…And “Stargate Worlds”

Are we done announcing new MMOs? Not at all, this is just the beginning. It seems that we are starting to see the result of the lust that WoW’s success generated.

From the only official page we have at the moment:

Cheyenne Mountain EntertainmentTM has obtained the license to create online games based on the popular science fiction television series, StargateTM SG-1 and StargateTM Atlantis. We are currently in pre-production of Stargate Worlds, which is a MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) of historical human time periods, alien environments, and outer space locations. Step through the StargateTM as an SG team of soldiers and scientists, and travel instantly to fantastic worlds in this galaxy and beyond. Players can forge alliances, establish trade, investigate ancient mysteries, and defend Earth from such hostile forces as the Goa’uld and the Ori in an immense multiplayer universe.

It sounds as they stole Mythic the assets from Imperator.

Some more details:

Stargate Worlds provides players with a form of ranged combat unique to MMORPG that will take full advantage of modern and science fiction weaponry, cover, and terrain. Players will be able to form squads with their friends or use bots for players who want to go solo. Squad leaders will control maneuvers and objectives through an innovative combat control interface. Players may choose to create characters that are members of either the SGC (the Good Guys) or the System Lords (the Bad Guys). Characters are equipped with varied and mixed skills, with the choice to form such classes as Research, Combat Marine, Medical, Scientific, Diplomatic, Engineering, Archeological, and Exploration. PVP will be possible between the two alliances on many contested worlds, actually swaying the balance of power on those planets, and unlocking hidden content. Cooperative play will also be possible, and players will be encouraged to forge temporary alliances to deal with greater threats, such as the Ori.

Underline mine. It sounds like what SWG should have been when it comes to combat.

It’s also interesting that they’ll add bots to fill the group requirements as it partially happens in Guild Wars with the henchmen. Instead I’m doubtful about the classes. Those aren’t different roles in a given gameplay situation. Those are completely different styles of play (and styles that should be accessible to everyone in the case they are present, instead of making the player specialize on one), how can they expect those classes to interact?

From a side it sounds like another evolved FPS (the description of the squad leaders), from the other like a sci-fi “4X” strategy game.

The universe evolves as players inhabit and vie for control over alien worlds. Local populations will shift their allegiance between the two alliances. Outside threats, such as the Ori, will conspire to further change the face of these worlds. Players will be able to tip the balance of power on these worlds, beating back the Ori invasion, and swaying the local populations to their side through quests, combat and trade. Whether you are a solitary explorer, master tradesman, or commander of a massive armed force- your every action will alter the worlds of the StargateTM universe.

We’ll see. I’m all for world conquest. It’s that part that is currently missing from the current mmorpgs where the environment is just a backdrop populated by passive NPCs.

That said I’m not fond of this setting. In fact I find it completely uninspiring and I couldn’t even remain awake the first time I saw the movie.

There are some elements that make me seriously doubt of the whole project:

Cheyenne and MGM Interactive entered into a licensing agreement to develop Stargate Worlds in September 2005 and Cheyenne has quickly built a very talented development team and created some impressive initial art and technology assets.

A brand new development team? The very first thing that a mmorpg needs is a solid and well-oiled team. The teamwork and synergy is really everything when you build a project with such a scope and that is supposed to going on in the long term. Mmorpg development seriously needs specialization, not teams formed in a hurry with people who have nothing to share and that have never worked together.

Joe Ybarra, Vice President of Product Development for Cheyenne, stated that “Today’s MMO market challenges developers in many ways. Creating a product that separates itself from the pack requires a unique combination of two elements: a superior game concept implemented by a superior development team.

No. They need lots of commitment, dedication and passion for this specific thing.

The rest of the PR fluff is here.

EDIT: Some informations from F13:

Timothy N. Jenson — President and Chief Executive Officer
Joseph Ybarra — Vice President of Product Development
David Adams — Vice President of Strategic Partnerships
Stu Rose — Art Director
Chris Klug — Creative Director
Jim Brown — Director of New Product Development

I think Ybarra was the producer on Matrix Online.

Ybarra is a big name, and their art guy has been involved in … almost everything Blizzard, inc. WoW.

Chris Klug was lead content designer on Earth & Beyond.

More details on their management page.

It seems they really got one of those Blizzard’s escapees.

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