The Agency News
This week in the Way Back Machine, MMORPG.com's own Drew Wood takes a look back at Dana Massey's preview of SOE's ill-fated game, The Agency from 2009's E3.
The Agency was one I wanted to see blow the fringe-MMO competition away. As a life-long James Bond movie fan, the super-spy world was one I always wanted to tinker around in, and in all honesty, from what we had seen of the Agency, it looked like they might actually effectively pull it off. Of course… we hadn't seen all that much, had we?
Read the whole thing here.
Sony Online Entertainment has confirmed that along with the layoffs and studio closures that leaked onto the web today, The Agency has closed its doors.
Although news is bad for the fans of the perpetually flagging FPS-style spy MMO, things look decidedly better for fans of the EverQuest and Planetside franchises as the developers were quick to point to those two upcoming titles as the reason for Agency's cancellation.
"As part of a strategic decision to reduce costs and streamline its global workforce, SOE announced today that it will eliminate 205 positions and close its Denver, Seattle and Tucson studios. As part of this restructuring, SOE is discontinuing production of The Agency so it can focus development resources on delivering two new MMOs based on its renowned PlanetSide and EverQuest properties, while also maintaining its current portfolio of online games. All possible steps are being taken to ensure team members affected by the transition are treated with appropriate concern.
MMORPG.com will keep up to date on this story as it develops.
*SOE quote originally found at Massively.com.
Sony Online Entertainment's John Smedley recently was interviewed by the good folks over at Eurogamer. Editors asked Smedley about several of SOE's titles including The Agency. During the course of the interview, Smedley was asked about recent revelations that The Agency would not be released until late this year. Smedley confirmed the time line and indicated that the game would be released in the latter half of 2011.
"We're not giving out a specific date yet because we don't know it," he adds.
"One thing that we've learned over our company's history is that it takes time to make great games. And we're not trying to make cookie-cutter MMOs. There's some stuff coming out in the next two or three months, MMO-wise, and a lot of it is generic copycats of other games. That's not what we want to do. We want to make new experiences for people. So The Agency is a new kind of MMO so we want to make sure it's as good as it can be."
John Smedley, president of Sony Online Entertainment, has revealed to Kotaku that The Agency will be delayed until late 2011. Smedley indicated that the game needed more work and that the delay was the right thing to do.
Smedley says The Agency, which is now due out in the second half of next year, needed a lot of work, so it was delayed.
"There was a moment in time in our company where we looked at our own stuff with a clear eye and saw we have to do better," he said of the delay. "DC Universe was held for a year-and-a-half from when we wanted to launch it and now I'm very happy with it."
Read more here.
Thanks Piasek for the tip.
At this year's SOE Fan Faire in Las Vegas, MMORPG.com Managing Editor Jon Wood had the chance to sit in on a discussion about The Agency. Remember that game? Very little has been heard about it or from SOE in the past two years. This year, however, devs are ready to talk. Jon has a report on the panel and a hands-on preview of a PvP demo he played.
It was announced in July of 2007, the developers made a small push to talk about the game and to let the media know what they were planning. Since then, information has become more and more difficult to come by as the devs went all but dark throughout most of 2008 and 2009. Fast forward to 2010 and they seem more than ready to talk about the game, with a playable PvP demo even popping up at this year’s E3.
Read more of The Agency preview.
MMORPG.com's Justin Webb sat down with The Agency's Lead Designer Rory McGuire for a hands-on demo of the espionage-themed MMO at this year's E3 in Los Angeles.
Click the image above or go here to watch the video.
Visit the official The Agency website for additional details on the game.
MMORPG.com writer Alan Smithee had some hands-on time with SOE's spy-based MMORPG, The Agency at their booth at E3.
At E3, we were able to get a new look at SOE's upcoming shooter MMO The Agency. The regular PvE experience was not on display; instead we got to see and play PvP multiplayer for the first time. The demo takes place in the Black Abbey, a three-point assault map, set in a monastery in Venice. Each of the three main areas (a courtyard, library, and a submarine drydock) are captureable and serve as respawn points. One side's goal is to detonate the sub (it's rigged with explosives) and "sink" the monastery; the other side tries to protect it.
Combat is fluid and fast and better than I expected – there was no noticeable lag, even when the screen was filled with multiple players and particle effects. The game feels indistinguishable from a regular shooter, with very few MMO conventions in evidence. Headshots are automatic crits. Players use WASD and a mouse to move and shoot, and Ctrl to get into cover… and that's about it. The cover system is handled very well, allowing players to duck and hide behind objects when under More >
Things have been fairly quiet for Sony Online Entertainment's espionage themed MMOG The Agency for awhile now, but today SOE has decided to blow the cover on their super-secret The Agency Facebook game called Covert Ops.
If you're eagerly looking forward to the release of The Agency you might want to check out Covert Ops. Covert Ops features robust character customization, several classes and a character progression system, a slick interface and cool soundtrack, mini-games, a whole host of missions (and group missions!), the use of Operatives, a marketplace, the ability to customize your headquarters in a very The Sims-like fashion, and even a little bit of crafting!
Don't take our word for it, click the image above or go here to check out the full Covert Ops trailer, or if you just want to get started head on over to the game's official website.
I have to admit, I normally avoid Facebook games like the plague, but this one's piqued my interest and so far its been a decent bit of fun. Have you tried Covert Ops yet? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
We took in the best the super-spy MMO from SOE Seattle has to offer at E3. Designer Kevin O’Hara ran us through the key features in our on camera interview, and we learned enough to offer you a brand new preview of the title.
One new system they showed off at E3 is the Camera System. Every spy movie has that point where the hero has to gather some evidence. In The Agency, this is replicated. Characters will need to hunt down clues in the world. During the demo, Cassie – the iconic female U.N.I.T.E. spy – wandered around a high class party, covertly snapping photographs of key people and locations within the party.
She was, of course, undercover. This plays into their “you are what you wear” system. It’s a phrase they say often, but it is truly new to MMOs. In each situation, the traditional role or “class” of a character is determined by the equipment they bring. Dressed in a party dress, Cassie was clearly undercover. Equip her with a machine gun and a more athletic outfit, and she’s ready to run into action.
Read the preview here.
And check out the video interview here.
We’ve got a big update for you today, flanking our E3 Preview of The Agency are 22 new screenshots. The new screens give us a look at some lively firefights, the process of gathering intelligence, and some great looking play spaces.
Check out all 22 new shots here.
Wanna see more shots of The Agency? Check out our full gallery here.