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Some rambling thoughts

I'm actually more hopeful for indy teams than AAA these days. The AAA developers have the issue of having a massive budget, which causes a lot of the "right hand not talking to the left hand" type of issues. Then they waste massive amounts of money and man hours on stupid things that add very little to the game (thousands of hours of voice acting, etc).  It's kind of the idea of there is "more to go wrong" or "more opportunities for failure".

I personally think a smaller team has more chance for success (and failure).

One of the main things I've always been pissed at Blizzard for with WoW is the fact that they created such a gigantically successful monstrosity (and it really was a one off thing, lots of variables, right IP, right timing, etc, that I think it can't ever be reproduced) that it caused the entire MMO industry to shift to try to chase that goal.  They treated it like the music industry treats boybands (a "formula" that can be copied for near guaranteed success) Basically get 4 or 5 good looking young guys who can dance and sing reasonably well, and it's a license to print money.

Where literally everyone thought the industry would evolve to in the early 2000's is a lot more smaller mmo's that targeted more focused segments.  Such as an MMO for people who liked PvE raiding/grouping, an MMO for people who liked FFA PVP, an mmo for people who liked RvR large group style PVP, a story telling focused mmo, exploration focused, etc etc.

Unfortunately because of WoW every MMO has been trying to capture as broad of an audience as possible, which is generally a poor way to make money because MMO's (traditionally) made money by keeping people around paying subs.  So they had to develop a new monetization method, and what has resulted is essentially a bunch of glorified online slot machines trying to grab people, get them to pay a bunch of money into the system quickly and then not worry about keeping them. This is why that "massively multiplayer" online rpg's have done everything in their power to cater to the ultra casual, removing any need for class interdependency, grouping, communicating with other players, travelling, etc etc etc.  These are all barriers to entry and they need as many people as possible to enter the game, even If it is only for a couple weeks, so that they can get them to spend 15 or 20, or more dollars buying some loot crates, or inventory slots, or sweet looking armor, etc.  They're not interested in making a living breathing world where people want to stay and socialize in and build relationships, etc.  It's all 100% purely designed around making as much money as quickly as possible and then not caring what happens to the person next.

A smaller company who is not concerned about paying dividends to shareholders, and just has a passion for making games, wants to make a decent profit and pay their employees to keep making games, is in a good position to make a awesome game.  There is an element of art to games, just like music, movies, etc. And when you focus purely on "what is going to make us the most money" you lose the art in the process. That was the way games used to be made, it was, "we spent 3 million making this, and we made 5 million in the end... sweet, we made some money, we paid our employees for a couple years making the games, people like our product, awesome".

Now, its companies like EA and Activision, etc who have a bunch of suits in a boardroom somewhere going "well we are looking at a 200 million budget on this, and if we don't have a reasonable expectation that we're going to make 1 billion in profit, then we're not interested".  And then if they do greenlight it, they have people constantly doing cost/benefit analyses that say "well, if we make this NPC's breasts 12% larger it will sell 3.4% more copies of the game!" (I'm just making up semi ludicrous things to make a point, but you get the idea).  It stops becoming about making a good game and all about making as much money as is possible, to hell with the consistency of the product, the IP, etc.

Anyways, i'll stop rambling.

"The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently."

- Friedrich Nietzsche

Comments

  • goboygogoboygo Member RarePosts: 2,141
    edited December 2016
    Your right.  Most people will tell you the industry just "evolved" and to deal with it.  Yes it did evolve but to try and compensate for the fact that people are making terrible MMO's.  The evolution was to still find a way to make money on crap.  And to insert different casino and ecommerce type revenue models  and game mechanics from other genres to try to attract people to a terrible game.  Now unfortunately all that crap is being baked into most all MMO's out of the box because people are a product of their environment.
  • DullahanDullahan Member EpicPosts: 4,536
    edited December 2016
    It didn't evolve, it devolved into something completely different and unfit for the name massively multiplayer.

    This is another reason why I continue to argue that Visionary Realm's best bet is to stick to their guns and go all the way. Pantheon needs to be completely outside of the mainstream spectrum and uniquely hard, rigidly multiplayer, and geared towards high immersion; starting at level 1.

    As just another MMO, they will not be able to compete. As an highly cooperative MMORPG with high risk versus high reward, they will stand out. But achieving that means refusing to compromise, and compromise is what I fear most for this title.


  • herculeshercules Member UncommonPosts: 4,923
    edited December 2016
    I know WoW gets blamed for a lot but honestly as you said they did a lot of right things at the right time.
    I do not recall how much WoW budget was but i believe it was less then EQ2 or just about same
    But they kept the money in the right things.They wanted to make it accessable to a wider crowd.
    They did not waste 10s of millions on voice acting like SWTOR did
    They made sure their engine worked properly before building around it ,something EQ2 did not
    They listened to all and continued to for a long time.When some raid content was not accessable to the majority they made it so all could see it and hardcore gamers could do same content but on a harder difficulty ,something verrant/soe/daybreak never did .
    Agreed the suits also help kill games.Most MMO want to make a MMO and make the cash right off the inital sale rather then long term thus the games are so superfical.Again not WoW fault.They keep trying to improve content and the new expansion is evidence of that.Not just toss an expansion each year like EQ series does now and make rubbish expansion and kill the reputation of the game.
    I could go on and on about this.
    I do agree though if you are going the indie route then make sure you have a goal and work around it but NEVER expect a huge crowd.
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