Last week, DC Universe Online celebrated its 5th year anniversary with a special stream filled with announcements. Among the reveals is that two universes collide a week from today, a concept that DC Comics is very much familiar with. The PlayStation 4 and PC user bases will come together, as DCUO opens up cross-play between the two platforms. That's not all, as another segment of DC Universe Online is about to open up, with the MMORPG making its long-awaited Xbox One debut.
There's a lot to take in here, so to learn more about what's coming down the pipe, Shacknews spoke to DC Universe Online Creative Director SJ Mueller about future content, branching out to new horizons, and the game's evolution over the course of five years.
Shacknews: First off, congratulations on five years. I'm certain the team never doubted they'd reach this point. But now that we're here, let me ask, what makes now the right time to implement cross-play between PC and PlayStation 4?
SJ Mueller, Creative Director: Thanks! It has been an incredible 5 years, and 2016 is looking to be just as great. Cross-platform play between the PlayStation and PC is definitely something that has been seriously considered for a long time. It took a lot of things coming together with external partners and internal resources, but it’s finally here! We are beyond excited about bringing our current communities together.
Shacknews: I certainly understand what's preventing cross-play with Xbox One, but what would prevent cross-play with PlayStation 3?
Mueller: Not a thing! To clarify, cross-play will be available between the PC, PS4 and PS3 the week of January 25, 2016. More details about cross-play can be found in our FAQ.
Shacknews: What made the team want to branch out to Xbox One?
Mueller: Players have been asking for DC Universe Online to be playable on the Xbox for quite some time and it's something we have always wanted to do as well. When we became Daybreak last year, we almost immediately started laying the groundwork for an Xbox One version, and we are very excited about the game’s debut on Xbox this spring.
Shacknews: Will Xbox One players need to start completely from scratch? Is there any chance they'll be able to bring their PS4 or PC characters over? And how will you handle premium content, like the downloadable episodes? Will all of that content be available individually or will new Xbox One players have an option to download them all in a bundle?
Mueller: We are still finalizing details, but our main goal is to make sure Xbox One players have the best experience possible when DCUO launches on that console this year. We will share more info in the coming months.
Shacknews: Tell me about the new Water power set. What will kind of moves will players be able to pull off with these new Water powers?
Mueller: We're really excited for players to finally be able to harness the power of water in DCUO! Taking inspiration from Mera (Tide-Calling) and Aqualad (Hydrokinetics, Water Constructs), this power is going to look and play wonderfully. Along with new water visual and sound effects, we also intend to add in new character animations for this power set. We want players to really feel as if they are bending water to their will.
Shacknews: I'm intrigued by the new Superman Storyline lined up for the future. What can you tell me about it? Is it based on an existing comic storyline, like the New Krypton arc? And what other stories are you planning for the future?
Mueller: Players have been eagerly awaiting the return of Superman in DCUO, and our team created some great content that brings him back in a big way, and with a whole crew of Superman-family characters, including Supergirl, Zod, Superboy, Lex Luthor and more. We were also inspired by several comics, such as New Krypton and Last Son, when designing the upcoming Superman-themed content.
Shacknews: Is the team planning anything for players that have stuck with DC Universe Online since day one?
Mueller: We greatly appreciate all of the support our players have given us over the last five years. To show our appreciation and to celebrate our five-year anniversary, we are giving all players that log into DCUO this January a special emblem for their character and framed DC Bombshells poster for their base.
Shacknews: What do you feel has been the biggest change to DCUO since it first launched back in 2011?
Mueller: That's a tough question and I’m not sure I can pick just one. We are an always-expanding universe, so we have grown a lot in the last five years. Since launch, we transitioned to a free-to-play game, added a ton of features such as armories and bases, launched on the PlayStation 4, more than doubled the number of power sets in the game, added over 20 episodes of new content, introduced more than 40 characters to our Legends roster and so much more.