Image courtesy Cryptic Studios
I really coulnd't pass up writing about Bill Roper and the challenge will be to keep to my word and stay completely ambigous or in short term un-opinionated.
Bill Roper is Executive Producer at Cryptic Studios who are soon to be releasing the new Super-Hero MMORPG Champions Online. In his latest interview with Gamasutra he states the having an MMO try to hit the 11 million mark is way out of realistic conception. Mr. Roper says the 300,000 subs is a more realistic goal when creating an MMO, "I don't think any game at Blizzard, we never sat around and said, 'Oh, we're going to sell six million copies of the game.'"
"No, that's one," he says. "That's one game that's done that. No one else in the West has been even close. And I think it's challenging from the standpoint that gets looked at as an expectation or a goal to hit. It's a totally ridiculous goal to try to be hitting -- 'Oh, we're gonna go build an MMO that's going to compete with that.'." - Gamasutra
Gamasutra also has a five page article about Champions Online and a take on the game market from Bill's perspective.
Now I dug through some old links I've got stored in my bookmarks folder and pulled this one from 1up.com, where he explains in depth his side of the story about the Hellgate:London/Mythos debacle. I think all of know Bill Roper from his Diablo claim to fame and Hellgate.
I am very not the Roper Fanboy President or Club Member.
He gets honest about the hybrid model mistake: We knew before we launched. There was enough feedback from people where we realized, yeah, we probably made a mistake. But at that point...the train had left the station. We didn't have enough initial content in there to [switch directions]. We might have been able to back off and go to a free-to-play-only model, but we didn't have anything in place to roll right into doing an expansion. Everything from the development side to the business side was set to this model that we'd put together. We hoped that it was going to actually work, and we told ourselves that maybe it'll work better than we think it's going to work, right? But there was just a lot of confusion. - 1up.com
IMHO: Take from this what you will, I am so not the Roper fanboy but it seems that he is setting the bar for himself and his game very low. Why not shoot for the moon here? If every game company goes into with the attitude of "oh we can't do that" then what are their chances of real success? If the best is too far ahead of you and clearly 11 million is a dominance, then who is setting your goals? Who does Cryptic set their goals by?
What do you think and how did I do on staying neutral?