Richard Garriott's been spouting off about his new online project Tabula Rasa, which he thinks will sell at least one million when it's released towards the end of the year.
He doesn't believe any one MMO has yet hit market saturation, and believes his game has the potential to beat even the biggest titles currently on the market.
"I've never speculated about whether we can beat WoW and, in fact, that's not really our goal," Garriott recently told The Hollywood Reporter. "I definitely think it has that potential, but whether we will go from the ones of millions to the tens of millions, well, the fickle public is a really hard thing to predict."
For him, online gaming appeals to players for its social interaction, and to publishers for its continual revenue from subscription fees, something Garriott has decided to use for Tabula Rasa.
The game is in development at Garriott's Destination Games, which was recently bought by NC Soft, and is an online adventure that will try to blend the fast-paced action of first-person shooters with the traditional fantasy-values of MMOs.
He reckons developers are starting to move away from the well-worn mould of elves, magic, and dragons, into a new era where games can replicate the excitement and dynamic content of single-player games.
"I do believe that 'Tabula Rasa' represents a radical step forward because it drops you into a world that is dynamic and exciting throughout," he believes. "The winner in the competition for the next-generation MMOG will be the developer who can create a game with the same real tension and excitement that solo-player games offer."
"The worlds are going to become far more realistic and interactive and responsive to your presence. I believe we are scratching the surface even now and that this will fully blossom in the next two years or so."
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