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General: News From the MMO-niverse

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,613MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

In his latest Free Zone column, MMORPG.com's Richard Aihoshi has gathered the best news from the F2P MMO-niverse from around the web. Included in the news is Lineage II's F2P announcements, the latest layoffs and LEGO Universe shutting down. Read on!

Writing a regular opinion column can involve feast or famine-type situations with respect to topics that interest me enough to comment on. Fortunately, the MMOG industry and the free to play sector are busy enough that latter seldom happens. Since last time, quite a few things caught my attention, including the sampling below. As you'll see, a number of them left me with questions.

Read more of Richard Aihoshi's The Free Zone: News From the MMO-niverse.


Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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Comments

  • InktomiInktomi merrick, NYPosts: 663Member

    Am I the firstnerd?

     

    Good info. Unfortunately it looks like they don't have enough people buying into their games. The question here, is the rate of growth of the player population keeping pace with the growth of the industry as a whole?

    That's important because obviously they need people to log in, play and spend money however the game is modeled, either a la carte or subscription. 

    I've seen more games to come out in this year, more that I even have time to play. How can they keep up with costs if they don't have the revenue? Taking on the free model can only go so far.

  • Superman0XSuperman0X San Jose, CAPosts: 1,593Member Uncommon

    Richard.

     

    There has been a shift in funding in the gaming industry. VC is pulling out, and more traditional investment is coming in. The 'growth' approach is no longer bringing in investment money. Traditional investment is looking for solid returns.... not market growth.

     

    This means that much of the market is dead or dying. Only the companies that have a solid business plan, or have a lot of money will surviive. The gaming bubble has burst... but not everyone knows it yet.  There are layoffs in all sectors of gaming, mobile, casual, console, and online. Companies are being bought, or are going under. No one has quite said it yet, but the market is consolidating.

     

    This is good for the market, but means that games will not only need to stand out, but have good business sense to succeed.

  • TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Arkham, VAPosts: 10,910Member

    I would honestly wonder if the market for mmorpg is growing at all. Is the market for 'gamers' even growing? Are there more single player RPG players now than there were 10 years ago? Other than Facebook games, what type of game has had population and revenue growth? There's more money in video games in the last 10 years, but the games seem to be more expensive too.

    I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  • MeltdownMeltdown Home, NHPosts: 1,184Member Uncommon



    Originally posted by Superman0X

    Richard.





     





    There has been a shift in funding in the gaming industry. VC is pulling out, and more traditional investment is coming in. The 'growth' approach is no longer bringing in investment money. Traditional investment is looking for solid returns.... not market growth.





     





    This means that much of the market is dead or dying. Only the companies that have a solid business plan, or have a lot of money will surviive. The gaming bubble has burst... but not everyone knows it yet.  There are layoffs in all sectors of gaming, mobile, casual, console, and online. Companies are being bought, or are going under. No one has quite said it yet, but the market is consolidating.





     





    This is good for the market, but means that games will not only need to stand out, but have good business sense to succeed.










     

    I feel like one of the "good" things that comes from this shift is that the market opens up for much smaller players. Such as Minecraft reaching 4 million sales, thats over 2 million sales  this year alone with a 25% retention rate (25% of the people who try the game buy it). I know it's not an MMO, but its pretty impressive and hopefully his model can be replicated by indie developers and smaller companies alike.



     

    "They essentially want to say 'Correlation proves Causation' when it's just not true." - Sovrath

  • OzmodanOzmodan Hilliard, OHPosts: 7,187Member Uncommon

    Kind of funny how many of the weaker F2P games are folding like tents in a windstorm.  The new Lineage announcement is not a MMO, just a another Diablo II clone.  There already have been plenty of commentsabout the new Warhammer game, that it has fail written all over it because a two faction pvp game just does not work.  So the big budget  probably won't help recoupe the loses it will sustain.

    F2P games are rarely going to get funding in this marketplace, investors want a revenue model that does not depend on enticing people to buy things in item shops.  So questioning why some games are not going f2p makes no sense at all.

  • TalthanysTalthanys Millersville, MDPosts: 458Member

    Originally posted by Ozmodan

     There already have been plenty of commentsabout the new Warhammer game, that it has fail written all over it because a two faction pvp game just does not work.

    I thought  the WAR MOBA was 3 faction combat? I've been invited to every beta-test but couldn't muster up the interest, but I am fairly certain it was 3 faction combat (a lore-destroying almagamation of races, though).

    image

  • TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Arkham, VAPosts: 10,910Member


    Originally posted by Talthanys
    Originally posted by Ozmodan  There already have been plenty of commentsabout the new Warhammer game, that it has fail written all over it because a two faction pvp game just does not work.
    I thought  the WAR MOBA was 3 faction combat? I've been invited to every beta-test but couldn't muster up the interest, but I am fairly certain it was 3 faction combat (a lore-destroying almagamation of races, though).


    They are referring to the Warhammer 40K game.

    I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,666Member Uncommon

     

    "From the time it was announced, I felt a Lego MMOG could make a mark in the industry."

    It did. It just wasn't named LEGO; it was called Minecraft.

     

    "This comes on the heel of recent news that Earth Eternal is in difficulty again..."

    I never knew EE came back. :(

     

     

    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

  • YuuiYuui KaunasPosts: 723Member

    In addition, NCsoft will announce a major new game this week. Speculation has arisen in some quarters that it might be the latest iteration of the long-awaited Lineage III. While G-STAR does provide an obvious occasion for Korean publishers to unveil significant projects, would the company risk over-shadowing Blade & Soul before it has launched? I guess we'll see soon enough.

    and the speculations turned out to be true.

    While it does not have "3" in its title, Lineage Eternal, the game anounced by NCSOFT in the pre-Gstar conference is a direct sequel to Lineage 1  and will apparantly get most of company's attention in G*Star.

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  • DvalonDvalon IrvinePosts: 314Member Uncommon

    Did anyone mention the layoff's at blizzard, which recently included a ton of people that were at blizzcon as well as a few Titan staff members.

    It's the flood of free to play games that finally poped our little mmo gaming bubble and only the strong subscription games will survive the free to play games are going to quickly lose funding, those that are not already out and financially a success will fail to launch.

     

    in the end it looks like we might get what we want after all, better games and the death of the free (dime it) model.

  • finnmacool1finnmacool1 Corona, CAPosts: 453Member

    Please include "ftp" or "Richard Aihoshi" in the topic so i know not to waste my time, thanks.

  • itgrowlsitgrowls newport news, VAPosts: 2,951Member

    Originally posted by Dvalon

    Did anyone mention the layoff's at blizzard, which recently included a ton of people that were at blizzcon as well as a few Titan staff members.

    It's the flood of free to play games that finally poped our little mmo gaming bubble and only the strong subscription games will survive the free to play games are going to quickly lose funding, those that are not already out and financially a success will fail to launch.

     

    in the end it looks like we might get what we want after all, better games and the death of the free (dime it) model.

    "There are layoffs in all sectors of gaming, mobile, casual, console, and online."

     

    It's every game type that's being affected and it's due to the collapse of the economy not because of their model. F2P games are here to stay and here's why, if their ip is popular enough, they will receive the most money from more sources because people who like those games will be buying the things they want, and will be playing more F2P games because they like diversity rather then being stuck in the overgrinded time gobbling Sub only models. 

    The game changer will come with the launch of GW2. That game and it's devs are going to change the industry.

    F2P is not evil, it's not terrible when done correctly, and it's definitely not going anywhere, so buckle up and get used to it.

  • I'm not real surprised by the closure of some of these games.  I am surprised at the news of the Blizzard layoffs of Titan folks (though still not sure that it is more than rumors).

     

    I never understood what they were doing with the Legos MMO.  Who is their target audience?  Why should their target audience play them over Toontown or Wizards 101?  The real life experience of playing with legos is hard to translate into pixels - there again Minecraft appears to have done it.

     

    The others that are all having problems - it really comes down to what do you offer that the other MMOs don't?  Is that different thing something your target audience likes?   Or is that different thing just kewl cause no one else is doing it?

     

    There again lots of game developers seem to be spending a lot of time designing stuff based on measureable results and forgetting that fun is hard to measure.

  • JooknowJooknow Sacramento, CAPosts: 18Member

    Originally posted by itgrowls

    Originally posted by Dvalon

    Did anyone mention the layoff's at blizzard, which recently included a ton of people that were at blizzcon as well as a few Titan staff members.

    It's the flood of free to play games that finally poped our little mmo gaming bubble and only the strong subscription games will survive the free to play games are going to quickly lose funding, those that are not already out and financially a success will fail to launch.

     

    in the end it looks like we might get what we want after all, better games and the death of the free (dime it) model.

    "There are layoffs in all sectors of gaming, mobile, casual, console, and online."

     

    It's every game type that's being affected and it's due to the collapse of the economy not because of their model. F2P games are here to stay and here's why, if their ip is popular enough, they will receive the most money from more sources because people who like those games will be buying the things they want, and will be playing more F2P games because they like diversity rather then being stuck in the overgrinded time gobbling Sub only models. 

    The game changer will come with the launch of GW2. That game and it's devs are going to change the industry.

    F2P is not evil, it's not terrible when done correctly, and it's definitely not going anywhere, so buckle up and get used to it.


     


    The diversity due to the sheer number of FTP games could also end up being a potential weakness.  People might spend a few bucks on your game and then never come back simply because they found something else to play and weren't offered gameplay worth staying for.

    image
  • VirusDancerVirusDancer Brandon, FLPosts: 3,649Member

    So here in the Western World, we have people claiming that F2P is the Future and P2P is Dying.  With the news about RIFT in Korea, it left me to wonder if there will be people there claiming that P2P is the Future and F2P is Dying...

    I miss the MMORPG genre. Will a developer ever make one again?

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  • gaeanprayergaeanprayer Somewhere Out There, PAPosts: 2,320Member Uncommon

    It means people have finally had enough of being spoon-fed the same derivative gameplay over and over again. The exception would be LEGO Universe, which had very little in the way of marketing to help it survive and huge amounts of competition from games like Marvel Super Hero Squad, which had a much lower barrier of entry.

     

    The bubble has indeed burst, and it's a good thing. The failure of games from bigger companies contrasts with the recently monumental success of indie companies simply trying to fulfill a vision and be "unique." As opposed to a game like Troy Online which was the same bullshit we've been playing for years, with a Greek spin.

     

    Hopefully more companies will realize what this means and go back to what games were supposed to be about in the first place. There's no reason to create a world someone else already has made; be different, or be gone.

    "Forums aren't for intelligent discussion; they're for blow-hards with unwavering opinions."

  • JuicemanJuiceman Prescott, AZPosts: 167Member

    Nice article.  This the type of "other" MMO news we need to hear sometimes.  A once a a week thing would be awesome.

  • daltaniousdaltanious waPosts: 2,144Member Uncommon

    As long as this F2P plague does not get to the Rift or Wow ... im fine.

  • erictlewiserictlewis Cottondale, ALPosts: 3,026Member Uncommon

    Well I think this is a good thing.  It is called supply and demand, and the demand for great games is there,  demand for cruddy games is not.   That just goes to prove it you put free to play in it does not make it gold, you need to make a good solid quality game to survive.

    I for one want to see a lot of games go up in flames, then maybe the development houses will see what folks really want is a quality game, not some pos that was put together in a week and sent out the door.

    Gamersfirst what a joke, yea they bought out fallen earth, and well now its even worse than what it was before the buyout.  I expect gamers first to go totally under water by the end of next year, and good riddance.

    I hate if for the folks who loose their jobs, but honestly I have to point out what other folks have the game bubble has broken, and only the strong will survive, and it is directly linked to how bad the economy is not just in the USA but world wide. 

     

  • gimmekeygimmekey Montreal, QCPosts: 117Member

    Fire them all and foreclose all their assets.

    It's about time the old MMORPG garage gets emptied and aired out.

  • matt909matt909 Riverside, CAPosts: 6Member

    agreed..but all in all f2p ftw!

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