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Are Young People Joining MMOs?

FingzFingz Tucson, AZPosts: 136Member

Any aging industry has to worry about new customers.  You're always going to lose your old customers whether they move on or die or what and you need new blood to replace them.

Take a child born in 2000.  How likely do you think that child will pick MMOs as his main source of entertainment?

There are a lot of entertainment choices.  Young people might go into League of Legends, many play Minecraft, and there are a ton of first person shooters. 

Is the MMO industry in danger of losing millions of subscribers?  Meaning MMO players leaving faster than they can be replaced?

Or will young people eagerly join MMOs today as we did way back when?

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Comments

  • VicDynamoVicDynamo Michigan, MIPosts: 234Member
    I don't think so since there are so many other ways to connect with people and game. The MMO used to be the only way kids could hang out with their friends online so it was as much social as it was for the game itself. This isn't the case anymore since most games have online modes now and give a much more satisfying experience in short bursts than MMO's do.
  • Bama1267Bama1267 Waterloo, NYPosts: 1,847Member

     Good question. I started playing online when I was 20. If I am not mistaken the internet and internet gaming was just starting to really take off with more and more homes getting computers and also getting internet. A lot of people as well as myself still using dial up to connect .... would like to see some of these people today try gaming on a poor dial up connection. In those days, I mostly ran into people my own age or younger. This month I turn 37 and it seems I run into a wide range of ages. Generally speaking though .. I run into people in there 20s more often than not. I do tend to lean toward adult guilds though and a lot usually range in age of high 20s to 40s. I think the back fill as gamers get older and quit is being filled just fine.

     

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

    Or will young people eagerly join MMOs today as we did way back when?

    I doubt it .. there are so many choices.

    Take my kids (they are 18 and 16). They did play WoW, and GW2 (a bit, and no longer), but MMOs are no where close to their "main game". They would much rather play MOBAs (LoL) and CCG (Hearthstone) now.

     

  • DauzqulDauzqul Detroit, MIPosts: 1,411Member Uncommon

    The MMO population, back in the EQ / UO days, consisted mostly of both educated and socially awkward individuals - outcasts. As much as I hate the game, WoW introduced the MMO to the rest. Not only was it just the "nerd" playing, but also the jock, the hottie, the fatty, the druggy, the mom, the dad, the rich, the poor, etc etc etc.

    The WoW hype is long gone. MMOs just aren't "the talk" anymore. Most players of new MMOs are MMO veterans.

  • Azaron_NightbladeAzaron_Nightblade KingsmouthPosts: 2,646Member Uncommon

    I know plenty of folks who's kids have started playing, so I'd say yes, they are.

    Though many of them tend to lean more towards MOBA's than actual MMO's.

    My SWTOR referral link for those wanting to give the game a try. (Newbies get a welcome package while returning players get a few account upgrades to help with their preferred status.)

  • FingzFingz Tucson, AZPosts: 136Member
    Originally posted by Azaron_Nightblade

    I know plenty of folks who's kids have started playing, so I'd say yes, they are.

    Though many of them tend to lean more towards MOBA's than actual MMO's.

    Personal anecdotes aren't very useful.  Someone could know 50 kids that play MMOs but that wouldn't mean that young people are joining MMOs in general.  If a million people a year leave MMOs, we need a million new people to break even and more to grow.

    It might takes years but what will it mean to the MMO industry as the pool of players shrinks?

  • evilizedevilized columbus, OHPosts: 564Member Uncommon

    Unless something else comes along with the popularity of WoW in its prime, I don't see many younger people picking up MMO's as their primary genre. That being said, there will be new people joining up but the numbers will probably look a lot more like the pre-wow era than anything else (back to MMO's being a niche market). Not a bad thing really.

     

    The reason WoW exploded like it did was because of word of mouth. Friend A gets game, Friend B, C, and D all join in, then friend C's friends all join friend C and so on. The stigma was gone after the first couple years which allowed people to start playing WoW because it wasn't seen as weird. Today the games are MOBA's, anything Elder Scrolls and the ever present "most popular shooter of the time" which is generally Call of Duty (blech...).

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

    It might takes years but what will it mean to the MMO industry as the pool of players shrinks?

    Very simple. Adapt to make other kind of (more popular) games or die.

    Blizz is going into MOBA and card games not by accident.

     

  • SEANMCADSEANMCAD Houston, TXPosts: 5,348Member

    I find this an ironic question when looks at the most common adds that flash in our face all the time on this site.

    The target demographic of the adds seems to be 12 year old boys

    Correlation does not imply causation

  • CrusadesCrusades Columbus, OHPosts: 480Member
    I think you have a legitimate concern and I think younger players are not as captured by the internet social phenomenon as older players were. Younger players have a different perspective, in their eyes, online multiplayer and online social features are not that amazing.
  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by Crusades
    I think you have a legitimate concern and I think younger players are not as captured by the internet social phenomenon as older players were. Younger players have a different perspective, in their eyes, online multiplayer and online social features are not that amazing.

    online multiplayer and social features are not that amazing for me either, and I am not 12.

     

  • DarthoriousDarthorious Yankton, SDPosts: 70Member

    I have to say no.

    My step-son is in this age group and he nor anyone he even knows at school has any interest in MMO's what-so-ever.  I've asked him time and time again about it, he's asked school mates for me and the such but none of the younger crowd at this point in time cares.  They all concentrate on non-mmo games mostly computer games.

    I have been playing MMO's for decades now and recently just stopped cold turkey.  I just find the over abundance of easy content extremely unsatisfying and boring.  I had hopes for FFXIV but nope just another WOW clone IMO.  Tried SWTOR same thing easy and boring.  Sad part is I still enjoyed going back to FFXI and working on long quest lines to get this or that.  Gave a real sense of accomplishment because the rewards were substantial. Now days you may or may not even need the reward all you get is XP and/or gold in the end.

    I mention this because this seems to be why my step-son isn't playing he and his friends just say they're stupid games and a waste of time.  But when playing other games (non-mmo) that do hand out a substantial reward after a quest he goes ballistic with excitement.

     

    So again no, none of his friends play MMO's.

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,675Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Crusades
    I think you have a legitimate concern and I think younger players are not as captured by the internet social phenomenon as older players were. 

    I'd say it's the opposite. They're into online interaction - even if it is just selfies, vaguebooking and clicktivism - which is why they don't play MMOs. The upcoming generation has a greater chance of getting into Kaneva than World of Warcraft. Actually, I think NOW is a great time for virtual worlds like Kaneva - fused web and 3D social environments - to start making some waves. 

     

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • aesperusaesperus Hamshire, NVPosts: 5,128Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Fingz

    Any aging industry has to worry about new customers.  You're always going to lose your old customers whether they move on or die or what and you need new blood to replace them.

    Take a child born in 2000.  How likely do you think that child will pick MMOs as his main source of entertainment?

    There are a lot of entertainment choices.  Young people might go into League of Legends, many play Minecraft, and there are a ton of first person shooters. 

    Is the MMO industry in danger of losing millions of subscribers?  Meaning MMO players leaving faster than they can be replaced?

    Or will young people eagerly join MMOs today as we did way back when?

    Good question, but I feel like there is something that needs to be pointed out first.

    Blizzard is largely responsible for blowing up the MMO market into the size that it is today. We're talking 10s of millions of players. It's already lost close to half that many subscribers, and many of them didn't switch to another MMO. So, the industry has already lost millions of subscribers from that one game alone.

    And Blizzard still has millions of loyal fans, so if they change gears away from MMOs (which they appear to be doing) that is another few million players that could likely leave the genre entirely (for better or worse).

    That said, there are younger players that play MMOs. I've played with a number of them (some annoyingly so). However, there does appear to be a much higher concentration of younger gamers in MOBAs and shooters, than in MMOs. Minecraft is kind of it's own beast, so I'm not sure it should be used as a metric any more than WoW should be.

    But yes, games are changing, gaming is changing, and the MMOs that pioneered the genre may likely be a thing of the past. If the market does burst, then it will be a mixed blessing. This will mean much smaller budgets and less companies willing to make MMOs. Which means clunkier / less flashy games. But it should also mean more innovation (hopefully).

  • Vermillion_RaventhalVermillion_Raventhal Oxon Hill, MDPosts: 1,147Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by Crusades
    I think you have a legitimate concern and I think younger players are not as captured by the internet social phenomenon as older players were. 

    I'd say it's the opposite. They're into online interaction - even if it is just selfies, vaguebooking and clicktivism - which is why they don't play MMOs. The upcoming generation has a greater chance of getting into Kaneva than World of Warcraft. Actually, I think NOW is a great time for virtual worlds like Kaneva - fused web and 3D social environments - to start making some waves. 

     

     

    I think this is the perfect time for a revisit of the Sims Online or type game.  Add in some virtual real world online malls, stores and etc.  Get enough sponsors and I think a casual game like that could be a hit.  Too bad Sims Online was a such a failure EA would never try it again.  

  • KyleranKyleran Tampa, FLPosts: 20,008Member Uncommon
    The long awaited crash and burn is almost here, the masses are turning their attention elsewhere, so the major Dev houses appear to be turning away as well.

    Should leave the market more open to the smaller firms catering to a niche market. We may soon see the birth of the next round of MMO Dev houses, much like happened 10 to 12 years ago.

    In my day MMORPG's were so hard we fought our way through dungeons in the snow, uphill both ways.
    "I don't have one life, I have many lives" - Grunty
    Still currently "subscribed" to EVE, and only EVE!!!
    "This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,675Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Vermillion_Raventhal
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by Crusades
    I think you have a legitimate concern and I think younger players are not as captured by the internet social phenomenon as older players were. 

    I'd say it's the opposite. They're into online interaction - even if it is just selfies, vaguebooking and clicktivism - which is why they don't play MMOs. The upcoming generation has a greater chance of getting into Kaneva than World of Warcraft. Actually, I think NOW is a great time for virtual worlds like Kaneva - fused web and 3D social environments - to start making some waves. 

     

    I think this is the perfect time for a revisit of the Sims Online or type game.  Add in some virtual real world online malls, stores and etc.  Get enough sponsors and I think a casual game like that could be a hit.  Too bad Sims Online was a such a failure EA would never try it again.  

    They're already out there.

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • Azaron_NightbladeAzaron_Nightblade KingsmouthPosts: 2,646Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Fingz
    Originally posted by Azaron_Nightblade

    I know plenty of folks who's kids have started playing, so I'd say yes, they are.

    Though many of them tend to lean more towards MOBA's than actual MMO's.

    Personal anecdotes aren't very useful.  Someone could know 50 kids that play MMOs but that wouldn't mean that young people are joining MMOs in general.  If a million people a year leave MMOs, we need a million new people to break even and more to grow.

    It might takes years but what will it mean to the MMO industry as the pool of players shrinks?

    Unless someone here has access to some market data (like subscriber ages) it's all just personal opinion and anecdotes.

    I personally don't think there's anything to worry about, and that there are indeed still younger players joining MMO's every day, you seem to lean more towards the opposite unless I'm mistaken.

    Either way it'll be a matter of wait and see.

    My SWTOR referral link for those wanting to give the game a try. (Newbies get a welcome package while returning players get a few account upgrades to help with their preferred status.)

  • RydesonRydeson Canton, OHPosts: 3,858Member Uncommon

         First thing is.. define MMO's..   That is rather broad.. Technically Farmville is an MMO.. lol  Now as for a smaller genre of the MMO category, you get MMORPG, which has been redefined since over the years.. For me, since the 1990's mmorpg always stood for the group of online players that played a character role similar to AD&D and socialized online at the same time.. There was always more to a true rpg experience then just hack and slash.. EQ1 and earlier counterparts were that, but as the mass population grew online with inexpensive cable modems, etc, MMO became bigger and wider..  I think the online population is saturated at this point.. If you have 2 billion online now, that is pretty much full capacity.. 

         Well, unless the tribes in booneyville Africa or wherever, get cable, but I don't see that happening anytime soon..  lol

  • asrlohzasrlohz UddevallaPosts: 645Member

    This is starting to look a lot more like:

    "The kids these days! They don't even do the same things I did in my time! Uuurh with their facialbooks and instantgrammies! Back in my day we played [Insert MMO] and it was meaningful and hard and kids just want instant gratification."

     

    The only healthy reason you have to not find children in your game is because you're not actively seeking them out. And if you are and sill can't find them we can only thank god for that.

    Another reason might be that the new generation born in the '00 hasn't had a single high profile MMO that swept the gamers off their feet like WoW. They've had other high profile things that used to be niche like LoL, Collectible card games (HS) and flash games in the form of consumer hostile apps such as Candy Crush.

    So stop it. You're starting to sound a lot more like old men and women that are angry because back in their day you had to pay your bills manually and work wasn't automated by robots and computers. It was meaningful and hard! And the lot of you aren't even old enough to do that! I experienced the same MMOs that you all did and I'm half your age.

     

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  • asrlohzasrlohz UddevallaPosts: 645Member
    Originally posted by Crusades
    I think you have a legitimate concern and I think younger players are not as captured by the internet social phenomenon as older players were. Younger players have a different perspective, in their eyes, online multiplayer and online social features are not that amazing.

    Like this!

    It's not a concern. What's the worst that could happen? That children spend 8 hours a day playing apps instead of farming mats for his tier 3 PvE armour? Just as freaking productive. Only difference is that with an iPad they'll be able to do it outside or with friends in town instead over the internet.

     

    Anyone who is concerned about "Not enough children in my MMO" is someone all children should be avoiding from the get-go.

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  • sumdumguy1sumdumguy1 avondale, AZPosts: 962Member Uncommon
    There are kids that want to play mmo's.  The problem is many of them are either not for kids or games/themes kids dont relate to.  My nephews are great examples, they are both gamers and have watched me play many games but they don't relate to them.  They are both early teenagers and are part of the console generation. 
  • SpottyGekkoSpottyGekko RotterdamPosts: 3,845Member Uncommon

    This entire thread is hilarious !

     

    There are more kids playing MMO's currently than at any time in the history of MMO's. That's because there are more people playing MMO's now than at any time previously.

     

    There are literally 100's of MMO's currently running. Sure, many are of dubious quality and have small playerbases, but the industry is not "in decline", lol, quite the contrary ! There's a new MMO announced on this site almost every second day (95% of which are F2P).

     

    The original "core audience" of the early MMO's (UO, EQ, DAOC, AO, AC) in total now represent such a small % of the currently active MMO players that they can be completely ignored. As a group, they are no longer relevant when major design decisions are made.

     

    Labelling MMO's as an "ageing industry in decline" is laughable on all counts. It's a dynamic and evolving industry that is growing rapidly. MMORPG's are just a part of that industry and are growing and evolving too, in response to the changing preferences of the ever-changing playerbase.

  • ScambugScambug TortugaPosts: 389Member

    I don't know if they're joining but the MMO industry is desperate to get their hands on 'em. Free to play, dumbed down mechanics, childish story telling, total absence of mature content, cartoon graphics etc etc. All these design choices are made to attract kids, they're easier to please and have more free time than adults.

     

  • RobokappRobokapp Dublin, OHPosts: 5,206Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Kyleran
    The long awaited crash and burn is almost here, the masses are turning their attention elsewhere, so the major Dev houses appear to be turning away as well.

    Should leave the market more open to the smaller firms catering to a niche market. We may soon see the birth of the next round of MMO Dev houses, much like happened 10 to 12 years ago.

    is this Dune Roleplaying?

     

    p.s. I see your point and it's what has been expected by many, really. WoW dies, tiny MMOs suddenly become medium sized.

     

    it's the same in Economy (1929) and in evolution (T-Rex dies, tiny rat-like mammal has a chance).

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