Wheel of Time MMO
When I were a lad the first book I read that really got me into the fantasy genre was Eye of the World by Robert Jordan. Until then I pretty much only read trashy sci-fi based on Aliens and Predator, Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Star Trek and Star Wars, throw away novels that tantalised me with tales of my favourite characters but didn’t offer much (in most cases anyway) of an epic storyline. Being introduced to the Wheel of Time saga changed all of that though and gripped me in a way that my previous reading material never did. It set me up on my long road of progression to become an avid reader of “mature” novels (as in “grown up”, not as in “adult”) and over the next seven years I lapped up nine of the WoT volumes (until eventually the gaps between releases became so great that I forgot everything that happened and gave up).
I hadn’t touch any of Jordan’s books for well over seven years until a couple of weeks ago I suddenly, for no apparent reason, felt the masochistic urge to start reading them again. So, thanks to modern technology, I downloaded the first novel onto my Kindle in a split second and embarked on some nostalgic eye-to-brain pleasure. The original book isn’t perfect but I’m still finding it very enjoyable a second time round and, the more I read it, the more I keep thinking about a Wheel of Time MMO…
Maybe it’s the obvious ties to Lord of the Rings or just the fact that Jordan was probably one of the key players in giving birth to modern fantasy but there’s something quite appealing about the idea of a WoT MMORPG. It offers a huge world, backed with tons of lore and filled with obvious goodies and baddies and plenty of different cultures and iconic roles, all of which just beg to be populated by virtual inhabitants. Although an online WoT game would probably lend itself more to the traditional type of RPG inspired MMO rather than anything particularly innovative, it still could be a lot of fun and certainly would have the fan base to give the thing a hefty kick start.
Funnily enough, I did a little digging in preparation for this article and it turns out that rumours of a WoT MMO have already been circulating for years. Apparently a few years ago a developer (anyone know who?) even started worked on a MMO called Wheel of Time: Ta’veren but it was shut down because Robert Jordan didn’t approve the concept (he had full rights to the IP at the time). No reason was given (at least that I can find) and nothing was mentioned since.
Of course now the old boy’s dead and a company called Red Eagle Entertainment has secured the rights to the whole Wheel of Time IP, apparently with plans to not only release a MMO but also a series of films to tie in with it. That was a couple of years ago and all has been quite hush-hush since then with even the Red Eagle Games website containing very little info about what they’re doing other than the fact that they signed a distribution deal with EA back in January 2009 and partnered up with Obsidian Entertainment at the start of this year.
It’s all rather strange as, for such a big IP, there seems to very little information or marketing hype about the proposed MMO which really makes me doubt it’s future and how realistic it is that it will see the light of day (or be any good).
Anyway, one can dream.