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Lead Designer Kevin O’Hara interviewed

The lead designer of The Agency, Kevin O'Hara have been interviewed by MMO Gamer. So far there's not that much information out about this upcoming MMO from Sony Online Entertainment. This interview gives you some pretty interesting insight.

The MMO Gamer: I guess my first question is: Why spies? You have the two basic core archetypes, fantasy and Sci-Fi, and then they kind of branch off from there…

What was the impetus behind the selection of this setting?

Kevin O’Hara: I think it was looking at the market share and seeing what was needed in the space. There are a lot of fantasy games out there, and there are a lot of good science fiction games that are coming out.

For an action shooter, which is what we really wanted to make, the most successful ones tend to be near-future, or present-day contemporary, modern weapon games. The spy genre is particular successful not only in the mainstream console games, but also in PC games and especially in movies.

You know, James Bond, the Bourne Supremacy, all those movies really show us that in order to hit a mainstream audience we should go for something more contemporary that people can instantly identify with.

The MMO Gamer: This isn’t the first time SOE has tried to make a shooter. I played PlanetSide, from beta through launch, and I seem to recall it not doing particularly well once it went live.

What made you decide to go back and try, try again?

Kevin O’Hara: First, I liked PlanetSide as a game, but its fundamental flaw was that it was a PvP only game, and massive battle only game. It lacked good instant action where you could just get to the fun and start playing and shooting things without having to go through any waiting for shuttles, or things of that sort.

So, I think we’ve learned a lot of lessons from PlanetSide.

But also, the team we have that we’ve built in Seattle has a lot of experience with first person shooters, or even action shooters, so we really wanted to leverage that experience: what makes first and foremost a good shooter game, and then apply all of our MMO knowledge to make it a good persistent world game, as well.

Read the full interview here.

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