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The Coming Twilight of MMOs?



  • DakirnDakirn Kansas City, MOPosts: 374Member Uncommon

    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.

  • worldalphaworldalpha Milton, ONPosts: 403Member
    Wow a lot of doom and gloom lately on these boards.  Not really what I want to see on the verge of releasing my first MMO.

    Working on Social Strategy MMORTS (now Launched!)

  • KenFisherKenFisher Northwest, INPosts: 5,035Member Uncommon

    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.
  • DavisFlightDavisFlight Talahasee, FLPosts: 2,556Member Common
    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.

  • pkpkpkpkpkpk amherst, MAPosts: 94Member Uncommon
    I won't give an MMORPG a second look if it doesn't have forced grouping for PvE or meaningful PvP for PvP. Saying GW2 is innovative is like saying the jailor who's been starving you for two weeks is nice for giving you a crust of bread. It's a shitty game; another tedious solo fest for dozens of hours, another meaningless, mindless zerg in PvP.  It has taken no steps towards entertaining the True Gamer. Modern Western MMORPGs are no different from Korean MMORPGs, both being designed to be played while doing something else. As a standalone product it doesn't take a professional analyst to tell you they're shit. It's factory labor. Why separate MMORPGs from social games? That's all they are these days. All the flashy nonsense--achievements, excessive level-ups and quests--mean nothing to intelligent people. It doesn't challenge our minds. It's like Dragon Quest with no towns or dungeons, only slimes for monsters, and regenerating health. RPGs provided music, story, and a variety of characters to entertain players. Classic MMORPGs (Everquest) provided music and challenge to entertain players. Modern MMORPGs provide nothing to entertain players. The music's not video game music like Everquest, Vanguard, Everquest 2, or FF XI, it's cinema music for what must be the longest and most tedious film in existence, and there is no challenge.
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