Monumental Games has entered the middleware business and begun selling its own MMO engine, Prime, designed for lite MMO games to be published on Facebook and other web platforms.
GamesIndustry.biz can reveal that the engine, already showcased through in-house title Little Monsters, will sell for as little as £20,000 ($31,000) for a prototype licence, rising to £100,000 ($154,000) for a full-year deal allowing for multiple titles and including tech support.
Mike Cox, business development manager for Monumental, said that the engine is designed for a smaller number of players than the giants in the MMO space, but it's a growing sector as more companies look to improve the quality of online and browser-based gaming.
"The games that it can create look a lot more like traditional 3D games than you'd expect," CoxtoldGamesIndustry.biz. "In terms of numbers, we're looking at Light Persistent State Worlds - we're not talking World of Warcraft.
"We're thinking that in each section of our world you'll get between 2000 - 3000 players. It's still a hell of a lot, and it feels like an MMO. It's not as vast but in reality the database can handle hundreds of thousands of people."
Monumental is using the engine itself for a couple of projects to be announced, and there are five partners in place expected to be revealed shortly.
And Cox is confident the middleware can compete with rival tech on the market, with Prime purely dedicated to MMO development
"Obviously Unity has got a 3D browser-based engine, but it's not dedicated to MMOs," he said. "Unity is great but if you want to use it for MMO stuff you've got to write all your own front and back end code. It's not a trivial task, it's possible, but it's a big job.
"The advantage of Prime is that it's all built in. You can effectively plug it straight into Facebook or whatever browser based application you want to use and the MMO functionality is already there."
The full interview with Mike Cox can be read here.