Star Trek Infinite Space is a new entry into the already crowded massively multiplayer online game market. The game itself is browser based so there is no need to go out and purchase a copy or download a large installer. The browser based MMO is largely regulated to smaller non-licensed games run primarily by independent developers.
What is striking about the development of Infinite Space is the fact that the public already has a Star Trek MMO. Star Trek Online developed by Cryptic Studios has already been available for a number of years. Star Trek Online does come with a monthly subscription fee like with most large MMO’s on the market. The one thing that Infinite Space has going for it over Star Trek Online is that it will be completely free to play upon release.
Infinite Space is being developed by Keen Games based out of Frankfurt Germany. Keen Games are best known for creating games for the portable platform such as the Nintendo DS and Playstation Portable. Some of their larger titles include What’s Cooking? with Jamie Oliver, movie based game G-Force, and the well-reviewed ANNO 1701 for the Nintendo DS.
Infinite Space utilizes what is known as the Unity 3D (browser plugin) that allows users to play the game directly from inside their web browser. The Unity 3D engine has been used to great effect in major online titles such as Battlestar Galactica Online by Bigpoint Games, Cartoon Network Fusion Fall by Grigon Entertainment, and Marvel Superhero Squad Online by Marvel.
The developers even managed to bring in outside help like Lee Sheldon, a former producer and script writer on various Star Trek shows to provide writing work for the overall storyline and various in game missions. Denise Okuda the co-author of the Star Trek Encyclopedia is also on-board to provide input on the Deep Space 9 timeline that the game is based in.
The game itself was making the rounds are various conventions around the world creating a sizable buzz. Numerous gaming sites did pieces on its development and the game had made large pushes getting the word out with the use of social networking. The Star Trek Infinite Space website had regular updates and provided news and interviews about its development. Things looked good, and sign-ups were under way for a closed beta test with the games release date being late 2011.
Then the unexpected happened. The beta for Star Trek Infinite Space was put on hold without warning by publisher Gameforge. On November 3 Gameforge issued a German press release stating “Gameforge is currently considering the setting of the project “Star Trek – Infinite Space” and is exploring ways of a co-publishing.” (Gameforge) This coupled with the numerous staff layoffs puts the once promising idea of this free-to-play Star Trek MMO on the back burner.
The project is currently on hold but with the recent announcement of Cryptic’s Star Trek Online going free-to-play this coming January the odds of Infinite Space launching in the future does not seem likely. More information on Star Trek Infinite Space can be found at the links below.