Shane Kim, former Microsoft Game Studios
guru and recently appointed VP of the Microsoft Interactive Entertainment Business, recently spoke to EDGE
magazine on his company's failed attempts at massively multiplayer online games. Specifically, MS canceled Marvel Universe Online
earlier this year. Way back on the original Xbox, True Fantasy Live Online
, once thought to be the original Xbox's savior in Japan, was also canceled. On Microsoft's trouble with MMOs, Kim said, "I'll admit MGS has not had success in the MMO space," also noting, "We haven't been able to crack the code." Kim says that he believes MS "made the right decision" in canceling Marvel Universe Online
but adds that "there's nothing to say those titles can't be successful on 360."
Part of the problem, according to Kim, is the "tension" between what developers want to create and Microsoft's need to maintain a "stable and secure environment on Xbox 360." In other words, it sounds like developers aren't too keen on the controls that Microsoft places on Xbox Live. Kim concludes that Microsoft is "getting very close" to solving the problem, but that the company has been slow to deliver an MMO experience, noting "we feel bad about that."
So do we, Shane. So do we.