PlanetSide 2 is one of the best-looking MMOs out there, and Sony Online Entertainment knows it. Powered by an engine it calls "ForgeLight," SOE plans on developing its upcoming games exclusively on the engine.
"Every internal product that we make from here on out will use ForgeLight," senior art director Tramell Isaac told Shacknews at GDC. "We can put 2000 people on a server, and we can have all those guys running at 60fps. We can have upwards of 200 on screen at one time. You can't do that with any other MMO, period. You just can't do that. Then on top of that, you can do it with visual fidelity that's comparable with any other first person shooter out there."
By making all of its future games on the same engine, Tramell says that SOE "can easily pump out new MMOs in the future."
However, PlanetSide 2 is an incredibly demanding game, with less than ten percent of players able to run the game at maximum settings. Wouldn't the switch to ForgeLight shrink SOE's potential audience for future games? Not so, Tramell argues. "The engine can be dialed down back to wherever we want to put it," he said. "Every other game that's made doesn't need the visual fidelity that PlanetSide 2 does. It can be anywhere from the visual fidelity of WOW... but that's the choice of the development team. It can be dialed back any way we want to."
Oddly, one topic SOE is being silent on is PlayStation 4. SOE has released a number of multi-platform games in the current generation, including FreeRealms and DC Universe Online. However, there's no word on how SOE will support Sony's upcoming console. Given the PC-like architecture of their next system, it seems inevitable that SOE will release a game on PS4. Unfortunately, all Tramell had to tell us was: "I would say that Sony makes some really good products. And we'd like to be a part of that."
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