Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Behind the Scenes of NASA’s Upcoming MMORPG

These days, nearly every game company is trying to get their fingers in the MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) pie. Given the past successes of games like Ultima Online and Everquest and the current success of games like EVE Online and World of Warcraft, it’s no surprise that companies want try to create the next “killer app” of the MMORPG market.

One such game company that will be launching a new game is the company partnered with NASA to develop a space-based MMORPG for the space agency. Having raised nearly $40,000 in pledged funding via kickstarter, the company aims to start beta testing their offering some time next year.

So what does this new MMORPG do differently that will attract and retain paying customers? What makes Astronaut: Moon, Mars and Beyond different from say, EVE Online, Star Trek Online, or Star Wars Galaxies?

When a game developer becomes associated with a “big-name” property, expectations from both fans and developers can be quite high. Despite securing a license to create a game based on the Stargate franchise, a game development company never released the game and eventually ended up in bankruptcy. Star Trek Online, despite being one of the most anticipated MMORPG franchises went through two developers and when finally released had less than stellar sales. Of course, many fans of MMORPG’s are all too familiar with the myriad issues that plagued Star Wars Galaxies.

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