It just made the news at the blog I check in with a couple of times a day that covers the massively multiplayer online roleplaying game industry: "World of Darkness confirmed, based on Vampire: The Masquerade" (Justin Olivetti for Massively.com, 9/24/10). Iceland's CCP, the company that created and runs the science fiction PvP/tradewars MMO EVE Online, just announced, at the Grand Masquerade convention in New Orleans, that they are going to release an MMORPG based entirely on White Wolf Games' Vampire: The Masquerade.
To the relief of just about every gamer I know personally (an admittedly older crowd), they announced that it will be based on White Wolf's modestly brilliant first and second edition Anne Rice copycat games, Vampire: The Masquerade, not the stupid Twilight/Harry Potter ripoff 3rd edition Vampire: The Requiem. Equally importantly, they announced that the game "will have a focus on player politics and social interaction." You can see a video of their concept-art trailer, albeit one shot by an audience member with a cellphone camera, below, followed by what I, an old V:tM tabletop gamer, just said about it in a reply at Massively.com:
IF IT REALLY DOES "focus on player politics and social interaction," as opposed to endless combat, I may actually, even all these years after the last time I played a World of Darkness tabletop game, care. Heck, if they can keep that promise, it will even fix what's wrong with virtually every Vampire LARP I've ever bothered to show for one meeting of, where (in blatant contradiction of the lore) everybody rushes to combat. (In particular, if it's going to be at all honest to the lore, your goal as a newbie 13th-generation vampire in any imaginable combat scenario should be escape, not victory: there is almost nothing in this world that can't kill a newly reborn high-gen vampire.)
I can't begin to imagine how you make a game out of that, though. So I'm not even vaguely hopeful. I'm fully prepared for you to have to kill x members of a rival vampire clan and come back to your mentor for a mission reward, then kill y werewolves and come back to your mentor for a mission reward, etc. It's the kind of gaming that the MMO industry knows how to do. It's also (a) boring to me and (b) completely contrary to the lore of the World of Darkness, where the right answer to almost every problem, if run properly, is to try to talk your way out of it, or to sneak away from it, or to recruit such an overwhelming force that the other side is afraid to fight you and surrenders.
I wish them all the luck in the world. I would bet a three-figure sum of money that they're going to fail.