In his CV, a business development person at Ubisoft's Swedish studio Massive mentions that he is "Working on the Business strategy of [a] tens of millions euros project based on a top grossing brand of Ubisoft. " He also talks about conceiving an "Acquisition, Retention and Monetization strategy" and the "prototyping of F2P games," suggesting that this is an online free-to-play title.
Word of Massive's MMO ambitions is not new, though there has been no indication previously that this is connected to an existing Ubisoft brand. Several days after Ubisoft officially acquired Massive in November 2008, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot told investors that Massive would focus on the MMO space, beginning with smaller-scale MMO games popular in Asian markets and expanding to full-fledged "RPG and RTS also in the MMO space." At the time, many guessed it might be a Tom Clancy brand MMO, given Guillemot's comments from earlier that year stating that a massively multiplayer Clancy game was at the top of his company's agenda.
Massive has been hiring for their MMO project for quite some time. In late 2009, the studio put up a few programmer openings for its "MMORPG team." In 2011, Massive posted openings for MMO level designers to build "a compelling long-term player experience from the ground up." Last May, a Danish gaming site noticed a job listing on Massive's site for a PVP designer to work on "a highly ambitious AAA Next-gen Online RPG project." A version of the posting on an external jobs portal described the game as a "AAA MMO title," and asked for candidates with "Experience playing PvP at a high level in a major MMO" and "developing third-person action games." Massive already worked on Assassin's Creed: Revelations, leading some to speculate that Massive was developing an online title related to the top-selling historical sandbox franchise, which has supplanted the Clancy-verse as Ubisoft's premier core brand.
Since being acquired by Ubisoft, Massivepreviously known for RTS games such as Ground Control and World in Conflicthas contributed to several of Ubisoft's major titles. Massive turned a small abstract puzzle game the studio was working on into the puzzle-based Desmond Journey sequences in Assassin's Creed Revelations, after the Assassin's Creed team took notice of Massive's puzzle project. (I wonder if any of the other disparate gameplay elements in the series came about this way.) The studio also created Far Cry 3's multiplayer and co-op modes, and houses the team behind the Uplay PC client.
Additionally, several weeks ago Massive posted a job opening for a programmer to make mobile iOS/Android games in relation to a project that "is very ambitious and is breaking new ground for the industry of gaming and entertainment and is reaching out to both existing and completely new types of customers." Perhaps this Massive MMO has a mobile component?
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