December 12, 2013

Jason Jones talks about the acronym MMO and Destiny


Jason Jones has done a massive interview with Game Informer about Destiny. He covers a lot of areas but here's some Q and A that relates to the acronym that's been bandied about quite a bit with Destiny, MMO.

Were you looking to MMO storytelling styles as opposed to what you see in shooter stories? Were you moving away from a straight, linear thing?

Yes. The game we want to make and we want to play is a shooter. Making a great shooter is not the thing I’m worried about now when I look out at the game, where it’s my job to be worried about whatever isn’t the farthest along. When we set out to build that shooter from the beginning, we really were aware that there’s a bunch of innovation, a bunch of cool stuff happening in other genres, certainly in MMOs. We wanted to learn from that. One of the things that was really important, just by building a story was that we wanted a world and not just a story. We wanted a world that we can tell a lot of stories in. I think there’s a way that you can learn that lesson from some MMOs. But they have a world that’s just fun to explore and to think about, look forward to the next story.

I would say the best, certainly the MMOs genre is about story but also about player progression as well. Just really fascinating, fun things that those games do. I would say having said that, at heart this game’s got to be a shooter. I believe that’s what people, and I don’t have any control in this, will label it and that people who come and look at this experience are going to like it because it’s a shooter, and it’s my hope, going to be surprised by the depth that they haven’t seen before like the single progression across all activities and that they’re going to stick with and enjoy it and stay with it because of that. 

destiny guardian

A lot of people have wondered whether this is an MMO or not. Obviously, based on what you were just saying, you see this more as a shooter. Are there other things that you would point to that set it apart from MMOs?

It’s kind of an apple and oranges thing, so I don’t want to draw too many comparisons, but I think that at its heart, what people are going to enjoy and engage with the game in Destiny is the action game. It’s ultimately this fantasy of being the super powerful change agent in the world, in a very analog, dexterity, skill-based way.

I think the MMOs have different fantasies. There are some action-y, shooter-y games in that space. But I think after 30 seconds or a minute playing them, the gamer came to have an action experience, they’re going to be disappointed. 

We want to be the opposite. People that sit down and pick up the controller in Destiny, the first 60 seconds, we want them to be hungry to see their first bad guy, to have that first interaction. The experience that’s most important to remember, that we are trying to create anyway, is that when players have that first hands-on interaction with the controller, they’re going to feel like they’re in a great shooter and that any of the story or progression lessons that we’ve learned from MMOs that we’ve brought from that space or from social games, that those are going to add on to that experience instead of coming first. I can talk about hotbars and red dots and stuff like that. I think those are just all aspects of that top-level action versus social progression game. We’re building one of those. I won’t be disappointed if nobody calls us an MMO.

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And there you have it. Bungie are not calling Destiny and MMO but won't get mad at ya if you do. 

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