Colony Studios announced their opening today, boasting one of the most well rounded teams in recent memory. Their staff has worked on every major MMO title from Everquest to World of Warcraft (not to mention everything in between). Michael Wallis, the CEO of Colony, had some choice words on the formation of the new studio:
"Our collective contributions to a significant number of hit MMOs give us a strong advantage," says Wallis. "Most dev teams - including Colony's - have gone through the process of learning what doesn't work in game development, but our team members have also been intimately involved with creating what does work in several successful MMOs and that combination will serve us well. Our challenge is, of course, to use our experience and talent correctly to create an MMO that players will enjoy."
Sounds like a project bound for victory, but the most interesting tidbit of Colony's announcement dealt with the clarification that their current (yet unnamed) project won't be developed as a "safe" MMO, meaning they intend to go outside the current structure of popular titles. According to Wallis, they are shooting for a linear storyline that can be influenced by players.
What can keep an MMO from being stagnant, at this point in the genre's history? If you like crafting and grinding, WOW ought to keep you happy as it already does a massive amount of the general population; but if not, you may be waiting for something that is a bit more on the edge. A consistent complaint is that titles lack a structured story, eventually losing the interest of RPG based players. What will it take (from Colony or any other developer) to breathe new life into the MMO?