SOE Boards Pirate MMO

BOOM widget 46383 Sony Online Entertainment subsidiary Platform Publishing has formed a partnership with independent developer Flying Lab Software to publish the studio's upcoming pirate-themed MMO Pirates of the Burning Sea. The game--which is nearing completion--will take place in the Caribbean circa 1720, and will allow players to compete in ship-to-ship combat, complete over one thousand missions, and explore dozens of conquerable ports.

"Platform Publishing and SOE possess a level of expertise and success in sales, marketing and distribution that makes them the perfect co-publisher for Pirates of the Burning Sea," said Flying Lab CEO Russell Williams.

Based on past SOE public relations debacles over games such as Star Wars Galaxies, in addition to the company's recent acquisiton of Vanguard: Saga of Heroes developer Sigil Games Online, Flying Lab was quick to allay fears that the publisher would be gaining any power over the development of the game. "We're self-financed and beholden to no one," read a post by Williams on Flying Lab's website. "Flying Lab is in good shape. We made this decision because we wanted to, not because we had to."

The developer went on to explain their new relationship with SOE, asserting that Flying Lab will retain complete ownership of the game and keep most of the revenue from sales. "If Pirates isn't good, if you don't like how the game is designed, or how the servers are operated, or how we interact with our community, it'll be our fault, not SOE's. We own the game and the buck stops here," added Williams.

Pirates of the Burning Sea is due out this fall, with an expanded beta test scheduled to hit within the next few weeks. SOE sent along a few new screenshots of the game.