Posted by: Matt Vella on April 15
I can’t help but wonder about that, especially given the flurry of excitement over initial tidbits of information about the upcoming release of Metal Gear Online for PS3 on Sony’s (SNE) official Playstation blog. (That post alone has more than 230 comments.) Sure, anticipation for that title and the stand alone Metal Gear Solid 4 – likely the most anticipated PS3 game of the year – bleed together. But, my sense is that MGO may represent a more important milestone for Sony and online console gaming.
Though there’s generally more online play – both collaborative and combative – than ever before, there’s still a dearth of high-quality, richly layered multiplayer experiences on consoles. For now, you can forget all-consuming fantasy MMOs like World of Warcraft. Despite some lackluster examples, console-accessible persistent online worlds have yet to really be widely tested.
While not an exact corollary – MGO’s gameplay is obviously significantly different than a WoW, for example – it could be an interesting test of waters ahead of future planned releases such as Playstation Home and The Agency. Meanwhile, Metal Gear sales are likely to be robust. Analysts at Hudson Square Research expect Metal Gear 4, which comes out this summer, to sell about 6 million units this year alone.
No longer child's play, the booming global games market is worth billions of dollars. In Games, Inc., BusinessWeek Innovation writer Matt Vella and Tokyo correspondent Kenji Hall analyze emerging business trends in video games and interactive entertainment. They’ll examine everything from button-mashing, chart-topping, console games to serious games commissioned by big corporations to train staff. They’ll also map the evolution of expansive virtual worlds and go behind the strategies at companies that are turning play into big business.