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General: MMO Darwinism

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  • VorthanionVorthanion Laguna Vista, TXPosts: 2,117Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by BigHatLogan



    Originally posted by Kitane



    Here's a unique idea. Make games that people actually want to play, and more importantly pay to play. Quit trying to know better than the gamers that play the games, and instead look at what they like, and *shock* give it to them . I know that's a hard concept for all you "mmo gaming experts" out there telling the development houses how they should "innovate" and "distinguish themselves from WoW", but .......





    Also quit releasing games before they have enough finished.










     

    Maybe, just maybe, all these "mmo gaming experts" are gamers.  And maybe they are right in telling companies to innovate.  Look at GW2, hype is off the scale because they made a game that people wanted, they innovated to the extreme instead of cloning WoW, and they took their time in development.  Now look at SWTOR, the devs decided that they would clone WoW and made a garbage game with no innovation.  And it is failing so hard that EA had to fire 1000 people. 




     

    Do you have proof that their supposed failure is due to being similar to WoW and EQ or could it just be that they made the game too restrictive and while the story was fun, they made the rest of the game strictly on rails.  EQ and WoW aren't on rails and they still do well....hmmm.

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  • Binny45Binny45 St John''s, NFPosts: 478Member Uncommon

    The problem is this: just about everyone and their mother wants to make the next "big" MMO so they can make the money that WoW did.

    Folks, before Blizzard came along with WoW, there were a handful of what you would call "successful" MMO's out there.  Now that WoW showed that you could make billions off the industry, EVERYONE wants to do the same.  The problem with this is: as more and more companies seek to make THE MMO, it dilutes the market.  There are simply too many games, most with very little quality assurance and/or player input, and frankly only so much money that the players have.  AT MOST, I'll have two accounts going for one game.  I only keep one game active at a time.  I've been burned enough times pre-ordering games that I no longer buy into this "purchase to get into beta" crap. 

    This industry needs a crash, a BIG crash to scare away the companies that are halfassed about their product and quite frankly refuse to listen to players.  Instead they listen to people in suits who have no idea about the product they're supposed to be producing.

    What would make sense (and SOE was coming close to it, if only they'd lowered the price per game and per month) is for a company to have a stable of games to offer per account.  Charge a flat monthly fee of $10, and charge a one time per game/expansion for each game you want linked to that account.  You buy what you want, but you have the freedom to put one game down and take up another at minimal cost.  Why do this? Because you KEEP your customer from giving their money to someone else.  Even if you have a company that has one AWESOME game, it's hard to pull someone away who is paying the same or even less for multiple REALLY GOOD games.

    Probably won't happen, but I've grown tired with companies putting out half finished pieces of garbage.  I'm finished with pre-orders unless I get to beta test the game FIRST.

    It's time that some of these companies stop trying to weasel our dollars out of our pockets.  It's time that the companies that are not serious about offering a good product for our money close up shop and stay away from this industry, instead of slapping something together, grabbing pre-order and first months sub monies and then closing up shop.

    I love online play, but this industry needs change to continue growing and to be healthy.

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  • Toto020Toto020 Cleveland, OHPosts: 43Member

    In the end there are many reasons why the MMO genre and Gaming industry in general is having problems. Some of the main ones:

    1. Conglomerations like EA manipulate the marketing and forecasting data to affect not only market share but reporting to investors and gamers sentiment.

    2. Suits creating games.

    3. Supposed gaming review sites being paid by advertisers to artifically hype games and reviews.  (Advertising streams allow for corruption.)

    4. Little attempt to advance the genre. e.g cloning WoW (Voice acting is not an advancement)

    5. Fickleness of gamers.  Racing to endgame...

  • MumboJumboMumboJumbo LondonPosts: 3,221Member

    Originally posted by victorbjr

    Hi folks,

    Thanks for the comments. :)

    Now, I will admit that Darwinism is more than what I say it is (in fact, I agree with the above posters that I may be misusing it as it relates to the original meaning). My issue, however, is that it's difficult to convey the same idea with a longer title. For instance, if the title were "Adapt or Die" it would have a different kind of impact.

    To me, Darwinism has a very "adapt or die and I don't care who you are in the world" kind of feel. Sometimes, things change to survive, but it looks at immediate changes rather than long-term survivability.

    That said, I will admit to you guys that this is partly a less divisive version of another idea, which is whether lackluster (in terms of revenue) MMOs should die. After finishing it though, I found it offensive, as it read in a manner that made me think I was advocating the dissolution of companies and the loss of jobs. I respect the industries and could not stomach my own writing, hence I opted to take a different angle.

    --

    On another note,  I will also agree that there are more nuances that aren't discussed in this piece. For instance, the inner turmoil (among other things) happening in the Team Bondi offices for LA Noire was a big cause of that company's shutdown.

    I'm just here to try and bring up certain ideas that aren't usually brought up.  Unfortunately, I can't throw in everything and the kitchen sink due to time limits and tightening up the writing to avoid utter boredom.

    Anyway, if you folks have any comments, feel free to send me a personal message. I'm currently traveling, but I'll try to respond to any criticism in a friendly manner.

    Yeah it's certainly a useful metaphor of the capricious, uncaring natural world, eg "sometimes mother nature can be a real _ _ _!" 

    eg a parasitic fungus that turns ants into zombies, and then a parasitic fungus of the parasitic ant fungus itself... Yeesh.

    But if you look at the numbers of say start-up businesses or companies that file for bankrupt per year, you'll see a similar "Darwinian struggle" for survival/profit. The numbers perhaps in graph form can tell a convincing story (although they say for every graph or equation in a book, that looses x number of readers). <.<

    @ jessemmor: Depends if your niche is eating termites, then you're set for millenia... if it's bamboo, and you're actually a carnivore, then that's asking for trouble!

  • Heinz130Heinz130 sao pauloPosts: 227Member

    Thats rly simple to keep a mmo alive

    1- Make a good mmo (i can monthly pay a good amount of money to play a game that i love,archeage for exemple i culd pay $80/M or even more)

    2- Hear theyr comunity,WoW for exemple,the comunity urge for sandbox content for years since wow players,specialy the vets,are sick of questing,crafting,instanced pvp

    WoW 4ys,EVE 4ys,EU 4ys
    FH1942 best tanker for 4years
    Playing WWII OL for some years untill now
    many other for some months

  • toddzetoddze no where, OKPosts: 2,155Member

    funny thing is I doubt theey care if you sub up past 2 or 3 months anyways. They are made so poorly and cheeply now that the box sales recover all the developmental cost, and the sub money for a few months is just gravy. Slap a high profile title on it like a Star Wars and you triple your profits. Soon they will have all of those cards played and maybe the games will be judged on the game itself, not the title.

    Waiting for:EQ-Next, ArcheAge (not so much anymore)
    Now Playing: N/A
    Worst MMO: FFXIV
    Favorite MMO: FFXI

  • SilverminkSilvermink Cape Coral, FLPosts: 289Member

    Originally posted by Suzie_Ford

    For instance, earlier MMORPGs had a tendency towards longer and potentially more difficult progression curves. As the popularity of MMOs grew, these leveling curves were smoothed out to provide a more accessible experience to a growing number of players, specifically to entice them to play the game.

    I completely understand wanting to make games easier to play (technically) and easier to learn but I miss the feelings of accomplishment that early MMOs offered. The hell levels in EQ1 were a huge boon when you finished one. Death in games has become nothing more than a few minutes inconvienence. With players racing to max level in 3 days in current MMOs, it does the game no good in publicity or longevity. There are plenty of games currently catering to the casual crowd from WoW to SW:tor, there just aren't any new games that give the more intense crowd much of a challenge. Vanguard had some potential but it never had a chance and was later neutered. I have some hope in Archage but pvp may kill my interest in that. While some casual players just want the online/social experience of the easier games, there are many players that want more, even many casual players.

  • GoresonGoreson GlasgowPosts: 122Member

    Interesting read Victor...

    but to be honest, I think the MMo industry made one mistake a couple of years ago that, well, obviously didn't doom it but pretty much crippled it seriously:

    You said "earlier MMORPGs had a tendency towards longer and potentially more difficult progression curves. As the popularity of MMOs grew, these leveling curves were smoothed out to provide a more accessible experience to a growing number of players, specifically to entice them to play the game."  which is perfectly true... and where the MMO industry stabbed itself in the back, heart, head, eye, toe and lots of other body parts.

    IF MMO(RPG)s were still like that, people would stick around longer as the game will keep the hooked longer (assuming obviously the game is good)

    Sadly, these days MMOs tend to the instant gratification generation which pretty much means 'endgame' needs to be reached before the initial 30 days are up.

    Otherwise gamers will start moaning and complaining about how the game is all grind, etc.

    and yet the joke is on the industry (and also the gamers I guess): because 'endgame' is rather limited.

    So, rather than making the game a slow but fun experience players would like to ride on for months, even years to come, the industry now faces gamers who eat up their games in little time, and then drop the game looking for new things, which of course in turn means cancelled subscriptions.

    And based on that I'll post a simple question: are those 'instant gratification gamers' really worth it?

    Well, I assume this is a hard to answer question... I mean if you look at classic MMORPGs, DAoC is probably one of the best examples out there: almost 11 years old, still run thru subscriptions, though of course the numbers have dropped compared to the golden days (supposedly to as low as 5K last year, but now rising again).

    With the sales of the original game and its expansions, the 'golden days' subscriptions, I'm sure DAoC has definitely landed on safe ground where even 5K of subscribers are enough to not just cover the running costs but also the cost of further development of the game (as reduced as that may be).

    But what about new(er) games that face huge initial development cost not to mention also this not rather small costs of marketing these days...

    To what degree can, nay, should they calculate their revenue expectations based on subscriptions?

    Wouldn't it be a smarter move to just take your customer's money in the initial sale and then hope for more thru other means, if possible?

    A game like GW1 (and rather likely GW2 in turn) are on the right track: sell the game for a fair price (but definitely don't give it away for free!) and if you can sell all those gamers some new clothes for their toons or some XP boost elixir or such, fantastic!

    Yet, with that concept the question comes 'how long is that money that we made (above the initial costs) going to last us?'

  • SilverbranchSilverbranch Warren, MIPosts: 192Member

    You forgot a couiple of "fronts" tjhat mmo companies fight on:

    Competance internally at the expert level, across the board.  In order to thrive the MMO gaming development industry, given it's pace and virulent competition, REQUIRES the company desiring to grow and thrive to have all aspects of it's business model run in stellar fashion.  From accounting, business planning, project and release scheduling, community interfacing, not just the core design, development, and artwork.

    Interaction with a segment of the human population made up of a high percentage of raging asshats, many of which need to be put to bed at 6pm with no Interz-nets access.  Signal to Noise ratio often requires an inordinate amount of effort to sift through, as well as prone to misdirections and misinformation, sometimes intentional.  As a result, personel in the position of disseminating "yakkity-yak" from the playerbase requires individuals of strong character, insightful minds, and mature outlooks, with very thick skins, otherwise you end up with more of a mess than it would normally be, growing worse.

    Wherever you go, there you are.

  • SilverbranchSilverbranch Warren, MIPosts: 192Member

    Originally posted by Toto020

    In the end there are many reasons why the MMO genre and Gaming industry in general is having problems. Some of the main ones:

    1. Conglomerations like EA manipulate the marketing and forecasting data to affect not only market share but reporting to investors and gamers sentiment.

    2. Suits creating games.

    3. Supposed gaming review sites being paid by advertisers to artifically hype games and reviews.  (Advertising streams allow for corruption.)

    4. Little attempt to advance the genre. e.g cloning WoW (Voice acting is not an advancement)

    5. Fickleness of gamers.  Racing to endgame...




     

    Probably more true than not unfortunately, on all points.

    Wherever you go, there you are.

  • SilverbranchSilverbranch Warren, MIPosts: 192Member

    Originally posted by Binny45

    This industry needs a crash, a BIG crash to scare away the companies that are halfassed about their product and quite frankly refuse to listen to players.  Instead they listen to people in suits who have no idea about the product they're supposed to be producing.

    It's time that some of these companies stop trying to weasel our dollars out of our pockets.  It's time that the companies that are not serious about offering a good product for our money close up shop and stay away from this industry, instead of slapping something together, grabbing pre-order and first months sub monies and then closing up shop.

    I love online play, but this industry needs change to continue growing and to be healthy.

    I've been of the opinion what would help Blizzard the most is for 10 million subscribers to DROP their subscriptions for one or two months.  Not stop play, but outright stoppage of dollars for one to two months.

    Would sort of work like a defibrillator.  Look that up, interesting how one actually functions.

    As to your second points, pretty much agree.  I'm sure not every dev house fits this profile, but on the other hand it sure does FEEL like gaming companies aren't really connected to the games they produce, for lack of a better way to put it.  Run by bean counters.

    We could do with more companies that actually LOVE the games they make, who have a heavy personal interest in it.  Instead of companies that pop out a title, get it past launch, then, in under a year, toss it to a swap out group to simply keep it afloat while the original dev team bounces over to something else . . . because, of course, money doesn't grow on trees so keep feeding the bank. 

    Tricky isn't it?  Because we all have to do that at the end of the month.  But yeah, "suits" running things often times creates a disconnect between product and clients even if the suit is happy with a series of numbers on a spreadsheet.

    Wherever you go, there you are.

  • Toto020Toto020 Cleveland, OHPosts: 43Member

    Look ,with todays technology programmers can do amazing things with virtual environments and scale them to be playable on many low end computers.  The problem is time.

    Most developers don't have several years of paying out salaries without being able to see a return and most investors aren't going to give them the the keys to the vault.  Unfortunately we as consumers don't have any clear vision about what we want so they rely on marketing tricks and manipulations to hype their products.  In the end, we need to provide them with realistic expectations of what were willing to pay for.

    Consider Star Wars Galaxies for a moment, there are a ton of people who still clamour about how great that game was before NGE; but how many of them are/or were aware of a project relating to the pre NGE code being restructured and rebuilt (SWGEmu).  Not many as the donations to complete the project are minimal at best.

    We need a new system to engage developers.

  • lokiboardlokiboard Chico, CAPosts: 195Member

    Originally posted by Kitane

    Here's a unique idea. Make games that people actually want to play, and more importantly pay to play. Quit trying to know better than the gamers that play the games, and instead look at what they like, and *shock* give it to them . I know that's a hard concept for all you "mmo gaming experts" out there telling the development houses how they should "innovate" and "distinguish themselves from WoW", but .......

    Also quit releasing games before they have enough finished.




     

    They took SWTOR back into productuion to make it what people said they wanted and, at least all over these forums , they ended up with a wow clone....The whinners can't see that it  is what people asked for and recieved....Maybe what you all want and what the majority of other players want are two different things....I have a friend that suffers from what I call Gaming ADHD..He is constantly "Chasing gAmy"..I believe their are others out there as well and the more vocal ones end up here...

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