in this issue i want to compare the mmo industry with the comic-book industry to see wether we gamers should have the right to get new content each week.
the mmo engine must be so easy in use that it allows for a dynamic addition of content.
just like a comic book artist uses a lighboard, pen and paper the additional content i speak of should not require a seasoned computer scientist to make it work
to much content means leveling the character needs to be pushed out of the fokus. the goal of the game should be to enjoy the content not to level a charakter to max level the fastest. if you are watching a movie you wouldnt use fast forward as well just to be the first to see the end..
the mmo needs to have a good subscriber base financing the creation of content
some of the figures below are a bit speculation but i try to be close to the truth
now lets look at some numbers:
a comic book in the us sales chart sells around 100.000 copies each month at a price of 3$
i would say after paying printing costs, shipment and distributors that would leave around 1$ for the publisher. so for around 100.000$ (probably less in most cases) they produce 24 pages of artwork and story.
now lets look at a mmo
lets say aoc has 1mio subscribers in a few month paying 14$ each. lets say 90% of it goes to advertising, support, server cost... (in fact i would looooooooove to see some real figures here on how the income from wow/aoc subscription is reinvested) is should be no problem to cut of 2$ for content.
this equals 2mio $/month or the production value of 20 comic books
noone can tell me that with 2mio a month you cant produce a ton of weekly content !
i think the next generation of mmo should not be defined by technical issues like shaders or direct x version but on how good it tells a story. same as you cant await the next comic book issue or the next episode of heroes/ lost you should constantly be looking forward on what challenges await your character in the next few weeks.
if the industry wants to develope it has to offer the customer more then beeing able to raid the same boss for 20days in a row to have a chance of a purple colored gauntlet drop. it has to move away from seeing itselve as a finished game at launch with updates every 6month or so.
it should capture its audience with a constant stream of high quality content.