By John Walker on February 24th, 2011 at 5:59 pm.
Because Doctor Who is a thing that exists, and because there is an internet with games on it, there is going to be a free-to-play Doctor Who MMO. The BBC’s commercial arm (which is about to be lopped off in sacrifice to the mad god Cameron), BBC Worldwide, has announced that further to their pretty poor third-person action-adventure game things, there will be a massively multiplayer game based on the license. To be developed by indie team Three Rings (Puzzle Pirates), it’s called Doctor Who: Worlds In Time, and is due out some time later this year.
It doesn’t seem an enormously natural fit to take a TV programme that’s about, at most, three people saving the universe, and then dilute that down to the unwashed masses. Will the Doctor have decided that he doesn’t get to smooch enough people and taken on thousands of assistants to snog his way through? Or will it turn out that actually there’s loads of Time Lords still alive, and we’ll all be off meddling with the continuum? No answers to my questions are available just yet, beyond that we will,
“follow in the footsteps of the eccentric and brilliant Doctor by travelling through time and space, exploring new worlds and encountering many alien races, both friend and foe.”
And indeed that we will “enter the TARDIS”. I’m not sure how that will work, masses of players all trying to fit into that one tiny telephone box… HANG ON. We will be set a challenge by the good Doctor, to help him defend civilised culture against “infamous Doctor Who enemies”. Who’s to say who’s civilised? How rude. The Daleks may shout a lot, but they seem pretty cultured.
So far what we know about the game itself is that we’ll,
“solve time-bending puzzles and pulse-pounding challenges”
according to BBC Worldwide man Robert Nashak. Fortunately they’re not developing it to deliberately be no fun at all, according to the press release.
“Doctor Who: Worlds in Time is developed to be both highly engaging and fun, allowing players to socialize and foster genuine cooperation, building a global community where fans worldwide will now be able to experience firsthand the exciting action and adventure synonymous with Doctor Who.”
There’s no word on whether Steven Moffat will be involved in the story, nor indeed if any Who stalwarts are on board to keep things in canon. Imagine if the Gargorthons met the Pixen! I mean, that would totally mean the Planet Of Gradd would never have escaped from the Ice Death in Praxia Prime VII, meaning that the Doctor would have been trapped for eternity in the Ring Of Ipeptide! Who’s keeping an eye on this?!