The Agency was in development for PS3 and PC, and is a story-led co-operative spy shooter set in a persistent, massively multiplayer world, with a light-hearted take on the Bond and Bourne clichés. Designer Kevin O'Hara announced on November 27, 2008 that the agency will not have a paid subscription fee and that instead, the game will be financed only by product placement advertisements and premium downloads like "special gear".
The Agency is a story-led co-operative spy themed shooter set in a persistent, massively multiplayer world. It follows the efforts of rival spy organizations U.N.I.T.E. (United Nations Intelligence and Tactical Experts) and paraGON (Paramillitary Global Operations Network), with either side offering a different take on the espionage world. UNITE represents a well regulated and elite organization that specializes in subterfuge and discretion, where as paraGON are a down and dirty affiliation of mercenaries, who get the job done by whatever means necessary.
As with most MMOs, the visual set of your class or group role will be in your outfit, but unlike those games, changing that role will be as simple as changing that outfit or costume. There's no particular benefit in character specialization, as the developers want the players to experience everything The Agency has to offer by starting just two characters - one UNITE, and one Paragon.
The group roles are divided into three set types - combat, stealth, and support - with each of these offering a choice of two provisionally-named roles, although more will be added later through DLC. On the combat side, the tactical specialist is a front-line force who takes and deals damage, and is expert at breaching and creating cover - there are dynamic cover opportunities such as desks to overturn, which both players and AI can make use of. The weapons specialist is similar with a greater variety and depth of skill will weapons.
Of the stealth roles, the Spec Ops is a traditional scout who can cloak to sneak ahead, take out security and disarm bombs, with the Spy Ops specialists in manipulation of other players or AI, confusing and turning them. Supporting classes are the self-explanatory field medic, and the field tech, a role that can create perimeter defences with turrets, hack systems, and even lay down custom save checkpoints. Both support classes will be reasonably proficient at combat too, able to do their bit in the fray
Each role has its own progression built into the game, with a number of titles available to it for each rank (or overall level) your character gains within its home Agency. There's also a separate weapons experience track that unlocks skills and improvements for the game's various weapon families.
Another step away from the MMO tradition, missions are designed to be playable by either solo players or groups - and not by scaling the bad guys' hit points to match, either. Rather, there will be several levels of objectives to a mission, with bronze ratings advancing the story and being simple to solo, silver requiring a high-level skill or several players, and gold a well-organized full party, with better rewards to match. Most missions are intended to last half an hour or so while there may be some that require groups, they won't be part of the main story arc.
It was confirmed on 3/31/2011 that The Agency was officially cancelled. In a press release the cancellation was said to be due to 205 layoffs and the restructuring of Sony Online Entertainment as well as needing to shift their focus to other online MMO's.