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MMO developers steer too far into casual friendly

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

    Originally posted by Holophonist
     

     

    I think you're confusing "too much time on their hands" with having an attention span. The real difference in game type is how long you play that game on a macro scale. Ie do you quit after a few weeks like narius? Seems to me that games like WoW and other carrot-on-a-stick grindfests can cause people to spend just as much time PER day as other, more long-term games.

    Tldr: playing 12 different games in a year, each for a month, doesn't mean you have any less time on your hands than somebody who plays 1 game for the whole year.

    Implying that someone might have ADD comes awfully close to flaming. Tread carefully.

    grimgryphon was obviously referring to the tedious and time consuming nature of old school MMOs. Not to be confused with how many games you play in a year or anything of the sort.

     

    And I'm saying they're no more time consuming than modern themeparks. The difference is the longevity on a longer scale, not how much you play per day. Hence the attention span comment which was in no way a flame.
  • TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Arkham, VAPosts: 10,910Member


    Originally posted by Quirhid
    Originally posted by Holophonist  
      I think you're confusing "too much time on their hands" with having an attention span. The real difference in game type is how long you play that game on a macro scale. Ie do you quit after a few weeks like narius? Seems to me that games like WoW and other carrot-on-a-stick grindfests can cause people to spend just as much time PER day as other, more long-term games. Tldr: playing 12 different games in a year, each for a month, doesn't mean you have any less time on your hands than somebody who plays 1 game for the whole year.
    Implying that someone might have ADD comes awfully close to flaming. Tread carefully.

    grimgryphon was obviously referring to the tedious and time consuming nature of old school MMOs. Not to be confused with how many games you play in a year or anything of the sort.




    Just wanted to note that having ADD is not a deterrent to playing MMORPGs, with or without medication. People say stuff like "having an attention span" to make themselves feel better about spending so much time playing and talking about something that, let's be honest here, isn't really all that hard to do. The only real requirement is a sixth grade reading level and some time to kill.

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

  • QuirhidQuirhid TamperePosts: 5,969Member Common
    Originally posted by Holophonist
    Originally posted by Quirhid
     

    The fault in your reasoning is that you assume an even or near-even division of niches/preferences. Niches are not equal. For example, the niche of open world PvP is smaller than structured/instanced PvP.

    Even if we proposed everyone's preference was unique, that everyone was effectively a niche of one, it is realistic to assume that a lot of those preferences overlap. And some preferences overlap more than others. So you don't know whether WoW is offering a deep experience for a very large group of players with a largely unified preference. You assume that because there are so many people playing just one game, that their preferences are not met thoroughly.

    As a counter example, how would you know whether Eve offers a deep experience for its players? Maybe Eve is a "watered-down" sandbox for its players. How do you know if UO wasn't watered down? -There wasn't many alternatives in the market after all.

     

    I never said eve and uo are the most targeted games imaginable. I have no doubt that many features are watered down or suppressed in order to appeal to more people. That's why I said its a question of where to draw the line.

    Also your points about differently sized niches is just kind of wrong... or at least misses what im saying. Yes preferences overlap and form niches. I'm saying watering down your gameplay is finding the most amount of overlap at the expense of the degree to which they overlap. Ill try to explain it more but im on my phone so it probably wont go well.

    Think of a venn diagram. Each circle is an individual's preferences. There are going to be some places where a small amount of circles overlap with each other almost completely. Then there will be places where a large amount of circles overlap, but a smaller proportion of each individual circle is actually being included. That's what I mean by watering down the gameplay. I'm saying that those 8 million people playing WoW would probably happier playing a game more tailored to them specifically... which should be intuitive because there's no way they have the exact same preferences as each of the other 8 million people.

    Why not? Who is to say that the overlapping area is small? In this particular case, maybe it is huge. People have enjoyed WoW for years now. By any definition that makes the game deep. I wouldn't think it impossible.

    I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

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

    Originally posted by Grixxitt
    Originally posted by lizardbones   Originally posted by grimgryphon Originally posted by Neo_Viper Originally posted by Holophonist Can anybody point me towards a source that shows the MMO genre is increasing? Also I'd be curious to know what games they're including... specifically if they're including MOBAs.   Even if the genre is increasing, I don't think that is necessarily evidence of anything, certainly not evidence that they're good. But I am curious to see the numbers because a lot of people throw that fact around without backing it up.
    Back when "old school" MMOs were at their top - EQ, UO and AC1 - less than a million total players for all of them. Do I really need to continue?
    No, but I will.   Less than a million with too much time on their hands. I suspect it's the same number of people today who want that old time-sucking gameplay back. Take the casual crowd out of the equation and it's starting to look like the "true" (as they like to call themselves) MMO gamer population hasn't grown at all in 14 years. Gee, maybe that's why smart game developers don't make those types of games any longer. No market for it. Well, maybe there is a market for it...DFUW, MO...wait, nevermind.
    Not all one million of those people want the same game. Some of them want an EQ like game, some of them want a UO like game, some of them want something like Meridian 59 and if history is any indication, a lot of them want something that isn't UO, EQ or Meridian 59. So yes, the market definitely exists. It's the teeny, tiny size of the market relative to the cost of producing a game that's the problem. ** For instance, let's say it costs $10,000,000 to write an MMORPG. It takes five years to write that MMORPG. The money comes from investors. The investors expect a modest 5% return on their investment. They'll give the developer two years beyond the game's release date to make a return on the investment before they have them killed and eaten by rats. $10M at 5% interest for 7 years (remember, the development time counts) means the game needs to make $10,410,000 within two years of being released. The monthly profit generated by the game needs to be $433,750 in order to pay off the investors. If the developer charges a $15 a month subscription, that's almost 29K subscribers for just the profit, ignoring any costs for the developer to run the game. Mortal Online isn't anywhere near 29K players, much less subscribers. I'm not sure about Darkfall, but it doesn't sound like they are breaking any players records with their one server. Drop the development cost to $6M, and they only need to make $352,500 a month in profit. That's still over 23K subscribers every month. When a game like MO or Darkfall is pulling in those kinds of numbers, you'll start to see more development in "old school" style games.  
    Why are you using AAA budget numbers for independent titles with small teams and next to no investors?

    The profit margins you quote are likely far more than the entire development budget for either of those games in any given year, including advertising, server/hardware, etc.




    Six to ten million dollars is not AAA MMORPG development. MMORPG costs can easily exceed ten million dollars at a minimum. (Gamasutra) $6M is given a developer the benefit of the doubt about their efficiency.

    Those profit margins/number of subscription equivalents are just to pay off the investors, at a 5% yearly rate of return. That's above and beyond any operating expenses for the game itself.

    I did calculate the total amount that needs to be paid off wrong though. It's more like $14.1M after seven years, not $10,410,000 on an initial investment of $10M.

    The point is that people keep saying "there's a market". Well, there is a market. It's just not large enough to generate enough yearly income to support much more than what's already out there, given the huge cost to develop an MMORPG.

    **

    "there's a market (for old school/hard core games)"

     

    And as I've pointed out to you before, people asking for sandbox games don't need the level of aesthetic that popular games need. If you're saying that games like this can't and won't be made, then why are they being made? Eve is an acceptable level of sandbox for most people here, even though it may not be everybody's style. Darkfall exists and is MORE niche than a lot of people are looking for. We'll see when it comes out but the repopulation is easily on an acceptable level of sandbox to fulfill the desires of many people here.
  • HolophonistHolophonist Pittsburgh, PAPosts: 2,086Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Quirhid

    Originally posted by Holophonist
    Originally posted by Quirhid
     

    The fault in your reasoning is that you assume an even or near-even division of niches/preferences. Niches are not equal. For example, the niche of open world PvP is smaller than structured/instanced PvP.

    Even if we proposed everyone's preference was unique, that everyone was effectively a niche of one, it is realistic to assume that a lot of those preferences overlap. And some preferences overlap more than others. So you don't know whether WoW is offering a deep experience for a very large group of players with a largely unified preference. You assume that because there are so many people playing just one game, that their preferences are not met thoroughly.

    As a counter example, how would you know whether Eve offers a deep experience for its players? Maybe Eve is a "watered-down" sandbox for its players. How do you know if UO wasn't watered down? -There wasn't many alternatives in the market after all.

     

    I never said eve and uo are the most targeted games imaginable. I have no doubt that many features are watered down or suppressed in order to appeal to more people. That's why I said its a question of where to draw the line.

    Also your points about differently sized niches is just kind of wrong... or at least misses what im saying. Yes preferences overlap and form niches. I'm saying watering down your gameplay is finding the most amount of overlap at the expense of the degree to which they overlap. Ill try to explain it more but im on my phone so it probably wont go well.

    Think of a venn diagram. Each circle is an individual's preferences. There are going to be some places where a small amount of circles overlap with each other almost completely. Then there will be places where a large amount of circles overlap, but a smaller proportion of each individual circle is actually being included. That's what I mean by watering down the gameplay. I'm saying that those 8 million people playing WoW would probably happier playing a game more tailored to them specifically... which should be intuitive because there's no way they have the exact same preferences as each of the other 8 million people.

    Why not? Who is to say that the overlapping area is small? In this particular case, maybe it is huge. People have enjoyed WoW for years now. By any definition that makes the game deep. I wouldn't think it impossible.

     

    You asked me to explain what watering down means, so I did. If you want to make the claim that people playing WoW are as engrossed as people playing a more targeted game like SWG or UO, go ahead. But I don't think that's an easily defensible position.
  • QuirhidQuirhid TamperePosts: 5,969Member Common
    Originally posted by Holophonist
    Originally posted by Quirhid
     

    Why not? Who is to say that the overlapping area is small? In this particular case, maybe it is huge. People have enjoyed WoW for years now. By any definition that makes the game deep. I wouldn't think it impossible.

    You asked me to explain what watering down means, so I did. If you want to make the claim that people playing WoW are as engrossed as people playing a more targeted game like SWG or UO, go ahead. But I don't think that's an easily defensible position.

    But you are claiming that SWG and UO are more targeted games? On what basis?

    I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  • GrixxittGrixxitt New Orleans, LAPosts: 543Member
    Originally posted by lizardbones

     


    Originally posted by Grixxitt
    Why are you using AAA budget numbers for independent titles with small teams and next to no investors?

     

    The profit margins you quote are likely far more than the entire development budget for either of those games in any given year, including advertising, server/hardware, etc.



    Six to ten million dollars is not AAA MMORPG development. MMORPG costs can easily exceed ten million dollars at a minimum. (Gamasutra) $6M is given a developer the benefit of the doubt about their efficiency.

    Those profit margins/number of subscription equivalents are just to pay off the investors, at a 5% yearly rate of return. That's above and beyond any operating expenses for the game itself.

    I did calculate the total amount that needs to be paid off wrong though. It's more like $14.1M after seven years, not $10,410,000 on an initial investment of $10M.

    The point is that people keep saying "there's a market". Well, there is a market. It's just not large enough to generate enough yearly income to support much more than what's already out there, given the huge cost to develop an MMORPG.

    **

    "there's a market (for old school/hard core games)"

     

    I'm saying those numbers are horribly wrong. If you want to look at niche indie development then at least look at what it takes for a game of that caliber. 

    MO was developed almost entirely free of charge prior to the incorporation of Star Vault. Ditto for Darkfall and Aventurine. To my knowledge Embers of Caerus and The Repopulation are being developed entirely free of charge with Kickstarters for development tools and basic hardware only.

     

    From the page you linked -

    "Developing AAA games titles is a multi-million dollar expense and the costs continue to rise. On average it costs three million dollars to release a title, and MMORPG development costs easily exceed ten million dollars."

     

     

    -again, you're using AAA development costs for niche indie titles

    The above is my personal opinion. Anyone displaying a view contrary to my opinion is obviously WRONG and should STHU. (neener neener)

    -The MMO Forum Community

  • TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Arkham, VAPosts: 10,910Member


    Originally posted by Grixxitt
    Originally posted by lizardbones   Originally posted by Grixxitt Why are you using AAA budget numbers for independent titles with small teams and next to no investors?   The profit margins you quote are likely far more than the entire development budget for either of those games in any given year, including advertising, server/hardware, etc.
    Six to ten million dollars is not AAA MMORPG development. MMORPG costs can easily exceed ten million dollars at a minimum. (Gamasutra) $6M is given a developer the benefit of the doubt about their efficiency. Those profit margins/number of subscription equivalents are just to pay off the investors, at a 5% yearly rate of return. That's above and beyond any operating expenses for the game itself. I did calculate the total amount that needs to be paid off wrong though. It's more like $14.1M after seven years, not $10,410,000 on an initial investment of $10M. The point is that people keep saying "there's a market". Well, there is a market. It's just not large enough to generate enough yearly income to support much more than what's already out there, given the huge cost to develop an MMORPG. ** "there's a market (for old school/hard core games)"  
    I'm saying those numbers are horribly wrong. If you want to look at niche indie development then at least look at what it takes for a game of that caliber. 

    MO was developed almost entirely free of charge prior to the incorporation of Star Vault. Ditto for Darkfall and Aventurine. To my knowledge Embers of Caerus and The Repopulation are being developed entirely free of charge with Kickstarters for development tools and basic hardware only.

     

    From the page you linked -

    "Developing AAA games titles is a multi-million dollar expense and the costs continue to rise. On average it costs three million dollars to release a title, and MMORPG development costs easily exceed ten million dollars."

     

     

    -again, you're using AAA development costs for niche indie titles




    Er, when people bought stock in Starvault, they were giving money to the developers. The money didn't just disappear into a black hole, Starvault used that money to develop Mortal Online. It wasn't "free". If they don't turn a profit on the game, the value of their stock will drop. Oh, look, that's what happened. Their stock is pretty much worthless now.

    Aventurine is a privately held company. They don't have stock.

    Look up the Kickstarter pages for those games you mentioned. The money they are raising is to build Tech Demos, so they can attract investors.

    In the quote above, three million dollars is to release a video game, not an MMORPG. Ten million dollars is for an MMORPG. Feel free to think these numbers are wrong, but the guy who wrote the article has been involved in the financial side of the video game industry for years and has more knowledge and experience than anyone on these forums concerning video game finances.

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

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

    Originally posted by Holophonist
    Originally posted by Quirhid
     

    Why not? Who is to say that the overlapping area is small? In this particular case, maybe it is huge. People have enjoyed WoW for years now. By any definition that makes the game deep. I wouldn't think it impossible.

    You asked me to explain what watering down means, so I did. If you want to make the claim that people playing WoW are as engrossed as people playing a more targeted game like SWG or UO, go ahead. But I don't think that's an easily defensible position.

    But you are claiming that SWG and UO are more targeted games? On what basis?

     

    Judgement. The features are designed to appeal to a more specific target audience. As far as I can tell nobody disputes this and actually typically uses it as an argument against them, saying appealing to a smaller audience such as that isn't economically viable.
  • GrixxittGrixxitt New Orleans, LAPosts: 543Member
    Originally posted by lizardbones

     


    Originally posted by Grixxitt

    Originally posted by lizardbones  

    Originally posted by Grixxitt Why are you using AAA budget numbers for independent titles with small teams and next to no investors?   The profit margins you quote are likely far more than the entire development budget for either of those games in any given year, including advertising, server/hardware, etc.
    Six to ten million dollars is not AAA MMORPG development. MMORPG costs can easily exceed ten million dollars at a minimum. (Gamasutra) $6M is given a developer the benefit of the doubt about their efficiency. Those profit margins/number of subscription equivalents are just to pay off the investors, at a 5% yearly rate of return. That's above and beyond any operating expenses for the game itself. I did calculate the total amount that needs to be paid off wrong though. It's more like $14.1M after seven years, not $10,410,000 on an initial investment of $10M. The point is that people keep saying "there's a market". Well, there is a market. It's just not large enough to generate enough yearly income to support much more than what's already out there, given the huge cost to develop an MMORPG. ** "there's a market (for old school/hard core games)"  
    I'm saying those numbers are horribly wrong. If you want to look at niche indie development then at least look at what it takes for a game of that caliber. 

     

    MO was developed almost entirely free of charge prior to the incorporation of Star Vault. Ditto for Darkfall and Aventurine. To my knowledge Embers of Caerus and The Repopulation are being developed entirely free of charge with Kickstarters for development tools and basic hardware only.

     

    From the page you linked -

    "Developing AAA games titles is a multi-million dollar expense and the costs continue to rise. On average it costs three million dollars to release a title, and MMORPG development costs easily exceed ten million dollars."

     

     

    -again, you're using AAA development costs for niche indie titles



    Er, when people bought stock in Starvault, they were giving money to the developers. The money didn't just disappear into a black hole, Starvault used that money to develop Mortal Online. It wasn't "free". If they don't turn a profit on the game, the value of their stock will drop. Oh, look, that's what happened. Their stock is pretty much worthless now.

    Aventurine is a privately held company. They don't have stock.

    Look up the Kickstarter pages for those games you mentioned. The money they are raising is to build Tech Demos, so they can attract investors.

    In the quote above, three million dollars is to release a video game, not an MMORPG. Ten million dollars is for an MMORPG. Feel free to think these numbers are wrong, but the guy who wrote the article has been involved in the financial side of the video game industry for years and has more knowledge and experience than anyone on these forums concerning video game finances.

     

    I said all development prior to Starvault/Aventurine was done free of charge. Free, as in developers working on their own time to make a game that they wanted to play. As in not an AAA development house, which is what that article concerns.

    And you honestly think that any of these games are going to get or got anywhere near 6 million for development costs by the time it was all said and done? Darkfall garnered 2 mill in the form of investors for the NEW Darkfall game. The old one, again, was done FREE of charge until the incorporation of Aventurine (not Razorwax).

    Saying you can't develop an MMO with less than a 6 mil budget is laughable at best.

    Hell Minecraft was done by a single guy FREE of charge. Development cost consisted of room and board and grilled cheese sandwhiches. 

     

     

    Also, if the author of the article you linked (written 6/11/2003) is the same Adam Carpenter who was behind the failed FURY title that didn't even last a year before it was shut down, I have to lol pretty hard considering he took none of his own advice.

     

    The above is my personal opinion. Anyone displaying a view contrary to my opinion is obviously WRONG and should STHU. (neener neener)

    -The MMO Forum Community

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by Grixxitt

    -again, you're using AAA development costs for niche indie titles

    What is the budget requirement for a niche indie MMO? It is not like you can make a MMO on an angry bird budget, is it?

  • TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Arkham, VAPosts: 10,910Member


    Originally posted by Grixxitt
    Originally posted by lizardbones   Originally posted by Grixxitt Originally posted by lizardbones   Originally posted by Grixxitt Why are you using AAA budget numbers for independent titles with small teams and next to no investors?   The profit margins you quote are likely far more than the entire development budget for either of those games in any given year, including advertising, server/hardware, etc.
    Six to ten million dollars is not AAA MMORPG development. MMORPG costs can easily exceed ten million dollars at a minimum. (Gamasutra) $6M is given a developer the benefit of the doubt about their efficiency. Those profit margins/number of subscription equivalents are just to pay off the investors, at a 5% yearly rate of return. That's above and beyond any operating expenses for the game itself. I did calculate the total amount that needs to be paid off wrong though. It's more like $14.1M after seven years, not $10,410,000 on an initial investment of $10M. The point is that people keep saying "there's a market". Well, there is a market. It's just not large enough to generate enough yearly income to support much more than what's already out there, given the huge cost to develop an MMORPG. ** "there's a market (for old school/hard core games)"  
    I'm saying those numbers are horribly wrong. If you want to look at niche indie development then at least look at what it takes for a game of that caliber.    MO was developed almost entirely free of charge prior to the incorporation of Star Vault. Ditto for Darkfall and Aventurine. To my knowledge Embers of Caerus and The Repopulation are being developed entirely free of charge with Kickstarters for development tools and basic hardware only.   From the page you linked - "Developing AAA games titles is a multi-million dollar expense and the costs continue to rise. On average it costs three million dollars to release a title, and MMORPG development costs easily exceed ten million dollars."     -again, you're using AAA development costs for niche indie titles
    Er, when people bought stock in Starvault, they were giving money to the developers. The money didn't just disappear into a black hole, Starvault used that money to develop Mortal Online. It wasn't "free". If they don't turn a profit on the game, the value of their stock will drop. Oh, look, that's what happened. Their stock is pretty much worthless now. Aventurine is a privately held company. They don't have stock. Look up the Kickstarter pages for those games you mentioned. The money they are raising is to build Tech Demos, so they can attract investors. In the quote above, three million dollars is to release a video game, not an MMORPG. Ten million dollars is for an MMORPG. Feel free to think these numbers are wrong, but the guy who wrote the article has been involved in the financial side of the video game industry for years and has more knowledge and experience than anyone on these forums concerning video game finances.  
    I said all development prior to Starvault/Aventurine was done free of charge. Free, as in developers working on their own time to make a game that they wanted to play. As in not an AAA development house, which is what that article concerns.

    And you honestly think that any of these games are going to get or got anywhere near 6 million for development costs by the time it was all said and done? Darkfall garnered 2 mill in the form of investors for the NEW Darkfall game. The old one, again, was done FREE of charge until the incorporation of Aventurine (not Razorwax).

    Saying you can't develop an MMO with less than a 6 mil budget is laughable at best.

    Hell Minecraft was done by a single guy FREE of charge. Development cost consisted of room and board and grilled cheese sandwhiches. 

     

     

    Also, if the author of the article you linked (written 6/11/2003) is the same Adam Carpenter who was behind the failed FURY title that didn't even last a year before it was shut down, I have to lol pretty hard considering he took none of his own advice.

     




    I find your in depth knowledge of Aventurine and Starvault a bit suspect since you didn't seem to know that Aventurine doesn't have stock and don't seem to understand that people who buy stock are giving a company money to use for operating expenses.

    Also, Razorwax was a real company that existed to build online games. This was way back in 2000/2001. They didn't release Darkfall until 2008, after they were integrated into Aventurine. Moving the company from Norway to Greece did not cost $0. Integrating Razorwax into Aventurine didn't cost $0 either. They spent money, even if it was their own money on software licenses, office space and lawyers if nothing else. Unless they are some magical race of beings that don't need food or shelter, they also paid themselves a salary so they had someplace to live and food to eat.

    Adam Carpenter still knows more about video game development and the financial side things than anyone on these forums, including you. You know, because he's actually been involved in the industry, unlike most everyone on these forums who is looking in from the outside.

    Minecraft isn't an MMORPG. Whatever it cost wasn't what an MMORPG would cost. Minecraft is also incredibly short on content compared to most games, not just MMORPGs.

    Instead of throwing out random "doubts", show us some sort of facts. Something other than your own personal opinions. Maybe then the things you say will carry some weight.

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

  • GrixxittGrixxitt New Orleans, LAPosts: 543Member
    Originally posted by lizardbones

     


    Originally posted by Grixxitt

    Originally posted by lizardbones  

    Originally posted by Grixxitt

    Originally posted by lizardbones  

    Originally posted by Grixxitt Why are you using AAA budget numbers for independent titles with small teams and next to no investors?   The profit margins you quote are likely far more than the entire development budget for either of those games in any given year, including advertising, server/hardware, etc.
    Six to ten million dollars is not AAA MMORPG development. MMORPG costs can easily exceed ten million dollars at a minimum. (Gamasutra) $6M is given a developer the benefit of the doubt about their efficiency. Those profit margins/number of subscription equivalents are just to pay off the investors, at a 5% yearly rate of return. That's above and beyond any operating expenses for the game itself. I did calculate the total amount that needs to be paid off wrong though. It's more like $14.1M after seven years, not $10,410,000 on an initial investment of $10M. The point is that people keep saying "there's a market". Well, there is a market. It's just not large enough to generate enough yearly income to support much more than what's already out there, given the huge cost to develop an MMORPG. ** "there's a market (for old school/hard core games)"  
    I'm saying those numbers are horribly wrong. If you want to look at niche indie development then at least look at what it takes for a game of that caliber.    MO was developed almost entirely free of charge prior to the incorporation of Star Vault. Ditto for Darkfall and Aventurine. To my knowledge Embers of Caerus and The Repopulation are being developed entirely free of charge with Kickstarters for development tools and basic hardware only.   From the page you linked - "Developing AAA games titles is a multi-million dollar expense and the costs continue to rise. On average it costs three million dollars to release a title, and MMORPG development costs easily exceed ten million dollars."     -again, you're using AAA development costs for niche indie titles
    Er, when people bought stock in Starvault, they were giving money to the developers. The money didn't just disappear into a black hole, Starvault used that money to develop Mortal Online. It wasn't "free". If they don't turn a profit on the game, the value of their stock will drop. Oh, look, that's what happened. Their stock is pretty much worthless now. Aventurine is a privately held company. They don't have stock. Look up the Kickstarter pages for those games you mentioned. The money they are raising is to build Tech Demos, so they can attract investors. In the quote above, three million dollars is to release a video game, not an MMORPG. Ten million dollars is for an MMORPG. Feel free to think these numbers are wrong, but the guy who wrote the article has been involved in the financial side of the video game industry for years and has more knowledge and experience than anyone on these forums concerning video game finances.  
    I said all development prior to Starvault/Aventurine was done free of charge. Free, as in developers working on their own time to make a game that they wanted to play. As in not an AAA development house, which is what that article concerns.

     

    And you honestly think that any of these games are going to get or got anywhere near 6 million for development costs by the time it was all said and done? Darkfall garnered 2 mill in the form of investors for the NEW Darkfall game. The old one, again, was done FREE of charge until the incorporation of Aventurine (not Razorwax).

    Saying you can't develop an MMO with less than a 6 mil budget is laughable at best.

    Hell Minecraft was done by a single guy FREE of charge. Development cost consisted of room and board and grilled cheese sandwhiches. 

     

     

    Also, if the author of the article you linked (written 6/11/2003) is the same Adam Carpenter who was behind the failed FURY title that didn't even last a year before it was shut down, I have to lol pretty hard considering he took none of his own advice.

     



    I find your in depth knowledge of Aventurine and Starvault a bit suspect since you didn't seem to know that Aventurine doesn't have stock and don't seem to understand that people who buy stock are giving a company money to use for operating expenses.

    Also, Razorwax was a real company that existed to build online games. This was way back in 2000/2001. They didn't release Darkfall until 2008, after they were integrated into Aventurine. Moving the company from Norway to Greece did not cost $0. Integrating Razorwax into Aventurine didn't cost $0 either. They spent money, even if it was their own money on software licenses, office space and lawyers if nothing else. Unless they are some magical race of beings that don't need food or shelter, they also paid themselves a salary so they had someplace to live and food to eat.

    Adam Carpenter still knows more about video game development and the financial side things than anyone on these forums, including you. You know, because he's actually been involved in the industry, unlike most everyone on these forums who is looking in from the outside.

    Minecraft isn't an MMORPG. Whatever it cost wasn't what an MMORPG would cost. Minecraft is also incredibly short on content compared to most games, not just MMORPGs.

    Instead of throwing out random "doubts", show us some sort of facts. Something other than your own personal opinions. Maybe then the things you say will carry some weight.

     

    What facts? That not charging for something means that it is free? 

    Do you want a breakdown on the cost analysis of grilled cheese sandwiches for the amount of time that said developers were working on games and not charging for their services? Do you think that such a cost analysis would approach 6 million dollars?

     

    You come here saying that it costs 6 mill to make an MMO. That is a false statement. I've shot it down, proven otherwise, even used your own god damn article to prove that you misrepresented facts and yet here you are denying the truth.

    WTF?

    The above is my personal opinion. Anyone displaying a view contrary to my opinion is obviously WRONG and should STHU. (neener neener)

    -The MMO Forum Community

  • GrixxittGrixxitt New Orleans, LAPosts: 543Member
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by Grixxitt

    -again, you're using AAA development costs for niche indie titles

    What is the budget requirement for a niche indie MMO? It is not like you can make a MMO on an angry bird budget, is it?

    The only budget requirements are for the tools to make said MMO. (Engine, 3D animation and rendering tools, etc.)

    The rest is budgeted in time and effort.

     

     

    Don't believe me? Ask the World Alpha guy how many millions he's spent so far...

    http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/forum/1253/General-Discussion.html

    The above is my personal opinion. Anyone displaying a view contrary to my opinion is obviously WRONG and should STHU. (neener neener)

    -The MMO Forum Community

  • Cephus404Cephus404 Redlands, CAPosts: 3,675Member
    Originally posted by Holophonist
    Originally posted by Cephus404

    But I think that's backwards.  It's not that developers are spending so much money on their games that it requires a massive audience to pay for it all, developers want the maximum number of people to play, therefore they are spending a lot of money in development costs to make it as appealing to the largest group of people possible.  It costs more to make games that are that inclusive because the developers have to do what their investors tell them to:  make games that make the biggest possible return on investment.

    You're looking at it backwards.

    Mmmm I think you're confused. That's exactly what I'm saying. They're specifically trying to appeal to more people. The point others have tried to make is that production costs got so high that they simply had to appeal to more people, thus you have the watered down gameplay of themeparks. I'm saying they wanted to appeal to more people (thanks WoW) and then came the increase in aesthetics and streamlining etc.

    It has nothing to do with production costs, business *ALWAYS* tries to appeal to the largest audience possible.  They did back when UO and EQ were out, the audience was just much smaller, but they tried to appeal to the "mainstream" MMO player of the day.  Now, they try to appeal to the mainstream MMO player right now.  If they can find a way to appeal to even more people that don't currently play MMOs, they'll do that too.  Production costs rise because of that wide appeal, not the other way around.

    Played: UO, EQ, WoW, DDO, SWG, AO, CoH, EvE, TR, AoC, GW, GA, Aion, Allods, lots more
    Relatively Recently (Re)Played: HL2 (all), Halo (PC, all), Batman:AA; AC, ME, BS, DA, FO3, DS, Doom (all), LFD1&2, KOTOR, Portal 1&2, Blink, Elder Scrolls (all), lots more
    Now Playing: None
    Hope: None

  • Cephus404Cephus404 Redlands, CAPosts: 3,675Member
    Originally posted by Holophonist
    Originally posted by Cephus404
    Originally posted by GeezerGamer

    In other words, players want a good MMO, developers cant seem to deliver one.

    That's wrong, there are more people playing MMOs today than at any other time in the history of the genre.  Developers are doing just fine.  The problem is that *YOU* want a game that is niche and developers don't pay attention to the kind of game you want because it doesn't make them nearly enough money.

    The problem isn't the developers.  The problem is your tastes.

    More people playing doesn't mean better games. In fact holding most things constant I would say it usually means a worse game. Worse as in less targeted, more mainstream, etc. Just like with music, tv, movies, etc, you can either appeal to a specific group of people on a deep level, or appeal to the masses on a more shallow level.

    "Better" is subjective.  "Better" really means nothing.  Apparently, lots of people think these games are "better" because more people are playing them today than ever before.

    Played: UO, EQ, WoW, DDO, SWG, AO, CoH, EvE, TR, AoC, GW, GA, Aion, Allods, lots more
    Relatively Recently (Re)Played: HL2 (all), Halo (PC, all), Batman:AA; AC, ME, BS, DA, FO3, DS, Doom (all), LFD1&2, KOTOR, Portal 1&2, Blink, Elder Scrolls (all), lots more
    Now Playing: None
    Hope: None

  • donjndonjn Valencia, CAPosts: 769Member Uncommon
    For now, it looks like Wildstar is our best hope; it is made for the hardcore.
  • Cephus404Cephus404 Redlands, CAPosts: 3,675Member
    Originally posted by ThomasN7
    The point is that developers make games way too easy just so grandma and grandpa know how to play it. No one is saying stop making casual mmos but there needs to be a level of challenging content along with not finishing the game within a month.  I will always say quality is greater than quantity. Dumbing down mmos for the casual person who only plays 10 hours a week just ruins the quality of games. You can't please everyone all the time and developers need to stop trying to please everyone all the time.

    But where is the impetus for them to make those games?  Where is the money?  You people keep arguing that these things should exist, you can't point out the upside for the developers to actually do it.  They lose players, they have a harder sell, and these things cost every bit as much as a mass-market game.

    Doing what you suggest would just drive them out of business.

    Played: UO, EQ, WoW, DDO, SWG, AO, CoH, EvE, TR, AoC, GW, GA, Aion, Allods, lots more
    Relatively Recently (Re)Played: HL2 (all), Halo (PC, all), Batman:AA; AC, ME, BS, DA, FO3, DS, Doom (all), LFD1&2, KOTOR, Portal 1&2, Blink, Elder Scrolls (all), lots more
    Now Playing: None
    Hope: None

  • HolophonistHolophonist Pittsburgh, PAPosts: 2,086Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Cephus404
    Originally posted by Holophonist
    Originally posted by Cephus404

    But I think that's backwards.  It's not that developers are spending so much money on their games that it requires a massive audience to pay for it all, developers want the maximum number of people to play, therefore they are spending a lot of money in development costs to make it as appealing to the largest group of people possible.  It costs more to make games that are that inclusive because the developers have to do what their investors tell them to:  make games that make the biggest possible return on investment.

    You're looking at it backwards.

    Mmmm I think you're confused. That's exactly what I'm saying. They're specifically trying to appeal to more people. The point others have tried to make is that production costs got so high that they simply had to appeal to more people, thus you have the watered down gameplay of themeparks. I'm saying they wanted to appeal to more people (thanks WoW) and then came the increase in aesthetics and streamlining etc.

    It has nothing to do with production costs, business *ALWAYS* tries to appeal to the largest audience possible.  They did back when UO and EQ were out, the audience was just much smaller, but they tried to appeal to the "mainstream" MMO player of the day.  Now, they try to appeal to the mainstream MMO player right now.  If they can find a way to appeal to even more people that don't currently play MMOs, they'll do that too.  Production costs rise because of that wide appeal, not the other way around.

    No.... they don't. Plenty of companies in every entertainment industry are focused on making a product they think is good and are NOT deliberately going after whatever audience is the biggest. This is just a flat out ridiculous thing to claim. Do you think AV is currently going after the largest audience possible with darkfall?

  • HolophonistHolophonist Pittsburgh, PAPosts: 2,086Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Cephus404
    Originally posted by Holophonist
    Originally posted by Cephus404
    Originally posted by GeezerGamer

    In other words, players want a good MMO, developers cant seem to deliver one.

    That's wrong, there are more people playing MMOs today than at any other time in the history of the genre.  Developers are doing just fine.  The problem is that *YOU* want a game that is niche and developers don't pay attention to the kind of game you want because it doesn't make them nearly enough money.

    The problem isn't the developers.  The problem is your tastes.

    More people playing doesn't mean better games. In fact holding most things constant I would say it usually means a worse game. Worse as in less targeted, more mainstream, etc. Just like with music, tv, movies, etc, you can either appeal to a specific group of people on a deep level, or appeal to the masses on a more shallow level.

    "Better" is subjective.  "Better" really means nothing.  Apparently, lots of people think these games are "better" because more people are playing them today than ever before.

    Not if you agree on measurements. Like depth, replayability, etc. Then you can have a discussion about which game is better.

     

    Also, just because more people are playing MMOs now doesn't mean they think that they're better. In fact I bet most people playing modern MMOs don't even know what old MMOs were like. 

  • MendelMendel Marietta, GAPosts: 924Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Cephus404
    Originally posted by ThomasN7
    The point is that developers make games way too easy just so grandma and grandpa know how to play it. No one is saying stop making casual mmos but there needs to be a level of challenging content along with not finishing the game within a month.  I will always say quality is greater than quantity. Dumbing down mmos for the casual person who only plays 10 hours a week just ruins the quality of games. You can't please everyone all the time and developers need to stop trying to please everyone all the time.

    But where is the impetus for them to make those games?  Where is the money?  You people keep arguing that these things should exist, you can't point out the upside for the developers to actually do it.  They lose players, they have a harder sell, and these things cost every bit as much as a mass-market game.

    Doing what you suggest would just drive them out of business.

    The 'hardcore' MMORPG player is as much a niche market at the PvP focused crowd and the RP heavy crowd.   They're pieces of the MMORPG marketplace.   And developers are trying to expand the market rather than narrow it, because that's where the money is.

    I tend to think that the first wave of MMORPG players were a pretty finite bunch -- somewhere between 2 and 5 million people, shuffling from game to game in the pre-WoW landscape.  Blizzard jumped into the pool and successfully leveraged its much larger market of RTS gamers and converted them into MMORPG players.   Now the market is somewhere probably between 15 and 20 million people, who play sporadically.   Ultimately, this relatively finite pool of customers represents a finite amount of money for a company.   To 'grow the revenue', companies can either steal customers from other providers or they can try to appeal to players outside this customer base.   Since no one has really had any major success in 'stealing' Blizzard's customers, the only viable way for other companies to expand is to lure new players to the arena.

    These new players probably don't have vast exposure to the PnP role-playing tradition that fueled the first wave of MMORPG success, nor the RTS gamers of the WoW era.   The new players aren't like us.  They will have played Tetris or Puzzle games or (the new goldmine of players) Minecraft.  Companies will target their new products to this new market.  In their minds, they are already tapping that market with their existing products.

    Cephus is absolutely right here -- the perception is that the money is in different markets.  MMORPGs will still come and go, mostly from independent developers and the occasional big-name developer.  But pure MMORPGs as we have known them in the past will be harder and harder to find, as the business adapts to its perception of the new marketplace.

    Logic, my dear, merely enables one to be wrong with great authority.

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by Mendel
     

    The 'hardcore' MMORPG player is as much a niche market at the PvP focused crowd and the RP heavy crowd.   They're pieces of the MMORPG marketplace.   And developers are trying to expand the market rather than narrow it, because that's where the money is.

    Says who?

    LoL, and WoT are pvp only games with a huge audience that is bigger than WOW. PvP is certainly NOT niche like hardcore or RP.

     

  • ArclanArclan Chicago, ILPosts: 1,494Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by Gardavsshade
    ...I will stay old school MMO Player rather than adapt to a genre I no longer recognize or agree with.


    /respect

    Luckily, i don't need you to like me to enjoy video games. -nariusseldon.
    In F2P I think it's more a case of the game's trying to play the player's. -laserit

  • MendelMendel Marietta, GAPosts: 924Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by Mendel
     

    The 'hardcore' MMORPG player is as much a niche market at the PvP focused crowd and the RP heavy crowd.   They're pieces of the MMORPG marketplace.   And developers are trying to expand the market rather than narrow it, because that's where the money is.

    Says who?

    LoL, and WoT are pvp only games with a huge audience that is bigger than WOW. PvP is certainly NOT niche like hardcore or RP.

     

    Neither LoL or WoT are MMORPGs in the 'hardcore' sense.

    But I will take your point.  PvP is a driving force in the computer gaming industry, I'll grant that.   There are plenty of MOBAs and RTS, and FPS games, and hoards of fans that live the PvP lifestyle.  But PvP isn't a major factor in the MMORPG arena.  These games derive from the Player vs. Gamemaster tradition of PnP games and from the Player vs. Computer in the CRPG era.   The natural extension, and the one taken by most MMORPGs, is the multi-player vs. Environment.   Even the early games that heavily featured PvP were designed as primary PvE experiences.  (Even UO developers wanted players to cooperate to advance the 'story of various Virtues).

    So, possibly I misspoke when I didn't qualify 'the PvP focused crowd' as 'the MMORPG OW FFA PvP focused crowd'.  And, within the context of the MMORPG marketplace, that is true.

    Logic, my dear, merely enables one to be wrong with great authority.

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by Mendel

    So, possibly I misspoke when I didn't qualify 'the PvP focused crowd' as 'the MMORPG OW FFA PvP focused crowd'.  And, within the context of the MMORPG marketplace, that is true.

    Yes, after the qualifier, i agree 100%. MMORPG OW FFA PvP indeed is very niche and a world of difference between it and the instanced based very popular e-sports type pvp.

     

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