Realtime Worlds creative director Dave Jones sees upcoming PC online action game APB lasting as long as traditional massively multiplayer online role-playing games like World of Warcraft and EverQuest.
MMORPGs tend to have a considerably longer shelf life than non-online only games. Sony Online Entertainment’s EverQuest recently celebrated its 10 year anniversary. Blizzard’s massively successful World of Warcraft will this year celebrate its five year anniversary.
Although Jones, who spoke to VideoGamer.com at the recent Develop conference in Brighton, doesn’t describe APB as an MMO, he said that it is his goal for APB to be around for as long as MMOs tend to be.
“That’s ultimately the goal,” he told us when asked if he saw APB being around for five or ten years.
However, Jones, who created Lemmings, Grand Theft Auto and Crackdown, said that he believed fans will stick around not for the same reasons as MMORPGs, but for reasons akin to Valve’s enduring online FPS Counter-Strike.
“The method I looked at, the kind of ideas I looked at was more like Counter-Strike,” he said. “There is a game which kept people playing for years and years and years, but from a very, very different perspective - just a great, great, great core combat game. I want more of what Counter-Strike did coupled with the social stuff that Counter-Strike didn't do. You couldn't even have a clan in Counter-Strike for heaven's sake. People used to improvise by adding it to the end of their names. They had to try and organise when to meet up, try and form groups, they effectively ran their own server then and invited players to it - all that stuff Counter-Strike players were doing, they had to try and do off their own back.
“We've taken all that and said, make it from the beginning. You get all the social stuff you get from World of Warcraft. The difference is in the core gameplay. APB is a hell of a lot of fun to play, because I do play it day upon day upon day upon day upon day. We have progression as well – it’s visual. We have leagues and stats and achievements. But at the end of the day, after playing World of Warcraft for a night I don’t sit back and go, wow! That was an amazing fight I was just in. It’s not really about an amazing fight. It’s about tactics and just getting through stuff. I want people in APB to come out after a couple of hours and say, wow we had some amazing fights with that squad and that clan, and that guy was dominating tonight.”
APB, which is being published by EA, is due for release on PC early next year. For all the latest, including a first-look preview, head over to our APB game page.