprise) the game is already released! At least, within the halls of SOE, the game is very much a live product.

Chris Cao: John Blakely has started a "play it like it's live" initiative. We actually run everything like it's a live service. We do update notes to ourselves. We basically do everything you would do as a normal MMO that's already live because we've learned that changing that rhythm going from pre-launch to live is where most of the mistakes happen. Suddenly you are doing things faster, suddenly you're assuming consumer concerns instead of your own. By being our own consumers and being a provider to the company we get that experience up-front. By the time we get it out to you guys, we'll be old hat at it. We've already been doing it a year and we're going to keep going throughout the development process.

Gallery: E308: DC Universe Online concept art | 9 Photos

Blakely: Yeah we're actually running a channel in the Station Launcher. You can't get to it unless you're inside the internal network, but we have all of our development channels that we use. It's like we shipped the game to the company, it's like we've already launched the game. It's like a boat that we're building, where we're in with the players. You have to stay in the boat. We're in there, we're building this together, and so we've launched it to our own internal playerbase.

Right now we have this very thin, action-oriented MMO that has some content that's rolling in. Things like that. It's not ready for prime-time but we get the player feedback and we react to that. We're training ourselves to move to a live team framework. Even just mentally it's a great headspace. Everytime we get feedback, and there's been a lot as we start to grow the internal audience, we get a lot of opinions.

Cao: We play it at least once a day, every day. The functional subteams all play together, the content guys focus on their stuff, we provide comments, we have our own forums and we knock ourselves so that we understand what's going on. We are trying for a "player-first" attitude on this. As tough as it's going to get out there, the guy who sits next to you is more than willing to tell you your stuff sucks.

Hungry for more DCUO news? Massively got the scoop at E3 from Creative Director Chris Cao, SOE-Austin VP of development John Blakely, and Executive Creative Director for the project, Jim Lee. Check out the roundup of all the DCUO coverage from E3 including interviews, screenshots, a full breakdown of the trailer and analysis of DCUO's role on the console. Plus, don't miss the rest of our E3 coverage!

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