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OK here we are right now in August 2004. Turbine has produced only 1 successful MMORPG. Asheron's Call. Which I have played back when they had a free trial. I enjoyed AC very much. I was amazed at how close knit the in game community is.
I was in AC2 beta. The one thing AC2 had going for it was a certian feature that no other MMORPG ever had, and still does not have, and still is not being planned to have in the upcoming MMORPGs. AC2 blatantly advertised that this feature would be in their game. 1 1/2 years after release, and it STILL IS NOT in AC2. In fact, the AC2 game DEVs do not even talk about it anymore!
Add to the AC2 saga a very unique twist - parent company MicroSoft on purpose asorbed the 20 million to 25 million cost to develope AC2. (as well as the 20 million cost to develope the now dead Mythica MMORPG.) MicroSoft then got rid of the failure AC2 by selling it back to its kid company Turbine then got rid of Turbine. Turbine is now on its own with 1 successful MMORPG (AC1), and one FREE MMORPG (AC2). Since EQ made enough profits to fund 2 brand new MMORPGs, it is very much possible for AC to be making enough of a profit to keep AC2 alive on lifesupport. Even if AC2 sinks from 6,000 accounts down to 600 total accounts.
Now Turbine is talking about making not one, but TWO MMORPGs at the same time/roughly the same time. This obviously means Turbine has unofficially given up on the failure AC2. I have two predicions for DDO and MEO:
1. DDO and MEO will end up as vaporware. As failures. UNLESS DDO and MEO come up with some new game feature/features that NO OTHER MMORPG has. Just like AC2 was suppose to have. In addition, both games must also have game features different from each other. Since both games will also be compeating vs each other.
2. EQ, and EQ2 are already unofficially DDO and MEO. Hobbits, Ents, Hobbits, High Men, High Elves, Hobbits, Orcs, Humans, Hobbits, and more Ents, oh my! EQ and EQ2 will crush DDO and MEO. Heck, make that EQ3 will crush DDO and MEO Because by the time DDO and MEO get released, EQ3 will be around the corner.
Right now, the industry standard for a MMORPG to be classified as a success, as a hit, is if it has 100,000 accounts.
The industry standard for a MMORPG to have any chance in heaven or hell of recouping all developement costs is to have 50,000 accounts.
The industry standard for the intended shelf life of a MMORPG is 5 years.
Hit MMORPGs take 1 to 2 years to recoup developement costs and then turn a true profit.
EQ 400,000 accounts
SWG 300,000 accounts
UO 200,000 accounts
DAoC 100,000 accounts
AC 100,000 accounts
AO 50,000 accounts
EvE 50,000 accounts
SB 50,000 accounts
JG (Jump Gate) 25,000 accounts
EoC (Edge of Chaos) 15,000 accounts
AS3 (Astonia 3.... small German based, mom and pop, mmorpg) 12,000 accounts
AC2 6,000 accounts
1 year from now predictions for Aug 2005:
EQ 200,000 accounts
EQ2 100,000 accounts
WoW 100,000 to 200,000 accounts
GW 50,000 to 100,000 accounts.
TMO (The Matrix Online): Vaporware!
DDO and MEO: Still not out.
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MMORPG games I've played:
Star Wars Galaxies:
EVE Online !!!
DAoC (coming soon)