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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » The Definition of a Failure

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33 posts found
  FastTx

Novice Member

Joined: 8/23/05
Posts: 754

 
OP  11/02/10 12:42:46 PM#1

I see common beliefs on MMORPG.com about what is a failure and what is a success. I see games such as WoW and Guild Wars considered successes, well that is fair enough. Then we look at games like Aion and people seem to think it was a flop, even more so than AoC and WAR.

I like to go over to XFire and see what games are most popular among users of XFire. I realize this isn't a really fair sample pool but it does give an idea and most people will agree on that. Now on their MMO ranking charts World of Warcraft is massive, actually people play WoW 13 TIMES more than the 2nd most popular MMO (Guild Wars) by 130,000 hours this week compared to Guild Wars at 10,500. Ok so World of Warcraft is a success, but we can see that everything in comparison is a failure.

Now Aion is 3rd with roughly 8,700 hours this week and is the 2nd highest played subscription based game on XFire which isn't saying much considering it's 20x less played than the number one. Yet people say it's a failure and that it did things wrong in the western market even though nothing but WoW tops it.

4, 5, 6 (SRO, LOTRO, Cabal) are all F2P MMO's and #7 is Eve Online, which is compared to World of Warcraft. The comparison here is 33 people play WoW for every Eve player. People say the game is a success, and it is. Then results start getting miniscule as you have a few more F2P MMO's and then you come across FFXIV which has a third of even EVE's population when looking at XFire statistics.

 

So what is considered a success? Is WoW the only successful MMO? If Aion isn't a success in the west, what else is?

  Volkon

Novice Member

Joined: 9/14/10
Posts: 3813

Facts do not require fiction for balance.

11/02/10 12:49:02 PM#2

What percentage of people from each game use XFire? Is it the same across all games or does it tend to be higher in games with less-casual gamers?

 

I actually don't know and  am not familiar with XFire, but it's easy to see that that's a parameter that can't be ignored.

Oderint, dum metuant.

  DevilXaphan

Novice Member

Joined: 11/23/06
Posts: 1153

Bringing teal to your lives since 1998.

11/02/10 12:49:27 PM#3

All mmo's that have live offical servers still running have various degrees of success, some not as great but still a sucess as long as they are still running. When a game becomes a failure is when they are cut short and are discontined outright.

  lizardbones

Elite Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10427

I've become dependent upon spell check. My apologies for stupid grammatical errors.

11/02/10 1:01:01 PM#4

I think you might need to further define failure.

There is Launch Failure (Age of Conan) where the game just doesn't work or what is delivered is significantly different from what was promised.

There is Failure To Deliver As Promised, which is a different kind of failure.  Champions Online, Aion, and Warhammer all fall into this category.  The games are still going, still have subs, and they could even be growing, but they just aren't nearly as big or as genre changing as they bragged on themselves to be.  Most games fall into this category.

Then there's Failure to Thrive, (APB is the best example) where the game just loses their financial footing and dies.

Any game that is still running and making money can be seen as a success.  It depends on how you look at it.  This is why Eve is considered a "Success" at far fewer hours played than Aion.  Eve didn't hype themselves beyond what was remotely possible, while Aion did.

For every large, complex problem, there is a simple, clear solution that also happens to be absolutely wrong.

  dnarris

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 8/06/08
Posts: 272

"In comic strips, the person on the left always speaks first." ~ George Carlin

11/02/10 1:01:29 PM#5

I think there are many aspects to determining whether an MMO is a success or not.

First, you have to decide which point of view you are going to take in determining a success. Are you looking at it from the developing companies' point of view or are you look at it from a players' point of view, because the two will have very different opinions on what a success is.

From a companies' perspective any game that makes x amount over cost is considered a success. That's pretty much the bottom line for a company. Even if the game is constantly put down by a vocal minority of players it doesn't matter to them if they are making enough profit to meet their obligations.

From a player perspective a game is a success if it managed to keep them entertained for a significant length of time without any major disruptions in their game play overall. You always have to remember that the people you hear saying a game is bad or a game is good is a very small representation of a much larger populace. Thus, it makes it much more difficult to draw an opinion on a game without trying it first hand.

Frankly any game that is still running after two years, in my eyes, is a success whether I consider it a bad game or not. If it's running that long, obviously the game found a group of people out there that was willing to support enough to keep it going.

But if you want a more specific opinion on what the individual considers a success, I'd say from a specific point of view, I believe a successful MMO needs to be able to keep me entertained for the duration of it's up time. They must provide me with enough content at reasonable intervals to keep me interested in the game. There has to be enough variety and depth to keep me coming back for more. So far, that'd me every game I've ever played was a failure. I've always managed to get bored with them. It's a tough market.

  User Deleted
11/02/10 1:02:20 PM#6

Failure=Someone who spends all their time wondering which game is most popular.

  Volkon

Novice Member

Joined: 9/14/10
Posts: 3813

Facts do not require fiction for balance.

11/02/10 1:09:10 PM#7
Originally posted by orlac

Failure=Someone who spends all their time wondering which game is most popular.

 You win.

 

/thread

Oderint, dum metuant.

  Aericyn

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/11/10
Posts: 391

11/02/10 1:10:01 PM#8

Defining failure dictionary:

NOUN
1. lack of success
2. something less than that required
3. somebody or something that fails
4. breakdown of something
5. lack of development or production
6. business bankruptcy

Synonyms: disappointment, letdown, catastrophe, bomb, fiasco, disaster, botch, miscarriage, flop
Synonyms: breakdown, stoppage, malfunction, crash, collapse, seizure
Synonyms: bankruptcy, closure, crash, collapse, insolvency, ruin

Objectivity in a public forum is scarce. Agendas and ideas fog it all in.

John Smedley may have thought SWG at launch state was a failure. It is still running today, regardless of how populated it is. Many thought DDO was a failure and in ways I did too. Still running today, and flourishing. Though I suspect LOTRO may have cannibalized it now.

APB - objectively this is a total business and player failure. Aion not so much but it failed to hold my attention.

Vanguard could also be considered a failed title, even though it is still barely running.  It's very much at its launch state in terms of overall content added since launch, no expansions and no major overhaul or update of systems like we have seen in other games. Vanguard is a failure of Brad McQuaid that he has to accept and move on from.
 
It was not necessarily a failure to me, other than it failed to meet my expectations over time. Same as FFXIV over time I had to compromise on my expectations, resulting in dwindled interest. It's not that my or your expectations are so earth shaking, but we have come to depend/anticipate on certain things in this genre.

Should MMO titles that are still running be classified as success/failure? Comparing the corner mom and pop store to the Vons/Safeway chain. If the corner shop is in the black over time even though it will never even measure a fraction of the income of Vons, can it be considered a failure? Measuring against WoW is the same kind of thing.
 
Ehh you know what, I just remembered comparisons suck... it's like that girlfriend or boyfriend that says things like: "You're just like my ex" or "You complain just like my ex" or "You remind me of my ex when you do that", "My ex would never treat me that way" ugh...

  Benj4min

Novice Member

Joined: 11/01/10
Posts: 19

11/02/10 1:11:13 PM#9

    Failure is a rather long word,

For seven letters has it,

A game with shops that need real money,

Means the Designer is a twit!

  Athcear

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 9/19/09
Posts: 422

Never attribute to stupidity that which can be adequately explained by malice.

11/02/10 1:12:13 PM#10

A truly successful game is one that future games will attempt in some way to imitate.  Think about it.  That's why City of Heroes is successful and Champions Online is not.  That's what truly differentiates WoW from WAR, AoC, LotRO, and Aion.  That's why you can't always compare numbers now to numbers before.  Every one of those games takes things from Asheron's Call and EverQuest.   Remember when Darkfall came out?  It was compared with the staple of the sandbox PvP game, EVE.  A subsequent sandbox PvP game will be compared with EVE, and not Darkfall.  I have no idea which has or had more players, but one is successful and the other is not.

Important facts:
1. Free to Play games are poorly made.
2. Casuals are not all idiots, but idiots call themselves casuals.
3. Great solo and group content are not mutually exclusive, but they suffer when one is shoved into the mold of the other. The same is true of PvP and PvE.
4. Community is more important than you think.

  Cecropia

Gumshoe

Joined: 3/06/09
Posts: 3256

Poacher killer.

11/02/10 1:18:36 PM#11
Originally posted by Athcear

A truly successful game is one that future games will attempt in some way to imitate.  Think about it.  That's why City of Heroes is successful and Champions Online is not.  That's what truly differentiates WoW from WAR, AoC, LotRO, and Aion.  That's why you can't always compare numbers now to numbers before.  Every one of those games takes things from Asheron's Call and EverQuest.   Remember when Darkfall came out?  It was compared with the staple of the sandbox PvP game, EVE.  A subsequent sandbox PvP game will be compared with EVE, and not Darkfall.  I have no idea which has or had more players, but one is successful and the other is not.

Aventurine has moved to larger offices and they recently started hiring more staff. The game is also very active. This doesn't sound like much of a failure to me.

"Chuck's a good fighter but he's a UFC fighter... this is Pride." - Quinton Rampage Jackson
"Mr. Rothstein, your people never will understand... the way it works out here. You're all just our guests. But you act like you're at home. Let me tell you something, partner. You ain't home. But that's where we're gonna send you if it harelips the governor." - Pat Webb

  Athcear

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 9/19/09
Posts: 422

Never attribute to stupidity that which can be adequately explained by malice.

11/02/10 1:22:44 PM#12

But what kind of legacy will Aventurine leave?  Is the real difference between WoW and EQ2 the sub numbers, or the fact that WoW is the standard by which other games are judged?  It's legacy that matters.

Important facts:
1. Free to Play games are poorly made.
2. Casuals are not all idiots, but idiots call themselves casuals.
3. Great solo and group content are not mutually exclusive, but they suffer when one is shoved into the mold of the other. The same is true of PvP and PvE.
4. Community is more important than you think.

  Kyleran

Bitter Vet™

Joined: 9/13/06
Posts: 18807

Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing their own opinions. Pvbs 18:2, NIV

11/02/10 1:30:19 PM#13
Originally posted by Cecropia
Originally posted by Athcear

A truly successful game is one that future games will attempt in some way to imitate.  Think about it.  That's why City of Heroes is successful and Champions Online is not.  That's what truly differentiates WoW from WAR, AoC, LotRO, and Aion.  That's why you can't always compare numbers now to numbers before.  Every one of those games takes things from Asheron's Call and EverQuest.   Remember when Darkfall came out?  It was compared with the staple of the sandbox PvP game, EVE.  A subsequent sandbox PvP game will be compared with EVE, and not Darkfall.  I have no idea which has or had more players, but one is successful and the other is not.

Aventurine has moved to larger offices and they recently started hiring more staff. The game is also very active. This doesn't sound like much of a failure to me.

Perhaps when they start publishing subscription numbers or opening new servers we'll get an idea of how successful they currently are, but for now underperforming would be an accurate description of the state of the game I think.

"In these forums 'honest' seems to be a symonym for 'hates the game just like I do'" - ohioastro
Kyleran - Bitter Vet ™ since 2006
"This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon

  User Deleted
11/02/10 1:38:37 PM#14
Failure is when a game is closed down. TR, MxO, E&B & Shadowbane were all failures because they couldn't generate enough revenue to stay operatIonal.
  Cecropia

Gumshoe

Joined: 3/06/09
Posts: 3256

Poacher killer.

11/02/10 1:38:44 PM#15
Originally posted by Kyleran
Originally posted by Cecropia

Aventurine has moved to larger offices and they recently started hiring more staff. The game is also very active. This doesn't sound like much of a failure to me.

Perhaps when they start publishing subscription numbers or opening new servers we'll get an idea of how successful they currently are, but for now underperforming would be an accurate description of the state of the game I think.

Can't argue with that.

"Chuck's a good fighter but he's a UFC fighter... this is Pride." - Quinton Rampage Jackson
"Mr. Rothstein, your people never will understand... the way it works out here. You're all just our guests. But you act like you're at home. Let me tell you something, partner. You ain't home. But that's where we're gonna send you if it harelips the governor." - Pat Webb

  Hepisodic

Novice Member

Joined: 9/06/09
Posts: 332

11/02/10 1:42:11 PM#16

Failure is any MMO that isn't making a profit...thats it. It doesn't matter if an mmo has 40 million subs or 40k subs, if it makes a profit, the game is a success. 

Veritas Vos Liberabit- The truth will set you free.

  Neiken

Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/04
Posts: 252

Take time to deliberate; but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in.
-A Jackson

11/02/10 2:18:51 PM#17

I think failure around these boards differ from member to member. I guess that statements true in the real world too.

Real failure IMO is service shutdown. When a company no longer offers its game.

There are other failures, such as not delivering certain features, game breaking bugs, not listening to community feedback, lack of content, ect.But they are small failures and can be turned around. As long as the biggest failure doesnt happen before these things can be adressed.

The sad thing is the MMO community is all about first impressions. Fail to make a good impression, and it dooms you to low sub/low pop. The only thing thats seemed to help a game with a bad first impression is relaunching under a F2P model. But in that area of mmos its not hard to be more successful then with a sub base business approach. Because most F2P games sucks. Its also a trend that i hope more successful mmos dont follow. As item shops are way more expensive imo then a sub based game in most cases.

My 5 cents.....

  arieste

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/11/04
Posts: 3303

11/02/10 2:40:34 PM#18
Originally posted by FastTx

I see common beliefs on MMORPG.com about what is a failure and what is a success. I see games such as WoW and Guild Wars considered successes, well that is fair enough. Then we look at games like Aion and people seem to think it was a flop, even more so than AoC and WAR.

I like to go over to XFire and see what games are most popular among users of XFire. I realize this isn't a really fair sample pool but it does give an idea and most people will agree on that. Now on their MMO ranking charts World of Warcraft is massive, actually people play WoW 13 TIMES more than the 2nd most popular MMO (Guild Wars) by 130,000 hours this week compared to Guild Wars at 10,500. Ok so World of Warcraft is a success, but we can see that everything in comparison is a failure.

Now Aion is 3rd with roughly 8,700 hours this week and is the 2nd highest played subscription based game on XFire which isn't saying much considering it's 20x less played than the number one. Yet people say it's a failure and that it did things wrong in the western market even though nothing but WoW tops it.

4, 5, 6 (SRO, LOTRO, Cabal) are all F2P MMO's and #7 is Eve Online, which is compared to World of Warcraft. The comparison here is 33 people play WoW for every Eve player. People say the game is a success, and it is. Then results start getting miniscule as you have a few more F2P MMO's and then you come across FFXIV which has a third of even EVE's population when looking at XFire statistics.

 

So what is considered a success? Is WoW the only successful MMO? If Aion isn't a success in the west, what else is?

99% of people that post here, when they say a game "Failed" mean one of two things:

1. They didn't like it.

2. It didn't outsell WoW.

 

The other 1% are  reasonable people who will clarify what they mean when they say it (it varies).

"I’d rather work on something with great potential than on fulfilling a promise of mediocrity."

- Raph Koster

Tried: AO,EQ,EQ2,DAoC,SWG,AA,SB,HZ,CoX,PS,GA,TR,IV,GnH,EVE, PP,DnL,WAR,MxO,SWG,FE,VG,AoC,DDO,LoTRO,Rift,TOR,Aion,Tera,TSW,GW2,DCUO,CO,STO
Favourites: AO,SWG,EVE,TR,LoTRO,TSW,EQ2
Currently Playing: EQ2, NW, Firefall
Do you miss SWG crafting? Check out Firefall's system!

  Rzep

Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/25/09
Posts: 644

11/02/10 2:43:46 PM#19

I think gamers are quick to call mmos failure becouse quite frankly as far as numbers and money goes we know vert little about mmos. MMO companies never come out and say anything about their profit or how many people are acutally needed to keep a game afloat.

  Mixcoatl

Novice Member

Joined: 10/31/10
Posts: 18

11/02/10 2:45:22 PM#20

Failure is only when you try too much and go over the top, only to achieve the same or less with some guy that tried much less or not at all. For example, this:

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