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There will be another MMORPG that is more successful than WoW was at its peak

QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,788Member Uncommon

Occasionally people here claim that WoW's success is some isolated fluke, and no other game will ever match it.  I say that's nonsense.  The market certainly still allows for a single MMORPG to have millions of subscribers--because WoW still does.

We see this sort of claim in baseball all the time.  There will never be another 300 game winner.  There will never be another player who bats .400.  And so forth.  Until some transcendently talented player comes along and does exactly what we were assured could never happen again.  Just this year, we saw a triple crown winner, a rookie nearly win the MVP award, and a knuckleball pitcher with more career losses than wins entering the season win a Cy Young in a landslide.  If you could combine CC Sabathia's career up to age 31 with Jaime Moyer's starting at age 33 (taking a year off at age 32, even), you'd have a 400 game winner.

But with MMORPG subscription numbers, the situation is far more volatile than you think, for one reason:  marketing.  WoW has surely spent more on marketing than any other MMORPG in the last decade, at least in the United States.  I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if WoW has spent more on marketing than the next five games added together.  If you exclude sites like this one that are specifically dedicated to gaming, I probably see more ads for WoW than for all other MMORPGs combined.  Think WoW's subscription numbers have something to do with that?

But it's not so simple as spending a bunch on marketing long-term to buy success.  If that worked, everyone would do it.  Rather, let's suppose that you're considering a $10 million marketing campaign.  You conclude that this would bring you an extra $8 million in revenue.  Do you do the marketing campaign?  Of course not; it's a huge money loser.

But what if it would bring you an extra $12 million revenue?  Then do you run it?  Sure:  you'd make an extra $2 million that way.  And if you ask the same question six months later and reach the same conclusion, then you run another marketing campaign for your game.  And then another.  And another.  Over the course of a game's lifetime, the latter game might well bring in many times the revenue of the former.

And yes, the latter game was "better" (in a commercial sense) than the former.  But several times better?  A given marketing campaign would only bring in 50% more revenue.  And one could make that 50% figure an awful lot smaller and still reach the same conclusion.

Someday there's going to be another game where, as happened in WoW, the company concludes that a big marketing campaign would be profitable.  And then another.  And another.  And another.  And keep on doing this for a number of years.  And they're going to bring in revenue and player base numbers that invite comparisons to WoW.

It might not even be something that we see coming.  Who would have predicted the runaway success of Minecraft?  Angry Birds?  FarmVille?  Sooner or later, MMORPGs are going to see another runaway hit like that.  And sooner or later, there's going to be one that bests WoW in its heyday.

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Comments

  • ZigZagsZigZags Modesto, CAPosts: 328Member
    Im hoping for The Elder Scrolls Online having a shot. TES has a pretty big following and skyrim was a huge success. But i wont hold my breathe.

    Now: Skyrim
    Later: ?
    Played: M59, UO, EQ, Runescape, DAOC, SB, EQ2, WoW, EVE, Darkfall, AoC, FFXI, FFXIV, WAR, SWTOR
    BOYCOTTING: EA/BioWare/Origin/SOE

  • OnomasOnomas Rock Hill, SCPosts: 1,128Member Uncommon
    Problem is the developers arent making any new mmorpg's that are worthy. They simply just dont live up to anything. They are the basics of rpg's even new console rpgs offer more. As long as they are going that route, there will be no change. But i see a few games on the horizon that may help change some of that.
  • stayontargetstayontarget Tacoma, WAPosts: 6,068Member Uncommon
    Not going to happen Quizz,  8years ago people had limited choices in what they could play.  Blizzard was in the right place at the right time with the right product.  Today we have far more choices which tends to make the gaming world a niche market.

    Velika: City of Wheels: Among the mortal races, the humans were the only one that never built cities or great empires; a curse laid upon them by their creator, Gidd, forced them to wander as nomads for twenty centuries...

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,788Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Onomas
    Problem is the developers arent making any new mmorpg's that are worthy. They simply just dont live up to anything. They are the basics of rpg's even new console rpgs offer more. As long as they are going that route, there will be no change. But i see a few games on the horizon that may help change some of that.

    Certainly, most games aren't going to beat out WoW.  Not one in a hundred will.  Maybe not even one in a thousand.  But eventually, there will be one that does.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,788Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by stayontarget
    Not going to happen Quizz,  8years ago people had limited choices in what they could play.  Blizzard was in the right place at the right time with the right product.  Today we have far more choices which tends to make the gaming world a niche market.

    We have a lot of choices in what we can play today.  And there are still a lot of people who play WoW today.

  • HefaistosHefaistos BucharestPosts: 186Member

    It will be hard to make a mmo who will have it all because you will need 3 development teams for each side. PvE, PvP, sandbox. The ammount of people who will have to work on that project before and after release has to be huge and afaik nobody is involved in such a big project nowadays. After all the hype with Swtor, man, i dont believe in shit until shit happens. 

     

    If BW would have made Ilum world pvp that would have been the best game in the last few years but they've failed at it and people left.

     

    I think 2013 will be awesome for mmos but lets see the new games how many copies will sell and how many will resub after 1st month. 

  • SuperDonkSuperDonk Vancouver, WAPosts: 781Member Common

    The Devs agree with you, that is why all AAA mmos that are being created are WoW-like themeparks.

     

    I on the other hand, am one of those who thinks WoW was a one-time phenomenon, or at least a once in a generation thing. Sure another wildly successful MMO with tens of millions of subscribers over a period of a decade will emerge, but not anytime soon and by soon I mean in the next decade. Who knows after that, technology will be different and anything would be possible.

     

    WoW went viral and is still sustained to this day because of it, people like MMOs with healthy populations. The popularity of WoW is because WoW is popular, the popularity of all other MMOs are based on the games themselves. This is one of the reasons post-WoW mmos have not seen the same success, they lack in gameplay and never went viral like WoW did shortly after launch, the lack of endgames and stuff like that contributing of course.

     

    I don't think another MMO will go viral anytime soon. And I think that is a good thing - at some point devs will notice that trying to copy what happened to WoW is futile, and will be willing to take chances with new game ideas and new ways of making MMOs.

  • SkuallSkuall UnknowPosts: 1,288Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Onomas
    Problem is the developers arent making any new mmorpg's that are worthy. They simply just dont live up to anything. They are the basics of rpg's even new console rpgs offer more. As long as they are going that route, there will be no change. But i see a few games on the horizon that may help change some of that.

    yeah, take a look at the games that have been released since wow .....improvements ? yeah but some in the wrong direction.

    a new mmorpg nowadays last what? 3 months? then ppl leave....and the game become a ghost town ....

    example : warhammer, aoc, aion , ect

    is the player or the devs fault ?

     

     

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member

    There are online games, like LOL, which is already more successful (in terms of active playres) than WOW.

    A traditional MMO with a virtual world ... may be not .. but in terms of online games, yes.

  • RandomDownRandomDown Louisville, KYPosts: 145Member
    Originally posted by Onomas
    Problem is the developers arent making any new mmorpg's that are worthy. They simply just dont live up to anything. They are the basics of rpg's even new console rpgs offer more. As long as they are going that route, there will be no change. But i see a few games on the horizon that may help change some of that.

    That is a very broad generalization. Do you presume to know about games in pre or early development that haven't brought anything out because the time isn't right yet? So the fact may be, there could be one. Not worthy is also a matter of perspective as you seem to be the more sandboxy type fellow from what I see in your posts, so you likely don't think WoW is worthy either.

     

    I agree for the most part with Quiz, though I do have a question. When you're talking about the market are you speaking in global or western market terms out of curiousity? Because given the rise of development and popularity in the East of gaming and MMOs, a developer who considers both markets during the process might very well exceed that in a combined playerbase.

  • DauzqulDauzqul Detroit, MIPosts: 1,411Member Uncommon

    No game will be as popular as WoW was at its peak.

    WoW was more than just a Theme Park MMO. It was like a popular hair style that spread like wild fire. It spread throughout every Middle School and High School. Nerds played it. Jocks played it. Chicks played it. Business people played it. Ghetto people played it. It ran on just about every machine out there.

    Someone could honestly create the most deep and fantastic MMO ever created. It will still not hold the numbers like WoW did.

  • FearumFearum Cinnaminson, NJPosts: 1,166Member Uncommon

    WoW is cartoonish enough to grab players that are 5 years old, easy enough for them to play and also still has enough to satisfy  some adults. They also have a huge advertisment pocket so they can get to everyone, its kinda like the McDonalds or Budweiser of MMORPG's.

    To answer the OP's questions, yes i think there will be other games that reach and beat WoW. No record is unbeatable since the history of keeping records.   

  • OnomasOnomas Rock Hill, SCPosts: 1,128Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by RandomDown
    Originally posted by Onomas
    Problem is the developers arent making any new mmorpg's that are worthy. They simply just dont live up to anything. They are the basics of rpg's even new console rpgs offer more. As long as they are going that route, there will be no change. But i see a few games on the horizon that may help change some of that.

    That is a very broad generalization. Do you presume to know about games in pre or early development that haven't brought anything out because the time isn't right yet? So the fact may be, there could be one. Not worthy is also a matter of perspective as you seem to be the more sandboxy type fellow from what I see in your posts, so you likely don't think WoW is worthy either.

     

    I agree for the most part with Quiz, though I do have a question. When you're talking about the market are you speaking in global or western market terms out of curiousity? Because given the rise of development and popularity in the East of gaming and MMOs, a developer who considers both markets during the process might very well exceed that in a combined playerbase.

    I love sandboxes, this is true. But i also like a GOOD themepark, but not many hav been released. I liked rift and aion. But they offer much more than your average mmo of today. I dont like linear games that lead me around on a leash, is the point of most my posts. And just by looking at past releases, its not realy a broad generalization ;)

  • coretex666coretex666 PraguePosts: 1,928Member Uncommon
    I agree. For me it goes without saying that some MMO will beat WoW in subs. These products have potential to have hundreds of millions of players. I just think they need to enter "new era". Current model of MMO is beaten to death.

    Waiting for L2 EU Classic

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,788Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Hefaistos

    It will be hard to make a mmo who will have it all because you will need 3 development teams for each side. PvE, PvP, sandbox. The ammount of people who will have to work on that project before and after release has to be huge and afaik nobody is involved in such a big project nowadays. After all the hype with Swtor, man, i dont believe in shit until shit happens.

    Who says that an MMORPG has to have everything in order to be successful?  WoW sure doesn't.  If 97% of the general public hates your game, but 3% loves it and is willing to subscribe to it, then you've just beaten WoW at its peak.

  • MindTriggerMindTrigger La Quinta, CAPosts: 2,596Member
    Originally posted by Quizzical

    Occasionally people here claim that WoW's success is some isolated fluke, and no other game will ever match it.  I say that's nonsense.  The market certainly still allows for a single MMORPG to have millions of subscribers--because WoW still does.

    We see this sort of claim in baseball all the time.  There will never be another 300 game winner.  There will never be another player who bats .400.  And so forth.  Until some transcendently talented player comes along and does exactly what we were assured could never happen again.  Just this year, we saw a triple crown winner, a rookie nearly win the MVP award, and a knuckleball pitcher with more career losses than wins entering the season win a Cy Young in a landslide.  If you could combine CC Sabathia's career up to age 31 with Jaime Moyer's starting at age 33 (taking a year off at age 32, even), you'd have a 400 game winner.

    But with MMORPG subscription numbers, the situation is far more volatile than you think, for one reason:  marketing.  WoW has surely spent more on marketing than any other MMORPG in the last decade, at least in the United States.  I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if WoW has spent more on marketing than the next five games added together.  If you exclude sites like this one that are specifically dedicated to gaming, I probably see more ads for WoW than for all other MMORPGs combined.  Think WoW's subscription numbers have something to do with that?

    But it's not so simple as spending a bunch on marketing long-term to buy success.  If that worked, everyone would do it.  Rather, let's suppose that you're considering a $10 million marketing campaign.  You conclude that this would bring you an extra $8 million in revenue.  Do you do the marketing campaign?  Of course not; it's a huge money loser.

    But what if it would bring you an extra $12 million revenue?  Then do you run it?  Sure:  you'd make an extra $2 million that way.  And if you ask the same question six months later and reach the same conclusion, then you run another marketing campaign for your game.  And then another.  And another.  Over the course of a game's lifetime, the latter game might well bring in many times the revenue of the former.

    And yes, the latter game was "better" (in a commercial sense) than the former.  But several times better?  A given marketing campaign would only bring in 50% more revenue.  And one could make that 50% figure an awful lot smaller and still reach the same conclusion.

    Someday there's going to be another game where, as happened in WoW, the company concludes that a big marketing campaign would be profitable.  And then another.  And another.  And another.  And keep on doing this for a number of years.  And they're going to bring in revenue and player base numbers that invite comparisons to WoW.

    It might not even be something that we see coming.  Who would have predicted the runaway success of Minecraft?  Angry Birds?  FarmVille?  Sooner or later, MMORPGs are going to see another runaway hit like that.  And sooner or later, there's going to be one that bests WoW in its heyday.

     

    Marketing came after an interesting product that already had tons of momentum on its side.  It would be suicide for ANet to spend a fortune on ads to try to get more players.  Ultimately it may also not matter, if they have shitty player retention long term.

    I don't really think this is much of a debate about whether it will happen again or not. I've been saying for years that mega-hits will be few and far between, and maybe even 10 years or so between for MMORPG's, but it will happen sooner or later.  The longer it takes these games to innovate in a real and measurable way, the longer it will take before anything is worthy though. 

    WoW was a fluke.  Period.  It was a perfect storm of timing (less competition), fun gaming and accessibility.  One thing people always ignore about WoW was that you could play it on just about any computer.  That made a huge difference. 

    A sure sign that you are in an old, dying paradigm/mindset, is when you are scared of new ideas and new technology. Don't feel bad. The world is moving on without you, and you are welcome to yell "Get Off My Lawn!" all you want while it happens. You cannot, however, stop an idea whose time has come.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,788Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by SuperDonk

    The Devs agree with you, that is why all AAA mmos that are being created are WoW-like themeparks.

    Who says that an MMORPG has to be a lot like WoW to be successful?  Sure, there are a lot of highly successful games that are clones or sequels.  But there are also quite a few that aren't--and are in clearly recognizable genres today only because other games tried to copy them.

  • ThorbrandThorbrand West Palm Beach, FLPosts: 1,198Member

    Sure is but the is completely on how you see success. WOW is no longer a MMORPG but did start as one. They catered to the casuals. FYI...There is no such thing as a casual MMORPG gamer!

    EQ still going and still a MMORPG.

    DAoC Best PvP game in history even today.

    Now if you talk money Blizzard isn't the giant everyone thinks they are. They never actually show true numbers and haven't since the first year of release. Blizzard make tons of money that is not a measurement of success. That is only a part of it.

  • gravesworngravesworn charleston, WVPosts: 324Member
    Being able to keep individuals entertained for years is a difficult task. So it making a complete game that creates enough substance for people being able to be entertained for years to come.
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,788Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by RandomDown

    I agree for the most part with Quiz, though I do have a question. When you're talking about the market are you speaking in global or western market terms out of curiousity? Because given the rise of development and popularity in the East of gaming and MMOs, a developer who considers both markets during the process might very well exceed that in a combined playerbase.

    I would make the same claim either way.  It won't necessarily be the same game that does both (more successful in the West, or more successful globally), but I think that there will eventually be a game that does each.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,788Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by mmoDAD

    WoW was more than just a Theme Park MMO. It was like a popular hair style that spread like wild fire. It spread throughout every Middle School and High School. Nerds played it. Jocks played it. Chicks played it. Business people played it. Ghetto people played it. It ran on just about every machine out there.

    WoW is hardly unique in that regard, even in the history of gaming.

  • MindTriggerMindTrigger La Quinta, CAPosts: 2,596Member
    Originally posted by Quizzical
    Originally posted by mmoDAD

    WoW was more than just a Theme Park MMO. It was like a popular hair style that spread like wild fire. It spread throughout every Middle School and High School. Nerds played it. Jocks played it. Chicks played it. Business people played it. Ghetto people played it. It ran on just about every machine out there.

    WoW is hardly unique in that regard, even in the history of gaming.

    It is unique in that regard to this genre. Prior to WoW the MMORPG was a game for geeks and nerds like those of us who sit here and discuss this stuff.

    A sure sign that you are in an old, dying paradigm/mindset, is when you are scared of new ideas and new technology. Don't feel bad. The world is moving on without you, and you are welcome to yell "Get Off My Lawn!" all you want while it happens. You cannot, however, stop an idea whose time has come.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,788Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by MindTrigger

    Marketing came after an interesting product that already had tons of momentum on its side.  It would be suicide for ANet to spend a fortune on ads to try to get more players.  Ultimately it may also not matter, if they have shitty player retention long term.

    Yes, that's just it.  Eventually there will be another interesting product that has tons of momentum on its side.  And that will make massive marketing expenditures profitable.

    Most games would have a much larger playerbase if they had WoW's marketing budget.  Probably not WoW-style numbers, but a lot more than they have now.  The problem is that spending $200 million on marketing to get $100 million in revenue isn't profitable, so they don't.

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by Thorbrand

    Sure is but the is completely on how you see success. WOW is no longer a MMORPG but did start as one. They catered to the casuals. FYI...There is no such thing as a casual MMORPG gamer!

    EQ still going and still a MMORPG.

    DAoC Best PvP game in history even today.

    Now if you talk money Blizzard isn't the giant everyone thinks they are. They never actually show true numbers and haven't since the first year of release. Blizzard make tons of money that is not a measurement of success. That is only a part of it.

    Really, just look at Blizz (or activision) quarterly report.

    They sold 10M copies of D3. 3+M copies of MOP .. if that is not success .. 99% of other companies would love to hve this kind of non-success.

    And MMO changes. If WOW is successful, and it is no longer strictly a MMO .. may be other MMOs should be chnaged to non-MMOs.

    In fact, the success of LOL and WOT shows that you can do online game differently (now that is innovation), and be very successful. May be MMO should take what they are doing well (like instanced dungeons) and get rid of what they are not doing well (like having a world no one is using).

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,788Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by MindTrigger
    Originally posted by Quizzical
    Originally posted by mmoDAD

    WoW was more than just a Theme Park MMO. It was like a popular hair style that spread like wild fire. It spread throughout every Middle School and High School. Nerds played it. Jocks played it. Chicks played it. Business people played it. Ghetto people played it. It ran on just about every machine out there.

    WoW is hardly unique in that regard, even in the history of gaming.

    It is unique in that regard to this genre. Prior to WoW the MMORPG was a game for geeks and nerds like those of us who sit here and discuss this stuff.

    The first huge success in any genre was, in its day, unique in that regard to its genre.

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