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  1. #21
    Network Hub Splynter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    The thing about EVE is, it peaked at 360k subs, and a lot of those are dummy accounts. While there's plenty of brash talk about wanting something with full loot, where the threat is from other players blah de blah, relatively few players actually seem to want that. They get pissed off enough when they're ganked in games where there's no consequence to death.

    I think most players would be satisfied with something more akin to player housing et al, at least until the countryside looks like suburbia a la UO, or war-as-sports like the RvR in DAoC and WAR.
    You're right, most players don't want that. That's why even EVE has a large contingent of cuddly carebears. I understand that a lot of people don't want to feel threatened when they play a game and would rather be wrapped in the safe embrace of a guided tour through awesomeness. The majority of people will not want to leave the cutthroat real world to delve into a cutthroat simulated world, and I get that.

    I was going to write more about consequences, but you know, I think we're generally in agreement on the point. Also, I should really be studying...

  2. #22
    Lesser Hivemind Node Timofee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackcompany View Post
    Seems to me that, if you wanted to market an MMO in this day and age, your best chance would come with offering something dramatically different from the mainstream fare. As opposed to, you know, virtually copying it.
    I agree. However I think we're being somewhat naive.

    Look at TV shows and Films or Music and books, all creative medium - all of which function with a 'mainstream' where the vast majority of spending take place (both in terms of companies/artists/etc commissioning/creating them and in audiences/fans etc purchasing them)

    In each of these spaces there's a...hardcore (for want of a better word without so many preconceived notions). This group will selectively purchase what they /want/ and stay informed on the subject matter - make no mistake this is an exceptionally small, but vocal subset (And as people posting on a forum for a website about PC games we clearly sit within that!)

    The vast majority of purchasing power comes from 'normal' people - who will differ depending on your viewpoint and examined individually are far from 'normal'. This is whom big companies cater for, quite simply because there's more of them and a small slice of a larger pie is (in their view) much better than the whole of a very small pie.

    Bioware is a fantastic example showing the evolution of a well respected niche company becoming mainstream - and in turn being perceived to have sold out their origins. And yet if you look at the money they're raking in, it absolutely makes sense from a purely fiscal perspective. Inversely of course we see the coverage of them becomes decidedly negative and yet they're still able to rake in the cash - how? Because the silent majority are absolutely happy with what is being produced - they dont seek out specialist press coverage etc.

    This is true in every industry when a company increases in size to such a point that can both capitalise on the mass market. Take the transition of any retain store. Lets say Tesco, at one point that will have been a successful regional enterprise, logic dictates that to have grown to that extent it must been good at what it did, this enabled it to grow and grow and grow yet at some point we then turned round and said how terrible it is, how its threatening local family run businesses. I've got news for you - Tesco was a family run business and it did well! Its basic capitalism.

    I'm not saying its right but its the way of the world in which we live. Anyway, I've gone slightly off topic...I've seen it described best when people point out a significant number of sales are made (particularly in the entertainment sphere). Its not
    Customer: "Oh hello I'd like Man Shoot 3 please"

    but rather

    Customer: "Hi I'm looking for a present for our Kev...he likes that thing, what is it, the one with the guns..."
    Sales Assistant/Husband/Friend/Stanger: "Man Shoot 3?"
    Customer: "Yeah I think its that one, I'll have that please"

    In short people go with the popular option because its popular (and safe) therefore it become MORE popular etc etc

  3. #23
    Lesser Hivemind Node Timofee's Avatar
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    Screw you forum that ate my incredibly detailed (yes) and erudite (no) and witty (defintely no) post!


    I shall instead summarise:
    I generally agree with you but...(and its a big but)
    > all art forms have a mainstream
    > this is driven largely by people who are not very informed about subject matter e.g. parents buying presents for kids.
    > this is where the vast majority of spending power sits (because there's simply so many more
    > makes sense that companies want a small slice of a much larger pie than the whole of a small pie
    > basic capitalism yadda yadda
    > bioware classic, and current, example of a company transitioning to mainstream
    > there may seemingly be a lot more bad press about them but I'll be damned if they aint making a shed load more cash than when there were a 'well respected niche developer'

  4. #24
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timofee View Post
    > this is driven largely by people who are not very informed about subject matter e.g. parents buying presents for kids.
    I agree with most of your suppositions except for maybe this one. While there's headway being made into markets where people don't know very much about the subject matter - ie non-gamers - that doesn't necessarily mean they don't know what they want. I highly doubt WoW was supremely popular solely because of mothers blindly buying copies for their little tykes. Another way of putting that is that somebody out there legitimately likes Beck.

    Likewise, arguably the best animes will be those made for a non-anime-otaku audience in mind. In-jokes and genre tropes are all well and good, but they're also a shorthand for mediocrity just as much as playing for the lowest common denominator can be.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
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  5. #25
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Hypernetic's Avatar
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    I believe the future of MMOs is the niche market. No MMO is going to see broad spectrum success like WoW ever again, not even another Blizzard made MMO.

    Most MMOs suck because they try to replicate WoW's success and spend too much money doing so. If MMO makers made MMOs with the goal of being successful in a niche market they would make much better games while spending much less money.

    A game like EvE is profitable even with it's small amount of subs (compared to WoW).

  6. #26
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hypernetic View Post
    Most MMOs suck because they try to replicate WoW's success and spend too much money doing so.
    Most MMOs suck because they try to replicate WoW's success by replicating WoW when WoW already exists.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
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  7. #27
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Hypernetic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    Most MMOs suck because they try to replicate WoW's success by replicating WoW when WoW already exists.
    That's basically what I meant.

  8. #28
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hypernetic View Post
    That's basically what I meant.
    That doesn't mean they can't replicate WoW's success, or that any large investment is doomed to fail, tho. The distinction is what they're spending all that money on. Moreover, WoW is still proof positive that MMOs are not a niche market.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
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  9. #29
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Althea's Avatar
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    The Secret World is the one I'm most looking forward to. It's being well marketed, and aside from it's TOR-level entry price (35, but you get more than you did in the TOR box), I'm thinking it's got quite a good chance.

    Funcom are, arguably, one of the more consistent MMO devs out there - Anarchy Online is still going, and strongly I believe, and I don't think Conan's doing too badly although you don't hear much about it. On top of that, The Secret World has Ragnar Tornquist on writing, which should bring a good number of TLJ/DF fans, as well as the whole Lovecraft/King aspect.


  10. #30
    Lesser Hivemind Node Timofee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    I agree with most of your suppositions except for maybe this one. While there's headway being made into markets where people don't know very much about the subject matter - ie non-gamers - that doesn't necessarily mean they don't know what they want. I highly doubt WoW was supremely popular solely because of mothers blindly buying copies for their little tykes. Another way of putting that is that somebody out there legitimately likes Beck.

    Likewise, arguably the best animes will be those made for a non-anime-otaku audience in mind. In-jokes and genre tropes are all well and good, but they're also a shorthand for mediocrity just as much as playing for the lowest common denominator can be.
    You are right and I must admit as I was writing that I thought it was less relevant to MMOs, particularly where there is a recurring sub that by paying again you are essentially validating that you want it.

    With regards to WoW in particular I was surprised by just how many people play it who do not play any other games. So in that sense there is a definite audience there who are interested in precisely that kind of thing.

    I guess the only way something could conceivably supplant WoW at being WoW would (barring fuckups from blizzard) be something that gained enough critical mass to attract the people away from WoW who otherwise dont really follow gaming - i.e. the only way they would hear about it and decide they wanted to play it would be if sufficent people were already playing it

    I really thought SWTOR might manage it due to the Star Wars license but in actuality I think that may have put a lot of people off who perhaps thought oh but I've never watched Star Wars so its not for me. Obviously the fact its a bit crap doesnt help but that's more about convincing people to stay after you've won them over in the first place.

  11. #31
    Lesser Hivemind Node Timofee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Althea View Post
    The Secret World is the one I'm most looking forward to. It's being well marketed, and aside from it's TOR-level entry price (35, but you get more than you did in the TOR box), I'm thinking it's got quite a good chance.

    Funcom are, arguably, one of the more consistent MMO devs out there - Anarchy Online is still going, and strongly I believe, and I don't think Conan's doing too badly although you don't hear much about it. On top of that, The Secret World has Ragnar Tornquist on writing, which should bring a good number of TLJ/DF fans, as well as the whole Lovecraft/King aspect.
    I was hopeful for the secret world but honestly every gameplay video they've put out has made reconsider my position.

    There's a lot of great ideas but for a TV show, or perhaps a single player RPG. The MMO aspect seems more to be a cross to bear rather than an actual benefit that will enhance the experience.

  12. #32
    Lesser Hivemind Node ado's Avatar
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    I'm frankly tired of WoW-like MMOs. The gameplay in games of this type always falls short for me, and the fact that it's not player driven leaves out any possibility of player intrigue and conflicts to keep me interested.

    With that said I am intrigued by World of Darkness; especially the promise of a player driven world and more focus on socializing as a gameplay feature. Apart from that it's Titan of course. In the least I'm interested in what Blizzard will do with it, especially in answering the question of weather it's a WoW-type MMO or something completely new.
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  13. #33
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    Titan is so far off that it might as well be a star showing light to Earth, years after it originated from the source. Diablo III is still unreleased (at this very moment), and when it does pop out of the Blizzwomb in a month or so, it will do so in an admittedly incomplete state (PvP) -- this is TWELVE YEARS after Diablo II's release. And Diablo II was an enormous success. Do people honestly think Titan will be released within the next five years? As WoW's subscriptions continue to dry up, I honestly think that Blizzard's development cycle will be what brings the company to a grinding halt, not the quality or creativity of their product.

    On topic:

    I, like many others, 1) love MMOs and 2) am totally sick of WoW clones, to the point where TOR will be the last AAA MMO I purchase on release day. The most captivating MMOs I've played in the past five years have been far from said mold: Fallen Earth, Global Agenda, EVE. The problem is, the costs associated with developing an 'outside of the box' MMO are so astronomical, that no publisher will back said product unless they can guarantee a day one userbase. How do you do that? Attract a crowd from an established market, like WoW. This is a brutal catch 22 for those of us who love operating in persistent worlds, but are so burned out on exclamation points above NPC heads and maps with quest waypoints, that we will no longer purchase a product that panders to said design aesthetics.

    I don't know what is going to happen with the current MMO market, but I'm here to say that I have dollars to spend, and I'd like to spend them on something I actually find really captivating and fundamentally *interesting*. It bears mentioning that the last iDollars I've spent have been on FTL and Wasteland 2 and the Banner Saga. So essentially, as a consumer, I'm funding the development of ideas into projects into products, rather than on products that are marketed to me. This should be relevant to this conversation, even if the prospect of funding an MMO seems impossible to reconcile with crowd sourcing (read: funding) a project.

    -Aidan

    EDIT: As a side note, I was enthralled with the idea of the Secret World circa 2011, but now that I've seen the game in motion, I could care less about it. Way. Too. Samey. I'm also of the mindset that Funcom has been a great innovator when it comes to MMOs, and I'm sad to see my interest in SW wane. I respect them as a company that is willing to take risks in MMO design.
    Last edited by mammothbaby; 15-04-2012 at 12:52 AM.

  14. #34
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Hypernetic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    That doesn't mean they can't replicate WoW's success, or that any large investment is doomed to fail, tho. The distinction is what they're spending all that money on. Moreover, WoW is still proof positive that MMOs are not a niche market.
    WoW is an anomaly, it's not proof positive of anything.


    Quote Originally Posted by mammothbaby View Post
    *snip*
    That was the biggest mistake Bioware made with ToR. ToR had a guaranteed day one subscriber base regardless of what the game was, because it was Star Wars. They could have made an awesome game, but instead decided to make a much less enjoyable version of WoW.
    Last edited by Hypernetic; 15-04-2012 at 12:59 AM.

  15. #35
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timofee View Post
    I really thought SWTOR might manage it due to the Star Wars license but in actuality I think that may have put a lot of people off who perhaps thought oh but I've never watched Star Wars so its not for me. Obviously the fact its a bit crap doesnt help but that's more about convincing people to stay after you've won them over in the first place.
    That's just replacing one selection of ridiculous nerds (carebears) with another selection of ridiculous nerds (Star Wars fans). But I wouldn't say that there is an audience that's interested in precisely what Blizzard did as everybody is more or less amenable to the idea of video games, but video games (and video gamers) are ridiculously exclusionary.

    As such, the way to get them is to make it accessible. Case in point, Angry Birds.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hypernetic View Post
    WoW is an anomaly, it's not proof positive of anything.
    No it isn't. CoD4:MW. Any properties that blew away their predecessors and got an order of magnitude more sales than they originally supposed there were people to sell to. In comics, Watchmen. In movies, Star Wars.
    Last edited by Nalano; 15-04-2012 at 02:19 AM.
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  16. #36
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Hypernetic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post


    No it isn't. CoD4:MW. Any properties that blew away their predecessors and got an order of magnitude more sales than they originally supposed there were people to sell to. In comics, Watchmen. In movies, Star Wars.

    Straw man... None of that has anything to do with what I said. In the gaming world WoW is an anomaly. Most MMOs hover around a few hundred thousand subscribers, not 12 million. The fact that WoW has had that many subscribers is not proof that another game can/will do it again. It's a statistical anomaly.

  17. #37
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hypernetic View Post
    Straw man
    That word.

    I don't think it means what you think it means.
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  18. #38
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Hypernetic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    That word.

    I don't think it means what you think it means.

    It's funny you said that.

  19. #39
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hypernetic View Post
    It's funny you said that.
    Look, I didn't misrepresent your argument. I simply disagreed. I presented a game example, along with several examples of other products exceeding their assumed market. It's happened before, and it can be planned for. If you wish to dismiss it as not indicative of the potential of new products, then you're just gonna be caught with your pants down the next time somebody hits it.

    And if you're going to disagree with me, don't mangle the fucking language to do so.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
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  20. #40
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Hypernetic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    Look, I didn't misrepresent your argument. I simply disagreed. I presented a game example, along with several examples of other products exceeding their assumed market. It's happened before, and it can be planned for. If you wish to dismiss it as not indicative of the potential of new products, then you're just gonna be caught with your pants down the next time somebody hits it.

    And if you're going to disagree with me, don't mangle the fucking language to do so.
    You definitely did. You "refuted" my argument by saying "star wars was a popular movie.".

    WoW is an anomaly, there is plenty of empirical evidence to support that claim (i.e. every MMO ever released besides WoW). Star Wars wasn't the first blockbuster hit, accounting for inflation movies made more money before it and after it. CoD isn't an MMO and I don't even really know where you are going with that. CoD is popular, how does that disprove anything I said about MMOs?

    Here is your quote again.

    No it isn't. CoD4:MW. Any properties that blew away their predecessors and got an order of magnitude more sales than they originally supposed there were people to sell
    to. In comics, Watchmen. In movies, Star Wars.
    How does any of that disprove that WoW is an anomaly? It doesn't. Your logical fallacy occurs when you claim that WoW isn't an anomaly because Star Wars, CoD, and Watchmen are popular. Movies are not MMOs, comic books are not MMOs, CoD is not an MMO. Star Wars, CoD, and Watchmen weren't the first, last, or only tremendously popular entities in their respective mediums, WoW is.

    There will never be a subscription MMO with more subscribers than WoW had at it's peak. It won't happen, the evidence supports this.

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