I find the lack of console MMOs disturbing.

So I imagine we have made it pretty obvious that Keen spends most of his time playing PC games while I focus on playing games on about everything else. It’s not that I don’t like PC games or anything. Over time I just gravitated more towards the console scene. I actually grew up playing PC games, including MMOs. I must have been about 9 or 10 when we first got into The Realm and from there our fascination with the genre rapidly grew. When Everquest came out I remember tagging along with my brother as we went to buy our first graphics card. I didn’t know what the hell that was, but we needed it. Several of the floor computers at Best Buy were playing trailers for Everquest and I just stood there with my face glued to the screen. The game was, by far, the coolest thing I had ever seen. We got home, installed everything, and the rest is history. I’m sure Keen has probably chronicled our first moments in EQ at some point in time so I’ll spare you my reminissings, which are sure to be terribly hyperbolic and full of factual, albeit exciting, inaccuracies.

EverQuest Online Adventure
EverQuest Online Adventures

The years flew by and I began to drift more and more away from my PC roots. At some point in the lifecycle of the PS2 Sony announced Everquest Online Adventures, a prequel MMO that took place something like 400 years before the original EQ. I was super excited to play the game and even got into the beta. In fact I was so amped for the game that I got my dad to drive me 12 hours up to San Francisco just so I could attend the launch event and play the game. Curiously enough, I have no memory of where Keen was at this point in time or why he wasn’t as interested in this as I was. It’s almost as if he didn’t exist at this point in time… Well this is troubling. Anywho, I loved the game.

Ever since EQOA there haven’t been many console MMOs at all. Other than Final Fantasy XI and DCUO I just can’t think of any… at all. Well, that’s not entirely true. There have been lots of games announced, but they never came out. Lets see… True Fantasy Live Online – I think Microsoft scrapped it and screwed over Level-5. Huxley was supposed to be a console MMOFPS but I think that ended up being vaporware. Oh, and we can’t forget just about every PC MMO that claimed to be making a console version which never actually happened.

True Fantasy Live Online
True Fantasy Live Online was never released.

I would just really love to be able to experience another MMO on consoles. It’s even easier than ever what with all the advances we’ve had since the days of EQOA. Not to mention devices like the Wii U gamepad, which just beg to have an MMORPG played on them. Imagine using the touch screen for hotkeys, virtual keyboard, and about everything else you can’t do with just a controller. There is some hope, however. Dragon Quest X (I think it’s X), FFXIV (Yeah, I’ll believe it when I see it), and Bungie’s Destiny (kinda an MMO… ish) offer up a small light at the end of the tunnel, assuming they actually happen.

So, yeah, I just really would love to play a console MMO, but preferably one designed specifically for it and not a second fiddle to the PC version. Why do I want a console MMO? I don’t have a good reason, really. My computer is pretty old and I’m not a fan of mouse + keyboard. Plus, I’ve tried playing MMORPG’s like WoW while sitting on the couch and using my TV as the screen. There is just too much about it that doesn’t work. Hopefully in the future console MMOs will be a more common sight. I mean, it’s a fairly large and relatively untapped market, right?

Oh and PSO isn’t an MMO so don’t even go there.

  • Defiance! Syfy & Trion partnered to bring an MMO for console & PC and it’s coming out in April. I may be biased because my fiance works on it, but it is an amazing game. 🙂

  • I always wished I tried EQOA but I never owned a PS2.

    Destiny sounds interesting from their reveal today, but certainly not as a traditional MMO.

    Most of the other games you mention, Like FFXI, FFIV, DCUO were made for PC and ported to console. I don’t know anything about Dragon Quest X, but that is what I’d like. Something like EQOA, in that it is a MMO designed for a console, not just happens to play on a console.

  • I wonder what happened to the console version of Guild Wars 2? I can see Planetside 2 working fine on the PS3 or Xbox 360.

  • I get this horrible pit in my stomach everytime I’m reminded of True Fantasy Live Online. It’s why I bought an original Xbox…

  • I’ve often fancied playing an MMO on my PS/3. DCUO isn’t my cup of tea really, so that’s not an option. Maybe I’ll give FFXIV a try on the console since the original UI was clearly designed for consoles (it was truly horrible to play with a mouse and keyboard).

    It certainly is an untapped market, but then you are probably locking yourself from playing with friends also – the console market is more fractured than the PC one so a group of friends are less likely to all own the same console…

  • I can think of one obvious reason why console MMOs are so rare.

    Console lifespans are quite short – perhaps 5 years on average – a bit longer for the current generation. And that’s assuming your launch your MMO at the beginning of the console lifespan. Successful MMOs could last a decade or more. So the two don’t quite fit together, unless you’re willing to spend massive amounts of money migrating between console generations. PC MMOs still need to upgrade to take advantage of new hardware of course, but the change is more gradual, and therefore easier to cope with.

  • I do not find the idea of a mmorpg on a console appealing.
    reason: Lack of a keyboard for all players, means communication is lacking.

    Sure there might be talking on mics in a party, but what about every other stranger or let alone a town full of people? They would just be silent. (because everyone talking at the same time on a mic is no option)

    It would just feel like a multiplayer rpg to me and not an mmorpg.

  • Actually the simple reason is because Microsoft and Sony didn’t allow them as they would earn money outside MS’/Sony ecosystem. Only recently they implemented systems to do this and you can see some f2p games showing up.

    Its entirely MS/SOny fault that there are no MMO’s on consoles

  • If they ever created a quality one for a console, I would buy a console and give it a try. As it stands now they have far to many irons in the fire to go another direction. I think they fear that the PC gamer would never go over to a console MMO. I would love to see one based on WWI,WWII or some type of historic war game. I think it would be a hit.

  • The older I get the more I enjoy the thought of sitting on my sofa with a controller. It is pretty amazing that they can’t seem to get it to work.

  • The mere thought of sharing an MMO-ish experience with the kind of … how should I put it … aural assault that many console multiplayer games have a reputation for … makes me cry in my coffee.

    Of course, one could play such an MMO without interacting with other players, but I kind of thought the community on THIS site sees soloing-in-a-multiplayer-world as a malfeature rather than a feature.

    Or maybe that’s just me. ./shrug

  • @Blargh I’d say that’s an unfair stereotype. Find any game with easy voice chat access and you will encounter undesirables. In fact I’ve played a lot of DOTA2 lately and the kind of people you get on the mic would make a sailor blush.

    The thing is, almost every Xbox comes with a headset, or you can buy one for like $15, and they easily plug right into the controller and bam, there you go. Everybody has voice chat and you have a higher chance of encountering undesirables. In contrast, the PS3 uses bluetooth headsets (maybe also USB, I don’t know)which not only don’t come standard but require a higher monetary investment, not to mention require charging. It seems that due to this, at least in my experience, you encounter undesirable people far less, but also almost nobody talks due to lack of mic.

    So yeah, I can understand where you are coming from but it really is not a big factor for me. I’ve met plenty of great people on consoles and if I find any that rub me the wrong way then they are only a button press or two away from being muted.

  • Graev, sorry but there is always a reason for a stereotype to spring into existence in the first place.

    Of course, douches have existed forever and will exist forever, but where are you more likely to encounter one
    – in DDO or in Darkfall?
    – in Path of Exile or in League of Legends?
    – among people who have played LOTRO for the last 3 years or among people who have played Multiplayer Halo for the last 3 years?

    Now to turn this around and put it on-topic – there is a noticeable trend in recent MMOs for “less think, more twitch” – a trend I’m quite sure is indirectly seeping in from the console world (and one I personally dislike). One of the characteristics of this trend is definitely “fewer keys to press”, which to me indicates that MMOs for consoles are very much “INC!”.

    Heck, GW2 and the NeverwinterNight MMO can go straight on a controller, like, today.

    My guess would be that, IF! (big if) anything is actually holding back console MMOs, its the sheer number of different consoles a publisher needs to deal with if they want a wider audience. Or financial and legal issues with exclusiveness, whatever. The tech is certainly all there already.

  • I am interested to see how Defiance goes. I think as more and more MMOs are going to more action based combat like Neverwinter Online and Guild Wars 2 the more chances open up for consoles. My biggest thing is that I have never liked voice chat for a few different reasons, #1 my job requires me to talk all day long so the last thing I do when I get home is want to talk when I am trying to relax and #2 nothing breaks immersion to me like hearing real voices behind characters lol. So I tend to much prefer keyboard chat than voice chat. Still that is just my person preference and isn’t a reason at all for there not to be a big console MMO market.

  • Your observation about the Wii U gamepad made me spend 10 minutes daydreaming about a Zelda mmog…That would make me spend my next gpu upgrade on a U for sure!

  • @Blargh I’ll still have to respectfully disagree. I don’t believe in perpetuating stereotypes.

    Hopefully any future console MMOs will exist as their own entity apart from PC players as to avoid any instances of elitism.

  • Hmmmm

    if existing MMO companies port their MMORPG Clients into consoles , with keyboard/mouse requirement, would that help ?

    Creating an MMORPG with console controller as primary UI is too limiting , if traditional MMORPG design are used. this will leave the console MMORPG as a hybrid FPS/Action RPG with limited control to allow Game Controller to be used.

    Personally i prefer the computer style input method (kbd/mouse) compared to game controller.. you can see the inherent limitation of console-designed games that was ported to PC..

  • DCUO and Defiance are probably the only good MMO’s to come out on console since EQOA. DCUO is a little EASY but it is really amazing and the end game content is really good and fun, I just want some bigger expansions than just a new power here and there and some new missions, I want a new city! Like the Green Lantern planet or something. And Defiance has been fun so far, from what I hear end game isn’t amazing, but so far leveling has been. I doubt it’ll happen but I think Trion, now able to make a game for consoles that WORKS, should port Rift over to console and change it so the controller is usable. Some like to think that play style won’t work, but think Dragon Age: Origins or Knights Of The Old Republic but on a bigger scale.

    The reason for me wanting an MMO on console is because I’ve played console since I was a youngen so the controller is like walking for me, second playing my computer isn’t exactly comfortable, and 3rd I really like my big screen TV, and I’d love to just sit back relax and play some dungeons and grind my way through the end game content and showing off my toons. These reasons have really limited me from getting far or having more than one max level character, I’d love to play more.

    But yes I think a game like Rift or WoW is really needed on console, and now Blizzard’s porting Diablo III to console let’s hope they bring some good MMO to console. Titan anyone?