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Surviving the Hype

Posted by Segun777 Saturday February 16 2013 at 2:21PM
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Hype n.: Excessive publicity and the ensuing commotion



MMO’s have come along way from the golden younger years, but one thing that remains the same; hype. No game can completely counter the hype, nor should they. Hype is necessary to generate excitement for the new and the unknown. Every game needs a little hype to survive especially as the market becomes more competitive with every passing moment.



Every MMO should plan on a long closed beta. Any closed beta not measured by the months is a waste of time. It used to be that open betas were the place to have the large amount of testers for a short amount of time. The advent of F2P titles that not only have no longer have subscription fees, but have also done away with the sixty dollar box to sell to recoup development costs have changed things; it is important to have long closed beta times to not only test the game, but test player reaction to various parts of the game as well as the cash shop.


Yes I said it, closed beta should launch with a working cash shop. Many studios that follow this practice will promise refunds of currency used, though they rarely refund the dollar amount but each developer makes its own rules. NCsoft and ArenaNet did this with Guild Wars 2 and others have followed suit; AAA or not cash shops need to be tested before a game launches, soft launch or hard launch. It’s no longer feasible to have a game launch without a cash shop. I would in fact say that even a game with a subscription should launch with a cash shop. Not only does it make the transition from sub to sub-less easier and more importantly quicker, it allows for choice from those gamers who want to spend money, sometimes even large amounts of money on your game. 



Developers often use the various social networking sites, and 24 news media sites to trumpet their achievements, but often times it seems they don’t understand the negative sides of the equation. Much of the major news in the gaming world over the last few years has to do with developers seemingly unaware or blatantly uncaring about the bad news traveling at the speed of sound. The internet can be a harsh mistress.



Every MMO wants to be different, wants to set a new standard in an area. Whether it is story, combat, graphics, lore, or character customization; developers often forget that these things fade in time. A game needs more than one giant leg to stand on. Many a game has shined in one or two particular areas only to falter in others. In this then it is most important that a developer not believe its own hype. Many games in development have been trumpeted by the media, by gamers, by developers for certain areas of brilliance, but after launch have faltered in others. They say that success teaches nothing, but failure is the true master. Developers have made great strides in many areas of game development with regards to MMO’s but success should be looked at only as a plateau, a time to rest and recharge while looking for new heights to climb. Perhaps the greatest slayer of hype is the developer who is always striving to do more.


Segun Adewumi

The Frame of War

Posted by Segun777 Sunday February 10 2013 at 2:48PM
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The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do and what a man can't do. – Jack Sparrow

I’ve been playing a MMO called Warframe of late. The game is named after a secret World War II era plan by Boeing to build Exoskeletons for the military. Since soldiers aren’t wearing suits of armor, it can be deduced that the technology simply wasn’t there. Besides the movies, no one has figured out a way to get through the various barriers of software, hardware, and power. It’s ironic but Iron Man is a fairly good thesis on how hard it would be to get a suit of armor working.


Warframe is the brain child of Digital Extremes, the makers of a concept video for Xbox 360 that went on to become Dark Sector. The concept video was the first Xbox 360 game announced. However, with the launch and then success of the Call of Duty franchise, plans were changed. A decade later, that little remembered concept video has been born anew into an entirely new game. Part Mass Effect, part Halo, part Splinter Cell; Warframe is a little game punching way above its weight class.


I can’t say what the future holds, perhaps Warframe fails miserably or perhaps it succeeds past the companies wildest dreams. But whatever the future holds, Warframe is proof of a far simpler idea. Digital Extremes had a dream. Life caused that dream to have to be put on hold for a while, but here they are again. Bit by bit, they are building it anew from the ashes of an old memory. It’s a lesson to take to heart.