Recent comments made by Bungie hint towards the possible development of a game with a persistent world.
Now that Bungie is finished with Halo (for now) its next project is known to be multi-platform, set in a new universe, and that's about it. The game could be a multi-million dollar Pong clone for all we know. Though Bungie writer Joe Staten may have been kidding when he teased that it'd be similar to an MMO at the Game Developer's Conference Online this week, but that doesn't mean he wasn't giving a hint towards something the game could feature.
In a panel called "Writing the Whirlwind: 10 Years On the Frontlines of Halo Storytelling and Beyond," Staten said that creating a "universe of stories" is one of the most challenging things a writer can do. While doing this with Halo has brought him "excitement," it has also brought him a good deal of "terror."
But now Staten is working on Bungie's next big tale, and he hopes to make it even better than before. Like Halo, Bungie is focusing on its the game like it'll be the last it ever makes: a game that might even have a persistent world.
After also addressing the failings of Halo's storytelling, and revealing what Bungie learned from them, Staten may have given a slight clue, or a terribly false tease, about where Bungie wants to bring gamers. After saying it was a "shame" that players could only spend "handfuls of hours" in the Halo world, Staten asked: "Wouldn't it be great if we could make a world that was always there for you?"
"Wow," Staten added. "That would be great." According to Gamasutra, this was said with "almost comedic precision to avoid a factual statement." Now, this could quite obviously be wishful thinking on Staten's part, and could mean nothing. We know Bungie is working on a project coming to consoles, and consoles aren't known for persistent worlds or MMOs. Still, Bungie has the strong backing of Activision, and is almost guaranteed to generate, dare I say, billions over the course of its 10 year deal with the publisher. If anyone can bring a successful FPS, or even just an action game with MMO-like qualities to a console, it'd be Bungie.