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Funcom: Wii U Could Do MMOs Without Compromise

Posted by James Newton

Who needs F keys?

Massively multiplayer online games and consoles don't exactly have the strongest working relationship, despite the efforts of sizeable publishers: SEGA had Phantasy Star Online and Phantasy Star Universe, Square Enix brought Final Fantasy XI to Xbox 360 and Sony Online Entertainment's EverQuest Online Adventures for PS2 only just closed down after nine years. According to MMO specialist Funcom's Joel Bylos, Wii U could be the first console to nail the genre.

Speaking to Official Nintendo Magazine, Bylos waxed lyrical about the potential of the Wii U's touch screen controller:

Wii U could be the first real console on which running an MMORPG without compromise is plausible. The controller is perfect for lining up those rows of hotbars that are essential in most MMOs. A customisable touchscreen interface combined with the 3D spatial movement of a console controller could be a winner.

While this is all encouraging, the real question is this: would many studios actively develop MMOs for Wii U? PC MMOs come and go on a system ideally suited to the genre — how would a Wii U MMO fare?


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User Comments (39)



SuperNictendo said:

Isn't Dragon Quest X supposed to be an mmo? I guess we'll see then. Or we could see World of Warcraft: Wii U version lol



Nintenbro said:

It won't fare at all, if the rumors are true, and it's not even up to par with the PS3 or Xbox 360.



SuperNictendo said:

@G4L I really do think that if they innovate with their console instead of going with graphical power then it'll sell really well. Especially since it'll probably be cheaper than every other console. Yes graphics are great but they aren't everything.



SpaceKappa said:

Dragon Quest X is going to be amazingly awesome on Wii U. I'm also holding out for Phantasy Star Online 2!



AVahne said:

Dragon Quest X is already an MMORPG being made for Wii U (and Wii).
And I'm REALLY hoping for Phantasy Star Online 2 for Wii U, for when I'm not on my PC.



Alienfish said:

I agree completely with this. Having all of your commands on the touch screen and all of the action on the TV would probably be an even better setup than a PC. DS and 3DS have done dual screens, but the resolution is so low. I think WiiU is going to take all of the dual screen potential out of it's limited handheld shell and just floor everyone with how awesome it is.



CapedGodot said:

I'm surprised that none of you fans have brought up Monster Hunter yet. I personally don't like the game, but I could see how it could work.



theblackdragon said:

I still feel that no serious MMO player would bother with a touchscreen for their games when they've got keyboards and gaming mice handy. Your focus has to be on the screen when you're busy with a raid or a particularly difficult quest; you can't be messing around trying to press the right spots on a touchpad.



Nintenbro said:

@SuperNictendo, I know graphics aren't everything my friend. That's why the Wii is the only console I own. If I thought graphics were everything, I would've missed out on innovative and ingenius masterpieces like: TLoZ: Skyward Sword, Super Mario Galaxy 1 & 2 and last but not least, Xenoblade Chronicles. I'm just saying, I won't be purchasing a WiiU for MMOs if the graphical power isn't present. Although, I will purchase a WiiU for Nintendo's first-party titles, that are sure to awe us with innovation and visual style.



nfzeta007 said:

Guild Wars 2 anyone?
After all they are working on the possibility of a console version and if they do it right it cold definitely work on the Wii U (although i will still get the PC version as my Wii U will be for Nintendo games and the revival of cross-plats on a Nintendo console.



mamp said:

MMOs would be good but I'm pretty sure most PC players would still want their games on PC since their more powerful. BTW pokemon MMO make it happen Nintendo.



Ernest_The_Crab said:


Frankly, I find that rumour to be pretty suspicious. If these guys are anonymous, they wouldn't really need to wait until now to start saying the console is not as powerful as its competition. There also doesn't seem to be any explanation on WHY it's not as powerful. Especially coming this close to the release date, it sounds more like a sabotage attempt than anything else.

Going back on topic, I wonder if we'll get any free MMORPGs to play. Personally I'd like to be able to play Spiral Knights on it (despite some of its questionable game mechanics), though the fact it was built completely on Java Script might cause some problems.


That's not necessarily true. It really depends on the MMO. If it's the kind with the auto fight and use skills setup (ex Shin Megami Tensei Imagine) then it's fine since you don't need to focus on anything other than skill triggers. On the other hand, MMOs with less restrictive movement would have some issues.



theblackdragon said:

@TheSolarKnight: perhaps they could get more restrictive or specially-designed MMOs to work, but i'm still thinking back to the 'game list' rumor that listed WoW as coming to Wii U — those kinds of MMOs, it'd never happen. No serious player would make the switch from the PC to a console version (the console can't be upgraded internally for better performance if issues crop up, for one), and after enough 'whoops, tapped the wrong macro' incidents, you can bet no one would count on a Wii U-using player to be worth a fig in a raid setting, lol. there's a reason they put sixty-bazillion buttons on gaming mice nowadays — it's to take your mind off hitting the right button and putting your focus firmly on the on-screen action, where it belongs. :3



Hardy83 said:

Controls are half the battle for an MMO. The other half is stable online infrastructure.

Being able to patch when they want, and add content when they want.

Considering Nintendo's "amazing" approval process for digital content and letting companies patch their games when they want (by which I mean almost never)
I'm sure MMOs would be GREAT on the Wii U.

Oh let's not forget this won't come with a harddrive, so you either need a dedicated large SD card, or there needs to be some harddrive add-on.

I doubt we'll see the latter two, but I could be wrong. I HOPE I'm wrong, I'd love to play me some Secret World or Conan or the Wii U.

I guess we'll see how good DQX will be.



theblackdragon said:

^ and everything Hardy83 just said too regarding updates. I'd forgotten that part of the MMO deal. :/



The_Fox said:

Trying to control an MMO with a tablet? No thanks. And then there's the problems Hardy83 mentions which tells me that MMOs are probably good where they are.



TimboBaggins said:

I hate MMORPGs. They are ruining the genre. I don't mind RPG's that are online, but leave the MMO's on computers and I'll be happy



misswliu81 said:

could we be seeing final fantasy , phantasy star , as well as xenoblade and last story sequels on the wii U ultilising the MMO ? would be interesting to see how this works.



AVahne said:

Don't need to mention it. Monster Hunter 3G already does a great job showing what dual screen with a touchscreen could do for the series. Already gives us a real good idea of how well MH would use the Wii U controller.



AVahne said:

Even without a harddrive, I doubt Nintendo wouldn't put at least SOME flash memory in the system. We could at least hope for maybe 16 GB built in.
Vita's getting Phantasy Star Online 2, and the darn thing doesn't have any internal memory whatsoever. You're pretty much forced to buy Sony's expensive memory cards just to play the game and receive updates. Unless you can get it in some kind of bundle of course.
If Sega brings over PSO2 Vita over here with a special memory card bundled with it (like how Square Enix is bundling each copy of DQX Wii with a flash drive), then I'll finally have a reason to own a Vita.
I wouldn't really worry about Wii U MMORPGs and updates.



MetalGearZelda said:

I wish EA ports battlefield heroes on to wiiU. I also wish EA also ports The Old Republic to the wiiU.



SkywardLink98 said:

SWTOR Would be a nice addition to the Wii U's library. And what about the 3DS? It has pretty much everything the Wii U has, (In terms of touch screen, motion control, etc.) it just lacks in technical power.



SkywardLink98 said:

@G4L Developers are going 50-50 on how powerful the Wii U is. Some say, it's going to blow the PS3/X360 out of the water in terms of power, and others say the PS3/X360 are a lot more powerful. We'll have to wait for Nintendo to release some system specs to find out for sure.



Henmii said:

Well developers could do first-person shooters on Wii without compromise, but did they do it? Nope!!!



Dreadjaws said:

Oh, please no, please, Nintendo, no. I just recently cured my MMO addiction, I can't go back. I MUSTN'T!



Myx said:

i already got more than enough to do with conventional retail games. but i guess for schoolgirls and long-time-unemployed persons this must be heaven. :/

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