Flash MMOs

I'm starting a new company, Jetbolt Games, this month. I'm very excited about it! For the last few years I've worked with Alex Carobus for a company we co-founded, Wild Shadow Studios. Together we made Realm of the Mad God, a massively co-op browser MMO shooter. Alex is an extremely talented and hard working person and I am very lucky to have had the chance to spend so much time working with him.

I hope to revisit Realm of the Mad God in this blog, but for now I'd like to say a few words about Flash MMOs. I think Flash games are great, and I think MMOs are great, but both have serious weaknesses. But like peanut butter and chocolate, when the two come together something magical happens.

Flash games as most people think of them are quirky, innovative little games you play in your browser, for 10 seconds or 3 hours. They engage the player immediately -- they have to, because there are literally a thousand more Flash games a click or two away. They are single player experiences which you play for a while and then forget about.

MMOs, traditionally, are enormous 3D mostrosities that require hours to download, a serious 3D graphics rig, massive amounts of hard drive space, and a monthly subscription. But MMOs have compelling online communities that engage players for months or years.

In many ways Flash games and MMOs are opposites, but when an MMO becomes a Flash game, an amazing transformation occurs. The download time goes away, because Flash gamers have very little tolerance for something that is not fun from the get-go...and loading screens are not fun. The requirement to register or pay before playing disappears. The hardware demands mostly just vanish. But the community and long-term engagement of the MMO come along for the ride. You get a new, different, better thing.