Today at Comic-Con, the Cartoon Network announced FusionFall, which it described as “the first AAA, browser-based massively multiplayer online game (MMOG).” (The “AAA” qualification is probably meant to distinguish it from low-budget, web-based MMOGs like Runescape.)
Set to be released this fall, the game will incorporate characters from the network’s many shows. Given the Cartoon Network’s enormously popular web presence (5 million monthly uniques in the U.S. alone, according to Nielsen/NetRatings), FusionFall could be huge. I think it’s also a giant affirmation of the web as a viable platform for MMOGs, as opposed to downloadable clients (which take time and effort to install) or the software sold at retail (which are more costly for consumers and publishers.)
The Cartoon Network’s game is being developed on the Unity graphics engine, which is architected to run video game-quality 3D graphics on the web. Separately, Unity 3D said today that Funcom, developers of the retail-driven MMOG Age of Conan, are developing a casual MMOG on their web-based platform. In last year’s GigaOM Top Ten MMO list, at least half were browser-driven. I’m guessing that when we next update it, web-ified MMOs will dominate even more.
Image credit: www.fusionfall.com