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General: 5 Ways MMOs Will Survive



  • F2PMMOF2PMMO OsloPosts: 122Member Uncommon

    Well Suzie got it more or less all wrong:

    5. F2P

    - It all depends on which aspect will be free. Expansions are free in some P2P games where as in others like GW you pay for everything except a monthly fee. (I never get it why it is a problem paying 15 $ a month for something you enjoy, compared to other stuff you pay for in life). So no business model will cater to all kind of players, most likely the different pay methods will live side by side as they always have.

    4. Kickstarter

    - this one's really fun. Kickstarter = have people pay you to do the beta testing for you. Arenanet most conspicously appealed to a need within the community for the player to really feel unique and have an impact on the gameworld he plays in. The DE is not exactly that, but close enough for Anet to claim they kept their word. With their successful propaganda the hype for the game soared, and it became prestigious to say I have first hand experience with the game, and thus thousands bought the most unfinished game ever to be launched(I will not get into alternative costs and use of money, but Anet succeded in having the players pay them to work for them; brilliant for the company, but it shouldn't be for the players.)

    2 & 3.

    - yesterday's news and wishful thinking. Seems like OP has forgotten that the developers work for the publishing company; the developers are to do as they are told by they employers, like in every other part of the business world or in the public sector for that matter. My guess is if NCsoft hadn't have some kind of pressure on Anet they would still be dvelling on some minor detalis important only to themselves. Time is an important factor, if company A and B can deliver a product of equal quality, but A can deliver it twice as fast, company A will survive. After all GW2 feels rather old. If Anet succedes in creating a gamechanger(paradigmas are for science not popular culture), other companies will do the same, but faster and with higher quality.

    1. MMOs aren't going anywhere

    - all industries go through crah and burn periods. For commonly known reasons, this is now happening to the MMO industry. The better for it, usually you end up with fewer yet much better products and more solid companies; those that survived the crisis. I think one key will be to create games you simply can't finish; no way to rush to the top: maxed out levels, equipment, areas, dead stater areas etc. EvE is one example, I'm sure there will be others when the dust has settled after the crash and burn.

  • LarsaLarsa NurembergPosts: 990Member
    • One studio closes shop, has never released an MMORPG.
    • One studio that has released exactly one, or maybe only half an "MMORPG" lays off employees and
    • a certain MMORPG shuts down it's servers after 10 years because it's license expires.

    And the staff here calls that "hard times for MMORPGs"? With all due respect, sorry, but no, calling that "hard times" is completely ridiculous.

    The opposite is true, the genre is thriving. It's very probable that never before so many people have played MMORPGs and with at least 3 new AAA games in 2012 it's not hard times, on the contrary, it's gold rush for the industry.

    It's entirely possible that in 2012 more MMORPG boxes/downloads will sell than ever before in the history of the genre. Hard times?

    I maintain this List of Sandbox MMORPGs. Please post or send PM for corrections and suggestions.

  • jtcgsjtcgs New Port Richey, ILPosts: 1,777Member

    The MMO market isnt hurting at all, there are more people playing MMOs around the world today than there was 2 years ago and that was higher than 2 years before it.

    F2P has been a major market outside the West for 5 years...the west is, as in so many other areas...behind the times thanks to massive greed.

    “I hope we shall its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country." ~Thomes Jefferson

  • JaylanonyousJaylanonyous Fairfield, CAPosts: 31Member

    The MMo market is falling on hard times, it is just hidden with the ammount of MMO's being released.

    Sure more people are playing but how many different MMO's are there? How many people are jumping from MMO to MMO because they all fail after a couple months?


    I have yet to play a MMO that has not had a mass exodus after a month. A good MMO market would consist of a few high quality MMO's not a billion, horrible, half finished mmo's.

  • KingGatorKingGator Tampa, FLPosts: 428Member Uncommon

    Cash shops are the devil and what will likely run me out of mmo space. These games are an escape for me, the minute you make real world economic power a factor in game balance, you've destroyed that escape for me. I do not want to see "double cash tuesdays, can't afford it? Eff it finance it" like some cheesey strip club on my log in screen.  

    If a game were to keep the cash shop to cosmetic or convenience items I could probably deal with it, but we all know that the end game, and it makes sense for them as a revenue source, is the sword of a thousand truths is showing up in said cash shops.

  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member Uncommon

    5. The business imperative to monetize their worlds makes the MMO industry its own worst enemy.  A business needs to make a profit for their fantasy worlds to survive.   But a business doesn't need a fantasy world for the profit to survive.  That asymmetry is always eating away at the edges of the dream.

    4. The advantage of kickstarter is that it helps build a niche for smaller, less ambitious proof-of-concept projects that then will the copied and feed the larger industry.  I haven't thrown in any of my own money yet, but I'm seriously considering setting aside a tithe of my entertainment budget to throw at castles in the clouds.  I'm just a little uneasy with my ability to judge the difference between a project that has a serious chance and pure vapourware.

    3. I would argue that setting expectations is actually more important than polish.  If people are expecting a fully intact, complete game experience, they are going to be mad at the rough edges.  On the other hand, minecraft.  OK, it's not an MMO, but it's one of those "close enough to be relevant" games.  It was "sold" while still in alpha, almost like a kickstarter project, simply aiming to have a stable core that was fun enough that a few people would buy in and let it grow organically.

    2. It's unrealistic to expect a publisher to hand over millions of dollars and then just let a team run wild with it (unless Peter Jackson walks in with a crazy pitch for some hobbit movies).  I would still like to see a way to cut the publisher out of the loop entirely ... some form of community-run, community-owned non-profit that pools their resources to hire contractors to build and maintain the game engine of their dreams.  Unfortunately, every time I dream out a scenario (or look over the history of non-commercial MUDs), the community ends up becoming its own worst enemy.

    1. The fact that MMOs aren't going anywhere is a part of their problem.  The industry is maturing and setting roots.  Themepark and Sandbox have become the QWERTY and Dvorak of the MMO industry.  I'm not trying to diminish the innovation and hard work that is occurring every day, it's just ... you know ...

  • MMOGamer71MMOGamer71 Pittsburgh, PAPosts: 1,930Member Uncommon

    Great read.  Agree with your F2P assessment and I think some posters here missed the point that F2P allows small time developers to get a foot into the MMO door.


    We are lucky to have so many MMO games out compared to say 5-6 years ago.

  • ArawniteArawnite NewcastlePosts: 163Member

    5. F2P is Happening

    Yes, It's happening`...but it doesn't mean that F2P will be or should be the standard of MMO models. F2P happens for the most part when games don't live up to the (overly optimistic) expectations of the developers. And honestly...we can't really call a game F2P when it's actually P2Win - so as a result we need to rule out a very large chunk of representative titles from that category.


    4. KickStarter Can Help

    I agree, Kickstarter can be an excellent resource for new developers. One thing worries me about it though, and that is that the more popular it becomes, the more likely it is to eventually fail. Support is gained through it by presenting the slickest and most convincing pitch, and eventually this will be exploited by countless scam artists with no desire to actually produce what they claim, or wannabe's that have the desire but not the knowledge or resources. The more this happens, the more it will erode the credibility of any sincere and genuine developers on Kickstarter that actually have something worth investing into.


    3. Development Needs to Have Time to Finish



    2. Publishers Need to Stay Out of the Mix

    and agree. MBA's make horrible game designers. They need to GTFO of the industry.


    1. MMOs Aren’t Going Anywhere

    I agree, but I feel that once the game industry goes through the purge that it so desperately needs, we'll eventually be back to smaller and more passionate developers making games because they love them. It can't happen soon enough.

  • MaxJacMaxJac Another Dimension, CAPosts: 185Member

    #3 Is not realistic. While ideal to give the developers plenty of time, you need to give them the push eventually. I doubt the publishers do it arbitrarily either. They have years of experience and their jobs hang onto games making a profit.

    I like what @maplestone brought up. Selling games as they are being made could be a good way to extend development and get some real input as they go. A bonus for publishers would be that players would be able to tell them if they think a game will succeed much earlier. That may sound bad, games dying early, but I think cost wise it would be better to quit sooner rather than later.

  • RhimeRhime Kelowna, BCPosts: 224Member Uncommon

    One problem I see with the KickStarter program is assuming all the funds go into actually making the game, the amount of advertising and promotional funds would make it tough for us gamers to actually decide if the game is even worth playing.

    Not saying we need overhype, but nothing brings players to a new game like exposure to it up to and including post launch.

  • troublmakertroublmaker St. George''s, NFPosts: 337Member

    MMOs will always be around, it's just a matter of whether or not we'll still call them MMOs.

    Modern Warfare 3 as an example has a matchmaking lobby system integrated into it.  Call of Duty (which coincides closely with Star Wars Galaxies) had only LAN multiplayer.

    What persay is the difference between a lobby game and say Global Agenda which for the first six months of release was entirely a lobby based game with no world but the sector you happened to be stationed in.

    The more MMOs go towards instancing and the more other games move towards multiplayer the less there is a difference between the two.

    Who is to say that in five years we won't call a game like WoW just an "RPG."

  • RyowulfRyowulf Greensburg, PAPosts: 664Member Uncommon

    When you make crap you fail. Its really that simple.

  • corpusccorpusc Chattanooga, TNPosts: 1,332Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by troublmaker
      Who is to say that in five years we won't call a game like WoW just an "RPG."


    not sure if it'll be 5 years, but this ABSOLUTELY WILL happen.


    just like how when 3D games were pretty new, everybody referred to them as 3D games, because it was relevant to make the distinction, and it was a pretty new thing.   


    The End
    i don't expect to like Darkfall, altho i may like it MORE than other MMOs. i know it is gonna have a very frustrating level of grind to it, even if its significantly less than most. waiting for a pure FAST action virtual world. dice rolling & character levels (even "skills") IN COMBAT should have never carried over from pencil & paper to a computer that can reasonably model 3D spaces and objects

  • corpusccorpusc Chattanooga, TNPosts: 1,332Member Uncommon

    just imagine if all games were RPGs?   would be kinda hard for the entirety of gaming to be anywhere near as big if we were limited so much like that.


    and yet for 15 years virtually all MMOs have been RPGs or at least had significant RPG type character progression.


    eventually being an MMO will be a component that will be combined with ANY kind of gameplay.  just like multiplayer/3D/etc.



    can't grow the MMO space much by making RPGs over and over again.  people are getting sick of the same old limited games, based on pen & paper concepts from the 70s.

    The End
    i don't expect to like Darkfall, altho i may like it MORE than other MMOs. i know it is gonna have a very frustrating level of grind to it, even if its significantly less than most. waiting for a pure FAST action virtual world. dice rolling & character levels (even "skills") IN COMBAT should have never carried over from pencil & paper to a computer that can reasonably model 3D spaces and objects

  • Sora2810Sora2810 New Columbia, PAPosts: 567Member

    MMO's should target smaller player-bases. If an MMO can be successfull with 200k sub/players, it can work to keep those players happy instead of massing the millions.

    Played - M59, EQOA, EQ, EQ2, PS, SWG[Favorite], DAoC, UO, RS, MXO, CoH/CoV, TR, FFXI, FoM, WoW, Eve, Rift, SWTOR, TSW.
    Playing - PS2, AoW, GW2

  • BrenelaelBrenelael MainePosts: 3,797Member Uncommon

    This is a great list but the #1 thing that has to change in my honest opinion is Developers need to be encouraged to take chances and try new things. We are seeing some of this now with games like GW2, Tera, TSW and ArcheAge but this trend should be pushed even further. The main problem with the MMO genre as a whole is it's become terribly stagnant in the last 8 years. Every game that comes out year after year seems to be the same game just with a new paintjob and a slightly different back story.


    If this genre is going to evolve these big Development houses need to realize that making the same game over and over just isnt going to cut it anymore. They need to realize that to compete with or even beat WoW they need to come up with something that is radically different than WoW and better in many ways. People aren't going to leave WoW to play a similar game with a pretty new paint job.




  • TheCrow2kTheCrow2k Adelaide, AKPosts: 953Member
    Originally posted by
    Only if the cash shop makes sense. Most F2P games are a turn off while others are welcome. Prime example Age of Conan = total turn off and Aion = perfect F2P model.

    True, While not really an MMO the World of Tanks Microtransactions system is quite good and I think something that can be applied accorss any games looking to go microtrans/F2P as a way of doing it without trashing your game by making it Pay 2 Win.


    F2P and microtransaction is here to stay and I do not mind that, what I mind is when publishers want to double dip. I think its repugnant when developers & publisher charge a monthly fee for the priveledge to play and then offer microtransactions (beyond purely cosmetic things) ontop of that. Players should treat this as what it is (penny pinching) and take their time & money elsewhere.

  • LithuanianLithuanian vilniusPosts: 277Member Uncommon

    Sorry for not reading all of 6 pages...but I will add my own 2 cents.

    1. F2P is not evil nor the universal cure. Let us clearly state where we have F2P and where we have P2W. Possible future is (unfortunately) P2W: our game is free, just Bloody Dungeon costs only 9 credits (and 1 credit is 1 $); you can have all the in-game armor, but Nice Light Cool Armor is only 15 credits. The future I would like to see is like Istaria: you gain access to anything, except housing.

    2. Players must have their voice. It is enough enough to run my toon throughout game world, killing and questing, crafting and just relaxing. I want to influence universe like I can in real world. And it's not about "in-game power", like some MMORPGS are known to have. It's about if this NPC would be hostile towards me or not; would this town offer me support or perma-kill me? And would this NP-race talk to me at all? I don't want to be a watcher of cartoon - I want to be in a world.

    3. I see future in a non-standard models. Having ultra-sexy Elves is just ultra-boring: give me Elves as non-sexy and non-players monster race. Give me a game where Orc are highly civilized non-green peacefull race. Give me a game where bow may break randomly or pistol may jam out of nowhere or Super Red Imperail Blaster Tank won't fire due to acumulators suddenly down.

    4. Remove end-game content. There is no end-game as game ends with player's death/ban/account removal.

  • GeezerGamerGeezerGamer ChairPosts: 7,696Member Epic


    Honestly, you have listed 5 problems with the genre not solutions.
    Cash Shops= Lifesupport for dying games:
    They can kill games easier than save them. Funcom is a perfect example of how not to use cash shops. Instead of fixing problems in the game, they offer lazy workarounds from the cash shop....for a fee of course. They have become a substituion for bad development.
    Development not being properly funded:
    Has there been a successful Kickstarter MMO released yet? MMOs simply require more money than what kickstarter was intended for. Players don't want low buget MMOs. I saw The Repopulation announced they turned to Kickstarter and my heart kinda sank since I now have some doubts about the project. The game has been on my radar and I hope the  can keep their funding going but it didn't for Dominus. I also question putting the burden on the players.One or two failures is all it will take and they will happen.
    Development not meeting important deadlines and Publishers demanding results:
    Never gonna happen. Development has milestones that MUST be met. There are investors to keep statisfied or they pull the plug on the project. Investors don't care if the gamer is happy with the product.
    People leaving MMORPGs altogether:
    I have my doubts. I think the massive problem with MMOs isn't the MMOs, but the players. People are growing tired of repetition and this is causing the replayability factor in MMOs to shrink. I just don't see game's AI development catching up to this.  Genres do come and go. Remember in the late 90s early 2000s? THe 1st person point and click puzzle games (The Myst Genre) and all it's clones? It died out. 
  • BrynnBrynn Albuquerque, NMPosts: 345Member
    Originally posted by xaritscin
    i would add a #6 the community has to change. these people wants all quicly and that cannot be, also they want to rush everything, you should calm down. its both for hardcore and casual players, how can someone finish a game in 30-80 hours?, its not only because of the unfinished state of the released game, its also a fault in the players. these games are about time, you cannot experience 100% in 2 hours, take it easy. "endgame" has killed the gameplay.

    I do agree with the endgame comment.. But, that's what you see from players, they want to know what the endgame will be, always. I hate raids, but that's what players expect. 

    The gaming world is getting very competitive. Players don't want the same type of game repeated adnauseum. They will stick with WoW if that's what they want.

    Reckoning was well done for what it was. But it isn't what gamers are looking for. The games that are trying to break the mold have better chances.  That is, except for the WoW group that likes that kind of gaming, but they will always return to WoW. And WoW knows it.

  • daltaniousdaltanious waPosts: 2,299Member Uncommon

    5. F2P. Worst thing ever happend to mmo world. Attract cheap people that do not care about anything but for free launches. They would like to eat but not pay.

  • ShilarShilar River Oaks, TXPosts: 72Member Uncommon

    I will add one more thing: BE ORIGINAL. Sure making an MMO that is familiar is ok, but add something new.... a twist. Stop carbon copying one that works, and add other things. Add more unique races or parts. Make more for the player to do, and use. Perfect World/Cryptic is a good example (especially Champions Online).

    "Of all the things wrong with today's RPGs, 2D characters on a 3D background is the worst."

  • WayshubaWayshuba Ada, MIPosts: 72Member Uncommon

    I add a new and rather controversial one to the list: the MMO industry needs some new blood, especially from the design development end. Their are too many frail (and undeserved) egos in the space and it is hurting the overall genre.


    Too many of these games are born with the "I know better than my players" or worse "Players are a bunch of sheeples". This plagues the whole industry and is, in my opinion, more of the core reason for so many title failures than anything else.

  • RoyalkinRoyalkin TexasPosts: 263Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Sora2810
    MMO's should target smaller player-bases. If an MMO can be successfull with 200k sub/players, it can work to keep those players happy instead of massing the millions.


    Yes, yes, yes. I've been saying this for years. Developers need to pick a target audience and tailor the experience precisely for that group. This leads to more diverstiy, and allows everyone to find a home in their niche. Chances are people would be happier, and would hopefully lead to less bitching on the whole.

    The current development philosophy of 'one size fits all' is showing its age, and gamers and getting tired of it. Designing for the 'fictional' middle ground, does nothing but create a watered down game, which few like. As I said, developers should define a specific niche, and nail it.

    Also, developers should stop trying to create an 'Epic' from the onset, in times past MMOs started small, and expanded once they got their legs, and it sure as hell didn't cost hundreds of millions of dollars. The criticism here is that most people anymore want instant gratification, and they want it all now. Well, you can have some now with more to come later, or you can have nothing now, your choice. Bitching about it, won't solve the problem.

    Gamers are an enthusastic bunch for new releases, but if the game can't deliver on 'inovation', its clear to see that gamers bail fast.

    It's time for something different, it's just time, and no, 'story' isn't going to get us there.


  • WicoaWicoa LondonPosts: 1,637Member Uncommon

    Hah nice snipe at EA :P, though it is widely known they are horse craptastic at this.

    F2P.  I like the way bang on city of heroes does it, there is a sub option to access all and collect points every month to spend on the "extras". If you want to buy points to buy stuff they are cheap enough for the casual to pick up for what they are after.

    I would dread to see what happens if EA cash shopped us.

    My point is there is a right way and a wrong way and it will be very tempting for a developer to go the wrong way with $ signs in their eyes; EVE Hat anyone?

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