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Economically Viable "Sandbox" MMORPGs?



  • RaysheRayshe London, ONPosts: 1,278Member Uncommon
    Face of Mankind has recently become profitable, however its first atttempt wasnt at all.

    Because i can.
    I'm Hopeful For Every Game, Until the Fan Boys Attack My Games. Then the Knives Come Out.
    Logic every gamers worst enemy.

  • PhelcherPhelcher Boston, MAPosts: 1,053Member Common
    Originally posted by BitterClinger

    Are there any sandbox MMORPGs, past or present, that were financially successful?  I don't care about how fun or interesting they were to play. I'm just trying to guage how many there are or were.  Also, this is not a bait thread.  I don't have a "zinger" waiting or anything like that.I'm just looking for a credible list of sandbox MMORPG games (past or present) with a proven record of financial success.


    The answer is yes.

    "No they are not charity. That is where the whales come in. (I play for free. Whales pays.) Devs get a business. That is how it works."


  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 17,363Member Epic
    Originally posted by GrayKodiak Unlimited items on the ground, never been copied and was a big headache for UO..but very sandbox.

    Uncharted Waters Online allows unlimited items on the ground, but just doesn't draw them.  You have to use search (or recognition if you're at sea) and the game tells you if you found something that someone else happened to drop in that exact spot.  The game actually seeds some extra items for players to find that way in particular spots.

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 14,247Member Rare
    Originally posted by GrayKodiak
    I am not attacking UO, it was great...I was a shadowclan orc...good times. But I am using that as an example of why Sandbox might be a thing developers look at with a wayward eye. The more rope you give players, the more mechanics you put in, the greater the chance they do something with the system that you have to actively work to fix. Just more elements for murphy's law to play with.

    That's a fair point. When creating tools for emergent gameplay, a developer is committing to the important perpetual follow up task of watching how the players use it and countering/assisting their efforts based on the goals of the community, game and content. Not every dev wants to get involved in playing Emergent Behaviour Ping Pong against a team the size of an MMO's playerbase. This is one of the reasons I find the CCP dev team fascinating. They look forward to seeing what craziness the EVE players will come up with for each new feature set that gets rolled out.


    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

  • GreyfaceGreyface Detroit, MIPosts: 390Member
    Originally posted by BitterClinger

    That's a very good point.  So what is it about "sandbox" MMOs that don't attract a lot of customers?  I mean, it's not like all the people playing World of Warcraft or Guild Wars 2 thought to themselves, "I really like themepark games".  There must be something about the way themepark games are designed that appeals to more users. Are they easier to play or just easier to learn?  Is the "themepark" user base just more "New Player" friendly than sandbox players? Is it something else entirely?

    The main thing that keeps customers away from sandbox MMOs is that they're all 10+ years old or half-finished shovelware.  If someone developed a polished sandbox with a realistic learning curve, I think it would do very well.  There's no way to know for sure until someone actually tries it though.  

  • botrytisbotrytis In Flux, MIPosts: 2,836Member Uncommon
    Unfortunately is is hard to polish a turd. Most of those games were just that. EVE and UO (but being the first does not make it good) are probably the best of the ones that have been listed.


    "In 50 years, when I talk to my grandchildren about these days, I'll make sure to mention what an accomplished MMO player I was. They are going to be so proud ..."
    by Naqaj - 7/17/2013 forum

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 26,698Member Rare
    Originally posted by Yaevindusk

    I could've sworn Origin: We Create Worlds was a small studio that was bought out by EA after they already pitched the idea of Ultima Online.  It's a story I followed closely, albeit 15 years ago or so.  Though I guess memory fades after that amount of time if I'm wrong.

    Origin wasn't small. They made the ultima serise, and Wing Commander series, which are the biggest games in those days. It was like Activision buying Blizz.

    Things did not help when RG screwed up Ultima 8, and that U9 was too ambitious and flopped badly. But it is not accurate to consider Origin a small boutique shop.

    It was more like a Blizz, or a Bioware in those days.

  • GreyfaceGreyface Detroit, MIPosts: 390Member
    Originally posted by botrytis
    Unfortunately is is hard to polish a turd. Most of those games were just that. EVE and UO (but being the first does not make it good) are probably the best of the ones that have been listed.

    Niether of those games are what I would call "turds."  They're just old.  UO predates Everquest, and I don't think it would be fair to dismiss the Themepark based on the shortcomings of EQ.  Blizzard didn't, and things seemed to have worked out for them.

    EVE is newer, but it's still old.  When it was released, the Gamecube was current-gen.

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