Two developers have simultaneously turned to a brand new texturing solution for their future MMOs, according to Gamasutra. Both Funcom and Stray Bullet have licensed Allegorithmic's "Substance Air" middleware package, a new set of programs that lets developers keep high resolution textures as extremely small files and even let users modify textures for in-game customization options.
Funcom is almost a given for which game this would apply to, as The Secret World is the only game currently on their radar. Stray Bullet, best known as the creators of Shadowbane, is a bit trickier when it comes to saying how it will impact on their new MMO offering.
Simply known as the "future fantasy MMO," Stray Bullet has also licensed Simutronics's HeroEngine, the same engine that's currently powering Star Wars: The Old Republic. What they're up to is anyone's guess, but the presence of the extremely versatile HeroEngine and the addition of Substance Air could be pointing to a nice level of user-customization and/or "on-the-fly" developing coming with their latest unannounced fantasy offering.