Monday, October 08, 2007
Tabula Rasa borrowing Auto Assault code?
A reader who belonged to the exclusive small group of Auto Assault players wrote me to tell me he was "100% sure" that some of the code from Auto Assault has been used for Tabula Rasa. Quote: "The character models are the same, the UI elements are the same, some of the music is even the same! I looked at some of the quest rewards in Tabula Rasa, and they even use the same exact item fonts that they did in Auto Assault!"
The question is whether that matters. I don't think the character models or UI fonts were the reason why Auto Assault failed and got shut down after only one year. It is understandable if the developers wanted at least to salvage some code. From a gameplay point of view I liked Tabula Rasa slightly better than Auto Assault, but there are some obvious similarities. Both are action-oriented shooter MMOs, and it isn't quite clear yet whether that is a viable genre at all. The problem with failing games is that it is hard to say whether people didn't like that type of game, or whether the particular games that failed were just badly done. And I still have my doubts whether a monthly fee business model is appropriate for a shooter MMO, there being so many good shooters without monthly fees around, some forms of online play included.