Browsing in a video game store the other I came across the new PS3 games, MAG. MAG stands for Massive Action Game (original and inventive title, I thought) which intrigued me so I had a look at the blurb: a game set in 2025 where world peace has been broken by mercenary type groups who work on behalf of nations and against eachother (in order to raise demand and therefore price). You work your way up through the ranks and lead huge armies of men in the varying missions. Sounds like another FPS set in a war-time future. However, there is one big change.
MAG is an online only game. If you don't have an internet connection with your PS3 then this game is useless to you: no single player offline mode, only online multiplayer! The huge armies which players can lead are made up of other live players and only those who have played the game through quite a bit will be in a position to lead those groups. Logging onto the official MAG website, you can receive an interactive, fictional new broadcast, introducing the background to the game, you can check the latest stocks for the three main companies who even have their own real life website for players to use and interact with (SVER, Raven and Valor). It's a fully live action, real time, interactive alternative reality for users to escape and fall into.
Is this the future for video games? There are already ideas for the purging of hard copies of video games, making all software downloadable only. This form of game also gives up the need for AI (artificial intelligence) making games development that little bit easier. The phenomenon that is Call of Duty has already made full use of the online potential of FPS games, is it coming to all games being online? I still don't really know what I think about this singularly online idea with video gaming...only time will tell.