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Your economy and you.

Posted by Vexe Thursday September 25 2008 at 7:08AM
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Unless you have been living under a rock for the past month, you know that the American economy is sinking; and fast. This effects every market and even shows in the world economy as major nations start to lose money. With no possible solution in sight, everyone is being effected. People are losing money and things that they used to love.

This will inevitably effect the MMO market if not now, but at some point. Games that were just hanging on by their small fanbase will probably fall off the edge as people have to unsubscribe or not buy their game because they are saving up money. People won't be able to pay with credit cards anymore because of the lack of credit. American companies will have to cut down on staff. Games will take longer to make and employees might quit. These are some issues that need to be looked at.

For those of you who think that the MMO market is safe cause it has yet to be hit in a major way, I'm sorry to say, but this market will be crippled if the economy keeps going down this quickly. The market relies on a lot of people who have money and free time to use to play their game. If people no longer have enough money and have to work longer to get what little money they need to live, then the market will crash. And it will burn.

European players comprise a nice bit of the gamer population, but this number is not enough to keep MMOs alive if they are spread across the entire population of games. Foreign games will be more abundant than not and most American games will go out of business. small games will no longer havea a chance to live. Free to play games would really be the only franchise left, and they would even struggle from the lack of people being able to afford to advertise with them and lack of players willing to pay for things.

This is the grim picture I paint for you if the economy continues in this downward spiral. I'm not saying it will happen. I'm just saying that this will most likely occur if the situation gets bad enough. No one else is touching on this issue. I thought I might dabble a little in the discussion.

 

PAYMENT:

With the credit like it is, most people wouldn't be able to use credit cards. How would we overcome this? One option would be phone payments. You would call a number and the charge you selected (1 month, 3 month, etc.) would be charged to your phone bill. Another option is to but some pre-paid cards or use debit cards. Although I'm not so sure everyone will be able to switch.

A snail mail option would most likely be accepted for some games, where you have to mail them your money. Of course if it doesn't get to them, you're out of luck. Also, it's not too great to send money through the mail. Of course, they would have to keep accounts for two weeks after the payment expires because of the time it takes for mail to get to them.

 

STAFF:

Game companies will have to cut down on employees, limiting how vast a game will be or how long it will take to make it. Content will have to be cut. No one would be happy abot that. Althought there are a bunch of ways this can be worked around.

Player Content has huge potential for taking away the burden of a lot of burden from the staff of the games. With players making a lot of the content, then that's less work for the staff to have to do. Also, the idea of players makign their own quests are already being implemented in some games and will probably become more popular after a while.

 

THE PLAYERS:

With the players losing their money, all of the games will have to lower their subscription (or other) prices, bringing in less profit. They will have to mave their prices closer and closer to the cost of production. I'm not sure how this can be avoided. We just need to pray that the economy won't get too much worse.

 

These are the problems and maybe a few solutions. Althought I doubt much can be done, hopefully the industry won't take a fall. I pray it doesn't.

Resin213 writes:

 I think this will, if it isn't magicly fixed by large scale government buy-outs before it effects the market at all, push the gaming market away from high subscription rate games for top of line pcs, towards low end, "free" micropayment games. One reason why this might not effect the MMO community as much as you think though is that the need for escapism will also skyrocket in a sustained depression.

Thu Sep 25 2008 12:13PM Report
BarakIII writes:

The thing you're not considering is that even with monthly fees mmo's are a very cheap form of entertainment.

I think instead of going out people will stay home and play on their computers. It's going out that costs a fortune. It's much cheaper to stay home and play your favorite mmo, even if that mmo has a monthly fee.

So, in short, I think mmo's may well benefit instead of being harmed.

Thu Sep 25 2008 12:50PM Report
chrisleko writes:

I agree with BarakIII.  if one analyzes the amount of hours one puts into a game a month for their 15 dollars, it turns into very cheap entertainment.  Even if one were to spend 15 hours a month, that's still a dollar an hour.  If one were to go to a movie, the cost would be four or five times that.  Development might slow down, but MMORPGs are a very cheap form of entertainment once lauched.

Thu Sep 25 2008 1:22PM Report
Soultice writes:

I really do not want to get into politics and even wonder if it appropriate for these forums. 

I personally am not rich but then I do not have a bunch of credit cards.  I have one.  Yes only one.   MMORPG's really are not going to be affected by this downturn, unless you are living on the edge anyway.  If you are so strapped for cash that $15.00 is a make or break deal.  You should have never bought an online game anyway.

I am 54 and credit does need to tighten up.  It took me 6 months to get a credit card and it was not easy.  Even though I had pristine credit.  Today credit card companies sponsor college registrations and hand them out like candy and then go to congress to get the laws changed because of these practices. The interest rates today were illegal when I was young.  It was called loan sharking.

The mortgage crisis is yet another problem where the government should not have meddled, trying to extend loans to people that quite frankly could not get before deregulation.  Now we as taxpayers are going to bear the burden.  They are not going to help any individuals, they are bailing out huge corporations that would not have these problems if congress would leave the private business sector alone. 89% of the foreclosures in this country are in 6 states where the prices have been subsidize by the governemtn.  Take Califorinia for example.  To buy a house a family needs to make $110,000.00 per year.  Thats nuts, if  the general population cannot afford a house in that fine state, guess what!! The value will and should go down to where a common family can afford a common house. Thats  what is going on right now.

Take a look at the major car manufacturer's i n this country.  They are very sucessful all over the world but are losing billions because some special interest group wants more mileage per gallon.  They all want 50 billion each now.  I do not blame them as they will now have to retool and redesign vehicles to satisfy this new regulation.  With gas prices the way they are the market would have driven the manufacturers to make higher mile per gallon vehiccles.

The bottom line is governent meddling  is the root of the problem, and congress does not have the american taxpayer on their mind, and they think they know more about running a business then the people that have worked in these industries all their lives.

Not one and I mean not one government program works.   I could go on and on.

Thu Sep 25 2008 2:39PM Report
BarakIII writes:

I agree with a few of your latest comments, but not all. But what do they have to do with affording mmo's? Considering your original blog had to do with affording an mmo in this economy, your latest comments had nothing whatsoever to do with your original post, except to comment on the economy and politics. So no, it probably wasn't terribly appropriate...at least not with the subject at hand.You didn't even comment on the previous comments people made concerning your blog, that at least, would have been appropriate and made sense.

Thu Sep 25 2008 5:42PM Report
Neox writes:

I think your a long way off from what your seeing happening, at best we are still far enough beyond a recesion as of right now that we are safe but that will depend on how smart people are about cutting out frivalties like starbucks over priced coffee or the expensive burgers from five guys burgers and fries. 

 

People are still using credit cards just as I am using a credit card now but Ive been smart and cut back on frivalty and combined errands into one trip a week.  Yes the economy is bad but its not the way your portraying it to be.

Thu Sep 25 2008 7:46PM Report
Neox writes:

"Take a look at the major car manufacturer's i n this country. They are very sucessful all over the world but are losing billions because some special interest group wants more mileage per gallon. They all want 50 billion each now. I do not blame them as they will now have to retool and redesign vehicles to satisfy this new regulation. With gas prices the way they are the market would have driven the manufacturers to make higher mile per gallon vehiccles." 

 Go outside of this country and you'll find that these same manufacturers have cars that get two three even four times the milesage of vehicles that they make here because they the manufacturers caved into what the public wanted which was big oversized suv's and supercharged sports cars that drink fuel down fster than a frat boy at a toga party.

"The bottom line is governent meddling is the root of the problem, and congress does not have the american taxpayer on their mind, and they think they know more about running a business then the people that have worked in these industries all their lives."

Sorry but your wrong here, if the goverment had actually gotten involved and stopped programs like interest only loans along with sub prime loans and others and people werent allowed to take out loans with payments that were beyond what they could aford to pay and developers didnt buy up land and build more houses than there were buyers and charge more for a house than its value then we wouldnt be in this mess so its a lack of meddling that has brought this about.

 

Your credit must have been bad if it took you 6 months to get a credit card, for myself it only took 30  minutes to get mine and my credit isnt stellar.  I work and dont have to worry about loosing my job because its recession and next year Im going to school to start a career in another field thats recession proof.  I welcome whats happening now because in a year or two I'll be living in one of these houses that sold for $400k and get it for half of that or even less all because of someone elses greed.

Now as to this effecting mmporgs well yes it may but all it will do is wittle down the sub par ones and force the others to rethink their offerings to their clientell and get back to whats important wich is providing value for your dollar and right now that just isnt there in most of the games.

Thu Sep 25 2008 8:13PM Report
BarakIII writes:

"Your credit must have been bad if it took you 6 months to get a credit card, for myself it only took 30 minutes to get mine and my credit isnt stellar."

You missed his point. He applied for his credit card many years ago, when standards for credit were much higher. He said his credit was very good, and yet still took 6 months to be approved. Of course, that was also probably before computers played such a major role and there was much paper work to be done. You sorta have to take that into account too. Still, he's exactly right, they hand out credit cards now like candy and many people find themselves quickly in over their heads and defaulting on credit cards.

Thu Sep 25 2008 11:15PM Report
Vexe writes:

Let me clear a few things up. The economy is like this because the government DIDN'T interfere. This is what happens when the governemnt lets private companies do whatever.

Because of this mortgages are horrible and companies can't give out loans anymorew even if you have THE BEST credit.  This is why you might not be able to use credit cards.

They don't trust you enough cause of all the debt. Even if you have flawless credit.

Fri Sep 26 2008 2:16AM Report
Vexe writes:

And also, these are future predictions, not present day fact.

Fri Sep 26 2008 2:18AM Report

MMORPG.com writes:
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