The impending supernova of sadness and emotional destruction that is a Bioshock MMO threatens us all

http://www.vg247.com/2010/04/14/rumor-2k-working-on-mmo-set-in-bioshck-universe/

Why? What is the purpose? I realize that, at its basest, the focus of all companies is to make money, and I have no problem with that. But how can they be so stupid about it? Does 2k really think that a Bioshock MMO is going to work, or even be successful? I have news for them – it’s not.  I realize that the impulse to leverage a property as critically and commercially successful as Bioshock is strong, but to do so successfully you have to leverage it in arenas that make sense.

The Bioshock MMO will not work. This has nothing to do with the talent of the developers, which I’m sure is considerable. The idea of a Bioshock MMO made anytime in the next 10 years is simply incompatible with success. Here are some reasons:

1. Bioshock, at its very core, is a shooter. You can make a class-based MMORPG set in Rapture but it will  be a Bioshock game in name only. What’s worse, if you try to make an MMOFPS in the same environment your failure will be all the more, because the MMOFPS does not work yet. Why? Latency. It just doesn’t work. Planetside is still the best example, and it wasn’t that great.

2. Even if you make a moderately successful MMO out of the property (let’s say as successful as Warhammer Online) you have irrevocably weakened your brand. The chances of a Bioshock MMO being as successful as its two predecessors (don’t even imagine WoW level success) is virtually nil.

3. People want to visit Rapture, they don’t want to live there. Rapture is opressive and gloomy and fantastically interesting, but it’s not someplace people are going to want to spend a lot of time.

One caveat: Maybe this rumor is untrue. Maybe 2k is planning an MMO-lite or social game with the Bioshock property. These are tangle, reachable goals. But a full-fledged AAA MMO with this property is a bad idea.

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