While I was initially inclined to agree that WoW is an anomaly, there have been other MMOs with playerbases in the millions. WoW is only anomalous since it's the first(?) to do so in the western market. Although even then I'd be curious to see the numbers of Everquest players at its peak - I'd imagine we're talking more than a "few hundred thousand" but I wouldn't be surprised either way.
I 100% agree with the statement that most MMOs suck because they're just trying to recreate WoW. I remember being so pumped over playing WAR and having the chance to roll a badass dark elf only to be bitterly disappointed that it was, mechanically, almost a carbon copy of WoW. 'Almost' just doesn't cut it if you've got 2-3years familiarity with WoW and all you see is similarity and more pertinently, small flaws.
WoW is a great game and I don't doubt I'll go back to it again. But if I want to play WoW I'll play WoW.
Secondary Hivemind Nexus
EQ had about 500k at it's peak.
Originally Posted by FuriKuri!
I'm talking about subscription based MMOs not number of accounts on free MMOs. MMOs in Asia are generally handled very differently in terms of payment structure and such. A lot of the players don't even play from home, they play at game cafe things.
To clarify further, when I speak of WoW being an anomaly I mean only in the sense of subscription numbers. I'm not saying there will never be a game that is better or even more popular. What I am saying is that I don't believe any MMORPG will ever have 12 million subscribers paying a monthly fee similar to WoW. I'm sure there will be some f2p MMO one day that has 100 million unique user accounts or some such crap, but that's not what I was talking about. In general the subscription model is dead and for that very reason. Cash shops and premium crap have the potential to be WAY more profitable than subscription, especially when you don't have 12 million subs.
Besides statistics there are some logical reasons why WoW will always be an anomaly.
Everyone knows someone who plays WoW and when they look to get into an MMO, that's what they pick.
WoW has been around for a long time. People have established guilds, friendships, characters, economies, etc in WoW. Going to a new MMO feels like starting over.
WoW is actually a well made game, despite what the haters want you to think.
What happens when WoW shuts down? Well I'd imagine people who want to continue playing MMOs would go to whichever currently popular MMO best suited their tastes, which means not everyone will be going to the same MMO. You would then have a proliferation of sorts where many MMOs become popular, each catering to different niche (I use that term lightly) audiences. 12 million active subscibers is a lot of people, it's just extremely unlikely that it will ever happen again.
Lesser Hivemind Node
You're right, which is why I can't necessarily agree with:
Originally Posted by Nalano
EDIT: we seem to have crossed posts and you confirm above you mean in terms of subs, which while accurate I'd question how much you're bring to the debate but fair do's. I'll shut up now
Originally Posted by Hypernetic
Although clearly its how we interpret this.
If you mean as of today WoW is an anomaly because of its mammoth subscriber base and the cash its raking in, neither of which is common in other MMO properties (unless you count Farmville as an MMO but that's a whole other debate). Then yeah sure I generally agree with you, but I'd question what you're bringing to the debate by simply stating an inherent fact.
If you meant that because WoW is something of an anomaly now then we can't expect similar MMOs in the future to match this success and nor can we infer potential developments in the MMO space. Then no, I cannot agree with you. Of course we can. If anything having other MMOs similar in size to WoW seems like a self fulfilling prophecy at this point. Consider the following points
- MMOs have only been around 15 or so years
- In which time general gaming has exploded in terms of popularity
- This popularity is broadly due to increasing numbers/availability of platforms (and their usage) capable of gaming.
- AND games being developed for them which are specifically catering for that much wider audience and so deliberately have a lower threshold for entry.
- If matters continue to develop with regards to things like wearable computing then its only going to increase the audience further
- At present MMOs have a very high entry level due to both the mechanics, the subject matter and the cost
- Its fair to expect however that MMOs will increasingly look to become multiplatform catering for a broad range of skill levels which will widen the audience. Thereby increasing their potential profit
Therefore a potential audience of perhaps 30 - 50mil at the moment will rapidly increase to the magnitude of several hundred million over the coming years. Within which you'll obviously have some games similar in player base/profit to the likes of WoW. Indeed we can probably expect an MMO to hit 50m subscribers within 5, perhaps 10 years?
Now will those games and their various payment models and methods of usage resemble WoW? Probably not, which brings me neatly back to your original point which is if that's all you meant, why point it out? You may as well state the Sun is 'pretty hot'.
Last edited by Timofee; 15-04-2012 at 10:41 AM.
I think CCP's World of Darkness MMO seems to be only upcoming MMO that offers its players a true, persistent, sandbox or, at least, that's what the devs promise. But given that CCP have delivered such an experience with EvE, there's reason to believe that they'll walk the talk.
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