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The New Games From SOE October 24, 2011

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, PlayStation 3, Sony Online Entertainment.
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I think we are seeing the continued evolution of Sony Online Entertainment as its PlayStation masters at Sony Computer Entertainment continue to mold SOE in their own image.

SOE has two new titles out this month that did not make the MMO news… because they are not MMOs… or even Facebook games.

We have Payday: The Heist.

Payday: The Heist

And Rochard.

Rochard - The Bad Pun

The links for each are to the reviews at Ars Technica because… that seemed to be the best source of information.

I am actually a bit surprised that Payday: The Heist is on the PC as well as the PlayStation 3.

But clearly SOE has commitments to meet for their console gaming masters.  Not that SOE hasn’t done non-MMO games before, but they have been pretty rare.  So to get two new ones in a single month seems like a clear change in focus somewhere.

Do you think this means PlayStation ports for PlanetSide 2 and EverQuest Next?  Does SOE’s new Forge Light engine, which will power these two titles, have cross platform capabilities?

Comments»

1. bhagpuss - October 24, 2011

Flipping heck! Good catch. Those went right under the radar.

I noticed the change in SoE almost immediately when they changed their reporting from the pictures division to playstation. It felt like the whole supertanker slowly ground to a standstill, creaking and groaning, then slowly turned and began to steam off in a new direction. Speed’s been picking up ever since and now everyone can feel the wind in their face.

Enough metaphorising! It’s very clear to anyone playing SoE MMOs at the moment that they are under-staffed and under-resourced. QA, which has never been great, is through the floor. Testing is non-existent. Stuff just goes Live with all the same bugs that have been reported on the Test servers still in place. That’s if they even bothered to put the stuff on Test in the first place.

I’d been assuming they had everyone who was anyone over on EQNext and Planetside2, leaving the B or C team to struggle on with the elderly stable of increasingly uncustomered MMOs. Your evidence suggests it may be worse even than that.

On the bright side, I do hope they’re developing for the Vita, because I might buy one of those one day. And if EQNext turns out to be PS3 only I will buy a PS3 and a Television just to play it.

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2. TheRemedy - October 24, 2011

@bhagpuss

There’s a massive difference between publishing and developing. Both of these titles are published by SOE, and not developed internally. Payday was made by Overkill Software while Rochard was made by Recoil Games.

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3. Wilhelm Arcturus - October 24, 2011

@TheRemedy – And yet the impact on resources of even just publishing games is not nil. Turning SOE into the publishing wing of SCE represents a new direction and something that will divert resources from what a lot of us view as SOE’s main focus up until now.

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4. rht - October 24, 2011

For what it’s worth, even though SWG is dying, the developers who’ve been on it for the last year + have put out some of the best stuff since the heroics came out. Lesser Used Chassis revamp (space), Beast Master and other expertise updates, GCW Invasions, Battlefields (even if they’re underused), rare loot system, the zombie expansion (stupid theme but good content), most recently atmospheric flight, with atmospheric combat (air to air and air to ground) on the way. Quality guys. Whatever game/company gets these guys next is getting some great folks. I can’t speak to the current EQ2 devs, but my guess would be they have at least 1 or 2 good folks as well. IMHO, art assets are what fall off post launch more than any other area of content development.

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5. Stabs - October 25, 2011

@ rht Tabula Rasa had a similar content injection just before it shut down. I think what happens is all the half-done projects and wild ideas that someone get worked on in his lunchbreak get pushed out the door where in a longer term game they’d keep some back.

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6. bhagpuss - October 25, 2011

This is from the SoE press release posted on EQ2Wire today:

“We do not currently have enough people to run events on ALL servers. We wanted to try out having an event on some of the live servers that don’t normally get events at all. For the next holiday community event, we’ll switch around the servers and rotate it so that all servers will get some love”.

Not enough GMs/Community people to run a holiday event on all Live servers. That’s not re-assuring.

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