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!