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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Reader Discussion: How Do You Feel About Existing Franchises Turning MMO?

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Novice Member

Joined: 1/16/08
Posts: 2600

OP  5/04/12 10:25:49 PM#1

here is a place in the market for both single player experiences and massively multiplayer online titles. However, not every gamer wants to play both types of games.

This week we announced our June cover, which details ZeniMax’s new Elder Scrolls Online MMO. A lot of people are excited to see how the Elder Scrolls experience transfers to the MMO space. But many others would rather just see another single player experience in its place.

Where do you stand? Are you happy that Elder Scrolls Online is being made? A lot of people didn’t like the idea of turning Warcraft of Final Fantasy into MMOs, but once World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy XI were released they had an important impact on the MMO market. If you don’t like the idea of turning existing properties into MMOs, Why not? Developing MMOs is hard and takes a lot of work. If Elder Scrolls Online fails, it will cost ZeniMax a lot of money and tarnish the Elder Scrolls name. What should companies who want to break into the MMO market do instead?


Advanced Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 6018

Correcting wrongs on the Internet...

5/05/12 12:09:48 AM#2

Some products transfer poorly to MMOs and that includes Elder Scrolls games. The "MMO" part of "MMORPG" does not go well with how existing ES games work, feel and play. Same with D&D, you're better off making a whole new ruleset, one that fits MMOs well, rather than bastardize the tabletop ruleset.

People are naive if they think this game will be just Skyrim with other people in it. It won't be. Skyrim is not the same place anymore if you put thousands and thousands of players in it. The quests wont be the same, the world wont be the same, many of the mechanics wont be the same etc. because it was designed as a single player game, a single player experience.

They can use the name and use the world but the game will be different. A lot different.

I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky


Spotlight Poster

Joined: 11/21/06
Posts: 2423

5/05/12 12:13:44 AM#3

Seems everyone wants a ride on the failboat. I'm wondering when there will be a Doom or Quake MMO. I would be excited for them except they'll probably be WoW clones.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/03/12
Posts: 30

5/05/12 12:21:10 AM#4

I am not a fan of turning existing franchises into MMO's because it often either loses the flavor of the property or just fails to translate.

SWTOR is a good recent example of this, as turning Knights of the Old Republic into an MMO did highlight and improve on some strengths of the original series (Strong characterization, interesting storyline, etc) but failed utterly to create an enjoyable mmo experience; no offense to any SWTOR fans out there.

For the Elder Scrolls the entire concept fills me with apprehension. When I played Morrowind/Oblivion/Skyrim, what I enjoyed was things like the wonder of exploration, freedom of progression and questing, and effecting the game world in ways different from how other people played it. But how can this translate into an MMO? Will it be as epic exploring a new area if there are a dozen other people running around? How will you balance the free flowing quest system of an Elder Scrolls game in an MMO?  Will my choices and playing decisions be important when there are thousands of other players in the game with me?

I honestly just can't see it living up to the promise (and the premise of a multiplayer Elder Scrolls game does give me kind of a stiffy at face value). The reason people play single player games like Skyrim AND MMO's like WoW is because they offer different things, putting them together does not seem like it will result in a good mixture.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/02/12
Posts: 1285

5/05/12 12:28:53 AM#5

I don't like it because considering MMO genre's current low quality standars most are turned into garbage. I still cannot watch Lord of The Ring films because of what Lotro turned out to be. As much as I'd like to play Game of Thrones MMO I know that even if it's made it's impossible to enjoy it.

I don't know much about MMO engines and such, and maybe the problem lies in them? Worls are just too static and lifeless, quests hubs are too 1990's. Technology has developed in huge steps since then but MMO genre has gone backwards imho, ecoming a reeking, stagnant pond.

  User Deleted
5/05/12 6:04:39 AM#6

One Word: Skeptical.

SPRPGs focus on the one player playing them. MMOs have thousands of players playing and not everyone can be THE savior of the realm.

Other aspects of SPRPGs would work well in MMOs. A massive, explorable world is tops in my mind. Elder Scrolls' specific no class, skill based character development is another. The rich history and lore that the IP has can transfer into a MMO, without too much tweaking.

What happens many times is that a company loses the core of the game they are trying to make into an MMO. It ends up being "just another MMO" instead of the awesome potential it could have been.

With ES:O being in the works for 5 years already, I think a lot of the core game is done. It will be "interesting" to see what they have done.



Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/26/12
Posts: 161

5/05/12 6:13:03 AM#7

First think a game is made for people to have fun Second some developers try to make it a cash shop and then the players stop playing the game So what do MMO's do they go from being a subscripe To Play Game To Being a Free To Play Game and make a Game store so players can come back and buy items to use on their store  and when they do this the MMO no matter the name goes broke and players will get bored and move to other MMO's becouse thers is no Fun  reason why World Of Warcraft is still being a subscripe game is becouse is A Fun Game to play but it looks terrible and I wont play it myself but the gameplay makes up for it and when I say gameplay I say Fun playing game like Pokemon on Gameboy.


Novice Member

Joined: 7/18/10
Posts: 3213

Veni, Vidi, Converti

5/05/12 6:34:02 AM#8

From Publisher/Developer POV:

  • Make a MMORPG = +++$, ++++Hrs, ++++++RISK
  • Find an IP that people are already INVESTED IN <- is a big incentive for design of a persistent, highly populated AND profitable game.
From Player/Developer POV:
x2 Examples:
Glenn Corpes:
Programming games is hard. It's fun to be coding things that make pretty, animated stuff appear on screen but you come to realise pretty quickly that the artists, designers, producers (and if you are working alone, your girlfriend and kids) aren't going to be interested in the details of it. You get a blank stare or worse. If you want people to get excited you have to translate it into something people can see. Just ask Josh :)
Similarly, if you're a game designer you could try talking game mechanics but certain people aren't going to understand so you have to translate it into a story to avoid that blank stare. The thing is, talking game mechanics isn't quite like talking code.
Syndicate has a pretty cool story but, I'll let you into a little secret, it's not where it started. 
Weirdly,  it started as a side scroller on the Amiga with the main idea being that you controlled four guys. It quickly switched to isometric and became about grouping and ungrouping these four agents and selecting their moods via sliders to enable them to do more useful stuff via 'AI'. Like several old Bullfrog games I would call it a proto-RTS as the genre didn't really exist at the time.
So, basically They had these four agents who you could group select and run around shooting. There was no scripted game as such but it could be played multiplayer over the network so more features were added. Controlling a group of four at once was the most fun but it felt kind of limiting, Sean added the 'Persuadetron'. This let you recruit civilians into a huge mob, taking them into battle with you.
This is the essence of Syndicate and the story was built around it.
Maybe it all fitted together a little too well and it could seem to some that story came first but it did not happen that way. The game came first, the story second, the way it's supposed to be. We're talking games not books or movies here.
Jeff Strain:

Most MMOs fail

Don't be fooled by the much-hyped success of the top MMOs on the market. The game industry is littered with the carnage of MMOs that have failed over the past few years. Due largely to the social nature of MMOs, gamers rarely commit to more than one or two MMOs at a time. This is in contrast to the traditional game market, in which there is room for many games to be successful, even within the same genre. You may play ten different action games this year, but you are very unlikely to play more than one or two MMOs. This means that it is not enough to make a great game – instead you must make a game that is so overwhelmingly superior that it can actively break apart an established community and bring that community to your game. In today's market, that is a tall order.
Regardless of the business model, the primary factor that determines whether an MMO lives or dies is the size of its active player base. There appears to be a tipping point at around 150,000 players. MMOs that reach this critical mass within a few months of release tend to continue to grow and thrive, and those that do not tend to shrink and ultimately die. The majority of MMOs that are released into the market never reach this threshold.
Before you start building the ultimate MMO, you should accept that "MMO" is a technology, not a game design.
half of the appeal of an MMO isn't anything we as designers do – it's simply the fact that there are other players, so we should make a world that players want to live in.
Film, television, and book franchises are just not good candidates for MMOs. Even MMOs based on the "Big Two" franchises – you know the ones – have not lived up to the expectations of their developers. Today, and historically, the biggest MMOs are based on universes that were created for the purpose of supporting games. MMOs are all about exploration, personal glory, hanging out with friends, and meeting new people. You can't take a universe that was created to support a linear, non-interactive viewing experience that has its own six-volume set of rules and expect a development team to deliver something innovative and fresh within that universe that allows millions of players to be the hero. The best games, MMO or otherwise, are created first and foremost to be games, and the world, story, and setting are there to serve that end, not the other way around.
Problem is:
1) PUSH of IP: From publishers
2) PULL of IP:  From players
=> GAMEPLAY not being the Number 1 Criteria for mmorpg production and development and communication of the game idea => Hype & Disappointment
For Skyrim, you have to take the game mechanics that make it Skyrim and SOMEHOW (sandbox?) transform this into mmorpg technology. If you take the IP and -craft it into a mmorpg, that's the pull and push of the ip without the mechanic, ie plot vs mechanic

Novice Member

Joined: 7/16/11
Posts: 3548


5/05/12 6:43:17 AM#9
Originally posted by AlBQuirky

With ES:O being in the works for 5 years already, I think a lot of the core game is done. It will be "interesting" to see what they have done.



Then it is fucked, they will have gone down the WoW clone route, like SWTOR, and added their small spin and hope the IP sells it. You need to look for games starting in the last couple of years for a new experience.

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 10/20/11
Posts: 220

5/05/12 7:02:32 AM#10

Thing about final fantasy is, is that Final fantasy games dont connect in lore, theres never an on going lore, each lore is different, thats why its okay to make a mmorpg out of this series, cause 7 has nothing to do with 8, 6 has nothing to do with 5, 10 has nothing to do with 12, etc etc. Besides final fantasy 14 sucks.


Any way, no single player RPG  should go mmorpg. Warcraft is different because warcraft was already an online game already.

BUT SWTOR proved, single player games that are good should NEVER go mmo.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/26/12
Posts: 161

5/05/12 7:09:45 AM#11

well you get the idea but they forget what a game supposed to be and is a mix of being a up to date on graphics, balance of Gameplay fun for all and not generic


I will tell you wahts wrong with this Games and MMO's


Tera = Awsome Graphics__Poor Gameplay

Guild Wars 1= Awsome Gameplay__ Good Graphics,__Poor Basic Functons For Charector and Model

Rift= Good Gameplay__ Poor Model On Everything

SWTOR=Good Gameplay__Poor Communication__ and is Generic Basic Everything

Aion=Good Graphics__Good Gameplay__Hardcore Only Not For Casual Gamers

WoW=Awsome Gameplay__Poor Graphics__Awsome Community__Awsome Functions That Make You Play The Game



Now For Games


Elder Scrolls Morrowind=Awsome Gameplay__Poor Graphics

Call Of Duty 4=Awsome Gameplay__Awsome Cmmunity 10/10 score

Forza 4= Awsome gameplay__ Awsome Community__ Awsome Graphics And Innovation


Now For Games in Development Predictions

Mechwarrior Online=Awsome gameplay___Poor Community

Guild Wars 2=Awsome gameplay___Good Community And Graphics__Average Innovation

Diablo 3=Awsome Gameplay__Poor Community

Elder Scrolls Online=Awsome Graphics__Poor Gameplay and Innovation


Advanced Member

Joined: 9/14/10
Posts: 3824

Facts do not require fiction for balance.

5/05/12 9:24:15 AM#12

    Depends on the franchise and how they do it to be honest. A Firefly universe modelled similarly to EvE Online, that would be worth looking at. An Elder Scrolls that (forgive me for saying this) followed GW2's style would fascinate me. An Elder Scrolls that regurgitates the same-old same-old WoW based mechanics... it doesn't work for me personally.

    They can do it, but they need to choose a style of play that reflects what people know of the franchise, what feels right. I can't help but feel that Elder Scrolls is doing it wrong, and it's a crying shame. So much potential.

Oderint, dum metuant.



Joined: 11/07/08
Posts: 1130

5/05/12 1:51:08 PM#13

I would just like a heads up as to what IP these "AAA" Game Developement Companies are going to butcher into a shallow, derivative  MMO next?


They've already done-

Lord of the Rings

Star Wars (twice)



and soon The Elder Scrolls


Whats next? Shadowrun? Wheel of Time? Game of Thrones? Dragonriders of Pern?

Tried: EQ2 - AC - EU - HZ - TR - MxO - TTO - WURM - SL - VG:SoH - PotBS - PS - AoC - WAR - DDO - SWTOR
Played: UO - EQ1 - AO - DAoC - NC - CoH/CoV - SWG - WoW - EVE - AA - LotRO - DFO - STO - FE - MO - RIFT
Playing: Skyrim
Following: The Repopulation
I want a Virtual World, not just a Game.
ITS TOO HARD! - Matt Firor (ZeniMax)


Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/27/04
Posts: 1848

"Pablo Picasso said art is a lie that tells the truth."

5/05/12 1:54:43 PM#14

I am absolutely FINE with existing franchises becoming MMORPGs.

Where they lose me is when they (the developers of said MMO) reveal that they lack all sense of imagination and presence of original ideas.

They lose me at their EQ/WoW Cloning facility. Thats the problem we (the gamers) have dealt with for the better part of a decade now.

  User Deleted
5/05/12 3:24:04 PM#15

I personally think the Elder Scrolls could make for a really enjoyable MMO setting if the dev's vision is grand enough.


The issue IMO is that the gameplay and storytelling style of the TES games are oriented toward the epic single-player experience.


In effect you can have "WoW in Tamriel," but it won't feel like a TES game.


I personally don't find that a problem -- presuming it doesn't really copy straight from WoW -- but it's obvious that there are a lot of TES fans who feel strongly that the feel is as important as the setting.


My dream MMO is set in the Planescape setting and draws pretty much straight from the source material right down to an indvidual plane's gravitational effects, so no, in principle I have no problem with making use of existing IPs.  To me the problems come in when the name is being used by a developer with insufficient imagination and vision (and possibly budget) to make use of what it offers.


Novice Member

Joined: 10/05/08
Posts: 599

5/05/12 3:30:09 PM#16
Originally posted by CujoSWAoA

I am absolutely FINE with existing franchises becoming MMORPGs.

Where they lose me is when they (the developers of said MMO) reveal that they lack all sense of imagination and presence of original ideas.

They lose me at their EQ/WoW Cloning facility. Thats the problem we (the gamers) have dealt with for the better part of a decade now.

This.  I have already played WoW and if I wanted to play WoW again I would play WoW.  We don't need bioEA version of wow, or  MythicEA version of WoW, or Zenimax's version of WoW.  I don't care what color they paint them.

I will not play a game with a cash shop ever again. A dev job should be to make the game better not make me pay so it sucks less.


Advanced Member

Joined: 5/06/11
Posts: 2270

5/05/12 3:35:27 PM#17

Kind of wish there was more focus on single player games. I realise the irony, asking for single player games on an MMO forum, but I like both and I seem to be getting less choice when it comes to single player RPG year after year.


Novice Member

Joined: 3/13/12
Posts: 227

War...war never change

5/05/12 3:46:49 PM#18
Originally posted by firefly2003

here is a place in the market for both single player experiences and massively multiplayer online titles. However, not every gamer wants to play both types of games.

This week we announced our June cover, which details ZeniMax’s new Elder Scrolls Online MMO. A lot of people are excited to see how the Elder Scrolls experience transfers to the MMO space. But many others would rather just see another single player experience in its place.

Where do you stand? Are you happy that Elder Scrolls Online is being made? A lot of people didn’t like the idea of turning Warcraft of Final Fantasy into MMOs, but once World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy XI were released they had an important impact on the MMO market. If you don’t like the idea of turning existing properties into MMOs, Why not? Developing MMOs is hard and takes a lot of work. If Elder Scrolls Online fails, it will cost ZeniMax a lot of money and tarnish the Elder Scrolls name. What should companies who want to break into the MMO market do instead?

When WoW was released there was no good graphs mmos and both WoW and FFXI benefits from theyr console titles reputation

Its past now

About ES its just another themepark,despise any kind of new feature it brings it will still be a questing,lvling,gear up and crafting mmo

Just dont fits me

WoW 4ys,EVE 4ys,EU 4ys
FH1942 best tanker for 4years
Playing WWII OL for some years untill now
many other for some months



Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 14587

5/05/12 3:59:40 PM#19

It depends a lot on the franchise.  If the franchise is about one iconic superhero who goes out and saves the world repeatedly, and in the single player games, you always play as that one particular hero, then that doesn't translate very well to an MMORPG.  For example, if you try to make the Super Mario franchise into an MMORPG, then who plays as Mario?  Luigi?  Toadstool?  Obviously they're going to have to be NPCs, and having a zillion heroes running around doesn't fit the franchise at all.

If the franchise has dozens or hundreds of heroes who get roughly equal billing, and in a single player game, you happen to play one of them or a group of them, but either meet NPCs or hear about other characters in the lore who are about as powerful as you, then that can translate to an MMORPG far more easily.  For example, in Uncharted Waters: New Horizons, you would play as one of six NPCs, and may meet some of the others in the storyline.  You could meet dozens of NPC sailors in taverns, and there were dozens of NPC fleet sailing around.  That easily translates into an MMORPG, as a lot of the other sailors and fleets are players instead of all NPCs.


Spotlight Poster

Joined: 7/15/09
Posts: 203

5/05/12 5:22:40 PM#20
Redoing an existing franchise only shows how lazy you are. It seems we are in a remake phase. B movies made in the 80's are being re made and games are being remade into mmos.
But making something original is too risky, so slapping on a familiar name on the product somehow mitigates that risk.
Also to an investor, Avatar the MMO sound like a much better investment than some spaghetti Western in space whose name has zero weight behind in. (Not referencing firefly. Was making a point)
I sell it that OMG this movie made over a Billion dollars... BILLIONS! Carl sagan billions! Opposed to, its a Western... in space! Space I tell you!
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