It seems some people just don't get it, so I thought I'd put a little piece on it here. Gartner made a great analysis on hypes and the expectations of people combined with the real (non-perfect) result.
This graph about says it all, with the 5 phases of the hype included.
A hype cycle in Gartner's interpretation comprises five phases:
- "Technology Trigger" — The first phase of a hype cycle is the "technology trigger" or breakthrough, product launch or other event that generates significant press and interest.
- "Peak of Inflated Expectations" — In the next phase, a frenzy of publicity typically generates over-enthusiasm and unrealistic expectations. There may be some successful applications of a technology, but there are typically more failures.
- "Trough of Disillusionment" — Technologies enter the "trough of disillusionment" because they fail to meet expectations and quickly become unfashionable. Consequently, the press usually abandons the topic and the technology.
- "Slope of Enlightenment" — Although the press may have stopped covering the technology, some businesses continue through the "slope of enlightenment" and experiment to understand the benefits and practical application of the technology.
- "Plateau of Productivity" — A technology reaches the "plateau of productivity" as the benefits of it become widely demonstrated and accepted. The technology becomes increasingly stable and evolves in second and third generations. The final height of the plateau varies according to whether the technology is broadly applicable or benefits only a niche market.
Fit this on an MMO, where limited information is released and before (and even during) beta testing most people don't know squat about the real game, longevity predictions and all that, there'll be too many expectations. After that the usual MMO-bash starts, which after a while turns (or should turn) into acceptance of the flawed product and people continue to play it if they like it despite those flaws, whilst the people who like the shiny and the hype will have moved on to the next big thing.
And that's why all games coming up will fail in the eyes of those who are joining the hype, unless they go in with a clear mind and ready to accept that every MMO (or game or any product for that matter) has it's flaws.
"We need men who can dream of things that never were." - John F. Kennedy
And for MMORPGs ever so true...