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MMORPG.com Staff Blog

The staff of MMORPG.com gets together to bring you some behind the scenes insights on stories, the industry and the site itself.

Author: staffblog

Contributors: BillMurphy,MikeB,garrett,SBFord,Grakulen,

Community Spotlight: Your Favorite Dev Studio?

Posted by MikeB Saturday July 2 2011 at 1:35AM
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This week's Community Spotlight focuses on the thread "Do you MMORPG.com players like ANY dev studio?" by nhavas. While nhavas seems frustrated in his original post, the thread has provided some interesting responses from the MMORPG community. Let's get started with the original post:

I have to wonder if you guys really like any MMO developer?

What do you expect from these people that they aren't delivering? How far do you -really- expect a 10-50$ investment to get you?

Magnum2103 is a fan of Trion, Blizzard, and ArenaNet:

As far as MMO developers go I like Trion, Blizzard, and ArenaNet.  So far their games have shown a high level of polish, and Trion has particularly good support and listens to it's playerbase (even though Rift didn't do much on an innovative level), Blizzard just makes fantastic games, and ArenaNet is looking great with Guild Wars 2.

If we are talking about ANY development studio though, there are too many I like here to list that I regularly buy games from.  An easier list would be development studios I don't like; 3 companies which I won't bother listing here.

MurlockDance isn't partial to any studio, though he gives Trion some props:

I take each game on its own rather than bothering much about the developer. Case in point, I play EQ2 primarily, despite SOE's reputation with the gaming public, though I still feel pretty sore about the whole hacking event. I'm still watching my cards very closely to make sure that everything is ok. If not, I will leave EQ2 behind unfortunately.

I really appreciate Trion Worlds right now. It's not just because I like Rift. I like championning a studio that is not owned by a major company. They have a quality product in Rift and seem to fix bugs pretty quickly as well as adding in some features I thought they should have to make the community aspects better in the game.

Companies I stay away from? NCSoft, EA Mythic (or whatever they're called these days), and Square Enix. With all three of these companies I've had billing problems. To me it's a very basic thing to get the billing right. If they can't do that, then they won't get my money.

astoria goes in-depth, offering his take on a number of MMO developers:

I like Aventurine that make Darkfall. I think these guys are geniuses. Totally insane but geniuses. Nobody really wants to play a game that hard, but they don't give a crap. They are the honey badgers of the dev world. see honeybadger http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4r7wHMg5Yjg

I like Fallen Earth, LLC. They've always treated fans well, even if they failed to capture a massive interest.

I like whoever developed Perpetuum. Not really a game for me but I feel like they dropped a functional fun game on a shoestring budget which I gotta respect.

I like Paragon. Even though they did things that I didn't like (incarnate system), I can see where they were things the majority wanted. Plus they made one of the best MMOs ever, so I can forgive a lot.

I like Cryptic okay. I really don't like StarTrek (why do they go where no one has gone before and there are always people there? And why does the ships computer get taken over so much? Do you have a damn off switch?) so I couldn't care what they did to the IP. :) I think they got a lot screwed by Marvel getting pulled but still I find Champs a decent product.

So far I like Trion. I don't consider Rift anything revolutionary, but I do appreciate them trying little tweaks on past successes and just making the product they promised. Again, not a huge fan, but there is a difference between what I personally want in a game and what I respect as good business practice and good treatment of customers as a whole.

I don't like SoE, I think they are shallow and don't treat their work as art or even serious entertainment. They really don't test or listen to fans like even many poorly funded companies do.

I have mixed feeling about Funcom. Love love AO. AoC was a great game 2 years after it should have been, but they promised so much they couldn't deliver and that is just bad business. But I can forgive a lot for the times my barbarian (who looks like a cross between Clint Eastwood and Bill Goldberg) has cut off heads.

Me? I don't like to play favorites given my line of work here at the site, but I used to admire Cryptic Studios quite a bit. While I started my MMO career with Star Wars Galaxies, I played City of Heroes for 4.5-5 years, longer than any other MMO, and for the most part Cryptic Studios did pretty alright by that game (yes, yes, I know you're sore about Enhancement Diversification!).

I can't say I've been too impressed with Cryptic's work since they sold City of Heroes to NCsoft, but I'd like to hope they find their footing again and put out some great new games. And yes, I realize most of the original City of Heroes team stayed behind at Paragon Studios (and they've been doing a pretty bang up job from what I can tell!).

So, who are your favorite MMO developers? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

MMOrUS writes:

It's funny how ppl percieve a certain Developer as either bad or good, yet if you pull back the curtain and look at who is working for a certain Developer you might be surprised to find the same names who used to work for other Developers until they got a better offer or where "Let go".

For example, I work within the construction industry, scaffolding to be precise, some companies get a bad name some have a good name, but you will find the guys working for those companies moving between bad and good companies all the time, and those moving may have been the primary force behind the good or bad reputations, you get the picture?

It's not the company that is doing a poor or great job, it's the ppl behind the company, take the good driving force out of any company and it suddenly loses momentum, place a new guy with plenty of get up and go into a failing company and hey presto the company has renewed vigor and new purpose, it's all relevant to your workforce, never the company name.

Sat Jul 02 2011 8:04AM Report
wolfneo writes:

ArenaNet! All the freaking way! I’ve being playing GW since its 1st beta and although they have nerfed some of my favorite skills. (Power block, Enchanter's conundrum) I’ve always trusted their ideas and besides it’s a small price to pay to be able to play my Mesmer in pve! Now if they would just buff water magic for HM pve... :P

i don't like Cryptic much anymore but at least their character creator and the role play in CO is free now :P and i love my friends in game too

Sat Jul 02 2011 8:56AM Report
ultrastoat writes:

Hah lookit that, my mini-rant made community spotlight!

Sat Jul 02 2011 10:57AM Report
Vorthanion writes:

Yes, developers get swapped around like a hot pack of trading cards, but the direction and quality of a game usually isn't dictated by individucal developers, but rather by the vision and methodology of the developing house.  Take my favorite developer for instance, Bioware, many of the current folks are new to that company, yet they still manage to produce decent to excellent games in the same way  as their orginal games were done with a different set of individual developers.  A company's vision, goals and methedology usually override any individual talents.

Sat Jul 02 2011 11:04AM Report
katriell writes:

Winch Gate Property Limited

Sat Jul 02 2011 11:48AM Report
mrcalhou writes:

If any, I'd have to say ArenaNet, but I'm not particularly fond of the suits that run any of the companies. I understand they need to make money, but it seems like game companies keep doing things that alienate the player-base.

Sat Jul 02 2011 1:57PM Report
Draxonfly writes:

I like Cryptic, I think they are great.. great support (Best that I have used in the many mmo's), great Ideas and even though their games might start off slow, with every step they make it is a good one and the keep pushing forward (no matter the set backs they get).. keep getting better and better, no steps back..

Cryptic dev's just make me feel like they really care about their games and players no matter how tied up they are by the money hungry  publishers.. 

I also like Funcom..

Sun Jul 03 2011 1:46AM Report

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