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Will developers be even more deterred from open world MMOs? With EVE being a notable exception, Every sandbox MMO since the Themepark Invasion, has failed to live up to its expectation. But is it because there is no market? I don't think that is the case. I don't think Earthrise failed because it was an open world sandbox. It failed because it was incomplete.
In late 2011, an Indi game litterally exploded onto the scene out of nowhere, with no hype with little to no announcement, Perpetuum Online blasted it's way to the top of the charts here. It got recognition and it got a lot of people in it's doors. And it did so fully aiming at being an EVE clone. The game ultimately lost it's momentum for several reasons. Some of it scandelous. But the point is, when it hit the scene, it generated a lot of initial interest. Had this game been able to deliver, It would be a success story right now. And I don't think that it's because "Everyone went back to EVE" The people I met never actually played EVE.
Again, my point is that PO was able to generate initial interest. Keeping it going was a different story. But the market was there.
What's missing? I am guessing a transition. Some content to assist in laucnhing your character.
Everyone looks at the old school open world games and uses them as a foundation. But I don't think that has to be the case. Does an Open World sandbox NEED FFA PVP looting? No.
Why not put a little themepark in the sandbox? This would do several things.
1. It could act as an extended tutorial for new gamers. They start off with the familiar but the game is designed to transition the players to go off and start contributing to the game to generate their own content.
2. Help people get used to steep learning curves by doing instead of having to read and read and read and read before playing.
3. Sometimes you may just want to do something solo for a few hours.
Anyway, my 2 cents.