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How do game companies get it so wrong?

mgilbrtsnmgilbrtsn belleville, ILPosts: 1,710Member Uncommon

I was wondering how game companies who obviously have put a lot of time and money into a game, can so miss the mark on what the gaming community wants.  I'm not talking about nitpicking every little thing a game does right/wrong, becausee those are always up for debate.  Instead I'm wondering at a more Macro level.  Star Trek Online and Champions online come to mind.  Its obvious that a lot of money was spent on them.  The quality shows.  However, they are so far off the mark on what players wanted, that they just fail to attract the masses.  I know that politicians and others do a lot of market surveys and focus groups to help them make decisions.  Do game companies not do this?  Just cruious.

Concentrate on enjoying yourself, and not on why I shouldn't enjoy myself.

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Comments

  • OnomasOnomas Rock Hill, SCPosts: 1,128Member Uncommon

    kids, they want to make games as easy as possible for the little ones.

     

    As some of the community want indepth, crafting, exploration, open world, streategy, skill, death penalties, and features galore.

     

    They keep making these console style rpg games with tons of eye candy and lack of innovation for the kiddies which now take up most the community.

     

    I wish a company would go back to old school mmos and actualy make a real mmo for a change. WOW realy hurt the mmo community by attracting the kids and the need for easy single player  eye candy games :/

  • Loke666Loke666 MalmöPosts: 18,023Member Uncommon

    Wishful thinking.

    In STOs case Cryptic thought they could make a MMO in 18 months and that the corners they cut to get there wouldn't matter. Neither STO or CO was that expensive to make really, they were both made very fast.

    In most cases however they see that Wow have loads of players but start to look old so they think the same game but reskinned and better looking will take over all the subs.

    I think a lot of it is they making the wrong conclusions as well. They ask people what game they enjoy right now, but not really if they would leave that game for a very similar. They should be asking what type of game they would leave what they play today for instead.

    And of course many companies releases the game in a crap state and think they patch it in later and also are rather slow with patching new stuff in the game. Those 2 things can kill any game fast.

  • GdemamiGdemami Beau VallonPosts: 7,865Member Uncommon

    Can you be specific on what companies and games you have on mind?

    Regarding STO and CO, you still did not point out what the issue is supposed to be.


    Originally posted by mgilbrtsn

    However, they are so far off the mark on what players wanted, that they just fail to attract the masses.  

    Are they? So you say you know what players want or do not want? Out of curiosity, how did you find out?

  • OnomasOnomas Rock Hill, SCPosts: 1,128Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Gdemami

    Can you be specific on what companies and games you have on mind?

    Regarding STO and CO, you still did not point out what the issue is supposed to be.

     

     




    Originally posted by mgilbrtsn



    However, they are so far off the mark on what players wanted, that they just fail to attract the masses.  




     

    Are they? So you say you know what players want or do not want? Out of curiosity, how did you find out?

    Polls, forums, etc. Just look at some of the polls here, and youwill see what so many would like. But they settle for dumbed down games and just go along with it. I personaly feel many dont even know what a MMORPG should be or what it use to be like. These games released now are console games made for pc with the words MMO labeled all over them.

     

    Take SWTOR for example. Its nothing more than KTOR console game which allows a handful of people to share an instance. Full of eye candy but none of the mmo features so many games have/had. They are charging 15/month to play KTOR online and there is nothing special about SWTOR. Just shocked how people can like dumbed down games, with no indepth gameplay, and the lack of features that should be there. Its new and has wonderful eye candy, but when that wears off, TOR will be just an average single player console game.

     

    I mean they just took a poll here not to long ago asking how people felt about console mmo's. 70% said no they didnt want to play them if i remember right. But then turn around and play them, probably because nothing good has been released for a long time.

  • delete5230delete5230 Posts: 2,963Member Uncommon

    Very easy !!!

    un wanted gimmicks :

    - No one asked for easy mode.

    - No one asked for personal story lines, if they interfere with grouping.

    - No one asked for Voice acting if it interfered with grouping.

    - No one asked for absolute great graphics if the game needed to be paths and rails to achieve it.

    - MMO's have to be almost seamless, if not devs have no business making an mmo.

    - Many don't like dungeon finders and cross servers. It's now a divided community on this one.

    WoW did most of the above. Many mmo's followed. Many still play wow anyway. The difference between other mmo developers and WoW is that people will put up with bad changes in WoW because it's wow.

    Developers only think they know what people like !!!

  • BanquettoBanquetto CityPosts: 1,037Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by Onomas
    Polls, forums, etc. Just look at some of the polls here, and youwill see what so many would like. But they settle for dumbed down games and just go along with it.
    If you want absolutely surefire guaranteed way to "get it so wrong" and be "so far off the mark on what players wanted", here it is:

    Base your game on what people on the mmorpg.com forums demand.

  • Loke666Loke666 MalmöPosts: 18,023Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Gdemami

    Are they? So you say you know what players want or do not want? Out of curiosity, how did you find out?

    I am pretty sure people didn´t want STO & CO. The fact that both have gone F2P and that most players left after the first month told us that.

    Besides that I amnot sure people do even know what they want in a new game. Heck, I don´t exactly know what I want before I see it either, I just know that I want something that is fun and different.

  • ManarixManarix AmersfoortPosts: 92Member

    Here is what i think.

    I think developpers listen WAY TOO MUCH to their so called customers.

    And the endresult is a bland product, that does not excell in anything, while trying to cater to as many as possible.

    Ultima Online and Dark Ages of Camelot were games that were made by people with a vision. They made the game like they wanted it to be, games they wanted to play themselves and have have a good time wasting time with. If you didn't like it, well too bad, you didn't play...simple as that. And to be honest, both games went downhill when the developpers started to "listen" to what the players wanted, most times fragmented ideas of people that didn't like a, b or c.

     

     

    Currently playing browser games. Waiting for SC.
    Played: almost all MMO pre 2007

  • OnomasOnomas Rock Hill, SCPosts: 1,128Member Uncommon

    If you want absolutely surefire guaranteed way to "get it so wrong" and be "so far off the mark on what players wanted", here it is:

     

    Base your game on what people on the mmorpg.com forums demand. 

     

    Well companies have been doing it the other way and havent made a game worth a monkey turd in ohhh about 6-7years. There are hundreds of mmo's released yearly, and about  90% fail.

  • BiskopBiskop AvalonPosts: 709Member

    Don't forget that most consumers do want easymode, shiny, new, shallow, action-based games, preferably with a familiar gameplay style and a famous IP behind it. They want to be able to sit back in their sofa with an Xbox controller, not use complicated stuff like a computer.

    The more dedicated gamers on this site, albeit a vocal bunch, sadly do not represent the target audience of the average AAA MMO. Games are not made by and for a subculture of gamer nerds anymore, and the big companies don't give a rat's ass about our opinions and desires. They only care about money, and if that's your sole concern it's easier to just make an average copy a successful concept, advertise it like there's no tomorrow, and hope for insane box sales.

    When the kids have burned through all the "content" and start to drop off, you make the game F2P and start investing your next big cash cow.

     

  • CalmOceansCalmOceans BergenPosts: 2,273Member

    I'm surprised that many people in those companies aren't actually "true" gamers. Many have played games, but often they can't name more than a handful of games, same story with those "focus groups".

    I noticed this when people complain that starter zones are overcrowded on launch day, and everyone is furious on the forums and the developers are drawing a blank when the forum users tell them how they didn't see this coming.

  • VhalnVhaln Chicago, ILPosts: 3,159Member

    Being good at making money and being creative are very different, and as gaming becomes a bigger and bigger business, the more its controled by people with money instead of creativity.  You'd think it'd be a no-brainer for a game company to give creative control to someone with proven creativity, but people with money tend to be ego-maniacs who don't want some peon ruining things with all their vision, imagination, and other worthless crap like that.  Certainly not someone who wastes all their time playing video games, to boot.

     

    So instead they create these formulaic games, based on what they think sounds fun, to people looking at it from the outside, who don't even know what a fun game is, and just figure its like any other industry where you can buy your way to success.

    When I want a single-player story, I'll play a single-player game. When I play an MMO, I want a massively multiplayer world.

  • ArakaneArakane Pittsburgh, PAPosts: 200Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Vhaln

    Being good at making money and being creative are very different, and as gaming becomes a bigger and bigger business, the more its controled by people with money instead of creativity.  You'd think it'd be a no-brainer for a game company to give creative control to someone with proven creativity, but people with money tend to be ego-maniacs who don't want some peon ruining things with all their vision, imagination, and other worthless crap like that.  Certainly not someone who wastes all their time playing video games, to boot.

     

    So instead they create these formulaic games, based on what they think sounds fun, to people looking at it from the outside, who don't even know what a fun game is, and just figure its like any other industry where you can buy your way to success.

     

     I somewhat agree ^

     

      The devs of a game are rarely "the villains". The Publisher is the one to beware of. The bean-counter's are the bane of good games everywhere and exceptions are rare.

  • CaldicotCaldicot StockholmPosts: 432Member Uncommon

    Good question... I think sunk costs fallacies can delude many.

    Basically you want to answer yes to a number of questions as early in the development  cycle as possible. Examples of such questions could be: "Does combat feel fluid?", "Do I feel connected to the game world and my character?" "Am I having fun?/Do I see potential to have fun?" etc.

    As soon as you answer no to any such question, you either drop the project or redo/rethink the whole thing. NOT yell "It's beta" and continue down the same path.

    Oh, and devs should pick ppl from this site to do their evaluations for them as well :)

    We are picky, but at least we are honest (except the fanboys).

    If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe. - Carl Sagan

  • JabasJabas Caldas da RainhaPosts: 1,207Member Common

    Well, we (addicted mmorpg gamers) that visit forums like this one seeking info about mmo's and discuss about this type of games maybe we dont represent even 0,5% of the ppl playing mmorpg in west market.

    So devs dont care about us, we are a very tiny minority in their target audience.

    What is wrong imo is the lack of vision in the "mmo" elements. Its very easy to make a fun game in the rpg single player experience or even for the small groups, and profit comes from here.

    we are in a virtual world, but the relations is build by humans (at least i bealive its a human behind each player) and here devs must look in a diferent way, let me point one example:

    - Freedom:

    Freedom doesnt mean anarchy. Freedom to work need rules in real life, and when we speak about players relations in a mmorpg is more about PvP side.  But having rules doesnt mean we take the possibility of the players making their choise.

    Devs should let the player make his choise and then face the consequences for his action.

    - In RL can i pick a weapon, go to street and kill the 1st person i found?

    - yes.

    - Will i have to face the consequences for my action?

    - yes.

     

    This is a small example, but can make a huge diference in mmorpg experience. i dont agree with anarchy (every player do what ever they want to others  without consequences), but freedom means that i as a player can take decisions and then have consequences.

     

    Im not very good with english, so sometimes is not easy show my idea/opinion, i hope i was clear enouph  :)

  • SkillCosbySkillCosby Trenton, MIPosts: 684Member

    There are more teenagers playing games than adults. Today's games are being created for teenagers. Older folks like myself miss for the "old days", where MMOs were flooded with complexity and adult aura.

    I personally believe that MMOs aren't as hot as they were back during WoW's peak. There are less "new" MMO players emerging. The initial baby boomers of WoW are growing up and starting to yearn for more depth in their games.

     

    I'm waiting for ArcheAge.

  • NaucanoNaucano ZaventemPosts: 80Member

    OP why do you "insinuate" as if this is a simple task to find out what "the market" wants ? "We" don't always agree, to say the least. How would you go about to filter anything usefull out of  that concoction of ideas, personal preferences and quite stupid remarks ?

    Feasibility, usability and applicability are no concern of the forum posters, internet blogs, sites,  .... We have the luxury of ventilate any thoughts without having to check if it is within reasonable limits of implementation.

    If the games you mentioned are so far off the mark, why do "we" keep playing them ? And why would the companies don't make similar games if there seems to be some, maybe not the big crowd but some players playing it ?

    Making surveys is rather a scientific thing. And if politicians are interested in sociological, economical research then maybe this has nothing to do with the conclusions, if any, from the studies presented. If the conclusions says they are wrong, they will ignore it or dminish its value. If it says they are right, they will use it. I hope companies have more ethics then that.

    Does game-business use surveys, and how ? I am inclined to think they don't, but based on what ? Or at least not in an real organised way. If this shows in the quality, then maybe we have to define what that just means ? Or what we expect ?

    Our expectations have grown that is for sure. What we demand from todays games is something different from the past. And here I would agree: even any half-witted gamenbuilder would follow the flow of the moment. Then again, they are also only human.

    Rated M for Mature - May contain content inappropriate for children

  • BadSpockBadSpock Somewhere, MIPosts: 7,974Member

    With the most popular shows on television being garbage like American Idol and Jersey Shore, and the most popular movies being Michael Bay explosion orgies and teenie feel good musical Disney movies...

     

    Are you really that suprised?

     

    The video game industry has become so big, so commercialized, so profit/bottom-line oriented, just like the TV/movie industries it's 90% crap 5% decent 5% awesome.

    We, the original MMO audience, are no longer their target audience.

     

  • SEANMCADSEANMCAD Houston, TXPosts: 5,348Member

    Originally posted by precious328

    There are more teenagers playing games than adults. Today's games are being created for teenagers. Older folks like myself miss for the "old days", where MMOs were flooded with complexity and adult aura.

    I personally believe that MMOs aren't as hot as they were back during WoW's peak. There are less "new" MMO players emerging. The initial baby boomers of WoW are growing up and starting to yearn for more depth in their games.

     

    I'm waiting for ArcheAge.

    actually (and this surprised me) the average age of a MMO player is something like 35 believe it or not which I think is also average age of the population as a whole.

    With as many grown ups (over lets say 25) playing MMOs I do not understand why sooo much of the adds, contents and websites are so focused on teenagers (seemingly)

    Correlation does not imply causation

  • MMOExposedMMOExposed lalal land, DCPosts: 6,257Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Onomas

    kids, they want to make games as easy as possible for the little ones.
     
    As some of the community want indepth, crafting, exploration, open world, streategy, skill, death penalties, and features galore.
     
    They keep making these console style rpg games with tons of eye candy and lack of innovation for the kiddies which now take up most the community.
     
    I wish a company would go back to old school mmos and actualy make a real mmo for a change. WOW realy hurt the mmo community by attracting the kids and the need for easy single player  eye candy games :/

     

    I disagree about that kid part.


    logically, most kids ether don't have money to pay for subs, nor do they have access to a online paying method which is required, even if they do have money. Most games don't have time payment cards.




    looking at the two games the OP mentioned, they seem to have been trying to be different. Look at what GW2 is trying to do. They are trying to be different for the sake of being different. But they still leave things traditional to consumers. These other games try to do this not so traditional such as making MMORPG/CORPG hybrids, which doesn't settle well for consumers of MMO products

    image

  • SEANMCADSEANMCAD Houston, TXPosts: 5,348Member

    Originally posted by MMOExposed

    Originally posted by Onomas

    kids, they want to make games as easy as possible for the little ones.

     

    As some of the community want indepth, crafting, exploration, open world, streategy, skill, death penalties, and features galore.

     

    They keep making these console style rpg games with tons of eye candy and lack of innovation for the kiddies which now take up most the community.

     

    I wish a company would go back to old school mmos and actualy make a real mmo for a change. WOW realy hurt the mmo community by attracting the kids and the need for easy single player  eye candy games :/

     

    I disagree about that kid part.

    logically, most kids ether don't have money to pay for subs, nor do they have access to a online paying method which is required, even if they do have money. Most games don't have time payment cards.



    looking at the two games the OP mentioned, they seem to have been trying to be different. Look at what GW2 is trying to do. They are trying to be different for the sake of being different. But they still leave things traditional to consumers. These other games try to do this not so traditional such as making MMORPG/CORPG hybrids, which doesn't settle well for consumers of MMO products

    1. I have read that average age of MMO players is somewhere in the early 30s which i bet is the average age of the population in general. So yeah I am not sure why they seem to focus so many games on younger.

    2. average target age of TV is under 20 but the average age of TV watcher is 50. The  theory for this is that its easier for advertisers to grab young people as well as when a young person decides on a brand they usually keep it for life.

    3. more of a conspircy theory which is that the powers that be do not want us using much of our brain power, they want to keep us dumb. this is, as I say, a conspircy theory.

    Correlation does not imply causation

  • DeaconXDeaconX Toronto, ONPosts: 3,067Member

     


    I’m in the industry and can tell you EXACTLY how - because I see it every day.  The people making decisions at the executive level are of course the business end of the industry, and their goal is money.  Unfortunately, they rarely have the insight of actually BEING a gamer, or knowing the fan base of an IP to give proper direction as to what gamers truly want.  That’s a big part of it.


     


    Another large part of it is risk – doing anything different is always risky business and people generally don’t like to play with their money.  Even if lead designers have a certain vision, it’s often shot down because it isn’t a proven model and thus risky.


     


    Lastly, the reason is simply all the challenges (technical, financial, etc) which limit what a company CAN accomplish.  Games generally ship with maybe half the features the game designers wish to accomplish.  To make deadlines, all sorts of sacrafices have to be made, sadly.

    image

    Why do I write, create, fantasize, dream and daydream about other worlds? Because I hate what humanity does with this one.

    BOYCOTTING EA / ORIGIN going forward.

  • PKJackCrowPKJackCrow Ginowan cityPosts: 231Member

    It just seems to me that a company should invest in 2 games then maybe 3: a mass appeal ip and 2 niche a good pvp and pve niche game.

  • ste2000ste2000 londonPosts: 4,706Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by mgilbrtsn

    I was wondering how game companies who obviously have put a lot of time and money into a game, can so miss the mark on what the gaming community wants.  I'm not talking about nitpicking every little thing a game does right/wrong, becausee those are always up for debate.  Instead I'm wondering at a more Macro level.  Star Trek Online and Champions online come to mind.  Its obvious that a lot of money was spent on them.  The quality shows.  However, they are so far off the mark on what players wanted, that they just fail to attract the masses.  I know that politicians and others do a lot of market surveys and focus groups to help them make decisions.  Do game companies not do this?  Just cruious.

    See.........this is the problem, they actually do it, and hat's why you get average MMORPGs nowadays

     

    IF you ask a focus group who play those games for the first time if SWTOR, STO, DCU, CO, RIFT, WAR are  fun, almost all of them will give positive feedbacks.

    That is because those game for the first few weeks in their own way are actually fun.

    What those focus group fail to find out is if those people who found those games fun at the beginning, will still play them after few months.

    In short what those focus group fail to find out is if the MMO is future proof.........which to me is the main characteristic of a MMO

     

    The best way to make a MMO is NOT listening to focus groups, but recruit external Beta testers from the early stage of the game and work with them.

    The majority of the members of this community (MMORPG.com) could tell by just playing the game for a week, if the game will have longevity or it will be a 1 month hit (Like many of the latest AAA released)

    MMO Developers should really considering emplying advisors within the MMO community.........because in the end those are the people who are supposed to pay their $15 monthly fee.

    MMORPGs are not magnified Multiplayer games..........this difference is still not clear in the gaming industry

  • yaminsuxyaminsux KajangPosts: 812Member Uncommon

    The day game companies ACTUALLY making games are long gone. Nowadays its about catering to the masses and money. Simply put, they making games with the wrong intentions.

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