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With the failure (relative to their expectations) of several recent AAA titles where companies have invested hundreds of millions of dollars into brand new and untested products, when will someone finally have the gumption to try re-skinning and re-leasing one of the first generation of MMO classics?
1. Asherons Call
I for one would pay the usual AAA prices for re-skinned versions of 1-3 and I fully believe there are probably millions of people that would do likewise.
Yes, re-skinning the first-generation of hard-coded games would involve new engines and a lot of work, but I also remain convinced it can be done much quicker and cheaper than starting up a new MMO.
Sure, maybe we first generation MMOers are remembering the trials and tribulations of our first loves through rose-colored glasses (or bulky CRTs if you want to be literal:) but that doesn't mean that we wouldn't flock to hand over our money to find out the hardway that our expectations have moved on. But I actually think that membership retention would be far greater than the current generation(s) of water-treading MMO titles despite reality not living up to nostalgia.
Everyone has their Lottery dream, I buy a Power Ball ticket every week in the hopes of calling up Turbine and asking how much they would sell me Asherons Call for. I'd be glad to put my as-of-yet unwon money where my mouth is
EDIT: By re-skin I also include updating animations to modern expectations (or beyond). Even AAA titles seem to put a strange lack of emphasis on animations, TSW for example.