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What determines if an MMO is successful is its population.

ConsuetudoConsuetudo Bolingbrook, ALPosts: 136Member

The first factor either consciously or subconsciously weighed when deciding what MMORPG to play is which one features the most players. The inherent attraction to the genre, as specified in the very name of it, is the fact of a vast amount of players in a virtual world: a feature fundamentally desired by people playing these games. Whether as a solo, more casual player, or as a grouped, more party-oriented player, it follows that the game which appears the most fundamentally attractive is the MMORPG that is the most massively multiplayer. 

Therefore, initially, you are more likely to play a game with more players, than you are a game with less players. 

Then, the various technical wants and interests of a given player are added into the equation. Some prefer combat as their main interest; some prefer crafting; some prefer solving puzzles in the form of taking down bosses; some prefer completing a story. And yet even if a game has these features desired by you, if it fails to have the most players, it is not a successful game. It is for these reasons that Mortal Online is not flooding the main page; Darkfall; Asheron's Call; Ultima Online. All of these games are able to be played, and some were previously successful. Now, all of them have low populations, and we no longer conceive of them as presently successful.

If they were successful, then they would continue to attract more players. Presently, World of Warcraft has the most players. Since this is the case, and since World of Warcraft keeps gaining new players, it remains successful throughout time, while causing other MMOs to fail. Even if your interests in an MMO don't coincide with what is found in World of Warcraft, you neither deny that it is successful, nor that its population is the factor causing its success to be the case. 

A new game is unable to initially have the most players, because it is new; but if it retrospectively exists with enough potential that it eventually comes to be the most successful game, then, theoretically, it was always more successful than all other games considered successful which existed prior to its becoming a success, and until new games came to supplant it in popularity. But you do not consider games that we come to view as successful as successful until they have the most players, and are popular. 

Seeing that World of Warcraft is the most successful game presently, but you are not playing it, it means that your net total of desire to play the game is inferior to your actual disillusionment from it. It also follows that since the MMORPG we consider to be successful is the one the most populated, and that you aren't playing that one, this means that the longevity of your playing any other MMORPG will last only as long your delusion that you don't want to play the most successful game will last. If the game in question retrospectively existed with enough potential to actually become the most successful game (i.e. it did become the most successful game at some point, even if in a time future to now), then it follows your longetivity of playing it would be maximum; if the game in question retrospectively didn't exist with this same potential, then your longevity of playing it would be minimal. 

If it wasn't the case that your longevity was minimal of playing a game that retrospectively did not exist with the potential to be successful, then it follows that that game would not only not be losing players, and/or not remain stagnant, but it would also actively be gaining more players than it is losing, and it would go on to become successful. 

When a game has a stagnant population, if we actually consider it successful, then it will continue to be considered thus as long as it remains stagnant and has a greater population than all other games; when a game has a stagnant population, and if we do not consider it successful, it follows that some players delude themselves into believing it is successful, while most do not. For example, many people play EVE and consider it to be successful, but as it does not have the greatest population, this means that most players do not consider it to be successful. 

In conclusion, at all times, the best MMORPG to make is that which seems to have the potential to become the most successful, i.e. the most popular, because insofar as it exists and isn't the most popular, it means that it is only being played as long as players can delude themselves into believing the most important aspect of an MMORPG isn't its popularity in comparison to all others; it also means that the mechanics of a game, whether they are liked by you or not, can only affect your playing or not playing a game as long as you can maintain the delusion mentioned. If you are presently not playing MMORPGs even though you recognize what the most popular MMORPG is and do not want to play it, then it follows both that the force of your disillusionment from the most popular MMORPG exceeds your net total desire to play MMORPGs in the first place, and also that the only MMORPG you will ever enjoy is that which is neither the present most successful one nor one which succeeds to produce more disillusionment in you than desire to play, i.e. it is only another future release which will come to either supplant the present most successful game in popularity, or which retrospectively existed at the time of your deciding to play it with enough potential to actually become the most successful game in the future, that will ever garner your maximum interest to play it & the most longevity of doing so.

 

Originally posted by grimgryphon

I think people are confusing "success" and "value" in their arguments here. One is based on factual criteria, the other based on opinion.

Is American Idol a success? Yes (viewer data supports it). Does it provide value to television entertainment? No, it's a jackass gameshow knockoff (IMO).

Is GW2 a success? Yes (sales support it). Does it provide value to the MMO genre? No, it's just another themepark knockoff (IMO).

So yes, population can be a criterion of success.

 

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Comments

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,770Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Consuetudo

    It is for these reasons that Mortal Online is not flooding the main page; the Chronicles of Spellborn; Asheron's Call; Ultima Online. All of these games are able to be played, and some were previously successful. Now, all of them have low populations, and we no longer conceive of them as presently successful.

    I thought they pulled the plug on The Chronicles of Spellborn.  Is it back up now?

    -----

    As for the substance of your argument, the population is really only relevant if it is enough to support the game.  Spiral Knights, for example, would be playable even if it only had 50 people online at a time.  Aion, on the other hand, would need a huge number of players in order to make it practical to get enough players for endgame raiding.

    And furthermore, what matters is whether there are enough players online that you have access to, not merely the total number online.  If you need 1000 players per server for a game to be viable, and the game has 10000 players online, but split between 100 servers, it might not be playable on any of them.  See the problems that SWTOR had before the server merges, for example.

    But no, what really determines whether a game is successful is how much revenue it brings in, as compared to how much it cost to build.  A game that cost $100 million to make but only brings in $10 million in revenue is a spectacular failure.  A game that costs $1 million to make but brings in the same $10 million in revenue is a runaway success.  The primary reason SWTOR is probably a commercial failure is nothing about game mechanics, but rather merely that it cost far too much to make.

  • ConsuetudoConsuetudo Bolingbrook, ALPosts: 136Member
    Originally posted by Quizzical
    Originally posted by Consuetudo

    It is for these reasons that Mortal Online is not flooding the main page; the Chronicles of Spellborn; Asheron's Call; Ultima Online. All of these games are able to be played, and some were previously successful. Now, all of them have low populations, and we no longer conceive of them as presently successful.

    I thought they pulled the plug on The Chronicles of Spellborn.  Is it back up now?

    -----

    As for the substance of your argument, the population is really only relevant if it is enough to support the game.  Spiral Knights, for example, would be playable even if it only had 50 people online at a time.  Aion, on the other hand, would need a huge number of players in order to make it practical to get enough players for endgame raiding.

    And furthermore, what matters is whether there are enough players online that you have access to, not merely the total number online.  If you need 1000 players per server for a game to be viable, and the game has 10000 players online, but split between 100 servers, it might not be playable on any of them.  See the problems that SWTOR had before the server merges, for example.

    But no, what really determines whether a game is successful is how much revenue it brings in, as compared to how much it cost to build.  A game that cost $100 million to make but only brings in $10 million in revenue is a spectacular failure.  A game that costs $1 million to make but brings in the same $10 million in revenue is a runaway success.  The primary reason SWTOR is probably a commercial failure is nothing about game mechanics, but rather merely that it cost far too much to make.

    And yet, I don'tconsider Spiral Knights successful, not only because I've never heard of it, but also because it clearly doesn't have a grand enough population to seem appealing. If it did seem appealing, it would have a high initial population, and it would be continuing to gain more players over time. 

    I played Aion in beta, and didn't find it appealing enough to continue playing: its actual potential to become the most successful game appeared to me to be low in such a way that it increased my disillusionment from it to a level so high that it exceeded my desire to play the game. 

    Your argument about revenue is inherently connected to population. Considering that it costs money to play SWTOR, it follows that if the game retrospectively existed with enough potential to become the most popular, not only would it have a high initial population, but it would continue gaining players due to the excessive good reviews made by the ones already playing it. Since more people are stopping to play SWTOR than they are joining, it follows that the game did not have the potential to become the most popular, and it is not successful. If SWTOR did continue gaining players, then it follows that if it costs less money to maintain the game than the amount of profits Bioware is taking in to an extent greater than the net amount of profit coming from playersBioware deemed necessary in order for a profit in this area to be gained, then, still, the high population is what caused the net profit, and is the only factor in the end that could do so. 

    Thus, ultimately, the game that is successful is the one with the highest population. 

     

    I suppose you're right about Spellborn. I wasn't aware it'd closed, but played it once, and even came back for a day once. 

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,770Member Uncommon

    My point was not that Aion or Spiral Knights were successful or not.  Rather, it's that the threshold at which a game has enough players to be viable varies wildly from one game to the next.  Maybe you don't want to play in an empty game world.  But should you really care about the difference between a game that has enough players to fill at least two instances (or servers or whatever the game server model is) of everything as opposed to one that has enough to fill 20 instances of everything?

    Yes, having more players is pretty strongly correlated with having more revenue.  But my point is that expenses matter just as much as revenue for determining whether a game is commercially successful.  Besides, if I'm picking a game to play, I want to know if I like the game, not whether it's a commercial success.

  • ConsuetudoConsuetudo Bolingbrook, ALPosts: 136Member
    Originally posted by Quizzical

    My point was not that Aion or Spiral Knights were successful or not.  Rather, it's that the threshold at which a game has enough players to be viable varies wildly from one game to the next.  Maybe you don't want to play in an empty game world.  But should you really care about the difference between a game that has enough players to fill at least two instances (or servers or whatever the game server model is) of everything as opposed to one that has enough to fill 20 instances of everything?

    Yes, having more players is pretty strongly correlated with having more revenue.  But my point is that expenses matter just as much as revenue for determining whether a game is commercially successful.  Besides, if I'm picking a game to play, I want to know if I like the game, not whether it's a commercial success.

    I'm not arguing as to whether or not someone should care whether there are more people, but that we actually do. 

  • SuraknarSuraknar Montreal, QCPosts: 824Member
    Originally posted by Consuetudo
    Originally posted by Quizzical

    My point was not that Aion or Spiral Knights were successful or not.  Rather, it's that the threshold at which a game has enough players to be viable varies wildly from one game to the next.  Maybe you don't want to play in an empty game world.  But should you really care about the difference between a game that has enough players to fill at least two instances (or servers or whatever the game server model is) of everything as opposed to one that has enough to fill 20 instances of everything?

    Yes, having more players is pretty strongly correlated with having more revenue.  But my point is that expenses matter just as much as revenue for determining whether a game is commercially successful.  Besides, if I'm picking a game to play, I want to know if I like the game, not whether it's a commercial success.

    I'm not arguing as to whether or not someone should care whether there are more people, but that we actually do. 

    Many people do, not all people do.

    I do not look at the popularity of a game when I make a decision to play it I look at the quality of entertainment it has to offer according to the combination of elements which form Fun Value.

    Choosing to play an MMO just based on the Fact of it being popular and having a large population, in my book is Sheep Mentality.... and if this statement implies that WoW is filled by a bunch of Sheep, then so be it.

    - Duke Suraknar -
    Order of the Silver Star, OSS

    image
    ESKA, Playing MMORPG's since Ultima Online 1997 - Order of the Silver Serpent, Atlantic Shard

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,638Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Quizzical

    As for the substance of your argument, the population is really only relevant if it is enough to support the game.  Spiral Knights, for example, would be playable even if it only had 50 people online at a time.  Aion, on the other hand, would need a huge number of players in order to make it practical to get enough players for endgame raiding.

    And furthermore, what matters is whether there are enough players online that you have access to, not merely the total number online.  If you need 1000 players per server for a game to be viable, and the game has 10000 players online, but split between 100 servers, it might not be playable on any of them.  See the problems that SWTOR had before the server merges, for example.

    But no, what really determines whether a game is successful is how much revenue it brings in, as compared to how much it cost to build.  A game that cost $100 million to make but only brings in $10 million in revenue is a spectacular failure.  A game that costs $1 million to make but brings in the same $10 million in revenue is a runaway success.  The primary reason SWTOR is probably a commercial failure is nothing about game mechanics, but rather merely that it cost far too much to make.

    This---^

    Population doesn't determine success - revenue vs cost and target profit margin does. Puzzle Pirates was built for a couple thousand and got 34k players. ATITD was built for about 1,000 and was at about 2.5k at one point. Both saw healthy, active in-game populations and exceeded subscriber numbers needed to be profitable. 400k would be troubled waters for SWTOR, a profitable number for EVE and a year of swimming in hookers and blow for the Asheron's Call team.

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • ConsuetudoConsuetudo Bolingbrook, ALPosts: 136Member
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by Quizzical

    As for the substance of your argument, the population is really only relevant if it is enough to support the game.  Spiral Knights, for example, would be playable even if it only had 50 people online at a time.  Aion, on the other hand, would need a huge number of players in order to make it practical to get enough players for endgame raiding.

    And furthermore, what matters is whether there are enough players online that you have access to, not merely the total number online.  If you need 1000 players per server for a game to be viable, and the game has 10000 players online, but split between 100 servers, it might not be playable on any of them.  See the problems that SWTOR had before the server merges, for example.

    But no, what really determines whether a game is successful is how much revenue it brings in, as compared to how much it cost to build.  A game that cost $100 million to make but only brings in $10 million in revenue is a spectacular failure.  A game that costs $1 million to make but brings in the same $10 million in revenue is a runaway success.  The primary reason SWTOR is probably a commercial failure is nothing about game mechanics, but rather merely that it cost far too much to make.

    This---^

    Population doesn't determine success - revenue vs cost and target profit margin does. Puzzle Pirates was built for a couple thousand and got 34k players. ATITD was built for about 1,000 and was at about 2.5k at one point. Both saw healthy, active in-game populations and exceeded subscriber numbers needed to be profitable. 400k would be troubled waters for SWTOR, a profitable number for EVE and a year of swimming in hookers and blow for the Asheron's Call team.

    What you've really done that is add a new factor of subgenre: provided that this MMO inherently is designed not to become the most populated one by design, then the need of its population depends alone on those players to whom the love of a certain game mechanic rather than a massively multiplayer experience. After all, if WoW is a game that is massively multiplayer, a game that barely dents a fraction of its population by design of it can't be called massive. 

    The desire of the players in choosing a game that inherently cannot have a massive population are therefore looking for a game for different reasons.

     

    Originally posted by Suraknar
    Originally posted by Consuetudo
    Originally posted by Quizzical

    My point was not that Aion or Spiral Knights were successful or not.  Rather, it's that the threshold at which a game has enough players to be viable varies wildly from one game to the next.  Maybe you don't want to play in an empty game world.  But should you really care about the difference between a game that has enough players to fill at least two instances (or servers or whatever the game server model is) of everything as opposed to one that has enough to fill 20 instances of everything?

    Yes, having more players is pretty strongly correlated with having more revenue.  But my point is that expenses matter just as much as revenue for determining whether a game is commercially successful.  Besides, if I'm picking a game to play, I want to know if I like the game, not whether it's a commercial success.

    I'm not arguing as to whether or not someone should care whether there are more people, but that we actually do. 

    Many people do, not all people do.

    I do not look at the popularity of a game when I make a decision to play it I look at the quality of entertainment it has to offer according to the combination of elements which form Fun Value.

    Choosing to play an MMO just based on the Fact of it being popular and having a large population, in my book is Sheep Mentality.... and if this statement implies that WoW is filled by a bunch of Sheep, then so be it.

    As I've said, both your fun value will be impacted in its longevity by the success of the game in terms of the population factors argued for, and the game wouldn't be considered a success unless if it is. 

    And as in the previous reply of mine, I maintain that if a game inherently is incapable of even denting a fraction of the population of a true MMO like WoW, it really can't be considered massive. 

  • DrakhaDrakha Madison, WIPosts: 28Member
    Originally posted by Consuetudo

    The first factor either consciously or subconsciously weighed when deciding what MMORPG to play is which one features the most players. The inherent attraction to the genre, as specified in the very name of it, is the fact of a vast amount of players in a virtual world: a feature fundamentally desired by people playing these games. Whether as a solo, more casual player, or as a grouped, more party-oriented player, it follows that the game which appears the most fundamentally attractive is the MMORPG that is the most massively multiplayer. 

    Population may be a factor in choosing a mmorpg, but it's neither the most important nor the first factor when I choose a mmorpg to play.There are more important factors than the total number of people playing the game.When I first started playing WoW it had a much smaller population than it does now but I haven't played if for 2 years.If population mattered that much wouldn't I still be playing WoW?Wouldn't everybody be playing WoW?Since not everybody plays WoW player population obviously isn't the most important factor.It's probably one of the last things I look at when looking for a mmorpg to play.

  • worldalphaworldalpha Milton, ONPosts: 403Member
    What exactly does successful mean?  Financial success?  If so, I'm sure there are MMOs out there with lower populations that are still financial successes.

    Thanks,
    Mike
    Working on Social Strategy MMORTS (now Launched!) http://www.worldalpha.com

  • defector1968defector1968 Nar ShaddaaPosts: 393Member Common

    with 1 word since most people agreed ..... yes, popularity determines it

    but are 2 different categories personally that cant fit together, the subed and the f2p games

    f2p = those that dont spend a dime to get what the game offers (slower but full game)

  • BossalinieBossalinie Hattiesburg, MSPosts: 683Member Uncommon

    I don't think this is the case. I mean I see the point attraction-wise, but does it really matter if 11 million people played game A, but you can only possibly have a chance to interact with 20k-40k in a realm?

    I've seen the grim days of Eve when the average active users dropped to 25K...and the game kept going. 

    I'll take game with a few who desire to play game over a bunch who ony play because others are playing.

  • free2playfree2play Toronto, ONPosts: 1,868Member Uncommon

    Popularity isn't hype. Plenty of games had huge showing in the early release. See what a game looks like on its one year.

    Add in, do you view yourself as 'normal'? Or at least have normal game expectations. Chances are if everyone else likes it, you will too. I liked FF14, I like EVE, I like PotBS, none of those games are 'popular'. I like LotRO too, it kind of holds a popular standing but I am sure that has more to do with the franchise. All those games have something else in common as well. They are polished. Companies budget for release, they often don't budget both time and money for the polish.

  • IcewhiteIcewhite Elmhurst, ILPosts: 6,403Member
    Originally posted by Consuetudo

    The first factor either consciously or subconsciously weighed when deciding what MMORPG to play is which one features the most players.

    Almost.  That is certainly a strong consideration for some people.

    Stretch of credulity to speculate some => all.  We call that dicto simpliciter in Latin.  Hasty Generalization in English.

    Best game released in the last 15 years, for me, never topped 200k subs.  Crushed by the subscription bases of many other games...yet, as a long term (really long) gamer, it has yet to be dethroned by any of them.

    What brand of coffee do you like?  Did you say anything other than Folgers?  Hmm, Kopi Luwak gets high critic praise, yet is not even a blip on the coffee market...wth? It comes from where? And people like it?

    Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  • GruugGruug Chillicothe, ILPosts: 1,311Member Uncommon

    This entire thread is discussion based upon the lemming mentality. In other words, if people see a lot of others doing a thing they think they too MUST be doing that same thing too. It does not mean that something is "successful" as far as quality goes however. You can get thousands of people to buy ANY product if the marketing is done correctly. But it still does not mean that what was marketed is really what the person wanted or needed.

    As far as mmo's are concerned. I don't give a hoot has to how many people play that mmo. The ONLY thing I care about is the QUALITY of the game play and if the game is FUN.

     

    Let's party like it is 1863!

  • WizardryWizardry Ontario, CanadaPosts: 8,425Member Uncommon

    NOPE,the LARGE numbers are the result of player base,but the START of a large player base has more to do with HYPE/marketing,it is why devs spend millions on marketing.

    We have seen LArge amounts of people claim they are going to buy a gamwe  before it even comes out,so they are basing it on NOTHING but what the dev tells them.Devs are not in the business of telling the truth,they are in the business of selling their product and fabricating/stretching the truth.

    I actually find iot sad that even after many years,i still see people  get defensive in choosing Wow to play and backing it up with ideas they would have NEVER seen until already in the game for weeks/months.You don't make decisions based on something you have not seen yet and use that for an excuse like yo uHAVE already seen it.It shows people are playing because firends are or they have been fed that mass marketing and hype that the game is THE BEST ideas and if you don't play you are some kind of noob playing other inferior games.

    Truth is often people are just jumping in with little to no idea why.After a game gets some big numbers,THEN the large masses jump on the bandwagon.


    Samoan Diamond

  • EstelveaEstelvea PwllheliPosts: 5Member
    Originally posted by Consuetudo

    The first factor either consciously or subconsciously weighed when deciding what MMORPG to play is which one features the most players. The inherent attraction to the genre, as specified in the very name of it, is the fact of a vast amount of players in a virtual world: a feature fundamentally desired by people playing these games. Whether as a solo, more casual player, or as a grouped, more party-oriented player, it follows that the game which appears the most fundamentally attractive is the MMORPG that is the most massively multiplayer. 

    Therefore, initially, you are more likely to play a game with more players, than you are a game with less players. 

    Then, the various technical wants and interests of a given player are added into the equation. Some prefer combat as their main interest; some prefer crafting; some prefer solving puzzles in the form of taking down bosses; some prefer completing a story. And yet even if a game has these features desired by you, if it fails to have the most players, it is not a successful game. It is for these reasons that Mortal Online is not flooding the main page; Darkfall; Asheron's Call; Ultima Online. All of these games are able to be played, and some were previously successful. Now, all of them have low populations, and we no longer conceive of them as presently successful.

    If they were successful, then they would continue to attract more players. Presently, World of Warcraft has the most players. Since this is the case, and since World of Warcraft keeps gaining new players, it remains successful throughout time, while causing other MMOs to fail. Even if your interests in an MMO don't coincide with what is found in World of Warcraft, you neither deny that it is successful, nor that its population is the factor causing its success to be the case. 

    A new game is unable to initially have the most players, because it is new; but if it retrospectively exists with enough potential that it eventually comes to be the most successful game, then, theoretically, it was always more successful than all other games considered successful which existed prior to its becoming a success, and until new games came to supplant it in popularity. But you do not consider games that we come to view as successful as successful until they have the most players, and are popular. 

    Seeing that World of Warcraft is the most successful game presently, but you are not playing it, it means that your net total of desire to play the game is inferior to your actual disillusionment from it. It also follows that since the MMORPG we consider to be successful is the one the most populated, and that you aren't playing that one, this means that the longevity of your playing any other MMORPG will last only as long your delusion that you don't want to play the most successful game will last. If the game in question retrospectively existed with enough potential to actually become the most successful game (i.e. it did become the most successful game at some point, even if in a time future to now), then it follows your longetivity of playing it would be maximum; if the game in question retrospectively didn't exist with this same potential, then your longevity of playing it would be minimal. 

    If it wasn't the case that your longevity was minimal of playing a game that retrospectively did not exist with the potential to be successful, then it follows that that game would not only not be losing players, and/or not remain stagnant, but it would also actively be gaining more players than it is losing, and it would go on to become successful. 

    When a game has a stagnant population, if we actually consider it successful, then it will continue to be considered thus as long as it remains stagnant and has a greater population than all other games; when a game has a stagnant population, and if we do not consider it successful, it follows that some players delude themselves into believing it is successful, while most do not. For example, many people play EVE and consider it to be successful, but as it does not have the greatest population, this means that most players do not consider it to be successful. 

    In conclusion, at all times, the best MMORPG to make is that which seems to have the potential to become the most successful, i.e. the most popular, because insofar as it exists and isn't the most popular, it means that it is only being played as long as players can delude themselves into believing the most important aspect of an MMORPG isn't its popularity in comparison to all others; it also means that the mechanics of a game, whether they are liked by you or not, can only affect your playing or not playing a game as long as you can maintain the delusion mentioned. If you are presently not playing MMORPGs even though you recognize what the most popular MMORPG is and do not want to play it, then it follows both that the force of your disillusionment from the most popular MMORPG exceeds your net total desire to play MMORPGs in the first place, and also that the only MMORPG you will ever enjoy is that which is neither the present most successful one nor one which succeeds to produce more disillusionment in you than desire to play, i.e. it is only another future release which will come to either supplant the present most successful game in popularity, or which retrospectively existed at the time of your deciding to play it with enough potential to actually become the most successful game in the future, that will ever garner your maximum interest to play it & the most longevity of doing so.

    No shit, sherlock. Captain Obvious to the rescue once again!

  • VendettaDFAVendettaDFA Pleasant Hill, MOPosts: 72Member

    Population is an end result of the growth and content of a game. A large population gives the game a better survivability at launch but if the content can't maintain the population, they will leave.  The budget of the game needs a given population to survive but that doesnt mean a lower population game thats been around for 5 years is less successful than a high population game that shuts down in 2.

    WoW is popular because they have expanded on the base game. Vanilla WoW if never expanded on would be a footnote from 2004 and not what it is today. Success depends on the criteria you apply. No one can really argue a premise that success=population anymore than success=profit for the gaming company or success=innovation that makes or shakes up a genre etc... I personally feel success to me is a game that I want to revisit and the population of that particular game is secondary to other factors.

  • RazperilRazperil Lewiston, MEPosts: 289Member
    Originally posted by Consuetudo

    The first factor either consciously or subconsciously weighed when deciding what MMORPG to play is which one features the most players. The inherent attraction to the genre, as specified in the very name of it, is the fact of a vast amount of players in a virtual world: a feature fundamentally desired by people playing these games. Whether as a solo, more casual player, or as a grouped, more party-oriented player, it follows that the game which appears the most fundamentally attractive is the MMORPG that is the most massively multiplayer. 

    Therefore, initially, you are more likely to play a game with more players, than you are a game with less players. 

    Then, the various technical wants and interests of a given player are added into the equation. Some prefer combat as their main interest; some prefer crafting; some prefer solving puzzles in the form of taking down bosses; some prefer completing a story. And yet even if a game has these features desired by you, if it fails to have the most players, it is not a successful game. It is for these reasons that Mortal Online is not flooding the main page; Darkfall; Asheron's Call; Ultima Online. All of these games are able to be played, and some were previously successful. Now, all of them have low populations, and we no longer conceive of them as presently successful.

    If they were successful, then they would continue to attract more players. Presently, World of Warcraft has the most players. Since this is the case, and since World of Warcraft keeps gaining new players, it remains successful throughout time, while causing other MMOs to fail. Even if your interests in an MMO don't coincide with what is found in World of Warcraft, you neither deny that it is successful, nor that its population is the factor causing its success to be the case. 

    A new game is unable to initially have the most players, because it is new; but if it retrospectively exists with enough potential that it eventually comes to be the most successful game, then, theoretically, it was always more successful than all other games considered successful which existed prior to its becoming a success, and until new games came to supplant it in popularity. But you do not consider games that we come to view as successful as successful until they have the most players, and are popular. 

    Seeing that World of Warcraft is the most successful game presently, but you are not playing it, it means that your net total of desire to play the game is inferior to your actual disillusionment from it. It also follows that since the MMORPG we consider to be successful is the one the most populated, and that you aren't playing that one, this means that the longevity of your playing any other MMORPG will last only as long your delusion that you don't want to play the most successful game will last. If the game in question retrospectively existed with enough potential to actually become the most successful game (i.e. it did become the most successful game at some point, even if in a time future to now), then it follows your longetivity of playing it would be maximum; if the game in question retrospectively didn't exist with this same potential, then your longevity of playing it would be minimal. 

    If it wasn't the case that your longevity was minimal of playing a game that retrospectively did not exist with the potential to be successful, then it follows that that game would not only not be losing players, and/or not remain stagnant, but it would also actively be gaining more players than it is losing, and it would go on to become successful. 

    When a game has a stagnant population, if we actually consider it successful, then it will continue to be considered thus as long as it remains stagnant and has a greater population than all other games; when a game has a stagnant population, and if we do not consider it successful, it follows that some players delude themselves into believing it is successful, while most do not. For example, many people play EVE and consider it to be successful, but as it does not have the greatest population, this means that most players do not consider it to be successful. 

    In conclusion, at all times, the best MMORPG to make is that which seems to have the potential to become the most successful, i.e. the most popular, because insofar as it exists and isn't the most popular, it means that it is only being played as long as players can delude themselves into believing the most important aspect of an MMORPG isn't its popularity in comparison to all others; it also means that the mechanics of a game, whether they are liked by you or not, can only affect your playing or not playing a game as long as you can maintain the delusion mentioned. If you are presently not playing MMORPGs even though you recognize what the most popular MMORPG is and do not want to play it, then it follows both that the force of your disillusionment from the most popular MMORPG exceeds your net total desire to play MMORPGs in the first place, and also that the only MMORPG you will ever enjoy is that which is neither the present most successful one nor one which succeeds to produce more disillusionment in you than desire to play, i.e. it is only another future release which will come to either supplant the present most successful game in popularity, or which retrospectively existed at the time of your deciding to play it with enough potential to actually become the most successful game in the future, that will ever garner your maximum interest to play it & the most longevity of doing so.

    A paper for PSYC 101? Your ramblings about population versus this and that are "delusional". The very word you continued spewing over and over again to convince yourself that population means everything in a game. And this whole crap about "most" people thinking this and that; don't speak for me or anyone else for that matter. You're free to have your opinion on the topic, but that is about it.

    People play games generally because they usually enjoy playing that game/games. I'm not saying there are not those that do jump on the bandwagon just because others do, we all know tons do. Your over-analysis of the whole topic is truly extreme.

    If I need an analysis of anything in the future, I'm better off looking in the yellow-pages. (I know, this will get me a ban once again for speaking my mind and tending to forget that sugary topping :)

  • KyleranKyleran Tampa, FLPosts: 19,978Member Uncommon
    For me as long as the game world I'm on has a healthy population, I don't care of there are 1k subs or 13m.

    In my day MMORPG's were so hard we fought our way through dungeons in the snow, uphill both ways.
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    Still currently "subscribed" to EVE, and only EVE!!!
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  • dreamsofwardreamsofwar bangorPosts: 468Member
    It's not just population, its community. Lotro has a community that keeps making me come back as i miss how friendly people are on there. Even though i really don't like the F2P system and the gimmicks of the cash shop and the annoying point system (I feel it all breaks emersion), I am willing to forgive that because it is still the game and community I fell in love with.
  • Beatnik59Beatnik59 Chicago, ILPosts: 2,224Member Uncommon

    I take a Foucaultian or a Baudrillardian approach: that the true measure of a game's power is not measured in the number of people who play it, but how much discourse it creates (forum posts, books, blog activity, player-generated sites, etc.)

    Now World of Warcraft generates a lot of discourse.  Then again, it really should generate a lot of discourse, simply because it is so large.

    But I'm constantly surprised at how little discourse World of Warcraft generates when compared to games with only a fraction of its size.  People still talk about games like Star Wars Galaxies and Ultima Online.  People talk about Second Life fanatically, writing philosophical treatises and dissertations around it.  One might even propose that more people talk about Second Life than actually play Second Life.

    Indeed, if you compare the number who play World of Warcraft to the number of people who talk about World of Warcraft, you'll soon realize that World of Warcraft is far less popular than we think it is.  It dominates the attention of those who log in, but it fails to capture the imagination when people log out.

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  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,770Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Consuetudo
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by Quizzical

    As for the substance of your argument, the population is really only relevant if it is enough to support the game.  Spiral Knights, for example, would be playable even if it only had 50 people online at a time.  Aion, on the other hand, would need a huge number of players in order to make it practical to get enough players for endgame raiding.

    And furthermore, what matters is whether there are enough players online that you have access to, not merely the total number online.  If you need 1000 players per server for a game to be viable, and the game has 10000 players online, but split between 100 servers, it might not be playable on any of them.  See the problems that SWTOR had before the server merges, for example.

    But no, what really determines whether a game is successful is how much revenue it brings in, as compared to how much it cost to build.  A game that cost $100 million to make but only brings in $10 million in revenue is a spectacular failure.  A game that costs $1 million to make but brings in the same $10 million in revenue is a runaway success.  The primary reason SWTOR is probably a commercial failure is nothing about game mechanics, but rather merely that it cost far too much to make.

    This---^

    Population doesn't determine success - revenue vs cost and target profit margin does. Puzzle Pirates was built for a couple thousand and got 34k players. ATITD was built for about 1,000 and was at about 2.5k at one point. Both saw healthy, active in-game populations and exceeded subscriber numbers needed to be profitable. 400k would be troubled waters for SWTOR, a profitable number for EVE and a year of swimming in hookers and blow for the Asheron's Call team.

    What you've really done that is add a new factor of subgenre: provided that this MMO inherently is designed not to become the most populated one by design, then the need of its population depends alone on those players to whom the love of a certain game mechanic rather than a massively multiplayer experience. After all, if WoW is a game that is massively multiplayer, a game that barely dents a fraction of its population by design of it can't be called massive. 

    The desire of the players in choosing a game that inherently cannot have a massive population are therefore looking for a game for different reasons.

    So now you're arguing that if two games are identical in every way, except that one needs to fill two servers to be profitable, while the other needs to fill 20 servers to be profitable, those are different subgenres entirely?

    A Tale in the Desert is more "massively" multiplayer by design than WoW is:  far bigger game world, far less zoning, far less instancing, and far more players can fit in a single instance.

    Or would you argue that Tetris was really massively multiplayer with 40 million copies sold, even if it's a single-player game?

  • IcewhiteIcewhite Elmhurst, ILPosts: 6,403Member
    Originally posted by Quizzical

    A Tale in the Desert is more "massively" multiplayer by design than WoW is:  far bigger game world, far less zoning, far less instancing, and far more players can fit in a single instance.

    Conversely, a MUD with a typical primetime audience of barely a few hundred, but you've personally met most of them?  Is that "massive", or just "a better community"?

    Not reducing ad absurdum, but there is a limit to how just far these analogies can be pushed.

    Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,770Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Gruug

    This entire thread is discussion based upon the lemming mentality. In other words, if people see a lot of others doing a thing they think they too MUST be doing that same thing too.

    There are a lot of people like that, but I'm actually the opposite.  If everyone and his neighbor's dog is doing something, then my instinctive reaction is that there are quite enough people doing that and I should find something else to do.

  • RaysheRayshe London, ONPosts: 1,284Member

    i Gotta disagree. Success should be detemined by the companies goal not the profits or population. TSW knew from the start they weren't gonna match WoW in Pop, however they did expect to break even. Sadly due to the Failcom hate they needed to downsize to reach that goal.

     

    If i create a game with a medium population with the goal to change a aspect or 2 in the MMO genre and i successfully do that however dont have the biggest population. would do deem that as a failure.

    Because i can.
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