Zipper "surprised" if someone matches MAG's 256 players

TVGB: "Sony threw quite the shindig to celebrate MAG's launch today, gathering 128 players in London to play the game at the same time, rounding off with a full 256 player match against Zipper Interactive in the US. TVGB played a few quick rounds, then ran upstairs to interview senior designer Scott Rudi before the big match. With the number of players in standard online shooters ever increasing, we asked if Rudi could ever see the magical 256 ever becoming the standard number for an online game, or if MAG was set to keep the record for a long time."

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-Alpha3197d ago (Edited 3197d ago )

I'm not sure how true the "only possible on PS3" PR talk is, but regardless, Sony has indeed proven to house unique talents who really push technical envelopes.

As for MAG, yes, the number and scope is impressive. The fact that MAG can run relatively smoothly against something like IWNet which hosts 18 players max with client hosting either outlines how great Zipper is or how garbage IW is.

Sony has put in a lot of effort and money into MAG. But make no mistake that anyone with enough money can make it possible. I don't doubt that this can be done on the 360 but since no one has tried, it's at best a speculation whether it can be done or not. This also makes me wonder what the hell MS does. Sony has great studios that are doing something different and offering something fresh while MS doesn't seem to do much. You'd think that it would be Sony playing it safe with their games but its actually Sony that's taking the risks.

As for MAG itself, I am still skeptical if its going to be anything special. Of course its a FPS so Im not expecting big changes. I do think that the 256 player scope adds a good variety of options (the skill trees for example are rich) and the feel of fighting for factions add personality to the game. I wonder though, with the lack of co-op or story how far it will go.

Anyways, congrats to Zipper for accomplishing this feat.

Now get MAG out and give us Socom 4.

Blaze9293197d ago (Edited 3197d ago )

Is that what they said? I'm PRETTY sure PC games can easily obtain/top that for an online shooter....

For a console then yeah, only possibly on ps3 no doubt.

Bubbles_Kitty_Cat3197d ago (Edited 3197d ago )

After playing the MAG beta I can safely say that MAG is nothing to be proud of.

If this game wasn't an exclusive it would be getting zero attention paid to it, but instead it is being hyped like the second coming. lol

This game is mediocre to the extreme, folks.

Arnon3197d ago

The title makes it seem like 256 players is all they have going for the game... It's an awesome achievement for consoles, but this just seems like more of a tech demo compared to the majority of PS3 exclusives.

Killjoy30003197d ago (Edited 3197d ago )

The difference is, this isn't a 360 "exclusive." We all know how those turn out. You can only find MAG on Playstation 3 and that's the only place you will ever find it.

SonyWarrior3197d ago

I preordered this game the beta was damn near flawless...

reneki3197d ago

dunno why so many pple disagreed with 1.2, i tried the game a few times and couldn't get hooked, which tells me something about the game.

Bathyj3196d ago

No reneki, it says more about him than it does the game.

What a shock, the guy with the cat on his head is b*tching about PS3. Again.

No one ever said MAG was everyone type of game. If you want to run around lonewolf style or your addicted to autosnap aiming then there are other less ambitious titles for you.

Its so typical that people would try and downplay the pure technical achievement that MAG is. If it were on XB people would be screaming about the sheer power of the machine.

shadow27973196d ago (Edited 3196d ago )

One area where the PS3 has a huge advantage over Xbox 360 is calculations. The Cell is incredible at calculations, that's why it's used for scientific purposes. MAG has a lot of calculations going on at once.

Now I'm not saying it's entirely impossible on X360, but there's a disadvantage right away. I also believe there are certain Xbox LIVE regulations that wouldn't allow a game like MAG, but I could be mistaken.

To those saying they didn't enjoy the game, please tell me you at least played one 256 player match.

Switching from Sabotage to a 256 player match was one of the most exhilarating experiences I've ever had with a videogame. Intense is the word.

badz1493196d ago

well, you know, trying to actually control 256 players at once with just team objectives and commands? it's not about making the 256 thing possible, it's about making it works as intended! it will not take long for any player to be curious about what the other battlefields in their current game looks like and start wandering over ignoring objectives (if that is even possible!) I wouldn't know because I haven't played the game. but still all the best to MAG! I'm staying away from online only MP game for awhile after warhawk and SOCOM:C. I'll keep my eyes on MAG

AKNAA3196d ago (Edited 3196d ago )

"I don't doubt that this can be done on the 360 but since no one has tried, it's at best a speculation whether it can be done or not."

Dude, I'm pretty sure they tried at least once after 4 years into their life cycle by now and even if they did, they still haven't even come close to 80 players, let alone 256! LOl!

I'm not the FPS type of player, but as far as I know, Resistance 2 had the most players online(60) console wise to date, unless I missed something from the 360?! But point being, if there is no sign of Lagging with 256 players, I might actually buy it since that is technically f#@kin impressive!

ColdFire3196d ago

How does this differ to a HUGE space battle in EVE?

Wh15ky3196d ago

"If this game wasn't an exclusive it would be getting zero attention paid to it, but instead it is being hyped like the second coming."

I don't see anything close to this level of hype anywhere. From what I see MAG has a modest fanbase, just like most games, even Lair and Too Human have fans.
From the comments I've read on MAG related stories alot of PS3 owners seem to be dismissing it and are calling Heavy Rain the first AAA exlcusive of 2010.

Pillage053196d ago

I was wondering, why does everyone who says they didn't enjoy the MAG beta get told that they suck at gaming and should go back to MW2?

Just seems like an odd conclusion to make.

I didn't think the MAG beta was hard, sniping was about as easy as it gets with so many people running around. I just didn't see the fun factor in it, even with the 256 player thing being an achievement and all, while I was playing, I couldn't help but feel how the game was destined for mediocrity. Not to mention I, like a lot of other gamers today, am getting a little burned out on the online multiplayer craze that has dominated this generation so far(halo, gears, cod, etc...). I'm looking forward to some single player driven games this year like heavy rain, gow3, and FFXIII.

2Spock3196d ago

I would also be suprised if someone could make a 256 person online shooter, and make it boring and generic. Sure they give you skill points to unlock new stuff and weapons and what not and your normal LVL grinding. But the gameplay is so terrible that i personally can not stand it.

gaffyh3196d ago

@1.12 - Exactly. On the other hand, if this was an Xbox 360 exclusive, every single Xbox-only owner would be shouting it from the rooftops. I played the beta for this, it was OK, but I killed one guy in the entire match. So it was too tactical for me and I probably won't get it, but anyone who likes SOCOM will like MAG, they are the same except one is TPS and one is FPS.

sikbeta3196d ago

Zipper Devs are talking about Consoles, so PC gamers don't need to feel like this is an offence or something

ryuzu3196d ago

Well I play a lot of PC games (and PS3, Xbox, Wii ... well whatever) and I'm still at a loss as to what PC games people are talking about when they say 256 is only a big deal because it's a *console*...

I can't think of any current PC games that manage to *successfully* deploy 256 players. Someone mentioned planetside before - that was a Sony game interestingly enough, but it also wasn't particularly good, had a subscription and was more like an MMO.

On that point, MMOs aren't comparable because for the most part their combat is not calculated dynamically and in real time (as MAG is) and often MMOs might involve large numbers of players spamming AI (rather than other players) or using instances to reduce numbers. So MMOs don't compare.

Anyway, regardless of the d!ck measuring, MAG is good because, of those games which do support large numbers of players, it's the first I've played where there is some decent form of organisation and control.

That is a pretty big obstacle to overcome and perhaps a bigger deal than just number of players.


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talltony3196d ago (Edited 3196d ago )

Why isnt Mag your dream come true game? With custom gun attachments and large 256 player battles, it just seems like a fps fans wet dream come true I mean just think about how awesome it is. 256 player online fps! What else do you want in a game?

TooTall193196d ago (Edited 3196d ago )

I'm going to give this game a try when it releases to see how much it has improved, but I'll tell you why I don't like it yet. The guns are not fun to shoot (most important thing in a FPS imo). The upgrade/customization tree is the worst I've seen. Poor animation. You spend most of the match playing with far fewer than 256 people. I also didn't like the level design. KZ2 is superior to MAG in everything but # of players, gun customization, and map size.

talltony3196d ago (Edited 3196d ago )

I honestly couldnt agree with you more. That was exactly my first impression of mag but then it grew on me and I saw it could be a blast to play especially with friends. What turned me off of the first beta was how terrible it looked so I didnt really give it a chance then. The second beta looked alot better to me with a much higher frame rate and it just started to be fun. Love customizing my soldier and upgrading weapons and being apart of crazy gigantic battles. You have to be up to level 10 to really enjoy it. I'm gonna buy mag cause I know i can have fun with it and thats what its all about.

TooTall193196d ago

Yeah that's why I'm giving it another shot. I'm not expecting as much out of it as some are but the end product should be a good experience. I do like the 3 factions.

talltony3196d ago

yea cool we both are tall and in the same boat lol.

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Chubear3197d ago (Edited 3197d ago )

Only other hope would be some other PS3 developer studio team. Heck, all other multiplat developers, et al, are still figuring out how to manage 8v8-12v12.

Bet anything some PS3 developer studio announces a ROME: Total War type game but only this one is 150v150 and with REAL players on the battle field not NPCs lol

Sony in-house developers are just beyond the rest. :)

Arnon3197d ago

I would NEVER play something like that. Holy d*ck does that sound like a mess. That would take away the entire premise of an RTS game. Yeah, once again, it would be a technical feat and basically a tech demo, but damn would it not be fun :(

Arnon3196d ago

Rofl really? People here actually believe that it would be fun to play an RTS where you only control 1 player, thus defeating the purpose of it being an RTS and just becoming a massive TPS?

Ok. There's really nothing to disagree with here, folks. Having everybody control 1 character would destroy the entire concept of the foundations of this game. Playing an RTS means that you control armies. You control their base of operations. You build up armies. You use strategies for who goes where and what does what. If you're not in control, then how exactly are you playing an RTS?

Can anyone give me a logical reason why you would disagree?

Xi3196d ago

considering that AI actually eats up cpu, and bandwith/networking, where as real players you just have to deal with bandwith/networking.

Chubear3196d ago

The ones that say "oh noes, CDs aren't needed for gaming" "256 players?! nah, that's too much. Just give me 8v8" "12v128? OMG LAG! and you'll be dying every 2 seconds LOL!" "256players on consoles? meh, 8v8 is better, plus, the wii can even do that so no biggy"

If it was up to your type of gamer, we'd still be playing games on cartridges.

Zipper has delivered a game you don't see on ANY gaming platform. Even on PCs it's a rarity unless dealing with heavy mods and even then they aren't that popular. To even compare it you'll have to use a whole other genre in MMOs to compare but yet, "meh, it's a PS3 exclusive that's never been seen or done before.. SO KILL IT!"

You say a game like what I mentioned would be a mess and you wouldn't want to play that sort of game, so you wouldn't even want a developer to try to bring such an experience to gamers cause you're content with last gen gaming experiences. That's great for you but tonnes of gamers want gaming to improve and get more visceral experiences than staying stale with same ol' mechanics in new skins.

Didn't the naysayers like you say MAG was impossible? that it couldn't work and be fun? well Zipper made it happen so why can't a talented developer studio make a game, like I just mentioned above, work too?

kneon3196d ago (Edited 3196d ago )

Actually such a game is a far more realistic version of an RTS. In real war the Commander in Chief/General/whatever doesn't really control everything, he gives orders to his subordinates which do the same on down the line until you get to the grunts, who may or may not follow orders.

That's exactly how MAG works. You have squads of 8 with a squad leader giving them orders. That squad leader is in communications with the other squad leaders in his platoon and the platoon leader. There are 4 squads to a platoon and 4 platoons in total on each team.

The platoon leaders can communicate with the squad leaders in their platoon as well as the other platoon leaders and the officer in command. The officer in command is giving the orders and each platoon leader will direct each of their squad leaders as needed to achieve the objectives.

So when you finally make it to the level of OIC then you are playing the most realistic version of an RTS you're ever going to get. Your success will not only depend on your strategy but also the effectiveness of the officers under your command and the front line soldiers.

Arnon3196d ago (Edited 3196d ago )

"The ones that say "oh noes, CDs aren't needed for gaming" "256 players?! nah, that's too much. Just give me 8v8" "12v128? OMG LAG! and you'll be dying every 2 seconds LOL!" "256players on consoles? meh, 8v8 is better, plus, the wii can even do that so no biggy"


"If it was up to your type of gamer, we'd still be playing games on cartridges."

I'm a PC gamer, and I'm being told by a PS3 gamer that an RTS where there's no "S" involved is some sort of new fangled next-gen tech?

This is why. Now learn what an RTS is before you make entire comments dedicated to absolutely nothing regarding previous posts. Chubear, I'm sorry, but you're an idiot.


This is a video game. It has nothing to do with realism, it has to do with the fact that people enjoy being the overseer of an entire army. How is it an RTS if everybody is controlling 1 person? I'm still asking this question, and everybody keeps dodging it.

I am very happy though that your post actually made sense. M.A.G. is an amazing game on paper, but again, these are real people, and the entire premise behind an RTS is that you're in command of everything. If people are playing each individual person, how exactly is that "Real-Time Strategy"?

ryuzu3196d ago

Do you really know what an RTS is? Your comments make so little sense I don't know if you're just trolling or being serious.

In fact the OP didn't mention RTS at all - he mentioned Total War which is very different to most games that are laballed as RTS's like Supreme Commander, COH, C&C etc.

So to use RTS to describe Total War is, in my opinion, not only inaccurate but also an insult to people who play Total War games (which are far deeper strategic games with some real-time tactical battles).

But that's a point about gaming, onto the general point - the reason it is cool for people to play a game with a proper chain of command and different roles is because each person can do what they find fun and/or are good at and yet still play with other people.

ARMA is a good example - at the basic infantry level it's an FPS/TPS. However, if you want you might take the role of attack helicopter pilot, or jet fighter pilot, or tank driver, or commander. When it works, it's very good - when everyone is playing together with an objective and they're coordinated by someone who is on the ball.

However, when it doesn't work, it's boring and no fun. If no one will take the command roles, if no one wants to fly the helicopters, or conversely if everyone wants to fly them - it all breaks.

So, the key to a game where hundreds of people play together, is to ensure that they can all do what they want to do and be coordinated.


kneon3196d ago

Well I still think if you are playing the OIC you are in effect playing an RTS because you are command of the entire battalion. You are "controlling" everyone on your team. The difference between this and a normal RTS is that when you give a command it may or may not be followed. The chain of command could break down at any point if someone goes rogue or just doesn't care. I like that level of realism though I understand those that don't, the game isn't for everyone.

I used to play a lot of RTS games but it was long long ago so I'm sure I would suck at the strategy aspect. Therefore I have no aspirations to being the OIC or platoon leader, though I may give squad leader a go.

So the game sounds great on paper but has the potential to descend into utter chaos. The amazing thing I found was that it really did work in real life. People generally did follow orders and tried to accomplish their objectives. Of course you always get some players that think its COD and run around trying to build up a kill streak but they die off soon enough. They will either adapt or will probably go away after not too long.

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Ninji3197d ago

Looks like Zipper will never be surprised by anything on the 360.

ATi_Elite3196d ago

256 players at once is awesome. Of course the graphics are going to take a hit for the sake of player control but this is an innovation.

As long as the gameplay is strong then it's OK to have mediocre graphics. Don't forget the PS3 is still just a console and not a PC.

Sevir043197d ago

seeing at launch they did 40 players, then 60 with R2, but Zipper with Mag, this is something unpresidented for console gaming. i am glad sony is showing Next gen starts with them. all the boundaries are really being pushed and i like that.