Monday, December 29, 2008

Another nail in the MMO genre coffin

Not only was 2008 a dismal year for the MMO with so many mediocre titles released and major failures and shutdowns...we can add this little bit of cancer to grow within the bones of the MMO world.

Worlds.com announces a patent lawsuit against NCSoft.

We need to look this over very carefully. As is noted, this can have a far reaching scope due to the patent being argued.
We are talking everyone from NCSoft to SOE to Blizzard can get hit with this little ditty.
What is worse is going after ailing NCSoft sets the "precedent" for future lawsuits. Because if NCsoft loses, then so does all others who have this capability.

Client/Server communications for the reason of online communication can have implications, where if the suit is won on Worlds part, then prepare for ALL MMO's to pay licensing fee's of some sort.
This may not hurt the big boys, but Turbine, Funcom, etc...well, there we have a problem.
And then some may look at the future of any MMO in development, and maybe weigh the cost versus return, which as we can see, if your game does not start with "World of.."...your Shucks out of luck entering this genre!

So, does anyone believe that if this is won that several "In development" titles may be put on the shelf?

Time will tell, and who knows...this could run on for a while. All of us who are interested in MMO's though should watch this one...and pray for NCSoft, as 2008 was a bumper year of loss for these guys, and this does not help one bit.

2 comments:

Danshir said...

I posted about this on my blog as well, and my thoughts are along the same lines. I think SOMEONE made these patents really broad on purpose however. I smell something very stinky. Anyway. I'm hoping NCSoft rips Worlds.com a new one. This type of lawsuit is just really dirty business and nothing else.

adingworld said...

I browsed the patent description that was linked. Since it was filed in 2000 anything that can be shown to have existed before that using the same technology as in the patent should allow them to deal with the lawsuit.

Lineage was released in 1998, so if NCSoft can show that they already used this back then they should be ok. Same goes for SOE and Everquest, EA and Ultima Online etc. And it that can by that show to be some common practice and public knowledge they should not have a case for infrigement.