Tabula Rasa - Richard Garriott Interview @ GamesIndustry.biz
This is actually the second part of an interview with Richard Garriott on the MMO market but it deals substantially with Tabula Rasa, so we'll file it that way:
Tabula Rasa has been in development for over five years. What's been taking it so long? Has there been a game play feature, technology, or business plan that has been dominating your team's focus?
We looked at online games that [NCsoft] have developed across the globe, and we think three years is minimum [development time] for a big MMO, and five years is the longer end. Obviously, Tabula Rasa has been longer than that.
One of the reasons why it ended up being quite so long has to do with a change we did about two years in. For the first two years, we had built a team to try to find this "hybrid" game design that would have equal amounts of mass appeal in the Western territories as well as the Eastern territories.
What we discovered was for all practical purposes an unsolvable problem, going back to the character iconography I was describing. We ended up making so many compromises that neither group thought that [the game] was compelling.
We're [now] going to make a game we here in the US understand well. And once the game is finished, then we'll make modifications for the Eastern territories.
Information aboutTabula Rasa