The perfect storm of nerdom known as Star Trek Online went live today. It’s a massively multiplayer online game set in the Star Trek universe (the one that existed before last summer’s rebooted film) that hopes to pick up where the last MMOG based on a beloved sci-fi franchise, Star Wars Galaxies, began to tune out its audience a few years ago. Each player gets to command his or her own Starfleet or Klingon starship. The developers promise epic space battles as well as on-foot, terrestrial combat.
STO seems positioned to live long and prosper in the short term, but the trick is living really long and prospering by holding onto players and their recurring subscription revenue for as many years as possible. Star Wars Galaxies, released in 2003, is theoretically still competition: it continues to chug along despite hemorrhaging subscribers. And then there’s World of Warcraft, which is still going strong in its sixth year and will be there to steal STO players’ time and money should they get bored with the Trek-inspired game. Techland will be getting developer reactions from the launch in a few days. Until then, here’s a video of some of the ground-based combat: