Joe Ybarra, one of the founding members of Electronic Arts, has told GamesIndustry.biz that the newly-formed publisher he's now working for can provide a greater sense of connected community than other MMO publishers currently offer.
The new publishing company, FireSky, will take responsibility for bringing forthcoming MMO Stargate Worlds to the market, and is a subsidiary of Cheyenne Mountain Studios.
The company will pioneer the development of its SNAP (Social Networks At Play) concept, and has four studios currently working on projects, although Stargate Worlds is the only one of those announced so far.
"We undertook the creation of the FireSky publishing label in order to provide us with an opportunity to start delivering products that we're characterising as SNAP games," Ybarra told GamesIndustry.biz.
"The concept behind this is that we feel there's an opportunity in the market place for us to deliver a more robust experience between both social networking types of applications, like MySpace or Facebook, together with triple-A, high-end gaming as well as other forms of gaming as well - and integrate the two into one destination portal that we'll provide to customers.
"A lot of the strategy for why we want to do that, comes down to that for an MMO, it's really important to recognise that we provide a service to our customers and that it's a top-to-bottom experience that they're going to enjoy - that's more than just the game.
"Reacting to that concept, we felt that as long as we were providing great customer care, a good infrastructure, good pricing models and various other things, it would also be good if we could provide a way for the customers to interact with each other outside of the game.
"In doing so, what we also wanted to do was deliver a wider range of content than just the MMO products, like Stargate Worlds, and to that end we have four studios now that are producing products, and we're in the process now of trying to find strategies from a publishing standpoint to integrate those products and deliver the social networking elements."
Ybarra, who has been named as FireSky's senior VP of strategic operations, is joined by fellow veteran industry figure Rod Nakamoto, who has been appointed to the role of senior VP of product development while Tim Jenson is the company's CEO.
The full interview with Joe Ybarra and Rod Nakamoto will be available on GamesIndustry.biz in due course.