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The Casual Life by Wintyre Fraust

An older, casual player's perspective on MMOG's in general and GW2 in particular.

Author: Meleagar

Marketing the Massively Solo-Friendly Role Playing Game

Posted by Meleagar Wednesday June 16 2010 at 10:54AM
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All the arguments about what the term "Massively Multiplayer" means when it comes to solo vs group play in regards to content should just be set aside. We can agree on one thing: there are a lot of people that love to be in a massive multiplayer world, but prefer to solo most of their career.  There is no need to psychoanalyze this any more than there is a reason for casinos in Las Vegas to psychoanalyze why some people prefer slot machines alone over playing Texas Hold 'Em with other players.

It's what some people prefer; they prefer to solo and would enjoy it if the slot machine they play is capable of a payout equal to what they can earn by playing a card game with other players. And, they want to play their slot machines in the lounge of a big casino with lots of players around.  There is a large market for a MSORPG.  So, why isn't there one? In a market flush with dozens of MMORPGs, not a single MSORPG (Massive Solo-friendly Online Role Playing Game).

Here's another question for you; in a market where perhaps 10-25% of the customer base will ever see the top-end content because of time limitations or the preference to solo, why is it that every single game is still fundamentally constructed for that same 10-25% of the customer base? It only stands to reason that if you develop a game dedicated to the other 90-75%, so that  they, with their time restriction and solo playstyle, could achieve the top content of the game, you could potentially take away  most of the customer base of most games currently active - including WoW.

How odd is it then that no game is trying this obvious model out?  Why is every single MMORPG that comes out still developed and marketed to that same 10-25% of the customer base? Why is there no MMOG whatseover that is aggressively making these marketing points:

OUR GAME IS DEVELOPED AROUND SOLO PLAY.

GROUPING CAN DO THINGS FASTER, BUT EVERYTHING CAN EVENTUALLY BE ACHIEVED BY THE SOLOER.

TIRED OF FALLING BEHIND EVERYONE ELSE BECAUSE YOU HAVE A LIFE? YOUR CHARACTER ADVANCES AS FAST AS EVERYONE ELSE'S.

YOU PAY FOR 24/7 PARTICIPATION, YOU GET 24/7 PARTICIPATION.

STOP SETTLING FOR BEING A 3RD CLASS CITIZEN IN A WORLD DOMINATED BY POWERGAMERS AND UBERGUILDS.

TIRED OF BEING FORCED TO PLAY LIKE THE GAME IS A 2ND JOB?

STOP HAVING TO CHOOSE BETWEEN SOCIALIZING, CRAFTING, OR ADVANCING YOUR CHARACTER. SPEND YOUR ONLINE TIME DOING WHAT YOU ENJOY, NOT WHAT  YOU HAVE TO DO TO ADVANCE.

ROLE PLAY TO YOUR HEART'S DESIRE - YOUR CHARACTER IS STILL ADVANCING!

You don't think a marketing strategy like that would generate a huge amount of interest?

How is it that such a game, and such a marketing strategy, hasn't already been done?

Hawkeye666 writes:

When does the beta start? I've been waiting for this for years. Sign me up!

Sat Jun 19 2010 9:55AM Report
Meleagar writes:

Heh. Me too.

Sat Jun 19 2010 5:45PM Report
Codenak writes:

A question, if you want to solo everything, why do you want to play an MMORPG which will either require a subscription or cash shop payments, over an offline RPG which is a pay for the box only deal?

Tue Jun 22 2010 4:58AM Report
Meleagar writes:

Codenak:

I didn't say I wanted to solo everything. I said I want to be able to solo everything. The difference is that I am an not forced by content to group up; grouping is always optional.

I enjoy being around and socializing with other people in a persistent, virtual-world environment where they and I are advancing our characters and share common points of reference that fuel various conversations and voluntary interactions.  We can pvp, get drunk in a bar, compare our particular, unique sets of abilities, talents, and gear, talk about how it would be best to do certain things in the game, argue about what skills or talents are best suited for certain goals, etc.

Or, we can group up and go out and find out how far we can get, or see if we can overcome certain game challenges, and discuss what kind of advancment tweaks we'd need in order to defeat something currently out of our reach.

The game I advocate is solo-centric, not solo-only.

Tue Jun 22 2010 10:44AM Report
theAsna writes:

I've had my share of soloing in MMORPGs. It was mostly when questing or farming ingredients. So I could go at my own pace and take breaks without regard to other players. But soloing made only a small percentage of my online time as I prefered to run dungeons.

On one hand soloing with a single character in MMOs lacks some tactical depth (depending on the class skills) compared to CRPGs, where you control a whole party.
On the other hand, I'm less and less in the mood for grouping, as I don't want to rush and zerg through dungeons. I especially don't want to repeat the same dungeons endlessly to get gear I didn't need in the first place when doing said dungeons.

I'm a little bit split about the soloing aspect in MMOs. I would rather look at various aspects and details of gameplay of the game.

Wed Jun 23 2010 1:59PM Report

MMORPG.com writes:
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