So PAX East ended for me with a bang on our Future of Online Games Panel. Before I start I want to thank Bob Ferarri, Curt Schilling, Craig Alexander, and Paul Barnett for getting up in front of the fans and fielding questions.
The panel bought up a lot of great points in our industry. With questions about how you define an MMO to free to play, to what will be the WoW Killer, we had a lot to discuss.
I will say that putting game executives and developers in with fans makes for a great atmosphere. I often say that devs are just the DMs of our friday night games, and why wouldn't they want to make their players happy.
The one resounding message from all of the guys is that they are listening to their players. They are making decisions based on player feedback in Betas as well as in live games. This is a comforting thought as MMOs grow and age, the audience becomes much more about the service of the developers rather than the levels and games that they initially produce.
I spent some time with Matt 'Positron' Miller on Saturday night and the City of Heroes crew at their player meet and greet and was happy to see the loyalty between both players and developers on that game.
The more I think online games grow in popularity the more I think they will become a service industry for players.
In the end everyone wants a great game. I am happy to report that devs are really starting to listen to players, at least, from what we saw this weekend. Let's hope this trend continues.