The other day Talyn took a somewhat pessimistic look at where Turbine is and what might happen to the company in regards to its IPs. I think there are some valid points to be had here, but what got me thinking is how three of its four games are tied to specific intellectual properties, with all of the blessings and pitfalls therein.
Talyn went on to speculate about Asheron’s Call, the least-of-the-least game in the Turbine library and the only one that is wholly owned by the studio in terms of IP.
The interesting question to me is, what if Turbine was working on a possible Asheron’s Call 3? The resurrection of Asheron’s Call 2 was really bizarre for many reasons — it came out of the blue, it was and continues to be downplayed by the studio, and it’s only available for those who sub up to AC1. I have tried several times to get Turbine to talk to me about Asheron’s Call 2 and each time they’ve claimed to be too busy or not interested in discussing this subject.
It’s just a weird, under-the-radar type situation that could very well be nothing more than a pet project that the studio allowed, figuring that if it gained or retained more subs, why not? But there’s also the theory that Turbine might be gauging interest in the franchise and fiddling around with both games as a prelude to a much more modern sequel to AC.
If they’re working on such a game, I haven’t caught a whiff of it yet. There’s good reason to assume that they’re not, since they’re probably not rolling in as much revenue as they were a few years ago and their potential big moneymaker is with Infinite Crisis. But perhaps there’s a small team working on AC3 somewhere, which makes me wonder if gamers would really respond to a new Asheron’s Call in this day and age.
On one hand, a new MMO done with any semblance of skill is noteworthy, sequel or famous IP or not. I always thought that AC has one of the most original game settings that tried really hard not to be just another generic fantasy MMO, and that would be most welcome today. Plus, we’re in an era of MMO sequels, from Guild Wars 2 to EverQuest Next to RuneScape 3.
On the other hand, if Turbine doesn’t have the resources and manpower to pull off a really big MMO, an Asheron’s Call 3 could be dismissed outright before gamers even saw it. It would have to provide more than just a graphical update to the old game worlds to be considered as a serious contender for gameplay time. And there just might not be an audience out there at all for such a game. AC2 tanked back when there weren’t a billion fantasy MMOs out there, and resurrection or not, that thought has to weigh on any decision that the studio makes.
So this might just be a flight of fancy. AC3? Probably will never happen. But… it’d be pretty cool if it did.