It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!
The reason for recent WoW-type clones is simple: they make money... or at least had been, now not quite so much.
The amazing thing is that people want a risky game design (non-WoW), want it massive, with shiny graphics, lots to do.. and expect it to be Free to Play.
The math just doesn't add up. You can't make the awesome game everyone wants and then give it away or let people play for free.
Many people seem to forget that Guild Wars 2 opened up pre-SALE almost 6 months before release. They had people purchasing the actual real game 6 months before you could play it live (you got into the beta) and they got the cash up front. How much of the money for the finished product went towards making the game while it was still being made? We'll probably never know.
It's not sustainable in the future, you can't do massive games for free. Something has to change.. games are going to be smaller or less quality or more niche related.
I don't think we'll ever see another massive success MMO. The amount of money needed won't be risked by a publisher and developers aren't going to work for less money or free (in most cases).
My conclusion is that the only real change will come from Indie developers who are willing to risk money themselves to organically grow a player base on a good idea. They'll have to start small and fight for each customer (like EVE did).
It also partially comes back to the jaded MMO community (rightfully so) who hear the same promises for every game and nobody ever delivers them. With the amount of doubt in most of the playerbase of any actual change happening, someone is going to have to prove things CAN change.
As soon as the first million subscriber sandbox/sandpark game launches you'll see more major publishers willing to open their wallets for a piece of that pie.
Thanks,MikeWorking on Social Strategy MMORTS (now Launched!) http://www.worldalpha.com
I think MMORPGs in general, even including the Asian ports to western market, are either in a period of population contraction AND / OR in a period where excess competition has lowered profitability of individual games.
Hardware has made a huge jump in 10 years. With that jump came in increase in production costs because "big" games went from 3 gigs of artwork to 30. Also stressing production costs is that content went from "go out in the woods and grind boars" to "quest driven storyline with voiced and animated cut-scenes". The combination of more artwork and more content just puts all the more pressure to monetize a release in an already competitive environment.
Is the twilight coming? Frankly I think it is already here. At very least there seems to be a plateau.
Will it be bad for MMORPGs? Maybe not. There's still plenty of opportunity for games that can draw a playerbase and monetize effectively. I think GW2 is close to this with the B2P strategy.
I do expect there will be more casualties among subscription games. SWTOR, TSW and TERA are ones that I think will be forced to adapt. Others just seem to linger on, DAOC comes to mind as an example, but I'm sure there are many.
Ken Fisher - Semi retired old fart Network Administrator, now working in Network Security. I don't Forum PVP. If you feel I've attacked you, it was probably by accident. When I don't understand, I ask. Such is not intended as criticism.
Originally posted by Dakirn The reason for recent WoW-type clones is simple: they make money... or at least had been, now not quite so much.
WoW clones have never made much money or held audiences very long, hence why there haven't been many successful MMOs since 2004. Virtually none that have grown after launch.