So, lately I’ve been getting into Tron: Uprising. It’s this really unique and well thought-out animated series with a refreshing art and animation style. It’s got a deep lore, and manages to stand apart from the films and be its own unique thing. With the Tron series, there are a fair bit of iterations and deviations. You have Tron, Tron 2.0: The Videogame, Tron 2.0: The Comic, Tron: Legacy, Tron: Uprising.
You have so many versions of this world inside a computer, ripe for exploration and adventure. So, that begs the question… Why isn’t there a Tron MMORPG? A massive multiplayer online role-playing game set in the world of Tron seems like a no-brainer. You already have a pre-existing world and a fair bit of source material to build upon. This seems like it would make for a fantastic MMO experience!
Instead of typical character classes and archetypes, you can have “Functions”. You’d play as a specific program with a function that would determine your program’s capabilities. For example, if you were a repairman program, you’d be able to build “Light Cycles”. Stuff like that would make the game super interesting! You can have characters from the films return, and have them labeled as “Backup Duplicates” of the original. When you set your series in a computer world, it’s just ripe for bringing back old threats in unique ways.
Heck, who wouldn’t want to take missions from Castor, or join the MCP and try to take down the system? Tron is this universe that is just rife for expansion, and it’s one of those few Disney franchises that hasn’t been milked to death yet. I thought Tron: Legacy was an okay film, but I feel it could’ve used a lot more expansion. With an MMO, you can’t really get a more expansive experience than that. MMOs are designed not only to be huge time-sinks, but also to flesh out a universe in ways that normal series could only dream of.
Best thing about a Tron MMO would be attempting new plot-lines and seeing which ones work and which don’t. Heck, if a Tron MMO was successful, it could lead to a resurgence of interest in the brand! Plots and ideas from the game might even make it into a film itself, or at least a TV show! This sounds like a match made in heaven, but sadly it can never be.
Why is that? For one thing, MMORPGs are a dying breed. These are the most difficult kinds of game anyone could ever make. They are also very expensive to produce, especially considering how graphically intensive most modern MMOs are. Not only that, but Disney doesn’t tend to MMOs anymore. They shut down Club Penguin and ToonTown Online, too popular massive-multiplayer games. These games raked in the cash, but Disney shut them down.
To be fair, MMOs are hard to constantly keep running. Servers are expensive and the interest tends to die after a while. An MMO hinges upon it’s player-base, and I doubt that the Tron fan-base can keep the game running forever. People have fond memories of this series, but it’s not enough to keep a MMORPG running for more than few years.
Even though a Tron MMO mostly likely wouldn’t work in today’s economy, I still feel that Disney needs to do more with the license. I’d love to see more Tron games, and I’m not talking about more crossovers with Kingdom Hearts. I want to see legitimate Tron games set in the classic world. Or heck, maybe even a followup to Tron 2.0! The thing is, with the ever-increasing advancement and prevalence of computers, I feel the world just needs more Tron.