Five Things You Didn’t Know About MAG

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As MAG’s first birthday celebration comes to a close, we thought fans might find it interesting if we pulled back the curtain a bit and revealed info about MAG that no one outside of Zipper Interactive and Sony Computer Entertainment has ever known… until now!

Think you’re a MAG expert? Think again! Listed below are five facts listed in backwards order of their mind-blowing magnitude.

MAG Greatest Hits for PS3 (PlayStation Move support)

5. The three PMCs – Raven, SVER, and Valor – weren’t always known by those names. Over time, they underwent a number of title changes. Valor was known as the “Allied Forces” and “Hammer,” SVER was “SEVER” and “SIRSAT, and Raven was… well, check further down the list to see what Raven was called.

4. Though MAG was Zipper’s first “released” PS3 game, it wasn’t always planned to be. Prior to the greenlight for MAG, we were tossing around several ideas – including an espionage-themed action/platformer that thrived on chase sequences and a shooter that would ultimately become the game due out this April, SOCOM 4.

3. MAG could be even bigger. MAG is renowned for its 256-player support – and we earned the Guinness World Record for most simultaneous players in a console FPS as proof – but that’s not the limit of our technology. Truth be told, we can support a lot more than that. We picked 256 players as our target for game design reasons (how we divide up squads, platoons, etc). However, with our architecture, we could increase the number players well beyond the 256-person limit if we wanted to – we’d just want to make sure our design fit whatever super huge number we wanted to go after first.

2. MAG began its life as a SOCOM game. Originally, we had planned to make MAG a part of the SOCOM universe. In fact, its first working title was “SOCOM: MAG.” As the game began to take shape, however, it became apparent that what MAG was growing into was much different than SOCOM. The gameplay design, while still somewhat-tactical, continued to become less “SOCOM-like.” The emphasis on character progression and large-scale multiplayer battles with three completely different PMCs sealed the deal, and MAG happily spun off into its own universe. Oh, and remember that Raven “early title” we mentioned? Yeah, they were “Clawhammer!”

1. MAG started as a third-person shooter. Because it started as a SOCOM title, MAG was a third-person shooter for a good portion of its development cycle. When the first MAG trailer was shown at E3 2008, for instance, the game was still planned as a TPS (and the teaser hints at it pretty strongly). As we continued to refine MAG, however, and pull it father away from its SOCOM beginnings, we moved it into the first-person realm to help differentiate it even more. After we played it, when knew absolutely that going first-person was the right choice for the game and the rest, as they say, is history!

We hope you enjoyed this look into the Zipper vault of secrets and hope that you enjoyed our game even more.

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4 Author Replies

  • Clawhammer is an absolute AMAZING name for a PMC. :(

  • #1 It needs updated out of the box.

    #2 Graphics aren’t great.

    #3 Barely has good maps for smaller groups.

    What’s the other 2?

  • MAG is still by far my favorite multiplayer FPS and has been since day 1 of release. The free updates made to this game have beat most paid dlc for other games. Keep up the awesome work.
    (Raven FTW!)

  • AhhhH!!! Even bigger? How much?

  • MAG the old game that blows Call Of Duty out of the water and doesn’t make Knifing feel like you using a sword from Halo.

  • The clunky animations killed the game for me, the graphics I can live with but the animations “withdrawed” me from the game. It didn’t feel like I had enough control over the character and really turned me off. And yes, I have giving it countless tries, most recently with the PSPlus MAG trial.

  • we know MAG started as SOCOM, as evidence of the same textures and SFX from the SOCOM universe being used in MAG. not to mention the “Last Defense” mode in SOCOM 4 is strikingly similar to MAG’s “Sabotage” mode…
    hope SOCOM 4 isn’t just a rehashed 3rd-person version of MAG with *slightly* different game modes

  • Happy birthday mag, I bought you on day one. Boy how youv’e changed.

  • Whoa. Cool read. :D

    Love the support you guys give your games. Seriously.

    Pumped for Socom 4. >.> Hopefully it’ll be more “Socom-2-esque”. haha. Frostfire <3

  • MAG is amazeballz. I play it every night for an hour. The only thing I wish is it was lower price new so more people could see how amazeballz it is.

  • And all we ever wanted was a real SOCOM title… Thanks a lot… Now the franchise is seen as one huge joke with the huge disappointment Confrontation was. And then to pour salt on the wound you make SOCOM 4 an espionage-themed action/platformer that thrives on chase sequences.. LOL! Good bye Zipper, the one hit wonder.

    • One clarification — the action/platformer and shooter that became SOCOM 4 are different games; not the same.

  • Wow this would have been a great promotion video for
    MAG how it evolved into the great shooter that it is

  • I love MAG and I’m glad to be one of the 100,000 people who have put over 100 hours into the game.

  • @RavenSPe to be fair Zipper did not have anything to do with confrontation….it was slant 6. and zipper is not a one hit wonder….here are all the games they have been a part of(while I agree that some are not amazing games…there are some gems in there):
    DeathDrome Oct 31, 1996 Microsoft Windows
    Recoil Feb 28, 1999 Microsoft Windows
    Top Gun 1998 Microsoft Windows
    MechWarrior 3 May 31, 1999 Microsoft Windows
    Crimson Skies Sep 17, 2000 Microsoft Windows
    SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs
    SOCOM II: U.S. Navy SEALs
    SOCOM 3: U.S. Navy SEALs
    SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Combined Assault
    SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo
    SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo 2
    SOCOM 4 2011

  • Wow, lots of great info I was completely oblivious too. Nice to hear the evolution of MAG. Great stuff, definitely looking forward to see how SOCOM 4 and other future products turn out.

  • Yawn, I finished little big planet, lets see mag do that.

  • Impressive facts. Especially the 3rd one. Maybe, just maybe, developers will make use of this tech to push today’s boundaries so that gaming evolves. Would work extra well with MMO-like games.

  • Cool facts, thanks for sharing

  • @WCKidRock – I never said Zipper was responsible for Confrontation. I said the series is now seen as a huge joke because of what Confrontation did (Slant Six).

  • Hey Zipper I wanna see MAG 2 on PS3 with 128 Max players, better graphics, same game mechanics(best part of the game), and a better frame rate/less lag. BTW MAG’s my favorite FPS of all time!
    MAG2 2nd quarter 2012 for PS3?

  • What was wrong with continuing with what worked with socom 1, 2 and 3? My personal favorites and what i consider the best online shooters of all time. There was nothing wrong with it, all it needed was to go HD and better online features.

    Extending a franchise with another game is one thing but to completely overhaul what worked made absolutely no sense.

    I love mag, I accept that confrontation was not zipper’s game (i blame zipper and sony for allowing the franchise to be handled in such a way).

    But did anyone read the playstation forums, gameinforme or gamepro that had all the socom fans asking for just the same game with new maps and graphics and online features.. that was it.. that’s all we wanted.. its great that you reached for the stars and came up with a wonderful game like mag… but why was the socom franchise handled so poorly this generation? Why did sony/zipper not stick to a formula that worked for the socom title?

    Before killzone 2 was released killzone on the ps2 had about 70 people online.

    Before confrontation was released each socom title, including the psp titles had hundreds of thousands of people on each title. was that not something anyone looked at?

  • Ok so congratulations you deviated away from SOCOM with MAG…

    So why in the hell are you guys making SOCOM 4 un-SOCOM like as well? You killed SOCOM. I’ve lost all faith in the creativity and talent of Zipper interactive. Your games have absolutely no identity anymore. SOCOM had a soul in S1 and S2. There was NOTHING like it. But for some stupid reason you abandon that and want to be more like the games everyone else is playing, falsely thinking they will want to play your game if you make it like other games. No. I like my Uncharted and my Call of Duty in Uncharted and Call of Duty, respectively. When I play SOCOM, I want to play bloody SOCOM. You will NEVER understand that will you?

    Good Day!

  • wow, the game could of expanded pass 256….yikes…to think of the possibilities.. i see a M.A.G 2 in the future to address some of the players complaints, but personally as a S.V.E.R Level 45 player. i am more then satisfied with how the game turned out. i knew it was gonna be a love/hate it game and thats why i love it.

    1 because its exclusive and consumers cant appreciate that enough
    2 because it did the unthinkable 256 player fps on a console..
    3 ps move support.
    4 its available as a download now : )

    i didnt buy it initially for ps move support, but because it was later added in, that was a plus for me. i also bought it day 1, but later traded it to get the downloadable version because i wanted it on the hard drive (320gb)

    so you got my money twice, and i fully support the M.A.G. franchise thanks Zipper

  • Yo Jeremy, any comment on that MAG 2 walmart mess up? Is that a real mess up, or are you guys just postponing?

    • It was just a bit of confusion — it happened prior to MAG 2.0 patch and Greatest Hits came out at the same time. There was definitely not a MAG 2 submitted to any retailer then or now.

  • The ONE thing people don’t know about MAG:

    It craps all over any shooter on a console.

  • Sad that you guys ruined the game…

  • It’s a shame that the critics, and subsequently, a lot of gamers, didn’t see MAG’s true potential. It was great from the start, but Zipper’s continued support has simply made it better and better. I definitely think the franchise has a lot going for it, and sincerely hope we will see a sequel at some point.

  • These facts are interesting. Wow, I didn’t know MAG was originally SOCOM 4 until SOCOM 4 was announced. Also, I was impressed that you guys can take MAG to the next level by going beyond 256 players, do that and maybe the video game community will put MAG on the videogame history textbook.

  • That chase game sounds interesting.

  • @Chessy_08 I have never experience any lag while playing MAG including the betas

    MAG is a great game just to bad I don’t have much time to play it that much right because I’m busy and all the other great games that are getting release

  • I believed that 256 was the limit supported by servers and by MAG, but now with this information it is possible that this number may be increased with a 3.0 update? DLC? Or would this just a dream?

    Well, congratulations Zipper, MAG it´s the best FPS that i played since ever (belive, I already played a lot). I can´t wait to play Socom 4. Zipper, you got my trust with MAG and i will always look with good eyes every game you guys create.

  • So when is MAG’s big update for 256 Vs 256? I think that would be epic and threw in a huge number of new guns.

  • sales? numbers?

  • i played all betas,preordered bulldog @bestbuys, i luv MAG HAPPY BIRTHDAY WISHS YOU ZIPPER MAG maker,going to play now !_!

  • SOCOM: MAG would have been a cool name. Can’t wait for Socom 4.

    OVER 9000!!!!!!!

  • MAG 2 by any chance?

  • mag should be an open war game. where u log in, pick ur faction and are put into one ongoing war that never ends on one massive map. never ending boundries ,never ending enimies, never ending game… but we need more city maps ,with buildings to hide in, and maybe some jeeps with guns, and a chopper would be nice too…lmao

  • So I assume Raven would have been called “SOCOM” or something? (I’ve never played a SOCOM game).

    Well done with the evolution of the game. I’d imagine anything much higher than 256 players would take a really long time to acquire enough participants under the current structure, but I could be wrong. It would be awesome to see a full on 1000 vs 1000 battlefield going on, but maybe that can wait until the new NGP can add more troopers to the battlefield! ;)

  • PS. The combat knife is too strong.

    Going to go play MAG now…

  • Hey Jeremy, you guys really need to add an alert/notification when the squad leader changes in MAG. My SL dropped out and I was leader for about 10 minutes without realising it.

  • Any Events going down in Redmond soon? I’d love to go see Zipper Interactive.

  • Cool facts! I picked up MAG on day one and played it pretty much exclusively thru August (had to take a break for Heavy Rain). After sinking 468:56:07, I earned my most treasured Platinum! :)

    Thanks Zipper for such an awesome game!

  • great fact, but i have a question, is Socom 4 still a simulation?

  • Mag is an awesome game…..
    Thanks for making MAG.
    Hope to see MAG 2 and MAG on NGP
    and more 256% EXP Events ^__^
    It made me drop Mass Effect 2 and play MAG

  • I have logged more hours playing MAG than any other FPS that I’ve ever played. 101 hours (I know that’s not as much as some, but that’s a lot for me.) I guess you could say I really like the game!

    Nice to see some interesting facts, bring on more!

    I do have to say that I still think there are some balance issues in MAG that need addressed, but overall a good game that hasn’t been ruined by rampant cheating like some other FPS games.

    Congrats Zipper, and keep up the good work.

  • thats pretty funny hoping to try this game out soon

  • Congrats Zipper MAG is a great game. However your map balancing is bad.

  • When is MAG going to be made available as a download on the PSstore so that a new flood of users….err newbs will enlist?

  • More then 256??!! wow 500? 250 vs 250?

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