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Codemasters eyes console MMOs

In talks to publish two titles.

Codemasters Online Gaming has confirmed that it's in talks to publish two massively multiplayer online games for home consoles, reports GamesIndustry.biz.

The group has begun to enjoy success in the MMO market – in two-and-a-half years since inception, the online division of the UK publisher has released four MMOs and has NetDevil's Jumpgate: Evolution lined up for release later this year.

And now it hopes to push into the MMO console market within the next twelve months, and go head-to-head with projects such as Sony Online Entertainment's The Agency, NCsoft's PlayStation 3 projects, and Funcom's Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures.

"The time is right for some good console MMO games. There's two titles that we're really interested in for taking to console right now and that's something I'd like to see happen in the next year or so, but it's got to be the right game," said David Solari, vice president and general manager of Codemasters Online Gaming.

"It's a little more challenging because of the restrictions of a console – certain games aren't going to work. Final Fantasy was very successful on 360 so I just think you need the right game, and I think there's a really good opportunity there because there's not enough companies there right now," he added.

Solari revealed that Codemasters has discussed the growing genre with format holders Sony and Microsoft, but the big sticking points for the publisher could be sharing revenues and the costs of maintaining an online environment for home consoles.

"It's got to be the right business model. It's more difficult because the first-parties take a share of the revenue – and it's quite significant share," stated Solari.

"You have to do your sums and see if it's going to add up at the end of the day. First parties aren't going to run the data centres for us and that's the biggest expense in our business. We have to work that out with them," he said.

For more in-depth coverage of MMOs, be sure to visit Eurogamer's freshly-minted MMO Channel.