Changes In Store For Star Trek Online? [UPDATED] | TrekMovie.com
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Changes In Store For Star Trek Online? [UPDATED] November 27, 2007

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: Star Trek Online , trackback

Last month Perpetual Entertainment, the company producing the “Star Trek Online” MMORPG announced they were scrapping their launch title (Gods and Heroes) to focus on the Trek game. In the last couple of days some new reports indicate there are more changes in store for Perpetual and the Trek game. Shack News reports that Perpetual has been acquired by a new company and that this new owner wants to make changes in the plans for STO. Specifically changing the game to make it more appealing to ‘casual players’ by changing the payment model from a monthly fee to a free game where you pay for optional in-game items with real money (a new model being adopted by some MMORPGs, mostly in Korea). Shack News also reports that some Perpetual employees are not happy with changes and have left the project. But other reports cast some doubt on Shack News article

Perpetual has not made any official statements regarding the new rumor. However, STO producer Daron Stinnett admits to TrekMovie.com that Perpetual are “considering changes” to their business model. Stinnett also stated that the Shack article was “not correct,” but wouldn’t elaborate further as to what specifically was not correct about it. Stinnett made a post on the startrek-online.net message board stating:

We are now in the process of finding a formal publisher for STO, which involves conversations with a variety of parties. We have been working on our business model for some time and once we establish a publisher, we will work with our new partner to communicate exactly what we are building – something I know all of you have been waiting a long time for.

In addition Gamespot reports:

…a recent showing of Star Trek Online at Perpetual’s offices was of the original MMORPG, and not a more casual model. A source close to the studio said that to his or her knowledge, the game has remained largely unchanged since the buyout.

So for now it is kind of hard to tell what is going on. What is certain is that Perpetual have not had a good year in terms of investors, titles and PR. Right now they say they are focused on getting STO to market and that they expect to have the funding to do so. When more is learned we will report it. On Thursday TrekMovie.com will put up a new interview with STO Story Lead Mike Stemmle plus some new exclusive artwork.

UPDATE: Another comment from Stinnett
Here is the latest comment from STO Producer Daron Stinnett about the latest rumors

You guys are very charitable – thanks for the support. And I mean that. There are some really nasty and incorrect rumors circulating right now and while the support is obviously not unanimous, I was expecting much more piling-on in this thread than is the case.

I personally think that MMOs need to be a better deal. Paying $200/year is a good deal for some but I don’t think that is sustainable for the category and certainly rules out a lot of people who don’t have the time to get enough value out of that expense. So we are discussing this issue internally. Unfortunately that discussion leaked and the characterization is incorrect. It’s also unfortunate that we have not yet come to conclusion internally so it is hard to present the real story since we are in the process of figuring it out.

But I do want to reassure everyone that STO is still going, it is still a triple-A game, and we are thinking hard about how to make our efforts even more appealing with a lower barrier to entry than is the norm.

Comments

1. The Lensman - November 27, 2007

Hmm….I hope we see this one day. Not sounding promising just now.

2. Odo19 - November 27, 2007

First!!!!!!!!

Now back to business, if this is true than we Trek fans have just been robbed again of a great game.

3. Dave Roberts - November 27, 2007

Is Shatner in this game? ;-)

4. ShawnP - November 27, 2007

LOL @ Dave. Touche.

5. Miguel - November 27, 2007

Dave, Probably if they can ever get o actual development!!!!

Also, everyone’s been upset because of the lack of information from Perpetual.

Compare this to Stargate Worlds, an MMO announce at the same time as STO, and started by a small company just beginning as well.

To date, Stargate Worlds has screenshots, in depth podcasts and current websites featuring message boards and weekly polls in SEVERAL languages. New concept art and information appears each week with actual in-game screenshots.

Compare this to STO which held an interdepartmental poll on what race each staff member would want to play and why.

People knew something was up.

6. NZorak - November 27, 2007

Oh yay, paying for virtual product. Has regretted spending money on Magic Online?

7. NZorak - November 27, 2007

That second sentence was supposed to read Has anyone else regretted spending money on Magic Online?

Sorry for the temporary gastro-cranial inversion there.

8. Paul - November 27, 2007

Free to play, cashshop-funded MMO? No, thanks… had my share of them already. Cashshop is the highway to hell, basically reducing all the fun and gameplay into “who can shell out more money for premium stuff” competition. Some cashshop-funded games aren’ t even ashamed to introduce the deliberate errors and bugs that have to be fixed by using cashshop items.

Not speaking about l33tkidz who seem to flock in those F2P games. Can’ t already wait for all those Vulcans named XXXLeG0LaSsSXXX, serving on USS PU55YW4G0N, NCC-1337. :-/

9. Plum - November 27, 2007

This game effort is sucking, to use a technical term.

10. T2 - November 27, 2007

First we lost The Secret of Vulcan Fury, then Star Trek First Contact, then Borg Assimilator…all 3 of which looked to be great games (especially Secret of Vulcan Fury…breathtaking)…after everything they put towards it, it crashed in the end. I’m really hoping STO isn’t added to that list.

11. Decker - November 27, 2007

An interesting link related to this news story:

http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1313310/000136231007003149/c71677e6vk.htm

12. Sean - November 27, 2007

It has been nothing but bad news about STO every time they pop up in media. I have a strange feeling this game will either be canceled outright or made into a horrible free-to-play cash shop game. Everyone who has ever played a free-to-play cash shop game knows they have a difficult time getting people to buy their stuff and can’t even manage to keep their servers running well.

13. Izbot - November 27, 2007

I agree with 3! Shatner should be in this game! I think it would be a poor business choice if they don’t get Shatner! He’s more popular now than ever!

14. Ralph - November 27, 2007

#11 Decker

Looks like the investor Gravity($9million) has sold outright any ownership or money relating to Perpetual. It now depends on the new owners. There are no assets with a software developer. Just expenditures.
I doubt if Perpetual will have a deep pocket investor like Halo did with Microsoft.

15. Meh - November 28, 2007

Well this film is not a re-hash it has an original story hence why it is set in the late 24th century after the events of Nemesis.

16. Harry Doddema - November 28, 2007

This sounds like a very crappy rip-off of Second Life with a vaguely Star Trek inspired setting. Star Trek games are just never going to work, are they?

17. JB Gestl - November 28, 2007

Bridge Commander worked & is still working for me.

18. Olympus1979 - November 28, 2007

Can I PLEASE just get a freakin open ended Trek game on the PS3 and XBOX360?!?!?!!! Give me Star Trek GTA style PLEASE for the game that comes out with the new movie!!!

WE WANT OPEN ENDED STAR TREK!!!!!

19. Lyle - November 28, 2007

Shatner won’t be in STO… He’s too busy with his Shaman in World of Warcraft!

As a 3-year WoW veteran, I am excited about a Star Trek MMORPG, but not a cash-shop model. Online gaming shouldn’t be about who is richest in real life.

ST games can work – heck, I loved Shattered Universe on the PS2!

20. Pumpkin - November 28, 2007

Taldren all over again.

Yeesh.

21. OM - November 28, 2007

…A Star Trek version of Second Life. Does that give a new definition of Trekkies having NO lives a new meaning or what?

22. Olympus1979 - November 28, 2007

Trek game fans, I havnt played many Trek games because I hear such bad things about them, so let me ask this:

What is the BEST Trek game available for either PS2 or the PC????

23. JeFF - November 28, 2007

The BEST Trek games were all for the PC… and they are now very old and dated:

-Star Trek: The Next Generation: A Final Unity
-Star Trek: Klingon Academy
-Star Trek: Bridge Commander
-Star Trek: Elite Force (1 and 2)

The rest are a rotten shame.

I once read that JJ Abrams was going to ensure that Trek gamers were not abused any further… I wish he’d step up and meet that challenge, because it’s a sad sad story right now. Trek games are a disgrace compared to games like Halo. It’s not fair either, because they have so much they could do with an open-ended game, both shipboard and planetside… but it’s all just a lot of talk, a lot of promises, and a lot of dismal outcomes.

24. Warlock - November 28, 2007

Bridge Commander was very good, and you can still download mods for it.

25. oddballuk - November 28, 2007

I will not play it if the most wonderful William Shatner is not in it

26. Scotticus - November 28, 2007

The best Trek game was the Civilization/MOO style game Birth of the Federation. I am dying for an update to that.

27. CaptainlordBat - November 28, 2007

This has been “in production ” for wayyyy too long. Will never get off the ground. When will Paramount learn to invest their money into some thing that works?

28. Olympus1979 - November 28, 2007

23- thank you, im going to look into those games, ive had a craving to play a Trek game but I hear such bad things ive never bothered. An open ended game would be PERFECT for the Trek universe, and if we dont get it with STO, lets hope we do with the new game coming out along with the movie as you also alluded to…

29. LK - November 28, 2007

For shame, JeFF, you left out ’25th Anniversary’ and ‘Judgement Rites’. Both dated yet superb Trek games (also both similar to Final Unity).

30. T2 - November 28, 2007

25th Anniversary and Judgment Rites are classics. That would be interesting if they recreated one of those, used the dialogue from the 25th Ann or JR, and give a modern twist to it. It would be a last resort because the game is so good already, but if a new idea for a Trek game doesn’t come soon…Final Unity is my all-time favorite. Followed by Bridge Commander. The newest game, Star Trek: Conquest, for the Wii, I didn’t think I was going to like, but I actually liked how piloting and weapons on the ship worked with the Wii. They can go somewhere with that. I think Armada can be added to that list of best Trek games.

31. JeFF - November 28, 2007

I did neglect to include ’25th Anniversary’ and ‘Judgement Rites,’ but only because they are so dated. I think they are very enjoyable, but I don’t think I’d casually suggest them. I loved ‘The Kobayashi Alternative’ and ‘The Promethean Prophecy,’ but can you imagine even getting them to work now??

The game that I did forget actually was Deep Space Nine’s ‘The Fallen.’ That game was a pleasant surprise. Check that one out too.

‘Birth of the Federation’ also wasn’t bad… I have ‘Legacy’ for x-Box 360… dreadful gaming experience, but it sure looks pretty in HD on a 46″ LCD. ; )

32. Meh - November 28, 2007

BIRTH OF THE FEDERATION IS AWESOME I spend hours and hours playing that and I never get bored (apart from when I’m in peace time like I am now, I’m powerful enough to win but I cbf starting a war and losing ships and having to re-build and re-train from scratch)

33. miguel - November 28, 2007

Birth of the Federation was one of the best games ever made for Trek. Bridge Commander as well.

34. TJ Trek - November 29, 2007

What is all this about William Shater. Why should it matter if he is in it at all. I would like a game that involved a whole new set of characters etc. What I would like to see is a star trek mystery. The point is to find clues and information to solve a mystery, before something really catasrophic happens. They have to go to different planets and talk to diffrent people. This would put the crew in parilous situations, involving bad guys. And maybe even section 31 could make an apperance. You could easily through in a trip to deep space nine, etc, where you have a to a mysterious informant about some key information. There would be side missions implanted at the station, or on planets (like in the GTA games)

This would use the full scope of the Star Trek universe, and could possibly span the five series, if done right. Maybe the main story takes place in the TNG/DS9 era, but some of the back story for the mystery involves side games in the ENTERPRISE, or TOS era’s. and there would be potential to involve any of the VOYAGER characters as supporting players in the game. This would be so diffrent from every other star trek game that I think it would be a hit.

What do you guys think?

Any ideas for the actual story?

35. Mark Lynch - November 29, 2007

Wouldn’t it be great to get a wonderful film and as good a game to go with it?

36. Mark Lynch - November 29, 2007

Oh yeah, I’m definitely getting nervous as to whether we will ever see this Star Trek online game get completed and released.

Also, I would love to see “Secret of Vulcan fury” picked up by a daring developer and finished off. Today’s PCs would have no problem in running it. If anyone knows anyone in the industry, start dropping hints please…. :)
Perhaps we can get a petition going. ;)

37. Cervantes - November 29, 2007

#35 Mark Lynch

‘Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’ being released simultaneously with LEGO ‘Indiana Jones’ should fill your criteria… :)

38. Woulfe - November 30, 2007

I love that title….

Indiana Jones and the kingdom of the crystal skull

It’s so Saturday Mattenee from the 1940′s like

Talk about being true to your roots ;)

39. Francis - November 30, 2007

The problem with the game is CBS Consumer Products. They will give the license to anyone who will write a check and they lack any serious oversight during the development process.

Without serious internal resources at CBS devoted to gaming, you end up with a crap shoot. And since the Star Trek license has been in decline since DS9, the developers/publishers they can attract are mediocre at best.

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