Star Trek Online dropped for consoles

Cryptic Studios puts console support for MMOs on "back burner"

The proposed console version of massively multiplayer online game Star Trek Online has been abandoned, according to Cryptic Studios executive producer Craig Zinkievich.

Speaking to website, Zinkievich indicated that, "It's pretty much in the same boat as the Champions console version right now".

"It's something we can readily do in terms of technology. We've had it up and running on certain consoles, and had plans and designs in order to take advantage of those platforms," said Zinkievich.

"But as it stands right now it's a little difficult to make that final leap on the business side of things. So, currently, just like Champions, the console version of Star Trek Online is on the back burner," he added.

Last month studio co-founder and COO Jack Emmert stated that "100 per cent of our focus is on making the current PC product the best it can be," when asked about the status of the Xbox 360 version of Champions Online.

Previously, Zinkievich told sister site Eurogamer that: "Trying to get Sony, trying to get Microsoft to really understand MMOs; really understand what needs to happen for MMOs, and then figure out all the business aspects of those games, has really been a difficulty for all of the MMO developers."

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Latest comments (6)

Dan Griliopoulos Dreams 7 years ago
As well as Champions Online? Why are so many MMO developers finding it so hard to get their products released on the consoles? Turbine's engine has been ready for years, and they can't release, neither can Cryptic. Will Final Fantasy XI prove a one-off?
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Thomas Bidaux CEO, ICO Partners7 years ago
As they said, the reasons behind are not as much related to the tech as they are to the terms of the deals and the restrictions manufacturers try to impose.
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Ideally, all MMOs can be platform agnostic and access trhough a singular account in the future. Here is to wishful thinking :)
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Philipp Nassau Student - Business Administration (M. Sc.) 7 years ago
You shouldn't put tech aside as a minor problem. All major MMOs had their visuals improved with every expansion pack. A PC that could run WoW vanilla fine can barely handle the latest expansion on lowest detail settings. This means you would have to develop differently for PCs and consoles or drop the visual improvements on the PC side so the console version can be handled by the limited hardware until the next generation of consoles is released. It's probably a combination of the tech and the business factors. Aside form the fact that the experience of playing an MMO with a gamepad seems rather strange, as they tend to be complex games with lots of hotkeys, buttons, etc. which can't be simplified that easily.
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Its not too hard a stretch to plug your USB keyboard and mouse/gamepad on a Console, and with Xboxes being similar to a PC product, that point is more moot these days. I'd tend to agree with Thomas that it would be more of a biz/licensing issue which is not as straightforward as a console specific development title, which the manufacturers are used to in trashing out a royalty/licensing agreement
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Rick Ellis Director of Production, WB Games7 years ago
A couple comments:

First, as mentioned, the 1st party console vendors don't yet have the biz side naile down. They don't know how to handle subscriptions, they also haven't determined who hosts content for free updates, etc. Doesn't mean they won't figure it out, but right now the gears are turning very slowly.

Secondly, it's not as simple as plugging a keyboard into a console, for many reasons. Unless it's required for the game, the developer still has to accomodate more than one user interface, and with a MMO, that's not an easy task. Also, keyboards and mice are useful now for some of the games, say shooters. If this is so easy, why aren't we seeing a large number of mice and keyboards already on the consoles?

The reasons I believe are a couple. One is the setting, who wants a keyboard and mouse in their living/family room? Additionally, we've all seen that historically peripherals for consoles have poor uptake. They cost extra money and aren't ubiquitous to all games. Keyboards and mice are no different.

One last comment. After watching the two mentioned products roll out, I'd argue that the developer has more than their hands full keeping those two products alive for the time being. This is likely the *real* reason for the console cut.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Rick Ellis on 9th April 2010 5:33pm

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