Project C is an MMO from the folks behind Dishonored, Thief, Half-Life 2

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One of my favorite parts of getting a press release is getting a press release that doesn’t reveal any information about the game itself. You get a vague promise about a game that might happen someday if some people get together. Normally, I don’t give that much of my time. This announcement is different. There’s a new MMO and the folks behind it represent some of my favorite games in recent memory. I think you’ll be stoked on this too.

Darewise Entertainment is revealing their new massively multiplayer online game, code-named Project C. What we’ve been told is that there is an emphasis on “memorable gameplay moments” which is, admittedly, as flimsy as a press release can possibly be. But beyond that there is a virtual world, fully simulated ecosystems, and a system that acknowledges permanent choices. Sure okay cool. Here’s what really matters:

Project C is creatively spearheaded by the visionary talents of Thief designer Randy Smith and Dishonored and Half-Life 2art director Viktor Antonov. The pair is supported at Darewise by a crew of industry professionals bearing considerable AAA experience across a number of world-renowned franchises.

Awwwwwww hell yes. Gimmie that game. Gimmie that game. Don’t care that I have no idea what it is; come play the game with me.

An announcement video about Antonov joining the team is available here.

Previously, Darewise has released ROKH which was a survive-em-up Mars game we previously covered here.

Here’s two images from the forthcoming mystery MMO.

projectc_keyart_canyon_logo

projectc_keyart_ship_logo

And here’s a teaser image for the teaser name of the game. I…. I think we can do better than Project C and maybe we should get there sooner rather than later? Or who knows? Maybe that’s the appropriate response.

projectc_logoblack

So, yes, that all looks cool? I don’t know. Sure. Lemme at that weirdo alien stuff.

Here’s an image from the game’s site which does a bit of showing off. I get it: you managed to get all of the most talented people from across the industry. Stop showing off. (j/k this lineup gives me The Thirst and I very much want to see where this goes from here.)

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Darewise continues to grow, actively recruiting further first-class talent to make Project C, and many other exciting endeavours, a reality. Next to Randy Smith and Viktor Antonov, key members at Darewise have years of experience in the industry, including founder and CEO Benjamin Charbit (Assassin’s Creed), executive producer Vincent Marty (Ghost Recon, Might & Magic), lead artist Bradley Jeansonne (Call of Duty, DOOM, Halo), system designer Rémy Boicherot (Mafia), lead programmer Aurélien Caussin (Ghost Recon) and technical director Samuel Kahn (The Division, Ghost Recon).

So yeah. I’m stoked on this. I love being excited for things that I have no concept of what they can even be. But I wish I could be a fly in this room to just hear all the good ideas gettin’ pitched around.

38 Comments

  1. Jayblanc says:

    Might be an idea to put “Thief (1998)” in there, so people don’t think you mean the terrible remake?

    • woodsey says:

      Weirdly, the Thief logo in the “Games we’ve worked on” image is from the terrible remake.

    • Bilateralrope says:

      Especially when a big part of MMOs is their open world and one of the big problems with the Thief remake was it having a really annoying open world. Having to keep repeating the same stealth sections because I need to go from one end of the world to another got annoying really quickly.

    • Psychomorph says:

      Or “Thiaf”, if it is the terrible remake.

  2. malkav11 says:

    I mean, those are some good games (well – with the exception of Wildlands, but even that has some points in its favor), but only one of them is even adjacent to being an MMO (The Division) and being good at making quality singleplayer games says nothing in particular about making a worthwhile MMO. It does say “you know what you could do that would be way better and also not trying to make a splash in a genre that’s largely dead and tends to have most of its playerbase locked into one genre game at a time? A singleplayer game.”

    • Masked Dave says:

      Exactly this.

      I don’t think it’s possible for me to get excited about an MMO announcement, but especially not one from people who I wish were making a single player game instead.

  3. poliovaccine says:

    Yyyyeah, wake me up when they’re making something singleplayer.

  4. geldonyetich says:

    The pedigree sounds good, but virtually every MMORPG ever made the same claim, typically delivering only a grind theme park. I hope you don’t fault me for feeling skeptical after hearing it again for the 100th time.

    • haldolium says:

      Absolutely this.

      Also announcing some mysterious game, putting some (quite frankly boring in this case) concept art in it, be light on the actual game is quite common as well.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      I don’t think I’ve been genuinely excited about a game in development since Horizons circa 2001. This was shortly after Ultima Online had peaked, so there was a lot of hope for what MMOs could be if they carried on in that vein. Fortunately I didn’t have to wait until release to be disappointed by it; they had already kicked out the lead designer with the grand vision and made clear their intentions for a scaled-down game.

      It’s not impossible to build this sort of game. It just requires a lot more resources than anybody has been willing to invest, so at best you get something vaguely resembling the promise with every possible corner cut. You also need to do real design work, combining true creativity with a lot of grunt work in testing and redesign. Copying the theme park is so much easier.

    • Psychomorph says:

      Absolutely this.

      MMO’s are leading my ignore list.

  5. Bilateralrope says:

    >fully simulated ecosystems

    Sounds like a lot of dev time spent on something that won’t have much effect. Though we do need more detail.

    >and a system that acknowledges permanent choices.

    When I think of permanent choices in games, most examples I can think of are:
    – A storyline choice. Which is only going to matter if parts of the endgame are locked behind specific choices.

    – You made the wrong choice when levelling up your character. If you want to fix it, you need to make a new character.

    – The levelling up choice you made was correct when you made it. But we released a patch that turned your choice into the wrong one.

    When I think of permanent choices in MMOs, only two examples come to mind:
    – Doing something that gets you permanently banned.
    – Other players remembering what you did to them in Eve Online.

  6. indigochill says:

    They may have individually worked on some great games before, but so far their only release as a studio, Rokh, has fallen completely flat. Sure, a studio can release a dud and then hit a home run, but they don’t have my confidence at this point.

    • Aetylus says:

      ROKH seems to have been equally panned by both RPS and Steam reviewers, so that quite an achievement.

      That said, anything by the Art Director behind Dishonoured has got my attention. I reckon I could get a good ten hours enjoyment just walking up and down gazing on a virtual Turner Thames without even worrying about gameplay. Apparent the guy also worked on that Half Life game… I’ve not played it but it seems lots of people liked it.

      • KenTWOu says:

        That said, anything by the Art Director behind Dishonoured…

        Sébastien Mitton was Art Director of Dishonored 1 and 2. Credit where credit’s due and all that.

        • Aetylus says:

          Google tells me you’re right… though I have no idea the difference between and Art Director (SM) and a Visual Design Director (VA). Credit to both I guess.

          Actually, who I really think deserves the credit is whoever managed to make something so painterly into a video game engine. Its one thing to do it on oil and canvas, quite another to render it into a game. (And I’ve really no idea who is most responsible for that).

      • brucethemoose says:

        That’s exactly what I got out of SWTOR.

        I would just wander around listening to the music, looking over cliffs and at walls, listening to the NPCs… And then I’d get in a fight, and be reminded that the gameplay makes me suicidal.

        Might give it another go too. Since KOTFE has healer companions and an easy mode, I can just script the same few attacks and read something off screen when I get into a fight.

  7. SaintAn says:

    I don’t even trust that this will be an MMO, let along a decent one. And that games they worked on list makes me care about this even less.

  8. racccoon says:

    Circular targets :)

  9. Captain Narol says:

    The teaser pictures are absolutely beautiful, and the ideas sounds interesting, I’m definitely hyped for this Project C ! (but I hope it’s just a working name because it’s really bland)

  10. leeder krenon says:

    An MMO? What a waste of talent.

  11. jwebmeister says:

    It’s not just me, is it? Project C…oc…? With the shape of the letter as well…?

  12. Bjoershol says:

    I’ll admit to getting a little bit exited hearing some of those titles, but unfortunately I gave up on trying to like MMOs years ago.

  13. Stevostin says:

    Where does the money come from? How much is there of it?

    • brucethemoose says:

      The answer is probably not enough.

      I’m all for games from smaller developers, but it’s hard to create the amount of content that would make an MMO interesting without a giant pile of cash.

      You can go for Minecraft style where the players construct the fun themself, but A: that’s seemingly impossible to pull off, based on empirical evidence, and B: they’re going for something story driven based on the description.

      This is going to start off promising, and end up as 1/10th the game the devs were envisioning, like so many before it.

  14. Jokerme says:

    Did they really work on those as creative forces or were they just serving tea to the team? How do we know they were not just office boys? These kind of boasts further me away from unproven studios.

  15. Don Reba says:

    You have to wonder, what happened to projects A and B.

  16. Kinsky says:

    Oh boy, that “Games We Worked On” logo collage is like a greatest hits of franchises that were good in the 90s and/or early 2000s but have since been reduced to shambling, hypermonetized shells of their former selves.

  17. KidWithKnife says:

    Color me somewhat interested. The lack of information isn’t super helpful, but I do still like MMORPGs and just the fact that serious pros are actually trying to make one these days and not trying to call it some other kind of game gets my attention. I won’t be shocked if it fizzles or if the game sucks, but I’m optimistic enough to keep this project in mind.

  18. NuclearSword says:

    Strange that talent focused almost exclusively on single player games would want to go MMO, especially in today’s marketplace (unless it’s, like, being targeted at China or something). Why wouldn’t they play to their strengths?

    At any rate, Rokh doesn’t fill my with confidence, despite the big names here. Big names went to places like Otherside Entertainment too, but the scope of a game like Underworld Ascendant is much different than an MMO. Hopefully when they show this project properly, it looks promising.

    This is certainly one to put on the radar, but right now, it’s just not enough to go by.

  19. DatonKallandor says:

    You had me at MMO.

    No wait that’s wrong. You lost me at MMO.

  20. fenriz says:

    An MMO? Good. Sandbox, though, completely and entirely sandbox, no instances, no “tiers”, just simulation. No quests

    And i want to be able to interact with the world. How? I want to click once on things to have a description, double click to try to use them, either with a skill or just poke it, crack it, eat it.

    I want that. Give it, now.

  21. Jodomar says:

    A game already did this called Empyrion. So I am not really impressed by this.

    • brucethemoose says:

      The description sounds more like a big Eco server, which would actually be pretty neat.

      But yeah, I was disappointed with Empyrion too. I was hoping for StarMade shipbuilding with populated servers and something better to shoot at, but it was all just a planet grind when I tried to play.