It would cost a billion to take on WoW, says Monumental boss

Football Superstars dev explains decision to produce sports-themed MMO

Monumental Games boss Rik Alexander has explained why his studio is producing an MMO based around football - rather than opting for a more traditional fantasy theme.

"Sports just makes the most sense," he told the audience at the Edinburgh Interactive Festival, during an MMO roundtable. "Loads of people like football. At Monumental we want to take national pastimes and make them MMOs - things like fishing or trainspotting," Alexander said - though he was careful to note Monumental isn't currently working on any fishing or trainspotting-themed games.

"Fantasy is very well serviced. I'd need a billion quid to take on WoW," he added, to which Redbedlam boss Kerry Fraser-Robinson responded, "I could do it for a tenth of that."

Monumental's title, Football Superstars, isn't the only sports-themed MMO in development - but according to Alexander, it could be the best. "Other people are doing it wrong - sorry if that sounds a little bigheaded, but they're not thinking about it the right way or funding it the right way," he said.

"When we set up Monumental three years ago I didn't want to be a game developer. I didn't think it was a very good business model, for all the fundamental reasons - having to rely on publishers to give you money, 18 to 24 month development cycles...

"MMOs, you get one deal and it's there for 10 or 20 years, who knows. And that's really a good way to think about business." However, Alexander added, "The problem is obviously making a successful one in the first place."

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