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Why did MMOs become about the money and numbers?

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  • HolophonistHolophonist Pittsburgh, PAPosts: 2,086Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by lizardbones

    The "buy in" for releasing an MMORPG is around ten million dollars.

    http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/131252/applying_risk_analysis_to_.php

    That ten million dollars gets spent over five years or so of development time. Unless the MMORPG is somehow self funded, the investors have to be paid back. Ten million dollars isn't chump change, never mind the interest.

    That's why MMORPGs are about the numbers, because the money and the numbers because the money and the numbers are what determines if it survives or not.

    Taking it a step further, in theory if more money is invested, and higher numbers are achieved, then more money will be made. It's kind of like MMORPGs are the developers' avatars and they are constantly trying to achieve higher skill levels with their charisma.

    This doesn't really mean anything. You're claiming that the typical MMO nowadays costs $10 million dollars. I don't know if that's true or not, and in our previous discussions you never cited any kind of example. But supposing it is true, it's not an argument for anything. The point people are making is that MMO's when down the path of more polish, better graphics, more "content" rather than the path of more simulation and deeper gameplay. The former costs more money than the latter.

  • TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Arkham, VAPosts: 10,910Member


    Originally posted by Holophonist
    Originally posted by lizardbones The "buy in" for releasing an MMORPG is around ten million dollars. http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/131252/applying_risk_analysis_to_.php That ten million dollars gets spent over five years or so of development time. Unless the MMORPG is somehow self funded, the investors have to be paid back. Ten million dollars isn't chump change, never mind the interest. That's why MMORPGs are about the numbers, because the money and the numbers because the money and the numbers are what determines if it survives or not. Taking it a step further, in theory if more money is invested, and higher numbers are achieved, then more money will be made. It's kind of like MMORPGs are the developers' avatars and they are constantly trying to achieve higher skill levels with their charisma.
    This doesn't really mean anything. You're claiming that the typical MMO nowadays costs $10 million dollars. I don't know if that's true or not, and in our previous discussions you never cited any kind of example. But supposing it is true, it's not an argument for anything. The point people are making is that MMO's when down the path of more polish, better graphics, more "content" rather than the path of more simulation and deeper gameplay. The former costs more money than the latter.


    What you believe is irrelevant.

    It costs a lot of money to produce MMORPGs. Unless the develop pulls that money out of their own pocket, the money has to be paid back. That's when an MMORPG becomes about money and numbers.

    Richard Garriott didn't self fund Ultima Online. He had to convince investors that there would be enough money, because of the numbers that Ultima Online was worth the investment. This isn't exclusive to MMORPGs, this is for any game that gets made. Self Funded = not have to worry about the money or numbers, Funded by Investors = have to worry about the money and numbers.

    I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  • HolophonistHolophonist Pittsburgh, PAPosts: 2,086Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by lizardbones

     


    Originally posted by Holophonist

    Originally posted by lizardbones The "buy in" for releasing an MMORPG is around ten million dollars. http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/131252/applying_risk_analysis_to_.php That ten million dollars gets spent over five years or so of development time. Unless the MMORPG is somehow self funded, the investors have to be paid back. Ten million dollars isn't chump change, never mind the interest. That's why MMORPGs are about the numbers, because the money and the numbers because the money and the numbers are what determines if it survives or not. Taking it a step further, in theory if more money is invested, and higher numbers are achieved, then more money will be made. It's kind of like MMORPGs are the developers' avatars and they are constantly trying to achieve higher skill levels with their charisma.
    This doesn't really mean anything. You're claiming that the typical MMO nowadays costs $10 million dollars. I don't know if that's true or not, and in our previous discussions you never cited any kind of example. But supposing it is true, it's not an argument for anything. The point people are making is that MMO's when down the path of more polish, better graphics, more "content" rather than the path of more simulation and deeper gameplay. The former costs more money than the latter.

    What you believe is irrelevant.

    It costs a lot of money to produce MMORPGs. Unless the develop pulls that money out of their own pocket, the money has to be paid back. That's when an MMORPG becomes about money and numbers.

    Richard Garriott didn't self fund Ultima Online. He had to convince investors that there would be enough money, because of the numbers that Ultima Online was worth the investment. This isn't exclusive to MMORPGs, this is for any game that gets made. Self Funded = not have to worry about the money or numbers, Funded by Investors = have to worry about the money and numbers.

    There's a difference between a developer getting funding from somebody to make the game they've envisioned and a developer making a game that is solely designed to make money.

     

    And if the $10 million dollars number isn't supposed to mean anything, then why bring it up? If it's not a "hey look how expensive MMO's can be to produce" then why do you keep throwing it out there? I'm saying it's a bogus number because even if it is true, it's based on the current standards, not the standards of what could've been if MMO's took the other path of more simulation and deeper gameplay instead of the more expensive path of content, polish and graphics.

  • DavisFlightDavisFlight Talahasee, FLPosts: 2,556Member
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by DavisFlight
    Originally posted by VengeSunsoar
    There are 600 games on this site alone. Not to mention all the mmo like games out: lol, defiance. ..

    Many of the games on this site aren't MMOs, and of the games listed on this site, some aren't even running anymore.

    Whether they meet anyone's strict definition of what an MMO should be or not, the point remains that they have significant enough overlap within the segment that most of those hundreds of games are competing for the same MMO segment time and dollars.

     

    And like I said, there were just as many, if not more, online games in the past competing for a much smaller market. There were absolutely more AAA MMORPGs pre WoW than post WoW>

  • Mr.KujoMr.Kujo SwinoujsciePosts: 383Member
    Originally posted by TheScavenger

    That was when EA wasn't all about the money.

    So many bad points I don't know where to start.

    First of all, I didn't realize that EA was a charity organization...

    Wait, it wasn't, it was about making money since day one, like every company that is made to make money. The difference lies in experience and popularity of genre.

    You want to know why UO is so good to you?  Because back in the days the only market belonged to hardcore gamers. If you wanted profit, you appealed to them (probably to you). Now if you want a profit you appeal to masses, that are no longer hardcore gamers (probably you). You know what has not changed? Yep, profit. It was, is and will be always about making money, since that is a reason you make a company in the first place.

    EA helped make UO, a truly great and probably the best MMO to date. People still talk about it to this day...ITS STILL PAY TO PLAY and...ITS STILL A SUCCESS. More successful than EA's recent MMOs.

    Its success has nothing to do with money or numbers. But if you want to go into money and numbers, then most of current EA's "failed" mmo's, if not all beat UO in profits.

    the point is...these companies used to be great, they loved MMOs and they really wanted to revolutionize the genre. heck, these companies even let their developers play their MMO. I remember talking to developers in UO and SWG (not GMs, actual developers...in chat)...now these developers never play the MMO. When was the last time you talked to a developer in a game where you didn't have to contact them for a support question? Probably back in the classic days.

    Why do you try to give personality to something artificial like a company? It is a system, not a person. A company "loved" games, but now it became "greedy". What are you referring to as "company"? Is it a being? Are you referring to people that work there? Those people changed over years, but their goals didn't change. They are still passionate about their work and try to be as creative as they can in their environment. Only strategies change, not characters. I find it wierd that you talk about a company like about some being with conciousness... Name people that you find guilty.

    So like the title says...why did MMOs become about the money and numbers? What happened to the love that went into them? In the old days, they never cared how many people played the MMO...as long as the ones who played it enjoyed it. Now they are factory made, no love at all...just feels like your playing a machine.

    It was always about numbers. A bunch of guys make a game in their basement for fun and to bring joy to other people. If those guys create a company, they want to earn money for their work to feed their families. There was never such thing as charity organizations for developing games. And you are wrong if you think that those people that work in the industry don't love making games, it is still all about passion.

  • HolophonistHolophonist Pittsburgh, PAPosts: 2,086Member Uncommon

    Kujo -

     

    It seems to me that you and many other people here assume that a company's ONLY goal is to increase profits no matter what. That's simply not true. Companies have principles and mission statements. I don't see anything wrong with claiming that MMO developers have shifted away from making a game that is in line with their original vision and towards whatever will appeal to the masses. There ARE niche groups in every single market. And what we're saying is that the vast majority of MMO's seem to be trying to appeal to a broader group of people at the expense of serving more niche groups.

     

    This stock response of "LOL who'da thunk a company would try to make profits??" is really just silly and has nothing to do with the point many people are trying to make.

  • Mr.KujoMr.Kujo SwinoujsciePosts: 383Member
    Originally posted by Holophonist

    Kujo -

     

    It seems to me that you and many other people here assume that a company's ONLY goal is to increase profits no matter what. That's simply not true. Companies have principles and mission statements. I don't see anything wrong with claiming that MMO developers have shifted away from making a game that is in line with their original vision and towards whatever will appeal to the masses. There ARE niche groups in every single market. And what we're saying is that the vast majority of MMO's seem to be trying to appeal to a broader group of people at the expense of serving more niche groups.

     

    This stock response of "LOL who'da thunk a company would try to make profits??" is really just silly and has nothing to do with the point many people are trying to make.

    My point is they shifted from making a game that is in line with their vision not because "they" suddenly became greedy and want only profit, like author of this topic tries to imply.

    There are indie mmo's that target niche, but the author talks about AAA games. The real reason, why those games are made without inspiration and innovation, only to appeal masses is because a niche community is not enough to support a project worth many million dollars.

    How would you want EA or SOE make a high quality game for a niche group and be able to get at least half of the money spent on production to get back to them?

    I will repeat, what I said before: They were always appealing to masses, only now you are not in those masses anymore.

  • HolophonistHolophonist Pittsburgh, PAPosts: 2,086Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Mr.Kujo
    Originally posted by Holophonist

    Kujo -

     

    It seems to me that you and many other people here assume that a company's ONLY goal is to increase profits no matter what. That's simply not true. Companies have principles and mission statements. I don't see anything wrong with claiming that MMO developers have shifted away from making a game that is in line with their original vision and towards whatever will appeal to the masses. There ARE niche groups in every single market. And what we're saying is that the vast majority of MMO's seem to be trying to appeal to a broader group of people at the expense of serving more niche groups.

     

    This stock response of "LOL who'da thunk a company would try to make profits??" is really just silly and has nothing to do with the point many people are trying to make.

    My point is they shifted from making a game that is in line with their vision not because "they" suddenly became greedy and want only profit, like author of this topic tries to imply.

    There are indie mmo's that target niche, but the author talks about AAA games. The real reason, why those games are made without inspiration and innovation, only to appeal masses is because a niche community is not enough to support a project worth many million dollars.

    How would you want EA or SOE make a high quality game for a niche group and be able to get at least half of the money spent on production to get back to them?

    I will repeat, what I said before: They were always appealing to masses, only now you are not in those masses anymore.

    Whether it's specific companies making one kind of game and then making a new, watered down, appeal to the masses type of game or if it's the genre as a whole bringing in developers whose goal from the start is JUST to maximize profits at any cost doesn't really matter. The point is the genre used to be about making deep, targeted games, and now it's about doing and saying anything to bring in as many people as possible. 

     

    And by the way I'm sure it's a bit of both. Some companies shifted their goals when they realized how much money they could make by appealing to the masses (thx WoW) and some companies got into the genre with that goal in mind. I don't really follow the politics of what company gets bought out by who when but OSI turned UO into something completely unrecognizable in the name of bringing in new players. SWG was shut down to make way for SWTOR. I don't know how much of this was from SOE or LucasArts though.

  • GdemamiGdemami Beau VallonPosts: 7,870Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by Holophonist

    And what we're saying is that the vast majority of MMO's seem to be trying to appeal to a broader group of people at the expense of serving more niche groups.

    Your problem is incorrect term "niche group". You should replace it with "wrong target audience", because that is what a game targeting an audience incapable of providing sufficient returns and profits is.


    There is plenty of non-mainstream games, in fact MOST games are not mainstream, because simply their small audience does not allow them to produce something of mainstream title quality.

  • HolophonistHolophonist Pittsburgh, PAPosts: 2,086Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Gdemami

     


    Originally posted by Holophonist

    And what we're saying is that the vast majority of MMO's seem to be trying to appeal to a broader group of people at the expense of serving more niche groups.


     

    Your problem is incorrect term "niche group". You should replace it with "wrong target audience", because that is what a game targeting an audience incapable of providing sufficient returns and profits is.


    There is plenty of non-mainstream games, in fact MOST games are not mainstream, because simply their small audience does not allow them to produce something of mainstream title quality.

    What do you mean? What group of people isn't capable of providing sufficient returns? I'm saying the genre has gone from making more targeted games to making games that appeal to more people but on a more shallow level than they would if they were targeted to more specific groups of people. 

     

    And there really aren't many sandbox games available atm, niche or not.

  • Vermillion_RaventhalVermillion_Raventhal Oxon Hill, MDPosts: 1,147Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Mr.Kujo
    Originally posted by Holophonist

    Kujo -

     

    It seems to me that you and many other people here assume that a company's ONLY goal is to increase profits no matter what. That's simply not true. Companies have principles and mission statements. I don't see anything wrong with claiming that MMO developers have shifted away from making a game that is in line with their original vision and towards whatever will appeal to the masses. There ARE niche groups in every single market. And what we're saying is that the vast majority of MMO's seem to be trying to appeal to a broader group of people at the expense of serving more niche groups.

     

    This stock response of "LOL who'da thunk a company would try to make profits??" is really just silly and has nothing to do with the point many people are trying to make.

    My point is they shifted from making a game that is in line with their vision not because "they" suddenly became greedy and want only profit, like author of this topic tries to imply.

    There are indie mmo's that target niche, but the author talks about AAA games. The real reason, why those games are made without inspiration and innovation, only to appeal masses is because a niche community is not enough to support a project worth many million dollars.

    How would you want EA or SOE make a high quality game for a niche group and be able to get at least half of the money spent on production to get back to them?

    I will repeat, what I said before: They were always appealing to masses, only now you are not in those masses anymore.

     

    I don't even think that's the case.  We've had years of chasing the WoW money coupled with ease and accessability because players will poll path of least resistance.   Hopefully that's come to an end and we can get back to more virtual worlds of what we had in the past.  

     

     

  • VengeSunsoarVengeSunsoar Posts: 5,316Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Rydeson
    Originally posted by VengeSunsoar

    I do know that swtor has 500k subs. 

        NO you don't.. You wish they did..  At one point when TOR had dozens of servers, at one point over 100..  But not now..  The population of TOR dropped faster then a prom dress.. LOL  TOR has 17 servers, and you can not put that many active accounts on that many servers..  Most people on the forums everywhere are estimating that TOR is in the 200,000 ballpark..  The only ones I ever hear spouting large numbers are fans that wish their team was number 1.. 

     There is just as much information for SwTor having 500k subs as there is for Eve having 450k subs as there was for EQ to have had 450k subs and WoW to have 7 million.  Mainly the people running the game say so.

    500k subs, 2 million f2p players.  Do you know how many their servers can hold?

    Quit worrying about other players in a game and just play.

  • GdemamiGdemami Beau VallonPosts: 7,870Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by HolophonistI'm saying the genre has gone from making more targeted games to making games that appeal to more people

    You just replaced one incorrect term by another - specific.

    All target audience is specific, it's a target after all.

    In this case - targeted audience of "more people", is targeted audience that justifies the costs of making high quality MMO.

    There are still games catering to small audience, as I pointed out, most games are doing so. It is only that large budget titles are going for mass appeal as it is the only way to get enormous investments recouped and make profit.


    It has been always like this since MMO industry is a business like any other.


    You basically ask why there are no multi-million dollar games made with little to no prospect of paying off the development costs. Do you seriously need to ask this?

  • Mr.KujoMr.Kujo SwinoujsciePosts: 383Member
    Originally posted by Holophonist
    Originally posted by Mr.Kujo
    Originally posted by Holophonist

    Kujo -

     

    It seems to me that you and many other people here assume that a company's ONLY goal is to increase profits no matter what. That's simply not true. Companies have principles and mission statements. I don't see anything wrong with claiming that MMO developers have shifted away from making a game that is in line with their original vision and towards whatever will appeal to the masses. There ARE niche groups in every single market. And what we're saying is that the vast majority of MMO's seem to be trying to appeal to a broader group of people at the expense of serving more niche groups.

     

    This stock response of "LOL who'da thunk a company would try to make profits??" is really just silly and has nothing to do with the point many people are trying to make.

    My point is they shifted from making a game that is in line with their vision not because "they" suddenly became greedy and want only profit, like author of this topic tries to imply.

    There are indie mmo's that target niche, but the author talks about AAA games. The real reason, why those games are made without inspiration and innovation, only to appeal masses is because a niche community is not enough to support a project worth many million dollars.

    How would you want EA or SOE make a high quality game for a niche group and be able to get at least half of the money spent on production to get back to them?

    I will repeat, what I said before: They were always appealing to masses, only now you are not in those masses anymore.

    Whether it's specific companies making one kind of game and then making a new, watered down, appeal to the masses type of game or if it's the genre as a whole bringing in developers whose goal from the start is JUST to maximize profits at any cost doesn't really matter. The point is the genre used to be about making deep, targeted games, and now it's about doing and saying anything to bring in as many people as possible. 

     

    And by the way I'm sure it's a bit of both. Some companies shifted their goals when they realized how much money they could make by appealing to the masses (thx WoW) and some companies got into the genre with that goal in mind. I don't really follow the politics of what company gets bought out by who when but OSI turned UO into something completely unrecognizable in the name of bringing in new players. SWG was shut down to make way for SWTOR. I don't know how much of this was from SOE or LucasArts though.

     

    Nope, genre was deep not because they didn't appeal to masses, it was deep because masses back then wanted it to be that way, so companies followed demand. Now masses want dumbed down games, and that is what companies give them.

    They never shfited their goals. That is what I'm trying to explain all the time, the goal is the same - appeal to as much players as possible, always cover demand. Only back then gaming wasn't popular, there was a small niche of people playing games and they were the "masses" since there was no one else. Now many different people play games and demand changed. The only difference is not in companies but in demand.... it is just market reacting to demand.

    Stop saying that companies changed their ways because of greed because it is not true.

  • mgilbrtsnmgilbrtsn belleville, ILPosts: 1,712Member Uncommon
    It's always been about the money and numbers.  Without the money, there is no MMO.

    Concentrate on enjoying yourself, and not on why I shouldn't enjoy myself.

  • VengeSunsoarVengeSunsoar Posts: 5,316Member Uncommon
    It wasn't any more deep than it is today.  Some games were deep, most were shallow with poor gameplay and fewer decisions than even today.

    Quit worrying about other players in a game and just play.

  • HolophonistHolophonist Pittsburgh, PAPosts: 2,086Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Gdemami

     


    Originally posted by Holophonist

     

    I'm saying the genre has gone from making more targeted games to making games that appeal to more people


     

    You just replaced one incorrect term by another - specific.

    All target audience is specific, it's a target after all.

    In this case - targeted audience of "more people", is targeted audience that justifies the costs of making high quality MMO.

    There are still games catering to small audience, as I pointed out, most games are doing so. It is only that large budget titles are going for mass appeal as it is the only way to get enormous investments recouped and make profit.


    It has been always like this since MMO industry is a business like any other.


    You basically ask why there are no multi-million dollar games made with little to no prospect of paying off the development costs. Do you seriously need to ask this?

    You COULD try to stick to things I'm saying. I never said anything about wanting a "multi-million dollar game made with little to no prospect of paying off the development costs." In fact I didn't say anything about how much the games would/should cost. But that going from small, niche games to big, broad appeal games is the exact problem we're talking about. You're plainly assuming that I want your standard of "high quality" MMO's. As I've pointed out before, much of the costs related to MMO's exist BECAUSE of the shift away from sandbox and towards themeparks. Themeparks require high aesthetics and "content" to keep people busy.

     

    And you keep saying that most games are more targeted, but I don't see it. Like I said before, there really aren't any good options for sandbox games. The typical MMO nowadays is THEMEPARK, and that being the case has direct and indirect effects on the whole industry. From early on, if UO decided to deal with its "rampant PK" problem with simulation and depth instead of laziness catering, you don't know what the industry would look like right now.

  • GdemamiGdemami Beau VallonPosts: 7,870Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by Holophonist

    And you keep saying that most games are more targeted, but I don't see it.

    There is, you just do not consider them worthy. Just browse the game list on this very site, lots and lots of little different games for little audience.

    Low budget games cannot compete with big titles, thus they try to attract players with new design and features. Which leads us to another myth - start small, grow big. That never works and never did.

    I read very carefully what you say, but you ware not aware of implications of your statements or simply miss some fundamental aspects shaping the industry and economical mechanics. I elaborate on them.

    You are not talking about costs, but they are related and I put them into context of your thinking.


    Higher costs have nothing to do with themepark design either. Any game requires content to keep people busy. Just onece again silly myth.


    Why modern games costs so much is because of much higher standards. New game entering market needs not only live to up-to-date graphics and technology standards but also needs to include content of competitor games that have years of post-release development under their belt. This makes development very expensive, regardless whether you go with themepark or sandbox.

  • AysonoAysono Toronto, ONPosts: 164Member

    Q: Why did MMOs become about the money and numbers?

    A: Because virtual worlds are capitalist worlds and Money Makes the Virtual World Go Around.

     

     

  • HolophonistHolophonist Pittsburgh, PAPosts: 2,086Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Gdemami

     


    Originally posted by Holophonist

    And you keep saying that most games are more targeted, but I don't see it.

     

    There is, you just do not consider them worthy. Just browse the game list on this very site, lots and lots of little different games for little audience.

    Yeah and how many are sandbox games? Most of the games on that list are themeparks or not even MMORPG's.... This is exactly why I pointed out that the whole genre is SHAPED by the bigger titles, namely themeparks. Even the smaller titles are going to copy the bigger ones to some extent. Sometimes a game is smaller simply because it's not as good, not because it's filling a niche.

    Low budget games cannot compete with big titles, thus they try to attract players with new design and features. Which leads us to another myth - start small, grow big. That never works and never did.

    I read very carefully what you say, but you ware not aware of implications of your statements or simply miss some fundamental aspects shaping the industry and economical mechanics. I elaborate on them.

    You are not talking about costs, but they are related and I put them into context of your thinking.


    Higher costs have nothing to do with themepark design either. Any game requires content to keep people busy. Just onece again silly myth.

    Sandbox games require far less content than themeparks because the players make their own content. You give them tools and they go off by themselves or with their friends or whatever and have fun. That's a ways off from having to add more dungeons, items, expansions, etc because your game is focused around "end-game" content.


    Why modern games costs so much is because of much higher standards. New game entering market needs not only live to up-to-date graphics and technology standards but also needs to include content of competitor games that have years of post-release development under their belt. This makes development very expensive, regardless whether you go with themepark or sandbox.

    This is just flat out wrong. Themeparks have to live up to the standards of other themeparks. Look at minecraft for goodness sake. Although not strictly an MMO, it is an indie game that has abhorrent graphics and lots of people play it. You're assuming that a game has to have expensive aesthetics in order to succeed. No reason to think that.

     

    Side note: the standards that themeparks are setting are only that high because companies spend more time and money on those flashier features and less on the depth of their game.

     

    I very much look forward to your next reply which will undoubtedly focus in on ONE of my many sentences.

  • GdemamiGdemami Beau VallonPosts: 7,870Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by Holophonist

    Yeah and how many are sandbox games?

    As many as there is demand for them.

    Big titles are not shaping anything, the demand is, because without one, the big titles wouldn't be big. They represent what most people want in their games and what they find worth their money.

    What you consider to be MMORPG or not is irrelevant, all those games compete for same customer.


    Originally posted by Holophonist

    Sandbox games require far less content than themeparks because the players make their own content.

    It doesn't, stupid myth... You still need to build the world and the tools, it's still a content, just different type. I would even argue that horizontal progression is even more expensive since you actually need more content because content does not accumulate over time.

    Minecraft does not even belong to same market, neither exception makes the rule anyway.


  • TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Arkham, VAPosts: 10,910Member


    Originally posted by Holophonist
    Originally posted by lizardbones   Originally posted by Holophonist Originally posted by lizardbones The "buy in" for releasing an MMORPG is around ten million dollars. http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/131252/applying_risk_analysis_to_.php That ten million dollars gets spent over five years or so of development time. Unless the MMORPG is somehow self funded, the investors have to be paid back. Ten million dollars isn't chump change, never mind the interest. That's why MMORPGs are about the numbers, because the money and the numbers because the money and the numbers are what determines if it survives or not. Taking it a step further, in theory if more money is invested, and higher numbers are achieved, then more money will be made. It's kind of like MMORPGs are the developers' avatars and they are constantly trying to achieve higher skill levels with their charisma.
    This doesn't really mean anything. You're claiming that the typical MMO nowadays costs $10 million dollars. I don't know if that's true or not, and in our previous discussions you never cited any kind of example. But supposing it is true, it's not an argument for anything. The point people are making is that MMO's when down the path of more polish, better graphics, more "content" rather than the path of more simulation and deeper gameplay. The former costs more money than the latter.
    What you believe is irrelevant. It costs a lot of money to produce MMORPGs. Unless the develop pulls that money out of their own pocket, the money has to be paid back. That's when an MMORPG becomes about money and numbers. Richard Garriott didn't self fund Ultima Online. He had to convince investors that there would be enough money, because of the numbers that Ultima Online was worth the investment. This isn't exclusive to MMORPGs, this is for any game that gets made. Self Funded = not have to worry about the money or numbers, Funded by Investors = have to worry about the money and numbers.
    There's a difference between a developer getting funding from somebody to make the game they've envisioned and a developer making a game that is solely designed to make money.

     

    And if the $10 million dollars number isn't supposed to mean anything, then why bring it up? If it's not a "hey look how expensive MMO's can be to produce" then why do you keep throwing it out there? I'm saying it's a bogus number because even if it is true, it's based on the current standards, not the standards of what could've been if MMO's took the other path of more simulation and deeper gameplay instead of the more expensive path of content, polish and graphics.




    There are few if any developers who make games just to make money. However, making money is an unavoidable task for video game developers. They must make money, or they won't keep developing video games. They develop video games because they want to, they make money because they must.

    I didn't say ten million dollars doesn't mean anything. You just don't believe it. I've presented evidence that it's true, but if you don't believe it, there's no point in wasting time trying to prove it to you. For everyone else, the person who wrote that article above worked in the MMORPG industry, specifically on the financial side of the industry. He knows far more about MMORPG development than I will ever know, and he said that in 2003 it costs ten million dollars to produce an MMORPG. I ballparked ten million dollars, he nailed it.

    The relevance is in the significant amount of money it takes. When a project costs ten million dollars, and interest is going to accrue over five year's time before the first payment is even made, the amount of money an MMORPG is going to return becomes important. The investors are within their rights to sue the developer, shut down the game and sell any and all assets to recoup their investment. However, they know they're not going to get their money back (look up 38 Studios and see how well that went for investors), so showing how much money a game can make before getting the money is important. The games are about money and numbers before they're even developed.

    MMORPGs are about money and numbers because they have to be. Even when Ultima Online was produced, it was about money and numbers because there's no other way to secure the funding necessary to produce the games. Again, that doesn't mean developers are building games for investors, it means they are convincing investors that the games they want to build will produce money, through numbers.

    I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  • HolophonistHolophonist Pittsburgh, PAPosts: 2,086Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Gdemami

     


    Originally posted by Holophonist

    Yeah and how many are sandbox games?

    As many as there is demand for them.

    Big titles are not shaping anything, the demand is, because without one, the big titles wouldn't be big. They represent what most people want in their games and what they find worth their money.

    What you consider to be MMORPG or not is irrelevant, all those games compete for same customer.

    You're assuming that the market is currently at an equilibrium between supply and demand. I understand the concept, but what you don't seem to get is that it sometimes takes time before markets to figure this stuff out. Hence the influx of sandbox games in development.


    Originally posted by Holophonist

    Sandbox games require far less content than themeparks because the players make their own content.

    It doesn't, stupid myth... You still need to build the world and the tools, it's still a content, just different type. I would even argue that horizontal progression is even more expensive since you actually need more content because content does not accumulate over time.

    Minecraft does not even belong to same market, neither exception makes the rule anyway.

    You call it a stupid myth and you don't dispel it.... why is it a myth? I didn't say sandbox games require zero content, I said they require less than themeparks, and I explained why.

     

    And Minecraft is as much an MMORPG as is LoL or any of the other non-MMO's that are on the list you used as an example of there being a lot of smaller games. As you say, they're competing for the same players and it DOESN'T need good graphics or $10 million startup costs to make people want to play it. It really shows the power of a true sandbox game done well.

  • HarikenHariken Brighton, MAPosts: 985Member Uncommon
    Wow changed everything. I played mmo's pre wow and remember how cool they were. Only computer nerds played mmo's back in those days. My two favorite mmo's were Anarchy online and Earth & Beyond. Those days were the best times i ever had gaming. And i remember playing those games with Dev''s during events or they would just login on the weekends for the hell of it. Of course Westwood sold out to EA and EA closed down E&B. That was before they saw how much money Blizzard was going to make with wow. But every mmo post wow has been all about chasing the wow money and that's why most of them suck so bad. And mmo's going mainstream did not help at all. I would say wow making the money it did hurt the genre real badly.
  • HolophonistHolophonist Pittsburgh, PAPosts: 2,086Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by lizardbones

     


    Originally posted by Holophonist

    Originally posted by lizardbones  

    Originally posted by Holophonist

    Originally posted by lizardbones The "buy in" for releasing an MMORPG is around ten million dollars. http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/131252/applying_risk_analysis_to_.php That ten million dollars gets spent over five years or so of development time. Unless the MMORPG is somehow self funded, the investors have to be paid back. Ten million dollars isn't chump change, never mind the interest. That's why MMORPGs are about the numbers, because the money and the numbers because the money and the numbers are what determines if it survives or not. Taking it a step further, in theory if more money is invested, and higher numbers are achieved, then more money will be made. It's kind of like MMORPGs are the developers' avatars and they are constantly trying to achieve higher skill levels with their charisma.
    This doesn't really mean anything. You're claiming that the typical MMO nowadays costs $10 million dollars. I don't know if that's true or not, and in our previous discussions you never cited any kind of example. But supposing it is true, it's not an argument for anything. The point people are making is that MMO's when down the path of more polish, better graphics, more "content" rather than the path of more simulation and deeper gameplay. The former costs more money than the latter.
    What you believe is irrelevant. It costs a lot of money to produce MMORPGs. Unless the develop pulls that money out of their own pocket, the money has to be paid back. That's when an MMORPG becomes about money and numbers. Richard Garriott didn't self fund Ultima Online. He had to convince investors that there would be enough money, because of the numbers that Ultima Online was worth the investment. This isn't exclusive to MMORPGs, this is for any game that gets made. Self Funded = not have to worry about the money or numbers, Funded by Investors = have to worry about the money and numbers.
    There's a difference between a developer getting funding from somebody to make the game they've envisioned and a developer making a game that is solely designed to make money.

     

     

    And if the $10 million dollars number isn't supposed to mean anything, then why bring it up? If it's not a "hey look how expensive MMO's can be to produce" then why do you keep throwing it out there? I'm saying it's a bogus number because even if it is true, it's based on the current standards, not the standards of what could've been if MMO's took the other path of more simulation and deeper gameplay instead of the more expensive path of content, polish and graphics.



    There are few if any developers who make games just to make money. However, making money is an unavoidable task for video game developers. They must make money, or they won't keep developing video games. They develop video games because they want to, they make money because they must.
    Nobody disputes this. What I'm claiming is the shift to themepark wasn't one of desperation. The shift to themepark was because it was cheaper and easier. Are you claiming that these developers simply can't afford to make a more targeted game? That the market they're catering to is literally as small as it can be? Or do you think it's POSSIBLE that many of these developers have watered down what they would consider their ideal game just to get more players and more money?


    I didn't say ten million dollars doesn't mean anything. You just don't believe it. I've presented evidence that it's true, but if you don't believe it, there's no point in wasting time trying to prove it to you. For everyone else, the person who wrote that article above worked in the MMORPG industry, specifically on the financial side of the industry. He knows far more about MMORPG development than I will ever know, and he said that in 2003 it costs ten million dollars to produce an MMORPG. I ballparked ten million dollars, he nailed it.
    The relevance is in the significant amount of money it takes. When a project costs ten million dollars, and interest is going to accrue over five year's time before the first payment is even made, the amount of money an MMORPG is going to return becomes important. The investors are within their rights to sue the developer, shut down the game and sell any and all assets to recoup their investment. However, they know they're not going to get their money back (look up 38 Studios and see how well that went for investors), so showing how much money a game can make before getting the money is important. The games are about money and numbers before they're even developed.
    You guys are literally just explaining the economics behind people investing in a project, you're not presenting any evidence to suggest that the market is currently at a level where they can't afford to make a more targeted game with a smaller playerbase.
    By the way, all of this stuff about investors wanting to make their money back etc doesn't really jive. Smaller games would cost less to make so they wouldn't need as large a playerbase to regain their startup costs. Also, it's a smaller market so there's less competition. Themeparks are just a larger bet with a potentially larger return. All of this nonsense about mmo's costing $10 million dollars so they have to appeal to more players is just that: nonsense. 

    MMORPGs are about money and numbers because they have to be. Even when Ultima Online was produced, it was about money and numbers because there's no other way to secure the funding necessary to produce the games. Again, that doesn't mean developers are building games for investors, it means they are convincing investors that the games they want to build will produce money, through numbers.

    Do you know what selling out is? Serious question. Because they way you're arguing suggests that you simply don't believe that a developer would release a mediocre product in order to make more money. Do you know what selling out means? And if you do, do you think it's possible that he MMO genre over the past 15 years has been slowly selling out? If not, why?

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