Side Programs for MMOs

What if an MMO created a casual game on the side which would give you a connection to the main MMO while away from it?  I think there is potential there for some interesting interactions.

An example: What if WoW made an iphone game (or browser game) that is extremely easy to pick up and play.  It would be in the casual game category.  By obtaining an average score in one quick sitting (maybe 60 seconds) you gain 1 gold in WoW.

It doesn't need to be gold that is acquired.  It could be a buff that lasts for 30 minutes next time the player logs in.  Or it could give you a very minor amount of experience.  Maybe it would give you a special in game currency that can be exchanged for minor items.

The game could even do something completely different.  It could let you play with your vanity pets outside of the MMO.  It could be a game where you customize your player housing or pick out a new pattern for your armor.

It may even be a program more than a game.  It could be an application which lets you have complete access to the auction house while away from the MMO.  Or a program that lets you sort all the items in your bags and bank.  Maybe a program that lets the user send and receive in-game mail while out of the game.

The closest thing to a side program or game that I have seen is Capsuleer for the ipod touch and iphone.  It is a community made program for EVE Online.  It's a great example of an application that gives you access to game data while on the go.  It lets the player track character skills, skill queue, location, corp, money, and keep in touch with EVE news.

The idea here is to have a side game or program that gives the player a way to feel connected to a favorite MMO while away from it.  I think this is something that the community would like to see for more MMOs.


  1. Square actually tried this with Final Fantasy 8. Japan had a portable system called the PocketStation, which could be synced with the PS1 to give you in-game bonuses. In this case, finding items and boosting the Chocobo guardian force. Unfortunately, PocketStation was not available in the West, and did fade into obscurity even in Japan.

  2. I do, in fact, remember the PocketStation. But, I think if a big name MMO were to step up and do something along these lines people would actually take notice.

    If WoW started making programs to interact with WoW from outside the game world I am sure that other developers would follow.


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