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Does Slow and Steady Really Win the Race?

Posted by Stradden Friday October 9 2009 at 2:05PM
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I know there’s been a lot of talk about EVE Online over the last week or so, but after attending the company’s Fan Fest, I was left with a lot of thoughts in my head about not only that game, but the MMO scene in general.

This past week, I wrote an article that took at look at the Statistics of EVE. In it, the company reveals that its subscriber base has grown over the course of six years from 25,000 to over 300,000. That kind of growth is just, well, shocking when it comes to looking at MMOs. It’s very rare to see a game that doesn’t peak shortly after launch and then decline over time from there. That’s the pattern we’ve seen time and time again from just-launched MMOs and the slow decline is getting faster and faster with every new launch. Just look at Age of Conan and Warhammer Online as examples. Their falls from millions of copies sold to far less that that number in subscribers took almost no time at all.

Looking at this, I am forced to wonder if the problem isn’t that the modern MMO company has it backwards. In today’s competitive market, the rush seems to be to sell as many boxes as humanly possible straight out the door. This may recoup some development cost right out of the gate, which I realize is a top priority for AAA titles, but in the end, the appealing thing about an MMO from a business standpoint isn’t in box sales, it’s the continued revenue stream that a subscription fee can bring. Therefore, a growing player base is more desirable than a dwindling one.

What EVE Online did right was to manage expectations right out of the gate. The game was small, and independent. It launched with what is comparatively very little to do, but built up a very strong and loyal following. As time passed, and the developers were able to add more and more into the world, polishing the game as they went, they began to pull in more players. There was actually a visible correlation between the quality of the game and the number of subscribers that it carried.

With today’s bigger titles, the goal is often to hype the game up as much as possible pre-launch, convincing as many people as possible to get involved with as soon as it becomes commercially available. The problem is that the quality of the game on day one just isn’t going to be high enough to retain a large percentage of those initial players. It can’t be. I don’t care what others might say: an MMO can not be honestly considered to be a “complete” game until at minimum six months to a year into its life. That’s just the nature of the beast. The result of this is that many of a game’s initial players, feeling let down, simply quit and never look back.

The solution is fairly simple and it all lays in two things: management of player expectations and deferral of immediate gratification for financial stakeholders. If more companies would set out with the goal to appeal at first to a small number of hardcore supporters who will help to mould and shape the game as it progresses, I think that there would be two distinct results: First, they would see a gradual increase in sustained subscribers over time and second, they would develop a game that would evolve to appeal more specifically to their players.
Now here’s where my theory falls apart. I honestly don’t know if in today’s world of MMOs, such a thing is actually possible. I suspect that in the case of the large publishing and development studios that a lengthier time to wait for return on investment simply won’t fly. I also suspect that, because MMO player expectations have been so moulded into thinking that the next MMO is going to be the “greatest thing ever” right out of the box might be so ingrained that EVE’s odd kind of slow evolutionary success may simply be out of reach.

risenbones writes:

For the most part I find myself agreeing with you.  However I think it is possible for someone to emulate EVE in terms of start small and slowly grow.  Conditions for such results would involve being self published and for the actual MMO to be developed for reasons other than just make a boat load of cash off just the MMO.

Couple of examples I guess are in order.  First one which is probably the more contriversal Darkfall.  This is a game that seems to be funded by some rich guy as a kind of hobby.  Those looking for the game to fail I think are in for a bit of a suprise in just how long this game could stick around.  The business model seems to be one of as long as they can cover costs plus a little extra they will keep the game going and improve on it as the devs learn how to make different things work.

The second example would have to be Fallen Earth.  This is a game built pretty much to test and push the bounderies of the parent companies MMO game development tools.  Again this means the dev team can survive on a relativly small pool of subscribers and still keep updating and expanding the game.

Because of the way these two companies are designed (either on purpose or by accident) they can say if you don't like what we have feel free to leave and try something else we can keep going on what we have already.  If you do like what we offer welcome and enjoy.

Fri Oct 09 2009 3:04PM Report
nate1980 writes:

I think the key is developing a world and setting that people fall in love with and want to be apart of. Take fantasy novels for instance, people get engrossed in a story and have a hard time puting the book down. It's not just because of the story, but because they love the world and setting the author described. Developers must create a world and setting like this for players to fall in love with. You then decide on a core concept for gameplay, polish that up and make it fun, release the game, and then build around it. An article touched up on this last week I believe and I think it's a good formula for success. The only thing I'm adding here is the world and setting. The world and setting is crucial. You must make players care about the world they're playing in. Once you have that, fun gameplay is all that's needed. A list of features isn't what keeps subscribers, it's what I said above.

Fri Oct 09 2009 5:13PM Report
Palebane writes:

Today's MMORPGs are more like online action games than RPGs. I think those with more RPG type communities have better retention, because the action kiddies are always looking for the next best thing and they get bored very very easily.

Fri Oct 09 2009 5:35PM Report
ericbelser writes:

I think that looking at EVE in a vacuum misses the bigger picture. Sure, the elements you have pointed out contribute to EVEs continued growth, but there is another significant one that isn't covered.


EVE has had the entire "internet spaceships" genre to itself for most of that growth period. It has even been the only "sci fi" MMO for a whole lot of that time period. There have been few other sci fi MMOs, let alone ones focused on space combat and EVE has profited massively from that lack of competition.

Get sick of WoW, WAR, AoC, EQ2, Aion, Vanguard, GW, LotRO, +etc and you can take your pick of nearly a dozen other "big names" to try that are similar. Want to fly a spaceship instead? EVE is it.


Fri Oct 09 2009 6:17PM Report
franksalbe writes:

One Key component we are missing with EVE that almost all other MMO dont have is that EVE seems to have been designed with the concept of  the  END GAME in EVE as a sort of  "Player Driven" expansion  and not  an artificially developer produced "expansion".

They gambled (and big I might add) that if they could keep all the players in one world and give them the tools to produce and expand the content of the world themselves. Then the number of people would progressively increase. Since everyone is in the same world you would not see a decrease in players as visibly in shard server MMO's. Instead you get this view of the world expanding organically on it's own (with a little help here and there of course).

Do not under estimate the one world shard method. MMO developers have being slow to wrap themselves around this concept.

The artificial barrier that Server shards produces is a very powerful counter intuitive concept to MMO's. The concept of developing a game where you are trying to get massive amount of players to intertact and the first thing you force them to do is choose to play with X amount of players only is a negative reinforcement which teaches the player to start alienating themselves from other players.

EVE produced one single cohesive  player base. Everyone shares the same Experience interms of interaction with players because they all share the same space. There is low POPULATION servers or, Servers that are heavily onesided, or servers with emphasis on one play style or another.

Most players know about AD&D and the concept of how to play this  live RPG. EVE is the proper progression of  AD&D into MMO because of 2 simple rule both employ. No matter where you play AD&D or with how many people you play with. It is all confined to the same world. I can take my AD&D character here in NYC and go to Cali join a AD&D group and with just a few adjustments to my gear and skills I can play. There is no seperation of play style, or limitation of population interaction in AD&D.  The second is of course the they both rely more so on Player Driven content then Developer created content.

Fri Oct 09 2009 6:19PM Report
franksalbe writes:

Correction: 5th paragraph

EVE produced one single cohesive player base. Everyone shares the same Experience interms of interaction with players because they all share the same space. There is NO low POPULATION servers, or Servers that are heavily onesided, or servers with emphasis on one play style or another in EVE. This by nature will cause a rift in your player base. If you going to create a MMO the 1st concept is McDonald's. "Why?" you ask, because no matter where you go the Big MAC taste the same at ever location. That is their recipe for success.

Fri Oct 09 2009 6:24PM Report
CyberWiz writes:

Nice article, but I do think the success of EVE can be replicated. The trick is in how to do it.

You have to start small and let the players know what are your shortterm and longterm plans.

Darkfall for example, just wanted too much too soon. Why did they needed to include naval combat, while their city building part did not work properly yet?

Just release more barebone, but make sure everything works, and let players know that next month there will be some more missions, and player housing, flying mounts and naval combat are planned for the future.

Of course give the players the freedom ( sandbox ), run on 1 server, NO payed upgrades, etc.

It is very much possible, and it does not even have to be an indy mmo, large publishers can surely do this as well, and better if they wanted, because they could put more initial content in without sacrificing quality.



Fri Oct 09 2009 6:41PM Report
IstvanND writes:

Spot-on article.  I wish more of the industry would or could take heed.

Fri Oct 09 2009 6:48PM Report
dadown writes:

I think its pretty easy to see why so many new MMOs are declining within the first year if not in 6 months.

First they overhype the game raising player expectations far beyond what they can deliver.

Then they try to include every feature that anyone might want, even though they don't have the resources to do a decent job on it. 

In order to cap devopment costs (which are always underestimated), they rush the game development  and skimp on testing time.

Then they try to push pre-orders to get some early income and they release the game before its ready so they can sell boxes ASAP.

When the players get their shiney new $50 game, they find a game that is incomplete and buggy so they are really paying to beta-test the game while the developers try to keep the servers running. Is it any wonder that a lot of players quit after their first month?

Fri Oct 09 2009 9:24PM Report
uttaus writes:

Ericbelser above has very valid point about EVE and its almost total lack of competition. That is not to say that CCP isn't doing a good job or have great development philosophy,  they have both.
What they have never had is another similar game compete for subscribers.

I like EVE, but the truth is if a another well designed space sim  MMO  came out without the severe faliure penalties and a larger focus on PVE, decent sized chunks of EVE players would defect.

Fri Oct 09 2009 10:23PM Report
RonjaNoku writes:

Well done. I totally agree with the article above. We are seeing the giant hype build up and crash with AION as well as a few other games that have recently come out. EVE Online did a good job in starting out and making sure everything worked and nothing was half-assed.

I do agree with the above comment about EVE having no competition in the Sci-Fi Space market but you really have to give CCP credit where it's due. Almost every decision they have made was beneficial to the community and their train of thought is not "What can we stuff into this game" , but "How can i make this a better experience for my players."

On an off-note. Its weird how that "better experience" mentality also spread throughout the EVE Community. Feels more like friendly teamwork community than the usual "Me Me Me" I find in other MMOs.

Sat Oct 10 2009 12:11AM Report
Wraithone writes:

Good article, but I also suspect that given today's realities that replicating Eve's success pattern would be quite difficult.  The first reason is the funding. Investors are VERY short sighted. What have you done for me this *quarter* is their eternal lament.  The publish or perish syndrome is what drives most current MMO's to launch well before they are ready.  Then there is the hype machine. Its become a plague within the industry. I understand some of the marketing realities(some of which tie in to investor expectations again...), but it has conditioned the player base to totally unrealistic expectations.  That has started a feed back loop over the last few years, such that NO game can live up to the hype.   This leads to player burn out, which leads to lower Returns On Investment(ROI) which makes investors gun shy.. And the cycle feeds back on itself.  Unless this cycle can be broken, I suspect things will grow increasingly unpleasant for the Dev's involved.

Sat Oct 10 2009 12:39AM Report
boriken48 writes:

MMO are complete different beast than a regular game were the goal is to sell as much copies as possible and then move on, where nobody cares if you finish it.
The MMO are about communities, people playing together, that like the crafting, doing instances or dungeons, that enjoy questing with an slow and steady trip to the top levels and to keep them as happy paying customers. But they are not about loners that think this is another action game with a mad race to the finish line (1 to 60 in a week) then move to the next one.

Sat Oct 10 2009 1:53AM Report
sfc1971 writes:

I am sorry, but this article is BULLSHIT. The reason? It is PLAYING with figures!

25k to 300k SOUNDS impressive, UNTIL you realize that this is in a market were 300k is the norm. So Eve took SIX years to get to the average. Spending 6 years to become mediocre is not that good.

The big daddy of MMO's is of course WoW with 10 million subscribers. 10.000k vs 300k.

Both cames launched roughly at the same time so blizzard in the same time got 10.000k/300k = ? times better.

BUT what about his second suggestion. Is it better so sell 1 box copy at launch and then build to 300k sales over six years OR sell 1m box copies at launch and then drop down to 300k

Is that a serious question? Because Age of Conan did roughly that and it has meant that Funcom got the profits from 1 million copies sold only to end up with roughly the same current subscriber figures as Eve. So, they got more money. yes, they also had to spend a fortune on servers but still, Eve had to pay for developement during all those years when they only had 25k subscribers as well.

I think a smart MMO company should aim to get their main audience clear from the start sell the game to them at launch and then try to draw in additional people. Strong launch followed by steady growth. But not driving away existing customers with changes that attempt to bring in new blood (SWG NGE).

Going as slow as Eve has is not really a method for PvE games, it costs far to much to create contet to survive on such small figures and any ambitious MMO dreams of far more then 300k which as already said, is the figures for "failed" mmo's like EQ2 and such, games that hang on but never make their parent company enough money to fund the next round.

Eve is a success, but lets not forget that they are now where most other games start at. 

Sat Oct 10 2009 6:56AM Report
Babylon9000 writes:

Entertainment value vs. dollars spent.

It's simple sales/ marketing stuff really.

People need to feel that they are getting good value for the money they spend. That's it.. It's that simple and it seems the MMO developers out there miss it every time (nearly every time) I love MMOs but no one can deny that they can be frustrating with regards to how we weigh the value of the product vs. what we have spent on it.

They need to impliment and focus on 2 very important concepts. Highly valued customer service which is not only inititated by the players (customers) but also by the publishers.  They also need to hire really good writers and create an immersive world that it engrossing. They need to come to us on a personal level more often, and stop expecting us to post feed back in the forums all the time. Sound's stupid? How do cars get sold? Flyers, comercials, ads in the paper. They make you want to come to thm to see their product. Then a salesmen approaches and finds out what you need... then he fills it. Translation: The ad is put in front of you as a message saying "Hey I think you might like this come have a look! we'd value even just your opinion on how you like our product, and what you are looking for in a similar product!" So you go and check things out. The car salesmen says "So what are you looking for? 2door? 4 door? Mini van? SUV? Fuel economy?" You tell him/her and they try to fiund a product that fills that need. Why is it done this way? repeat business....


It seems to me that an MMO is all about repeat business. The old model of overhype the game push it to market and grab the $50.00 is sort of not going to work with this product. what EVE has done is amazing for an independant developer! They have used the age old sales model of find a need and fill it. They really do listen to their customers and try to provide a product that the vast majority of them will enjoy.

The second concept I mentioned was good writing. It's usually ok at best and in the case of the Asian MMOs I've tried it's usually terrible and the translations make it even worse. I've played som pretty well put together games that I just couldn't get into because of the weak stories and aweful Asian to english translations. An engrossing storyline that makes the player feel as though they are a part of and a contibutor to the world the game is centered around is another great way to retain business. It's like a good novel, or series of novels, you ust don't want to put them down, or for me the TV show Heroes... I can't wait to see the next episode.

Now, if only an MMO developer could get these two things right out of the gate instead of taking six years of slow gains to do accomplish them, they might find launch date being a little less stressful and a much more solid foundation for future resubs.


Kudos to EVE for what they've done. It's not my sort of game but I do acknowledge that they know how to use feedback from the customers to retain a subscription base. PR is everything in the entertainment world and there is no beter PR than one on one.

Sat Oct 10 2009 9:32AM Report
Myria writes:

Six years, most all of that with the genre to themselves, to get to what are at absolute best average numbers, and this is a good model?

The levels of delusion Eve seems to inspire forever will amaze me.

Sat Oct 10 2009 11:26AM Report
RonjaNoku writes:

Statistically, the above statements work if you have the means and pockets to do the whole hype thing. If you look at the previous people whom "benefited" from the hype. Most of the games that used hype ended up coming out to be buggy, shoddy games and became a turn off to most players until later quick fixes occur. In the end you have the benefit of  the quick short term cash flow, which is Ok I guess if you like your quarterly revenue injections. Its like building a farm and burning it down to get insurance, but some of that little farm still works till it dies out.

Now to EVE. The argument here is that there was/is almost no hype about it. (At least where I lived, the sites I went to, and the games I was aware of at the time) The game advertised itself by being good and through it's amazing in-game community. (Which is one of the best I've run into through my years of MMO jumping/playing.) There was no background other than hopes and dreams of CCP, an independent developer putting out it's first game. No background like WoW, no internet powerhouse like NCsoft. You can argue Funcom to be in the same boat as EVE when it comes to being an independent developer (with a pretty decent history. Anarchy Online anyone?) but Age of Conan had an instant stunt of player growth and a quick decline. (The Longest journey, also by Funcom was amazing. Play it.)

The inspiration is that EVE came from nothing and without much background history (looking at you Blizzard and NCsoft). So yea, in the short run scenario they aren't looking good, but looking at the long run, they are having it pretty good right now and I hope it continues to grow. No it wont beat WoW in player count or beat AION in hype and instantaneous revenue, but for starting out small and doing something different; EVE Online is quite the inspirational story that's still being told through its caring developers and wonderful community.

Sat Oct 10 2009 12:57PM Report
Dwarvish writes:

  Interesting....  The examples of high flyers going downhill quickly is, in the case of Conan, understandable. ( never played Warhammer). Conan had great reviews based on folks playing through the first 20 levels and they loved it. It was good...for the first 20 levels but went dowhill from there. I dropped it.

I had a similar concern with sure looked good for the early levels but unlike Conan, got better in the mid 20s. Hope this continues.

Sat Oct 10 2009 4:40PM Report
divmax writes:

@sfc1971 and others citing subscriber numbers as 'success'

Actually comparing pure revenue from subscribers like you have done is also bullshit. We don't know how much AoC's expenses/debt was or WoW's or EVE's. Thus its impossible to really know which is the better business model and how much profit has been made by any of them.

But considering the results, I would hazard a guess that EVE is, and has always been, making more profit than say AoC did - precisely because they aren't in a hurry to make sales, nor are they willing to compromise their game design philosophy in order to appeal to a greater market, nor did they have as large capital to pay off initially. WoW's success in subscriber numbers is also no indication of actual profit, though theres no doubt in my mind that they are profitable.

How many of the modern MMO titles spend their entire first three years recouping debt? Research server prices and developer salaries; most of the time servers have to be depreciated over that time because they are so expensive. Nevermind the fact that after 3 years, servers normally have to be upgraded, or replaced - all done transparently to the subscribers during maintenance periods.

I think AAA titles spend too much on their initial launch, and then end up in a hurry to pay off impatient investors, while keeping their servers going and their developers putting out new content. Like a spinning top, they lose momentum and inevitably fall over.

Sat Oct 10 2009 5:07PM Report
rscott6666 writes:

The difference is that most players expect to consume content.  Not fight over the same rock day after day.

If you could convince players to fight over the same rock day after day, then ANY of the games could last forever and grow. 

The thing that makes that same rock a little different is that you are playing against a pseudo random person, which adds a little edge that most other games don't have.

Nor did they need them.  RPGs weren't about competing against anyone else.  But they did have ever generating content via the GM.  What is needed is a very quick and cheap way to generate interesting content.  (Other than pvp).

Sat Oct 10 2009 8:08PM Report
comerb writes:

 Other things to keep in mind about Eve's backwards trend is the mechanics behind the game itself.

-Real time training allows for people to take breaks from the game without falling behind, which makes it that much easier to justify keeping your account active, and also gives you incentive to start playing again at a later date.  

-Long term goals.  It takes several months to years to get the training to reach certain goals.  And once you reach those goals, there are always other goals to set.  You never really "cap out" in Eve.  And thats very good for keeping long term customers.  

-Expansions don't replace content, they add to it.  EVEs content level grows more massive every expansion, while other traditional game's just take sidesteps by making old content meaningless and replacing it with new stuff

- There is no clear progression when it comes to "gear".  That's not to say that a Battleship isn't more powerful than a Cruiser... its just that the Cruiser always has a place in the game.  The way they make individual ship classes important and relevant throughout every level of the game is absolutely outstanding.  It gives players a ton of choices without forcing them into a particular play-style, and adds a ton of diversity to the game.  Even tiered ship classes are balanced by the resources required to construct them.  A T3 ship might be more powerful than a T1 of the same hull type, but for the cost you could have a small fleet of T1s.  Nothing ever becomes worthless because "new and better" stuff is added to the game.

-Content is player driven.  There is never a point where people are twiddling their thumbs waiting for the developer to throw more content at them to consume.  


Sat Oct 10 2009 10:40PM Report
Ngeldu5t writes:

Great article and I also agree with everyone here except *sfc1971* .CCP has been/is doing what's right for their game period.It's time for developers and MMO companies to understand that making is jack of all trade MMO will most of the time = failure

I don`t play EvE and also have friends who don`t play it but always read what's going on in EvE Online because it's more than just a game,it's an entire universe.

Sun Oct 11 2009 12:28AM Report
dadown writes:

For those dismissing Eve as only having average player numbers, you are forgetting that they are not in the same market group as WoW. Eve is a space based SciFi game, not a tradition fantasy game. In their niche market, 300k players is a major market share.

Sun Oct 11 2009 12:38AM Report
Mcgreag writes:

To all those saying EVE had the sci-fi scene to them selfs are wearing blinders. There been several sci-fi mmorpgs and even space ship ones. The difference is that most of the competition closed down over time or live on in obscurity, while EVE keep going forward.

Examples: Earth and Beyond, Jumpgate, Anarchy Online, Necron, Necron 2, Starwars Galaxies (with Jump to Lightspeed), Tabula Rasa, Matrix Online, RF Online, Planetside.

Sun Oct 11 2009 5:39AM Report
mysticarcane writes:

I just want to add in that the later part of the article declaring that the slow vamp up of MMOs is likely to remain an oddity, is sadly accurate. Unfortunately so very few major corporations have learned their lesson form the worlds recent financial troubles and have attempted to reset their thinking on short-term vs long-term gain.

I wish they would have, such that more, higher quality, member focused games could come to exist, but I fear I agree that its just not likely to happen in the major market.

For shame investors and CEOs of major gaming companies, how hard do you have to be hit financially to learn your lesson?

Sun Oct 11 2009 12:00PM Report
vendolis writes:

One point that EVE has against almost every game out there: You make progression while you are not online. That means even when you play WoW/WAR/AION/etc. you still have time to skill your character and make 'progress'. I know  a lot of people who have a account of EVE running in the background without doing much more than changing skills for some minutes a week. EVE gives you a reward even when you are not around.

Sun Oct 11 2009 1:23PM Report
Shealladh writes:

I am sick of articles like this that try and justify those numbers. Looking at the EvE Online stats themselves there's hardly 30k people online, saying there's 300k is plain bullshit.

EvE is boring, mediocre, and leaves one with a sour taste unless you're after a game that takes 6 years to get the skills needed to play with the big boys.

It's faster watching grass grow than trying to play. Yet is is the same marketing bullshit that WoW and War use as well, so no wonder people aren't playing much MMO's as they are tired of being screwed.

Maybe in another 60 years the Devs will get that we want more than what's on offer!

Sun Oct 11 2009 3:25PM Report
BaronJuJu writes:

Good article Stradden, one of the few I agree almost 100% with you on. Your solution is spot on but is going to be a tough balance for large game companies to accomplaih. Trying to maintain comsumer (player) expectations is like trying to herd cats. Expectations may be able to be tempered by setting the goals for astarting MMO lower. Companies promising the world straight out of the box tend to fall flat on their face shortly after and promised features and abilities on launch are sacrificed for a deadline. By setting expectations lower with fewer options promised, but with an understanding to the player base that other features will be looked at or brought in at a later date.

I think another idea MMO companies need to do is concentrate on one MMO and focus all of their financial and development efforts on it. For companies to continually make MMO after MMO and letting their older ones die almost as soon as they are released is ruining not only potential good games but the reputation of the company as well.

Sun Oct 11 2009 5:20PM Report
Horusra writes:

I have to agree with a poster above...Eve's model worked because it lacked competition.  If a game came out that offered a lot off the bat and one that promises a lot better the majority of people would run to the one that supposedly offers a lot.  It is human nature.  I a fantasy game right now tried to start slow like Eve did it would fail to games that offer more even if in fact that content is shoddy and cheap.

Mon Oct 12 2009 7:29AM Report
toddze writes:

Good post, first time I actually agree with you on a topic. Of the future games the one MMO that I think can take the slow and steady approach is FFXIV. SE has a large enough fan base right out of the gate that they can afford to take this approach.

Tue Oct 13 2009 5:33AM Report
Loki_gz writes:

Well if your thinking of winning something ofcourse slow and steady is not going to make you win if your going agaisnt someone else.For Example ; If your racing someone and you go really really fast you'll win first and be exhausted but that doesnt matter because you already WON. :)


Tue Oct 13 2009 11:41AM Report
JYCowboy writes:


It depends on what kinda race your running.  100 yard dash would be great with your understanding.  Marathon runners have to pace themselves so they can last to thier goal which is a lot tougher to earn.

MMO's should be handled like Marathons and not 100 yard dashes. ;)

Tue Oct 13 2009 1:15PM Report
JYCowboy writes:

Wonderful artical!  I have often said that MMO's should be handled and care for like a living entity.  The investor should look at them as a long term "Cash Cow" if properly designed that way.

Tue Oct 13 2009 1:19PM Report
battleaxe writes:

Many failed systems come down to releasing a half-baked, unfinished product.  They fail to retain their users because instead of fixing their problems, they tend to continue to develop the content they cut for early release while the player base flounders trying to play a broken game.

Wed Oct 14 2009 2:22PM Report writes:
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