In addition to the bizarre announcement of an MMORPG based on Magic: The Gathering, last Wednesday we saw our first news about another new MMORPG called Fractured. (Not to be confused with The Repopulation’s survival spinoff of the same name. Seriously, do people never even look at the names of other games anymore?)
Once again, it’s way too early to say anything good, bad, or indifferent about Fractured. It’s going to be a sandbox. But better than any other sandbox. For reasons. Reasons that will certainly work out exactly the way they are planning them, because games never change in response to early player feedback.
Fractured is notable for being another project based on Improbable’s SpatialOS, along with Chronicles of Elyria and Worlds Adrift and others. We’ve been hearing a lot about this SpatialOS thing lately. Probably because it seems to have a pretty low barrier to entry for small development teams.
But what is SpatialOS? Presumably, SpatialOS is middleware and/or backend software/hardware that allows game developers to easily create MMORPGs with Unity. They describe it in a lot more grandiose terms than that, but that seems to be the gist of it. I don’t think I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ve been watching it for a while now. To be honest I’m a little suspicious about Improbable’s motives, but I can’t quite put my finger on why. I just have this weird feeling that they’re trying to build some crazy DARPA military AI project and they’re somehow exploiting gamers as free labor. I just know they’ll be gathering all the behavior data from us playing these SpatialOS games and using it to create an advanced army of super soldiers.
I’m also a little worried that every new MMORPG based on SpatialOS is going to play exactly the same, and we’re going to be assaulted with a slew of games that are only differentiated from each other by the textures on the character models. But I might be overthinking that. After all, ESO and SWTOR are both based on the same Hero Engine and they are quite different.
So we shall see. Someday. Hopefully.