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Codies to develop MMOs in-house

Following success of licensed games.

Codemasters Online Gaming has told GamesIndustry.biz it plans to develop MMO titles in-house from now on.

The publisher currently runs four MMOs with partners - RF Online, ArchLord, Dungeons & Dragons Online and Lord of the Rings Online. A fifth, Jumpgate, is being developed in collaboraton with NetDevil and is due out later this year.

According to vice president David Solari, Codemasters will focus on producing its own titles in future. "We always had a five year plan and it was always in the middle of that five year plan that we would start developing our own games," he stated.

"We are looking at that and we have to think very carefully about what title is right, what will work in the future. These aren't easy questions to answer and it's very easy to fail in the MMO market so you've got to take your time, be careful and be sensible."

The MMO market is one of the "toughest areas of the videogame business", Solari continued. "It's the hardest space in which to make games, you see some really big, high-profile games that don't end up coming out, there's huge risks involved.

"The model that we took initially was licensing games - we will get into development eventually - but we did licensing so we could manage the risk and learn more about the business.

"Recently we've seen a couple of really nasty failures in the MMO space, whether the message wasn't right or the quality of the game wasn't there, because it's an extremely competitive market."

The full interview is published as part of GamesIndustry.biz's MMO week, with more exclusive features set to appear over the next few days.

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Ellie Gibson

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Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.

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