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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » why can't companies do better then their 1st success?

16 posts found
  hercules

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/21/03
Posts: 4815

 
OP  11/12/11 8:25:02 PM#1

intresting that most mmo companies cannot do better then their 1st success.

soe - never had more subs then everquest.closest came swg but never able to beat it 

cryptic - CoH .CO and STO never  made it to that level

ncsoft- lineage.in terms of subs nothing beat L1 at its prime even L2 .guild wars probably sold more copies but does not use subs .

blizzard.only 1 mmo which ofc is WoW but do we really believe they will ever beat wow subs.i highly doubt it

mythic - DAoC.WAR never got to its level despite inital sales it certainly has not got the raves DAoC .

square einx - FF XI .certainly FF XIV as we know never came close

funcom- ok here is a grey area on which one is more successful .AO or conan.in sales i think conan for sure but will it be able to  hold the same subs when it gets as old as AO.doubtful but only time will tell.

exceptions to the rule  for me so far would be turbine  with LOTRO doing better then AC1.

ofc there are many mmo companies that have only done 1 mmo like eve,aion.so are not counted even though i mentioned wow .

 

  robert4818

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 4/14/03
Posts: 661

"Everyone is born with just a spark of madness. You mustn't lose it."

--Robin Williams

11/12/11 8:48:48 PM#2

A number of different reasons.

One reason is that a company with a big success might be too afraid of wandering too far away from the winning formula.  Which just leaves players wondering why they would pay for essentially the same game again.

The flip side of that coin is that a company may want to move away from a successful formula, only to find out that players were expecting a game closer to their old favorite than what they got. (WAR vs DAOC)

Then there's the fact that even though the companies may be the same, the teams probably won't be.  This means that behind the scenes, that same magic and synergy might not be there.  

Finally, times may have changed.  COH was a big success when it came out.  But it was also the first Supers MMO, and it wasn't existing in a crowded MMO market.  CO on the other hand had supers competition from COH, and existed in a Post WOW world.

So long, and thanks for all the fish!

  Vesavius

Old School

Joined: 3/08/04
Posts: 7493

Players come for the game, but they stay for the people- Most Devs have forgotten this.

11/12/11 8:59:13 PM#3
Originally posted by hercules

intresting that most mmo companies cannot do better then their 1st success.

soe - never had more subs then everquest.closest came swg but never able to beat it 

cryptic - CoH .CO and STO never  made it to that level

ncsoft- lineage.in terms of subs nothing beat L1 at its prime even L2 .guild wars probably sold more copies but does not use subs .

blizzard.only 1 mmo which ofc is WoW but do we really believe they will ever beat wow subs.i highly doubt it

mythic - DAoC.WAR never got to its level despite inital sales it certainly has not got the raves DAoC .

square einx - FF XI .certainly FF XIV as we know never came close

funcom- ok here is a grey area on which one is more successful .AO or conan.in sales i think conan for sure but will it be able to  hold the same subs when it gets as old as AO.doubtful but only time will tell.

exceptions to the rule  for me so far would be turbine  with LOTRO doing better then AC1.

ofc there are many mmo companies that have only done 1 mmo like eve,aion.so are not counted even though i mentioned wow .

 

 

Aion is NCSoft...

But why do most companies peak at their first MMORPG?

I would imagine, at the heart of it, those games were made with passion and love. The follow ups, once they had become money machines, where then designed by accountants to appeal to the largest possible markets for maximum possible profit.

The entire MMORPG space changed once it became how much money was to be made and people with no interest in games got involved.

Grossly over simplified, I know, but like i say... at the heart of it.

  Loke666

Elite Member

Joined: 10/29/07
Posts: 16835

11/12/11 9:18:21 PM#4

I have a feeling that ANET will do pretty fine with their second game, and Biowares real masterpiece is their online (but not MMO) "Neverwinter nights", their third game.

But yes, the first book in a serie is usually best and there are zillions of band that never been as good as their first album (Rage against the machine, Slayer, The Mission UK... The list goes on).

In some cases they get a great idea and turn it into a game, boook or movie, but it is hard to top something like that. In MMOs I think it often is because you used up all your best ideas in the first game and even if you use them again the players already seen them.

In some cases like EQ the idea was made by a small company (verant in that case) and SOE bought them and their idea up to get the game. They did the same with Vanguard but messed up by releasing the game in a sad shape.

Some people seems to be able to come up with great idea after great idea but most people runs dry after a while, it is just the way it is.

  Icewhite

Made History

Joined: 7/11/11
Posts: 6495

Pink, it's like red but not quite.

11/12/11 9:30:41 PM#5
Originally posted by robert4818

A number of different reasons.

 

And one you didn't mention: Some of those 'second games' were five years or more behind the original...completely different personnel, management changes, being bought out by a larger corporation, large-scale terminations, etc.

People who code for a living in the MMO industry move around a lot.

Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  k11keeper

Hard Core Member

Joined: 2/15/04
Posts: 1040

"" "" "" ""

11/12/11 9:31:11 PM#6

Well if I would sum it up in one word it would be "expectations". Once you have had success you raise the bar and the microscope becomes more focused.

It's probably the same for movies, books, and music like others have said. Yet we can feel better because of the fact that there are exceptions to the rule in other facets of entertainment so eventually we will have exceptions when it comes to MMORPGs.

For instance Terminator 2 is widely accepted as better than the orginal. In the gaming world Elder Scrolls 3, GTA 3, and Team fortress 2 have been more successful and said to be better than their originals. I just think that first off the MMORPG genre is relatively new and secondly the development process for an MMO is longer than other games so the genre will progress at a slower pace.

So hopefully soon we will start seeing developers have their outbreak moment with a sequel and start improving as time goes on instead of failing miserably.

  Mardy

Novice Member

Joined: 9/01/06
Posts: 2222

11/12/11 9:48:49 PM#7
Originally posted by vesavius

I would imagine, at the heart of it, those games were made with passion and love. The follow ups, once they had become money machines, where then designed by accountants to appeal to the largest possible markets for maximum possible profit.

 

Unfortunately I believe that's a big part of it...all these companies started off wanting to do nothing but make a great, fun filled, game.  It was all about attracting a fanbase from scratch, getting people to trust you, making gamers happy, creating fun and exciting game elements, etc.   You have developers that just got their first dream job, creating games for a living, omg.  So they were highly motivated, they had a lot of pride in what they do.

 

Then they had success in what they do, they made a great game and people flocked to their games.  The execs see the $$$ rolling in, so they get all bold and want to create something bigger, shinier.  The developers started to view what they do as just another job.  Mythic & Mark Jacobs could've easily created a DAOC 2 and made their fanbase happy.  But what did they do instead?  They sold out to a bigger company, got a much larger budget to work with ($$$), and made WAR which failed hardcore by any standards.

 

Turbine could've made an AC2 that actually was more like AC1, which is what people wanted.  But they created something completely different, almost saying "eff you fans".  Naturally AC2 bombed.  All AC1 players wanted was a new revamped engine, newer graphics, but similar gameplay.  Turbine went reaching for the stars by looking to attract a larger crowd.

 

SOE created EQ2, which again is a game nothing like the first.  EQ2 never got anywhere near as popular as EQ1, never hit EQ1's peak subscriber #'s,  they ticked off their loyal fanbase that have stuck with them for a long time.  All EQ1 players wanted was a game with a newer engine, newer graphics, newer player models but similar gameplay as EQ1.  EQ2 was nothing like EQ1.

 

These companies are doing a disservice to their loyal fans by making such huge mistakes.   The truly sad part of it all is that we will probably never see a DAOC 2, something I was really really looking forward to from Mythic awhile back.  We'll never see a new Asheron's Call game where player characters don't look like stick figures.    And as for EQ, there's an EQ Next coming out, so at least there's a lil hope.

EQ1-AC1-DAOC-FFXI-L2-EQ2-WoW-DDO-GW-LoTR-VG-WAR-GW2-ESO

  Loke666

Elite Member

Joined: 10/29/07
Posts: 16835

11/12/11 10:07:25 PM#8
Originally posted by Mardy

Unfortunately I believe that's a big part of it...all these companies started off wanting to do nothing but make a great, fun filled, game.  It was all about attracting a fanbase from scratch, getting people to trust you, making gamers happy, creating fun and exciting game elements, etc.   You have developers that just got their first dream job, creating games for a living, omg.  So they were highly motivated, they had a lot of pride in what they do

Then they had success in what they do, they made a great game and people flocked to their games.  The execs see the $$$ rolling in, so they get all bold and want to create something bigger, shinier.  The developers started to view what they do as just another job.  Mythic & Mark Jacobs could've easily created a DAOC 2 and made their fanbase happy.  But what did they do instead?  They sold out to a bigger company, got a much larger budget to work with ($$$), and made WAR which failed hardcore by any standards.

Turbine could've made an AC2 that actually was more like AC1, which is what people wanted.  But they created something completely different, almost saying "eff you fans".  Naturally AC2 bombed.  All AC1 players wanted was a new revamped engine, newer graphics, but similar gameplay.  Turbine went reaching for the stars by looking to attract a larger crowd.

SOE created EQ2, which again is a game nothing like the first.  EQ2 never got anywhere near as popular as EQ1, never hit EQ1's peak subscriber #'s,  they ticked off their loyal fanbase that have stuck with them for a long time.  All EQ1 players wanted was a game with a newer engine, newer graphics, newer player models but similar gameplay as EQ1.  EQ2 was nothing like EQ1.

These companies are doing a disservice to their loyal fans by making such huge mistakes.   The truly sad part of it all is that we will probably never see a DAOC 2, something I was really really looking forward to from Mythic awhile back.  We'll never see a new Asheron's Call game where player characters don't look like stick figures.    And as for EQ, there's an EQ Next coming out, so at least there's a lil hope.

Yeah, but you can't make a follow up too similar unless there are plenty of years between them, that never works for anyone else than EA Sports. 

Why bother to start from the beginning in a new game that is almost identical to the one you are already playing?

Nah, they need to keep the best stuff while remaking the not so great stuff and adding something to the game.

I think part of the problem is greed, someone who isn't a real gamer decides that players want something because another best selling games have it, and when you get a long list of stolen ideas you lost the originality your first game you made because you wanted a game like that yourself.

A great sequel have new ideas in it, and it needs to feel different from both the first game and the competition. 

But those ideas needs to be both original and fun which ain't easy, particularly if enough of the devs isn't MMO players themselves.

EQ2s problem wasn't just that it didn't feel like the original game. It was too small, buggy, lacked originality in itself and just wasn't fun enough at launch. It got better eventually but MMOs only gets one chance, particularly ones who launch a month before Wow.

EQ1 was made by gamers for gamers. It had the basics from Meridian 59 but improved those features in innovative ways. It was fun at release, really fun. But part of that fun was because nothing like it relly existed before, EQ2 never had that feeling.

  Kotatsu

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/31/11
Posts: 58

He who makes a beast out of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man.

11/12/11 10:14:47 PM#9

I think one is that when a successful game brings in masses, those masses have already reached a comfort  zone in the first game. So by the time they release a new one, people aren't so quick so welcome change. Its kind of hypocritical because people want new and groundbreaking but then turn around and start comparing it to the previous version. Its just hard to make a lot of gamers happy these days.

(o'')-O Vs Q('' Q)

  Dredphyre

Novice Member

Joined: 9/11/10
Posts: 609

fanboi of truth

11/12/11 10:25:33 PM#10
Originally posted by vesavius
Originally posted by hercules

intresting that most mmo companies cannot do better then their 1st success.

soe - never had more subs then everquest.closest came swg but never able to beat it 

cryptic - CoH .CO and STO never  made it to that level

ncsoft- lineage.in terms of subs nothing beat L1 at its prime even L2 .guild wars probably sold more copies but does not use subs .

blizzard.only 1 mmo which ofc is WoW but do we really believe they will ever beat wow subs.i highly doubt it

mythic - DAoC.WAR never got to its level despite inital sales it certainly has not got the raves DAoC .

square einx - FF XI .certainly FF XIV as we know never came close

funcom- ok here is a grey area on which one is more successful .AO or conan.in sales i think conan for sure but will it be able to  hold the same subs when it gets as old as AO.doubtful but only time will tell.

exceptions to the rule  for me so far would be turbine  with LOTRO doing better then AC1.

ofc there are many mmo companies that have only done 1 mmo like eve,aion.so are not counted even though i mentioned wow .

 

 

Aion is NCSoft...

But why do most companies peak at their first MMORPG?

I would imagine, at the heart of it, those games were made with passion and love. The follow ups, once they had become money machines, where then designed by accountants to appeal to the largest possible markets for maximum possible profit.

The entire MMORPG space changed once it became how much money was to be made and people with no interest in games got involved.

Grossly over simplified, I know, but like i say... at the heart of it.

Likely a very similar reason as to why movie sequels are often worse than the original. Of course there are exceptions, but as you say, the second one becomes a cash cow that simply lives off the name of the previous success.

  SkillCosby

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 8/23/08
Posts: 694

11/13/11 6:15:45 PM#11

Games were innovative back in the day. After, WoW, however, innovation became a thing of the past. It became a "copy the cash cow" firm.

 

SWTOR, in my opinion, will be the one that determines if we will or will not be spoon-fed the same linear bullshit. My guess: When SWTOR launches, people will rave about how polished and superb SWTOR really is. However, after you have completed story a few different times and are standing around dicking with their end-game options (hutt-ball / warzones), people will start to quit.

  robert4818

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 4/14/03
Posts: 661

"Everyone is born with just a spark of madness. You mustn't lose it."

--Robin Williams

11/14/11 12:22:10 AM#12
Originally posted by precious328

Games were innovative back in the day. After, WoW, however, innovation became a thing of the past. It became a "copy the cash cow" firm.

 

SWTOR, in my opinion, will be the one that determines if we will or will not be spoon-fed the same linear bullshit. My guess: When SWTOR launches, people will rave about how polished and superb SWTOR really is. However, after you have completed story a few different times and are standing around dicking with their end-game options (hutt-ball / warzones), people will start to quit.

I find this statement odd.

OF COURSE games were more innovative pre-wow.  The genre was still in its infancy pre-wow.  Almost every game that came out was a "first of its kind" concept.  When WoW hit, we were reaching a point where the genre was actually leaving its infancy.  At this point, we were past the point of "everything is new".

However, don't forget that you are really looking back through some pretty tinted rose-colored glasses.  While there were alot of innovative games, there were more than a few EQ Clones out there.  Earth and Beyond was EQ in space, DAOC was EQ with RVR.  

Contrary to most peoples beliefs, a genre growth is generally EVOLUTIONARY instead of REVOLUTIONARY.  A game will come out, and it will offer one or two neat new ideas, but will also clone alot of what's already been done.  Some of those ideas catch on, some don't.

So long, and thanks for all the fish!

  Phelcher

Advanced Member

Joined: 6/01/09
Posts: 1133

11/16/11 5:31:24 PM#13
Because after their first success... greedy business men take over the company/project and instead of creating & making... they siphon & greed themselves into CEOs.

Warhammer is a prime example of retards marketing an arcade game, instead of an open ended MMo.

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  Reizla

Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/09/08
Posts: 3062

MMORPGs are no longer about the mass multi-user anymore *sadly*

11/16/11 5:38:00 PM#14
Originally posted by hercules

intresting that most mmo companies cannot do better then their 1st success.

Same question, different subject - why is the debut-album (singer-songwriter) of an artist inmost cases their best work?

Think it has something to do with the 1st impressions people have of a new publisher. A new publisher comes around the block with sometihng spectacular and indeed, we all think it is. After a while a sequel is made and (like movies) a sequel is mostly worse than the previous one. When a 3rd product is released, it'll start to match the original game the publisher made.

Back to the original examples... Turbine made AC as 1st and after that DDO and later LotRo. AC never made it to Europe, and I have no idea about the numbers. DDO never really hit high numbers, while LotRo did very well (in Europe for sure).

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  gobla

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/30/07
Posts: 1421

C'est la vie.

11/16/11 5:40:18 PM#15

Because all the companies who don't score big on their first succes never become public knowledge.

The vast majority of MMOs fail. Likely the vast majority of MMOs never leave production and are never even brought to our attention.

All those companies who don't succeed on their first MMO are never heard of. The only MMO companies that go on existing and you hear of are those who manage to succeed on their first MMO.

And because the chances of creating a good MMO are so bad period their second MMO likely fails. Not because it's the second MMO, just because it's a MMO period.

We just don't hear about all the failed first MMOs and if we do we're not expecting much. We only hear much about the second MMOs and when we hear it we expect a lot.

Companies can do better then their first success, it's just not bloody likely. Equally unlikely as getting that first success in the first place. It's got nothing to do with it being the second MMO. That only influences what we hear and expect from it.

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  Icewhite

Made History

Joined: 7/11/11
Posts: 6495

Pink, it's like red but not quite.

11/16/11 5:42:40 PM#16

Not many people remember it, but Tanarus was SOE's first game online, not Everquest.  I'd say Sony did better on their sophomore game.

NCSoft launched Lineage II and City of Heroes on the same day.  I wonder which one is considered the "first" success.  Oh, no, the first was Lineage I.

Mythic had at least six flops before DAoC...

Naw, I won't go on.  The premise is both inaccurate and silly.

 

Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.