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[Column] General: Dave Georgeson Writes About 15 Years of Virtual Worlds

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Comments

  • TyrokiTyroki Member UncommonPosts: 183
    Originally posted by Kost

    By far the most articulate and intelligent article this site has seen in years, truly an enjoyable and enlightening read.

    Thanks for everything Dave, looking forward to seeing you working on new projects in the future. Hope everything is well with you and the family. Take care sir.

    ^ This. A lot of this.

    MMO's played: Ragnarok Online (For years), WoW (for a few weeks only), Guild Wars, Lineage 2, Eve, Allods, Shattered Galaxy, 9 Dragons, City of Heroes, City of Villains, Star Trek Online (Got someone ELSE to pay for it), Champions Online (Someone else paid), Dofus, Dragonica, LOTRO, DDO and more... A LOT more. I've played good AND bad. The bad didn't last long. :P

  • goemoegoemoe Member UncommonPosts: 228
    "Marketing departments (all of them) love to tinker with “optimizing acquisition funnels” and creating programs to “bring new groups of gamers to your game” after launch. They like to imagine that a game’s revenue graph can suddenly begin to look like a hockey stick, rising up suddenly into the stratosphere.

    The result? A complete and utter waste of time unless you’re fine-tuning the knobs on an already huge success..

    Gamers are some of the most well-read and intelligent people on the planet, especially when it comes to matters pertaining to their hobby.  If you made any successful noise about your game at launch, then all the gamers that cared about it heard about it at that time."

    This has been wrong for EQ2 and now I understand, why SOE never made some serious marketing for their games. WoW has been hugely successful because they advertised everywhere everytime and in every perceivable way (up to strangely positiv ratings in magazines which writers somehow got lifelong subs...)

    Blizzard has convinced millions of people to test WoW who never played a MMO before. EQ2 lost loads and loads of possible customers due to a serious lack of advertising. I am the EQ2 guy and lots of people I talked to enjoyed WoW as their first game and never heard of EQ2, until I spoke to them. You are wrong, Dave, really wrong. But the article is a good read though.

  • tixylixtixylix Member UncommonPosts: 1,288
    Yes the uniqueness of you turning EQ into WoW and EQ2 into WoW and SWG into WoW...
  • ReallyNow10ReallyNow10 Member UncommonPosts: 2,254
    Originally posted by goemoe
    "Marketing departments (all of them) love to tinker with “optimizing acquisition funnels” and creating programs to “bring new groups of gamers to your game” after launch. They like to imagine that a game’s revenue graph can suddenly begin to look like a hockey stick, rising up suddenly into the stratosphere.

    The result? A complete and utter waste of time unless you’re fine-tuning the knobs on an already huge success..

    Gamers are some of the most well-read and intelligent people on the planet, especially when it comes to matters pertaining to their hobby.  If you made any successful noise about your game at launch, then all the gamers that cared about it heard about it at that time."

    This has been wrong for EQ2 and now I understand, why SOE never made some serious marketing for their games. WoW has been hugely successful because they advertised everywhere everytime and in every perceivable way (up to strangely positiv ratings in magazines which writers somehow got lifelong subs...)

    Blizzard has convinced millions of people to test WoW who never played a MMO before. EQ2 lost loads and loads of possible customers due to a serious lack of advertising. I am the EQ2 guy and lots of people I talked to enjoyed WoW as their first game and never heard of EQ2, until I spoke to them. You are wrong, Dave, really wrong. But the article is a good read though.

    I'm an ol' EQ1 vet, and played both EQ2 and WOW at launch (and WOW at open beta).  I have to say, while I wanted to like EQ2, WOW was a much better game, with with more fluid classes, better combat, better ... everything just about.

    EQ2 had that crazy Heroic Opportunity Wheel, which turned players into button-smacking whack-a-mole who looked for the next glowing button over the ability.  Also, EQ2 had ability redundancy, very confusion and unnecessary, and had this strange awarding of new abilities at .3 or .7 of a level.  Strange stuff like that, that was very jarring in the middle of combat.

    WOW beat EQ2, not because of mere advertising, but because it was a better game.  (Talking of vanilla WOW.  Draenor WOW is /puke).

  • CaldrinCaldrin Member UncommonPosts: 4,505
    Great article as others ahve said :)
  • jesteralwaysjesteralways Member RarePosts: 2,560
    Very nice article. Never thought i would be so delighted to read an article by former SOE employee, a company i most definitely don't like.

    Boobs are LIFE, Boobs are LOVE, Boobs are JUSTICE, Boobs are mankind's HOPES and DREAMS. People who complain about boobs have lost their humanity.

  • ArglebargleArglebargle Member RarePosts: 2,809
    Interesting info on Eve.  I always suspected that only 150K were playing the game, they just had three or more accounts each.  Every Eve player I know does (small sample size of 2).  Of course, a paying account is a paying account.

    If you are holding out for the perfect game, the only game you play will be the waiting one.

  • cronius77cronius77 Member UncommonPosts: 1,649

    like he says in his article deadlines are the main issue and why so many games fail imo. you have two different entities in a company, a dev team passionate about getting certain features in and polished who probably think little about the costs for payroll on a day to day basis and you have the company heads who worry very much about how much things cost daily. Devs can be as passionate as they like but they have to get things done within a budget and not just done but bug free and polished as much as possible by a deadline. Thats part of the reason a few indie dev teams who used kickstarter are putting out much better games now than triple A mmorpgs. 

    If you take anything from this article like Kano also said all the bitching and moaning about unrealistic features and expectations plays a huge part in the success of a game or its downfall. ESO is a great example of this where people comstantly bitched and moaned about end game and alliances and you ended up with the vet system, a rushed end game grind to stop the complainers only making the game worse and now what a year later just about they are scrapping that yet again trying to fix the end game with the champion system. 

    Some of the complaints on games in general on sites like this and on their own forums makes me site back and just laugh sometimes at some of the ridiculous stupid comments made basically asking people to completely redesign their game from scratch almost or they are quitting etc. I just want to grab them and scream in their face dont play it then if you hate it. 

    This was a great insider article though too bad it wont change the socially entitled here to cut devs some slack and still support games.

  • BossOfThisGymBossOfThisGym Member UncommonPosts: 34
    I want to see your next masterpiece Dave.
  • ominatorominator Member UncommonPosts: 12

    The only thing out of that article that got my attention: Go, go, Blizzard!

    Looks like someone is looking for a new job.

     

  • HolyAvengerOneHolyAvengerOne Member UncommonPosts: 690
    Good column, interesting topic and angle. Thanks Dave.
  • cheyanecheyane Member EpicPosts: 7,103
    Loved the art on you looking like an enchanter with a pet dragon very cool. Enjoyed the article too.
    Crichton: 'If he masters wormhole technology, what will he use it for?'
    Scorpius: 'Faster delivery of pizzas.'

  • MorBladeMorBlade Member UncommonPosts: 40

    Love and play both EQ and EQ2 since 1999. All I really wanted was the Norrath  that I've grown to love over the past 15 years.  EQNext was not it.  Smedley and company ruined  Star Wars Galaxies with their bright ideas. EQNext was their next bright idea. No thanks, if I want cartoony graphics, I will play WOW. If I want a console port game I will play DC universe.

     

  • VikingGamerVikingGamer Member UncommonPosts: 1,350

    Good article. I look forward to the next. Also look forward to finding out what project you will be passionate about next. I always enjoyed your ability to "sell the vision" on Landmark/EQNext.

    You are right about vanilla is you are meaning company after company putting out clones of the other's work. The same old thing IS boring. But vanilla isn't bad just because it is old fashioned. And if nobody else produces vanilla then it is the thing that is different. Personally I think chocolate ice cream is more boring than vanilla.

    All die, so die well.

  • MaricMaric Member UncommonPosts: 98
    Wow Dave. Great read. The points you make are exactly why I got excited for EQN, and why I'm so sad you are no longer with the dev team. Your passion for the games you work on is infectious and directly builds and feeds the community you speak to.

    Great editorial.
  • Pratt2112Pratt2112 Member UncommonPosts: 1,636

    Excellent article, George! Thank you for taking the time to write it up and share your insights/experience/wisdom with us. I love this kind of "behind the scenes" content.

    That said, I'm especially eager for the article where you answer:

    "What is Developing an MMO from Scratch like?"

    That right there will have my undivided attention. If I could sit in at a development house for a day and ask questions about anything I wanted... The lion's share would be about that very topic: the creation process, how things go from a seed of an idea, to one with full momentum and support... how the ideas are born, the iteration on them, and so on.

    Anyways. Great read!

  • EQBallzzEQBallzz Member UncommonPosts: 210

    Why everyone is fawning over this guy I will never understand. Someone says they want to know what his next "masterpiece" is? Seriously? What was his first one? People posting positive things about EQ2 like he's the one who did it but all he did was join SoE (around the point of decline) as some sort of F2P guru to turn EQ2 and EQ into the F2P monstrosities they are now. Maybe that prolonged the games or got some extra cash but it certainly didn't make them better..or a "masterpiece" by any stretch of the imagination. He obviously hasn't done much better with EQN or he wouldn't be out of a job and Landmark is a huge F2P joke.

     

    At the time that he came to EQ2 the game was pretty good but desperately needed some fixes and class balancing but what happened when he got there? Some of the most revered EQ2 content creators got shit-canned while they simultaneously started monetizing everything for the big F2P conversion and let the bugs and class balance issues languish so the comments about developer talent is pretty hilarious. Same with the comments about R&D and "new challenges and experiences". The only R&D being done over there was how to charge people 89 dollars for access to a "free" game or how much people will pay for a pick axe. Thanks but no thanks.

     

    This guy is nothing more than a sleazy used car salesman and he's got you sold on that lemon equipped with undercoating and extended warranty. Buyer beware (especially if what you are buying is "free").

  • rojoArcueidrojoArcueid Member EpicPosts: 10,358
    Originally posted by EQBallzz

    Why everyone is fawning over this guy I will never understand. Someone says they want to know what his next "masterpiece" is? Seriously? What was his first one? People posting positive things about EQ2 like he's the one who did it but all he did was join SoE (around the point of decline) as some sort of F2P guru to turn EQ2 and EQ into the F2P monstrosities they are now. Maybe that prolonged the games or got some extra cash but it certainly didn't make them better..or a "masterpiece" by any stretch of the imagination. He obviously hasn't done much better with EQN or he wouldn't be out of a job and Landmark is a huge F2P joke.

     

    At the time that he came to EQ2 the game was pretty good but desperately needed some fixes and class balancing but what happened when he got there? Some of the most revered EQ2 content creators got shit-canned while they simultaneously started monetizing everything for the big F2P conversion and let the bugs and class balance issues languish so the comments about developer talent is pretty hilarious. Same with the comments about R&D and "new challenges and experiences". The only R&D being done over there was how to charge people 89 dollars for access to a "free" game or how much people will pay for a pick axe. Thanks but no thanks.

     

    This guy is nothing more than a sleazy used car salesman and he's got you sold on that lemon equipped with undercoating and extended warranty. Buyer beware (especially if what you are buying is "free").

    you put so much time and energy to right all this to troll/hate? why not put the same time and energy to say something constructive? thats the nature of the beast, i guess.....





  • EQBallzzEQBallzz Member UncommonPosts: 210
    Originally posted by rojoArcueid
    Originally posted by EQBallzz

    Why everyone is fawning over this guy I will never understand. Someone says they want to know what his next "masterpiece" is? Seriously? What was his first one? People posting positive things about EQ2 like he's the one who did it but all he did was join SoE (around the point of decline) as some sort of F2P guru to turn EQ2 and EQ into the F2P monstrosities they are now. Maybe that prolonged the games or got some extra cash but it certainly didn't make them better..or a "masterpiece" by any stretch of the imagination. He obviously hasn't done much better with EQN or he wouldn't be out of a job and Landmark is a huge F2P joke.

     

    At the time that he came to EQ2 the game was pretty good but desperately needed some fixes and class balancing but what happened when he got there? Some of the most revered EQ2 content creators got shit-canned while they simultaneously started monetizing everything for the big F2P conversion and let the bugs and class balance issues languish so the comments about developer talent is pretty hilarious. Same with the comments about R&D and "new challenges and experiences". The only R&D being done over there was how to charge people 89 dollars for access to a "free" game or how much people will pay for a pick axe. Thanks but no thanks.

     

    This guy is nothing more than a sleazy used car salesman and he's got you sold on that lemon equipped with undercoating and extended warranty. Buyer beware (especially if what you are buying is "free").

    you put so much time and energy to right all this to troll/hate? why not put the same time and energy to say something constructive? thats the nature of the beast, i guess.....

     

     

    I'm obviously not a fan. Why do I have to post the same thing as everyone else if I disagree completely? Just because I'm not on board with this guy and I don't post some fawning nonsense doesn't make me a troll. Seriously, what has this guy done that is so great? Are you counting all the marketing hype about EQN that has never materialized? What has he done to deserve such praise..I don't get it but please do enlighten me.

  • TuchakaTuchaka Member UncommonPosts: 468
    great article pretty much blew my mind best of luck to you in the future dave :)
  • kanyeiggykanyeiggy Member CommonPosts: 10
    Originally posted by Telondariel

    " If you made any successful noise about your game at launch, then all the gamers that cared about it heard about it at that time.  They looked at it. Maybe they played it, but they definitely judged you. And once they move on, they are not coming back. Your chance to gain the mind share of these gamers was AT LAUNCH…not after."

     

    That may have been the case 10 years ago, but people are a little more savvy now.  Firsthand information about a new game is out months before a launch, in the form of alpha and beta experiences, and from people who witness then relay events such as the EQN Reveal at SOE Live years before an actual launch.

     

    In the case of EQN, with it's debut to the EQ community at large, there was lukewarm reception at SOE Live and afterwards.  Diehard vet's of the IP were left scratching their heads, wondering how..this..was your vision for EQ3.  Well, turns out it really wasn't.  As you explained, you didn't want to take the community away from existing games (EQ and EQ2), rather, you were trying for a new market (<-- paraphrased).

     

    That to me, and seemingly to many others (including prominent EQ community website contributors) seems a bit backwards.  The original intent was to make EQ3, but then 3 scrapped iterations later, you presented EQFreeRealms.  All that money and time wasted, with the end product aimed not at the EQ fans that built and sustained the IP since 1999, but at twitch-style gamers that enjoy highly stylized cartoony graphics, limited hotbars designed for controllers, and reticles.

     

    Frankly, I think you lost focus, and now there is just a mess to clean up.  It's unfortunate that so many people have been laid off.  But I have to say, Dave, that upper management has been steering that ship into the rocks for years now, despite the community voicing their concerns and criticisms about the studio's direction.  So many people laid off, and a community left dangling in the wind, because of poor decisions and the lack of good leadership.

     Totally agree, with the lack of vision over the past 7-8 years, and dabbling in too many off tangent projects (i.e. Free Realms, DC Universe etc), they lost sight of their core games which were funding all these new project games.  Dave and his team brought bad management.  I for one am glad alot of those folks are gone.  To bad Smedley wasn't one of them.    Way to much money went down the drain funding some of these projects, I'd venture close to $400-500 million loss over the past 8 years, on the assumption that each of these projects cost about 75 million to fund.

     

     
  • RydesonRydeson Member UncommonPosts: 3,852
    Originally posted by EQBallzz

    This guy is nothing more than a sleazy used car salesman and he's got you sold on that lemon equipped with undercoating and extended warranty. Buyer beware (especially if what you are buying is "free").

    I couldn't agree with you more..  To listen to his sales pitches are sickening, to the point I almost throw up.   /gag   I remember his high excitement about MOBS coming to Landmark and how awesome it's going to be... ARE YOU Fing serious Georgie?  I see better AI challenge from the arcade whack a mole, then anything that Landmark has shown.. lol 

  • GrumpyHobbitGrumpyHobbit Member RarePosts: 1,220
    Originally posted by EQBallzz

     

     

     

    I'm obviously not a fan. Why do I have to post the same thing as everyone else if I disagree completely? Just because I'm not on board with this guy and I don't post some fawning nonsense doesn't make me a troll. Seriously, what has this guy done that is so great? Are you counting all the marketing hype about EQN that has never materialized? What has he done to deserve such praise..I don't get it but please do enlighten me.

    For a start he has been in the industry for many years and is very respected by his peers.

    No disrespect but just because you don't understand what he does or his input into the industry doesn't mean you can dismiss him or the praise he gets.

    I would ask, in the gaming industry what have YOU done to earn respect and earn the right to dismiss his career and influence?

  • haplo602haplo602 Member UncommonPosts: 234

    Interesting reading ... and from my point of view very very wrong.

     

    Games do get better and you do gain audience after launch. However it takes vision and dedication to do so (EVE Online). And proper communication. Also if you make the playes part of the act, then suddenly you gained a massive word of mouth advertising campaign (again EVE Online).

     

    The great error in the current state of things are the open betas and alphas (early access etc.). You are basically throwing your game away. The only people interested are the power gamers and by launch, most of the game is on Google for the casuals to look at and get bored/lose interest. Power gamers are the vocal minority that will scream on internet forums (mmorpg is a great example) about any minor glitch/oversight that would go unnoticed by the casuals.

     

    WHat I want to say is this: pre-launch hype and early access are killing the games at the moment. The higher you fly, the further you fall.

  • bentrimbentrim Member UncommonPosts: 299
    To me Dave you lost ALL credibility when you named it EQN. This had NOTHING to do with the EQ franchise, other than the name. Horrible planning and marketing, with the lack of a TRUE plan, got you canned....too bad so sad.
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