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Why did the WoW model fail?

MMOExposedMMOExposed lalal land, DCPosts: 6,277Member Uncommon
I see this often on this site and many other MMO forums. Seem the general population on these sites, seem to see the WoW model as a failure.

My question is, Why did the WoW model fail?

What did the WoW model do wrong?




  • DJJazzyDJJazzy louisville, COPosts: 2,053Member Common

    It didn't fail, people are just tired of it when they look for a game other than WoW.

  • OberholzerOberholzer Hasbrouck Heights, NJPosts: 498Member

    Too many games like WoW, too many of anything usually leadsto some the imitators  falling by the wayside. Also remember that as you said it's the opinion of  people on this site and sites like it, there are a lot of people playing games that don't come to these sites, they have opinions too, they just don't post them on forums.

  • BigRock411BigRock411 Barrington, ILPosts: 299Member

    It didnt fail.

    Its resulted in millions of box sales, its gotten millions addicted to the mmorpg genere and most of them hate everything RPG (at least they complain most about rpg elements in the game)

    People keep whipping up into a frothing mouth frenzy everytime a new game reinvents the wow model then rage at over how all games are the same.


    Happend with every incarnation, Aion/AoC/Rift/WAR/GW2/SWTOR and im missing many.  Will happen to TES once the latest versions hype has receded.  Its a never ending but briliant cycle, they know people will buy the box and a month or two regardless of how much the same it is at heart.


    Also, as much as i personally dont care for it, and many hate is still going strong after all these years.

    The combination of EQ and DAOC stripped down to its basics and made easy and non fustrating, appealing to the lowest common denomonator...has proven to be the money maker.

    Personally, i can enjoy the reincarnations for what they are, as stale as it is by now...its sometimes more fun to watch a game build massive hype "its gonna be a game changer" "revolutionize the industry" "fixes whats wrong with.."  oh how i love the catch phrases...and the moment people realize its all the same game at its heart then get all mad...only to hop right back on the popularity train that runs in a giant circle...up next the same experience you just had!

    Has anyone else wonderd why this site likes most the games that are not yet released?

  • zyklonianzyklonian el paso, TXPosts: 51Member

    because WoW is using the wow model........

  • EndDreamEndDream orange county, CAPosts: 1,152Member

    World of Warcraft is one of the most dramatic successes in gaming history. It is anything but a failure.

    The game was worked on for many years and has been out for many years. All the while bringing in a billion dollars of revenue a year.   With that much money and development time (like 12 freaking years!), it is delusional for developers to think they can compete with it on its own terms. But they try and fail over and over again because investors want to chase the money. 

    How many facebook clones, groupon clones, League of Legends clones have failed? But they keep getting made.

    To make the next big thing it has to be origional. WoW certainly was, sure it was influence by Everquest, but influence is different  than copy. An inferior version of WoW + Story is a much smaller step than from EQ to WoW.

    The next big failure will be the Elder Scrolls Online... they just dont seem to get it do they?

    Remember Old School Ultima Online

  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member

    I don't have enough a hard data to confirm success or failure, but there is definitely a sense (right or wrong) that a lot of companies have wildly overestimated the size of audience they would attract. 

    I sometimes wonder if MMOs are more like network economies than product economies.   In a product economy (eg: a normal game) you can just clone what the competition does and sell it in direct competition.  In a network economy (eg: operating systems), whoever has the most customers gets the most new customers - even in the face of near-identical competitors. 


  • chefdiablochefdiablo Barrie, ONPosts: 202Member

    The WOW model has not failed. Other developers have failed at innovation and marketing. SWTOR is a prime example. EA/Bioware produced a shallow easy to play game and sold plenty of copies. The marketed and advertised the game well and produced a substantial opening sales surge. Sadly the game was not deep enough to retain those players.

    Someday another company will get the equation right.

    High quality innovative game + Creative marketing and advertising = Competition for Blizzard.

    Until then we will continue to see the success of the WOW model as people leave to try something else and return not long after.

  • xenogiasxenogias warsaw, INPosts: 1,926Member
    Originally posted by MMOExposed
    I see this often on this site and many other MMO forums. Seem the general population on these sites, seem to see the WoW model as a failure.

    My question is, Why did the WoW model fail?

    What did the WoW model do wrong?

    No one in thier right mind would say the WOW model failed. What failed is everyone trying to copy it but never being able to do it as well as WOW did.

    The thing WOW did extreemly well was how it evolved. It started out as a semi hardcore game. I say semi because the hardcore had enough content to keep them occupied while blizzard worked on more and it also had plenty of content for the not so hardcore-new to MMOs player. It found that perfect balance at launch. As the game has evolved they have moved more twords the casual player while still keeping thoes hardcore raids. At first they left the hardcore raid for the 25man groups and added the 10man raids for thoes guilds who where inbetween casual and hardcore so they couldnt do 25mans. Now the game has evolved into mostly a game for casuals. They have realised that the more hardcore crowd is starting to look elsewhere and making the raid content more available to completely casual players is where thier future subs are going to come from.

    Now this isnt going to make everyone happy obviously. But Blizzard is smart. They realise that MMO's have gone the way of not being able to really split the content anymore. So while they will keep the hardmodes for the few hardcore players that do stick around they know thier money lies in the more casual/family player.

    Name me one other company that has been able to figure out how evolve thier MMO to keep players around. The WOW model works and works well. What doesnt work is trying to copy it but not being able to do it right. Either there is a horrible lack of content, the game is buggy, or they try to please everyone at once which simply doesnt work anymore. Just like old school MMO's the market is heading to niche titles again.

  • MephsterMephster Tyria, NJPosts: 1,188Member

    Other mmos go f2p because they do not want to compete with WoW via subscriptions.

    Grim Dawn, the next great action rpg!

  • BeansnBreadBeansnBread PshPosts: 5,614Member Uncommon

    Games that attept to copy the WoW model and then do a worse job at it make me cringe. When I was playing SWTOR and got to endgame and was opening bags for random PvP loot, I realized that they had just taken the skinner box way too far. When I got into raids and realized how easy they were and that they weren't going to get any harder for months, I realized that they had no content for my gameplay style. When they comlpetely scrapped Ilum out of nowhere after I had quit the game, I realized they had no clue what they were doing when it came to objective based open world PvP.


    In the end, the WoW model was fine for me for a while. I actually just switched over to PvP eventually in WoW. But when all of the systems are similar to WoW in a game but implemented much more poorly, I leave. If I wanted those same features, I'd play WoW because it is better at them.



  • Garvon3Garvon3 Worcester, MAPosts: 2,898Member
    Originally posted by MMOExposed
    I see this often on this site and many other MMO forums. Seem the general population on these sites, seem to see the WoW model as a failure.

    My question is, Why did the WoW model fail?

    What did the WoW model do wrong?

    First, it reduced, never expanded. WoW never gave MMOs any great new ideas or innovations, it just shortened things and removed features.

    Second, it focused on singleplayer. WoW is a fluke, and no one will be able to repeat it. It was the perfect storm. Any other MMO trying to win using the same model will fail. People do not stay playing MMORPGs by themselves in instances. Communities keep people together, and the WoW model gutted all the features that encourage socializing and community building. People aren't going to pony up 15 bucks a month to play a mediocre singleplayer game with a chat bar. Everything from the instanced and tiered raiding system, to the quest grinding seemed to be designed solely to destroy group play.

    Even if you do the WoW model, but better, it's no promise for success. Look at SWTOR. Look at LotRO. The two biggest IPs out there and they're barely alive.

  • FrodoFraginsFrodoFragins Manchester, NHPosts: 3,015Member Uncommon

    The WOW  model was a success.  Most developers simply don't understand the model and release games with just the features of vanilla WOW when Blizzard has raised the expectations much higher.  If you truly adopted the WOW model, you would have everything that's good in WOW and dump what isn't.  You'd also provide solid art, music, art design, combat and animations.


    If SWTOR adopted the WOW model they


    1) wouldn't have released until they had fixed the combat lag, had cross server group finders and ranked PVP.  They'd also have rated arenas ready within a couple of months after launch.




    2) They would have drastically improved on WOW endgame in some way.


    They failed to do either.

  • XzenXzen Los Alamos, NMPosts: 2,607Member Common

    I don't think the WoW model failed. WoW's made too much money from it to consider it failed. Some might say other games that try to copy it fail though.

  • AvsRock21AvsRock21 Denver, COPosts: 256Member

    Why did the WoW model fail? Because WoW already did it...

  • ValuaValua LiverpoolPosts: 520Member
    Originally posted by MMOExposed
    I see this often on this site and many other MMO forums. Seem the general population on these sites, seem to see the WoW model as a failure.

    My question is, Why did the WoW model fail?

    What did the WoW model do wrong?


    It hasn't failed.


    It's stupid that people actually think it's failed when it's still actually the biggest model in western markets.


    WoW might be the only game able to use the "WoW Model" effectively, but isn't that how it should be? I've never expected clones to do well, anyone who does is deluded.


    Only WoW can rock the WoW Model. It's still the strongest model out there by far (For WoW, not for any other game.)

  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member
    Originally posted by Xzen

    I don't think the WoW model failed. WoW's made too much money from it to consider it failed.

    I'm assuming that the title should be read as "Why did the WoW-clone model failed to produce more WoW-sized sustained customer bases"?

  • SojhinSojhin Tacoma, WAPosts: 213Member Uncommon

    The wow model has not failed. What has been a failure is what many have already pointed out in this thread and that is attempting to copy wow instead of innovate. 

  • MattVidMattVid Terre Haute, INPosts: 399Member

    WoW just copied everything from every other game and improved on it. They just did it better than everyone else. Then companies again, tried to copy it and just kept releasing unpolished trash after unpolished trash. Not to mention, I think people are getting tired of the hand holding and easy-mode games are bringing to the table.


    I am not sure what is really going to "break the mold", or if it will ever happen. Personally, I think GW2 has done a good job sort of mixing things up a bit, while also including many great features with AAA polish. Polish is the key here, most companies just fail and release things way too early.

  • GravargGravarg Harker Heights, TXPosts: 3,352Member Uncommon

    WoW is easily the most successful MMO ever.  So it's model isn't fail.  The biggest thing that other developers don't get is that how deep the lore is in WoW.  Rift and Lotro are really the only two games that even come close to the depth of lore that WoW has.  All three are very successful in thier own rights.  Almost all other MMOs since the launch of WoW have very little depth or lore within them, and this is where they fail.  Whether you like to read the lore of a game or not, MMOs are basically cut down to a story.  Without a story, there is no real point to playing an MMO.  Developers, for some reason, think that quest grinding, gear grinding, raid grinding, is what WoW did so face this is the weakest part of any MMO.  The truth is that story (and community) are what MMOs are all about.

  • AxehiltAxehilt Posts: 9,157Member Uncommon

    The WOW model didn't fail.

    • The WOW model IS examing a genre and ruthlessly pruning away the dead branches.
    • The WOW model IS NOT copying some other game's skin-deep features without knowing what is or isn't going to work well.

    In short, the WOW model is designing a game, not copying a game.

    A lot of companies produced games people called "WOW clones" which weren't actually copying WOW's real reasons for success.

    GW2 is the closest to a true WOW clone (and even it doesn't seem to go all the way.)

    "Joe stated his case logically and passionately, but his perceived effeminate voice only drew big gales of stupid laughter..." -Idiocracy
    "There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance." -Socrates

  • maxiime223maxiime223 montreal, QCPosts: 94Member

    It didnt fail at all; it was incredibly successful.

    It just gets outdated at some point... people got tired of it. I guess a time of change has come!

  • bingbongbrosbingbongbros Vista, CAPosts: 649Member Uncommon

    The OP isn't saying that the WoW model failed as in WoW failed, ya goofs!  He meant why did the WoW model (every mmo copying WoW) fail.


    It's because people either love WoW, enough to stab their neighbor in the chest, or they hate WoW, enough to stab their neighbor in the chest.


    So these lovers see a new mmo coming down the pipes that looks fun and after so many years of playing WoW they are up to trying new things.  And these haters see a new mmo coming down the pipes that looks fun and promises to be different, new, and the game that will finally dethrone WoW as king of mmos.


    Years of hype build and build and build and people are screaming OMFG LET ME PLAY YOU!!!!!!!!1!  Beta weekends come, you are showcased preselected and highly polished parts of the game to get you hooked without revealing all the weak points of the game.


    Some see through the veil and say "It's a WoW clone." Everyone then rips him a new asshole for being a troll.  Then the game launches, sells 9 trillion boxes/digital copies.  Everyone is cheering and dancing in the streets (basement), and the media sites, like this one, go OMFG! 10/10! Best mmorpg ever made!!!!!


    Skip a few months ahead, the game is dying faster then Paris Hilton's music career and all the media sites, like this one, have found or heard about its flaws and make them known to all of the world.


    The lovers who bought the new WoW clone have become bored and realize it was a clone so they go back to WoW, because what is the point of playing a worse version of WoW?


    The haters then move onto another game or board another hype train of a game in development.  And the vicious cycle continues.


    That same WoW clone then realizes "oh crap, we aren't making any money anymore.  Better go free to play!"  Then charge you 15 dollars for a sombrero in game, instead of 15 dollars a month to access content that should be added in freely.


    WoW model failed because greedy pig dogs didn't realize you can't find gold in the same place when it's already been dug up and hoarded by the first person to strike it.  And I'm glad all these companies are failing hard.  The more these goofs fail the less likely of it happening.  Which in turn hopefully means some decent developers will start thinking of new ways to make mmo's.


    SWTOR's crash and burn is probably the last one we will ever see of this horrible decade of WoW clones.  Or maybe TESO... they seem to be completely clueless too.

    Playing: Smite, Marvel Heroes
    Played: Nexus:Kingdom of the Winds, Everquest, DAoC, Everquest 2, WoW, Matrix Online, Vangaurd, SWG, DDO, EVE, Fallen Earth, LoTRo, CoX, Champions Online, WAR, Darkfall, Mortal Online, Guild Wars, Rift, Tera, Aion, AoC, Gods and Heroes, DCUO, FF14, TSW, SWTOR, GW2, Wildstar, ESO, ArcheAge
    Waiting On: Nothing. Mmorpg's are dead.

  • MaxJacMaxJac Another Dimension, CAPosts: 185Member

    If innovation occurs, can it be called the WoW model anymore? What exactly is the WoW model and where did WoW differ from previous MMORPG's enough to refer to the model as the WoW model? Should we instead define MMORPG like WoW or LotRO into a sub category of MMORPG's? This would function akin to music genres. Music genres cause "clicks" in the music world that often do more harm to would be music lovers than good for the sake of organization and identification. Is that something that we want in the MMO/MMORPG world?

  • BorickBorick Fort Worth, TXPosts: 38Member
    Originally posted by MMOExposed

    My question is, Why did the WoW model fail?

    What did the WoW model do wrong?

    I think that the WoW model fails with most new games because WoW has an eight-year lead in developing the WoW model.


    Also, the gaming world has changed.  I think that WoW was able to capitalize on a raw talent that most modern AAA-funded companies wouldn't take a risk on these days.  Blizzard was forging a path in the dark, and had a lot more leeway with the producers, the investors and the gaming community.  These days MMO studios aren't allowed to learn from their mistakes so much.

    Also, WoW empowered the players with far more than just a themepark game.  While it wasn't a sandbox MMO, strong sandbox elements were present in the mod API allowing the community to drive much of the UI development.  Nowadays games wrongly think that they don't need mod APIs or modding communities for some stupid reason.

    There's just nobody who can do the WoW model like Blizzard did.  I doubt even Blizzard could reproduce what happened.

  • PsychowPsychow SF Giants Territory, CAPosts: 1,784Member

    Because the wow model isn't the wow model.


    WoW as we know it evolved over time. Easy leveling, fast travel everywhere, flying mounts, easy to get epics, easy gold, easy mobs, overpowered skills, etc all developed over time as a means to satisfy existing players and to make it easier for new players and alts to catch up. 


    New games use the current version of the WoW formula, thus allowing for a much shorter leveling time and making everything easier. The player isn't allowed to grow and players are forced to either grind end-game or roll an alt within a month or two of starting the game. 

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