Rik Alexander, bossman of Monumental Games has said that he'd need "a billion quid" to take on Blizzard's King of MMORPGs - World of Warcraft.
That's why the studio is producing a Football MMO and not some fantasy flavoured game. "Sports just makes the most sense," he proclaimed at the EIF event.
"Loads of people like football. At Monumental we want to take national pastimes and make them MMOs - things like fishing or trainspotting," though he quickly backtracked to ensure everyone understood that no such fishing, or certainly trainspotting title was in development at his studio.
"Fantasy is very well serviced. I'd need a billion quid to take on WoW," he said at the Edinburgh Interactive Festival. Apparently Kerry Fraser-Robinson of Redbedlam reckons he "could do it for a tenth of that."
Football Superstars is Monumental's own MMO 'ace in the hole', or at least they hope it is. Their effort isn't the only online sport project underway but Alexander feels the others "are doing it wrong - sorry if that sounds a little bigheaded, but they're not thinking about it the right way or funding it the right way," he explained.
"When we set up Monumental three years ago I didn't want to be a game developer. I didn't think it was a very good business model, for all the fundamental reasons - having to rely on publishers to give you money, 18 to 24 month development cycles..."
"MMOs, you get one deal and it's there for 10 or 20 years, who knows. And that's really a good way to think about business." He admits of course that "the problem is obviously making a successful one in the first place."
Football has unyielding strength here in Europe with the FIFA and Football Manager titles appealing to broad ranges of gamers. Could Football Superstars capture the passion of the game enough to become the WoW of football?
Clickto visit the official Football Superstars website.
Monumental Games would need monumental cash to take on WoW
13 August 2008 | By Simon Priest