If the headline inspired a double-take, you're not alone; we were just as surprised to find out that a Battlestar Galactica MMO is just over the horizon. The news came out-of-the-blue yesterday from the Games Developers Conference in San Francisco, Calif., according to a recent article by Gamasutra. As reported by the Web site, the German browser games developer/portal Bigpoint acquired the rights-to-develop the MMO based on NBC Universal's Battlestar Galactica IP. In previous coverage, Gamasutra reported Bigpoint is splitting its offices between Hamburg and Silicon Valley; the new U.S. office will develop the recently-announced Battlestar Galactica MMO.
According to Gamasutra, the upcoming MMO is based on the recent SyFy reboot, not the original show. Aiming for a late-2010 release, Bigpoint announced the game will be a free-to-play, browser-based MMO with both third-person avatar and "twitch"-inspired ship combat. So far, Bigpoint's description of the MMO's gameplay leads us to speculate that it will be a "browser plug-in" hybrid, similar in execution to MMOs like Free Realms or Battlefield Heroes. In a recent interview with Massively, Bigpoint CTO Jan Wergin described the gameplay style:
"It's going to be a tactical shooter with a lot of interaction and questing rewards system. It's not just going to be a space shooter, but it's also going to have the whole [...] storyline to it, so really deeply immersive."
Like most Battlestar fans, many of us here at ZAM are crossing our fingers, hoping the world's first BSG MMO is "done right," and stays truer to the spirit of the TV show than previous video game attempts. Stay tuned for more news and information as it breaks!