Guild Wars developer gets it
Posted at 20:57 on 24th February 2006 - permalink

I really, really don’t want to make a habit of making posts just to comment on stories elsewhere, but I think this interview deserves a mention. Jeff Strain of Guild Wars developers Arena.Net draws attention to the barriers that Xbox Live’s business model puts in the way of MMO games for Microsoft’s consoles.

“They know it’s in their best interests to attract the top developers to develop for the console, and they know that that’s going to take some business model changes – and I think that what we’re going to see is that once the dust settles from the launch of this round of consoles, they’re going to be very willing to engage in those discussions. So yes, I think that there will be changes.”

I have argued for changes to Microsoft’s online strategy for years now, and it’s good to finally see a high profile developer speaking about this issue publically instead of avoiding the topic so as not to risk souring their relationship with Microsoft. With the Playstation 3 and Nintendo Revolution on the horizon (both expected to eschew Microsoft’s closed, subscription-based online model) and MMO games becoming increasingly mainstream and commercially important, it’s likely that the ‘battle of the business models’ will come to a head before the end of this year.

Update: Now Blizzard weigh in on the issue. The pressure is mounting.

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