GDC 2007: 2Moons Preview


2Moons is the second major MMO headed our way from Acclaim this year. At GDC, we spoke to Howard Marks about this import being adapted for our audience by David Perry. The game promises a truly grown up and violent experience for its users.

GDC 2007: 2Moons Preview
Based on interview with Howard Marks (Acclaim, CEO)
Article by Dana Massey

image2Moons, the second MMORPG from Acclaim, had over 200,000 people sign up for beta during closed beta, well a head of the pace set by 9Dragons. While they have a long way to go, Acclaim is very confident in the title’s potential for mainstream popularity.

“We know what we have to do to take [2Moons] to major hit status,” Acclaim CEO Howard Marks told WarCry during the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. Unlike 9Dragons and its martial arts setting, 2Moons is a more “classic MMO” that serves an often neglected niche: it’s bloody, it’s grown up and it’s really violent. This isn’t a game for kids.

At the end of their recent closed beta, Acclaim continued their tradition of emphasis on user feedback and conducted a survey of their players. The findings told them that they have a lot to fix and add in order to reach their goals, but were characterized as positive by Marks.

imageWhile 9Dragons has blazed the advertising supported game trail, 2Moons has taken a more controversial approach. Both games feature advertisements built into the user interface and an item mall for an extra edge, but 2Moons seems to have struck a chord and inspired some emotions among the development community with their decision to go with optional advertisement display. The catch is that if a player chooses to turn their ads off, they do not gain experience as quickly as those who have them on.

At the Austin Game Conference last fall, famed game ranter, former Mythic Entertainment employee and current NCSoft MMO designer Scott Jennings openly ridiculed the plan during the MMO Rant session.

Marks stands by their plan and feels that real customers will not have a problem with their model. According to their survey – unlike the 9Dragons survey it is not available to the public – Marks told us that most players will happily operate with the advertising on in order to preserve their free gameplay experience and make sure they’ve maximized their experience gain.

imageCombat in 2Moons is what all the fuss is about. Acclaim promises blood, gore and limbs everywhere in a fast-action, hack’n’slash experience. While the game is primarily aimed at a PvE market, there are also plenty of PvP and PK options for players to consider and enjoy.

The game’s story, written by Henry Jones, is also of a more grown up variety. There are adult themes, crude language and other things that cement the game as something people under 18 likely shouldn’t be playing.

The Closed Beta wrapped up last week and the team hopes to roll over into Open Beta very soon. Acclaim intends to launch 2Moons’ commercial service in early summer.

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