Developer and publisher Sony Online Entertainment has revealed that the beta stage for its MMO Planetside 2 is progressing well and that the development team is pleased with the feedback that it has been receiving from gamers.
Jason Good, a game designer working on Planetside 2
, admits to VG247 that, “It’s really a pretty big undertaking for our team. We’ve been in this mode of ‘heads down, working hard’, banging stuff out, for so long – and then all of a sudden you need to shift into being essentially a live game.”
He adds, “Bug fixes that once could have been put off become urgent, the community expands, and now there’s a ton of new data to examine. One of the things that I think surprised us all was just how epic the combat felt right from the get go with beta.”
Good says there’s still a lot of work for his team to make sure that all mechanics work right and are balanced but the core idea of the game, with many players fighting at the same time, delivering an experience that no other MMO can replicate.
The developer has not hinted how long the beta might continue for or exactly when Planetside 2 might be launched.
According to the SOE
developer, the beta stage is especially important for free-to-play video games because the company cannot rely on boxed sales for a revenue stream.
Planetside 2 needs to be fun for gamers or otherwise they will not spend time playing the MMO and they will not use their money to get in-game content.
Despite the big risks that the free-to-play model introduces, Good sees it as the only viable way to support an MMO in the future because there’s simply no audience that’s ready to support a subscription-based video game.