DC Universe Online
It's been a long time since I've played Sony Online Entertainment's DC Universe Online (in fact, it was prior to the shift to free-to-play). After seeing it running on PlayStation 4 though, I'm considering a jump back in later this year.
I sat down with Jens Andersen, senior creative director on the title (and the voice of some of its characters, including Aquaman) to discuss how the move to the new system is coming along. The overriding theme of the conversation was about the community. "We don't want players to make the choice to upgrade to the PlayStation 4 version and leave their friends behind," Andersen explained. Though, the drastic improvement in fidelity is certainly going to be a motivating factor for diehard fans.
The team understands that players are invested in their characters and that the 11 million global registered users (across PC and PlayStation 3) might be hesitant to abandon that progress. For that reason, profiles and characters will transfer over. Additionally, Andersen and his team are working hard on cross-platform play. "It's our intention for players on both consoles to be on the same servers," Andersen told me. "Talks are going well."
The team would also love to see the barriers between PC and PlayStation to come down, but legal and business reasons (and not technology) have kept those servers separate. Unexpectedly, content will continue to roll out on all platforms at the same time. For those that haven't yet played, four DLC packs are released each year. Players can continue to experience DC Universe for free, but spending at least $5 automatically bumps an account to "premium" status. The legendary membership at $15 per month (the same as the subscription fee when the title launched), gets players in-game currency and additional gifts.
I asked about new Joker content given that Troy Baker has assumed the role for Warner Bros.' Batman: Arkham Origins. Andersen told me that Mark Hamill did come back and do The Last Laugh DLC, but now that he's retired from the role, the character might not have new material. A new actor would mean having two different voices for the Joker within the game, which would be jarring.
Down the line, second-screen functionality is planned for addition, but Andersen wasn't able to tell me more. DC Universe Online is slated for the PlayStation 4's launch window, and the team would love to be on the system day and date with the console's arrival later this year.