Myst MMO Uru resuscitated
Uru, the persistent-world Myst game canned by developer Cyan Worlds a year or two ago is back from beyond the pale, with the GameTap network set to run a beta of the game for 7,000 players. 500 gamers are already testing the game on behalf of the network, and the title is planned for a full release this Christmas.
MMO titles are notoriously risky developments, costing more than most titles and facing intense competition, but the Myst series is well-supported and has an incredibly strong sales pedigree, especially on the PC platform. Uru was left-unserviced by Cyan, but they were good enough to release a free, unsupported version of the title, which a community of fans have been diligently working on via GameTap.
The Uru community are already claiming victory over big publishers who fail to back titles like Uru, despite healthy and vocal support, with services like GameTap helping to fill in the gaps. "There are a number of factors now that I think will help it be successful," GameTap community manager Ron Meiners told GameSpot. "In many ways, it was ahead of its time. There's more broadband penetration now, and a lot more mainstream understanding of what an MMO is, due to World of Warcraft, Second Life, and other virtual experiences." Meiner actually worked as a community manager for Ubisoft, before the publisher withdrew support for the title.
Gamers and developers are hoping that the online title can earn new fans as part of the GameTap broadband network, and if Uru's re-emergence is completed this Christmas, it will serve as a lesson to publishers who lack faith in the communities that build-up around their games. More soon.