As I watch Day Z make an absolute KILLING on an ALPHA all I can think is, DO YOU BELIEVE US NOW?!?!? DO YOU HEAR US NOW?!?!?! Probably not...MMO Inc is convincing itself we are still a small niche living in the past and longing for games that are way way too harsh for the modern mass market to desire. Well, 800k copies and over 12 Mill in a month for the alpha of one of the most unforgiving games in recent memory says otherwise!
I’m sure all the “guys that know” will come out and assure us that while we all “think” we want something like Day Z, we don’t. I’m sure marketing and PR will keep on telling all of us what we really want is another mindless, inconsequential, shallow game based on a well known IP. They will spend countless interviews saying the MMO market is dead and evolved into the LOL market. DayZ is just a rare game that made it because of timing and the fact that zombies are “in” right now. We all know to admit a mistake and to accept responsibility is simply not acceptable in the corporate world so we will never hear the powers that be say “Ok, we should have listened, we should have given you challenging worlds to die in again”.
I worry the powers that be live in such an isolated culture that the only thing this means to them is “We gotta have more Zombies in our DOTA clones!”. I don’t fault the big companies from making trendy games. They have to answer to investors and the majority of investors only care about one thing, stock going up, and the guys with the power usually haven’t played a game since being good at pinball meant you got the girl and a free soda pop! At least thats what is seems like. You have 500k investors, do you do the risky game or the mainstream safer one?
Don’t worry about them, just keep on showing them what you want with your hard earned money. Keep supporting games that are “too harsh for the mainstream market” and stay angry. Keep that fire burning and never let it be forgotten that when the industry told us we wanted hand holding theme parks we stood firm and begged for a consequential world to live or die in!
The saddest thing is that DayZ is more like an FPS than a full on MMO. I don’t mean that as a knock to DayZ. What I mean is it’s incredibly simple compared to the worlds that MMOs were once capable of. I mean, if people like DayZ one would think they would LOVE a full on MMO with all the bells, whistles, depth and possibilities amiright?
Maybe not. Maybe the DayZers like the simplicity of being a FPS. I’m sure it makes failing and starting over a lot easier. That reminds me, I hope sociologists are watching that game, much to be learned about human behavior in an environment like that. I saw The Road, it ain't pretty, but it’s probably not as cutthroat as the corporate ladder! Now that is an idea for an MMO! I imagine it would be something like DayZ meets GTA plus more political backstabbing (shivers) just thinking about it gives me chills!
Sigh, 2 questions I can never answer but oft dream about. What if Rome never fell? FYI I assume by now we would have light sabers and hyper space travel! And what if the MMO genre kept trying to make worlds instead of parks? How incredible would MMORPGs be right now? People are shocked and impressed with DayZ lol. UO did that 17 years ago!