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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Why did the WoW model fail?

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75 posts found

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 6/17/10
Posts: 6388

OP  7/24/12 9:47:29 PM#1
I see this often on this site and many other MMO forums. Seem the general population on these sites, seem to see the WoW model as a failure.

My question is, Why did the WoW model fail?

What did the WoW model do wrong?


Novice Member

Joined: 5/18/11
Posts: 2080

7/24/12 9:48:44 PM#2

It didn't fail, people are just tired of it when they look for a game other than WoW.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/25/06
Posts: 503

7/24/12 9:52:02 PM#3

Too many games like WoW, too many of anything usually leadsto some the imitators  falling by the wayside. Also remember that as you said it's the opinion of  people on this site and sites like it, there are a lot of people playing games that don't come to these sites, they have opinions too, they just don't post them on forums.

  User Deleted
7/24/12 9:56:10 PM#4

It didnt fail.

Its resulted in millions of box sales, its gotten millions addicted to the mmorpg genere and most of them hate everything RPG (at least they complain most about rpg elements in the game)

People keep whipping up into a frothing mouth frenzy everytime a new game reinvents the wow model then rage at over how all games are the same.


Happend with every incarnation, Aion/AoC/Rift/WAR/GW2/SWTOR and im missing many.  Will happen to TES once the latest versions hype has receded.  Its a never ending but briliant cycle, they know people will buy the box and a month or two regardless of how much the same it is at heart.


Also, as much as i personally dont care for it, and many hate is still going strong after all these years.

The combination of EQ and DAOC stripped down to its basics and made easy and non fustrating, appealing to the lowest common denomonator...has proven to be the money maker.

Personally, i can enjoy the reincarnations for what they are, as stale as it is by now...its sometimes more fun to watch a game build massive hype "its gonna be a game changer" "revolutionize the industry" "fixes whats wrong with.."  oh how i love the catch phrases...and the moment people realize its all the same game at its heart then get all mad...only to hop right back on the popularity train that runs in a giant circle...up next the same experience you just had!

Has anyone else wonderd why this site likes most the games that are not yet released?


Novice Member

Joined: 11/07/08
Posts: 52

7/24/12 10:02:48 PM#5

because WoW is using the wow model........


Novice Member

Joined: 12/07/05
Posts: 1170

7/24/12 10:05:11 PM#6

World of Warcraft is one of the most dramatic successes in gaming history. It is anything but a failure.

The game was worked on for many years and has been out for many years. All the while bringing in a billion dollars of revenue a year.   With that much money and development time (like 12 freaking years!), it is delusional for developers to think they can compete with it on its own terms. But they try and fail over and over again because investors want to chase the money. 

How many facebook clones, groupon clones, League of Legends clones have failed? But they keep getting made.

To make the next big thing it has to be origional. WoW certainly was, sure it was influence by Everquest, but influence is different  than copy. An inferior version of WoW + Story is a much smaller step than from EQ to WoW.

The next big failure will be the Elder Scrolls Online... they just dont seem to get it do they?

Remember Old School Ultima Online


Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 3109

7/24/12 10:07:14 PM#7

I don't have enough a hard data to confirm success or failure, but there is definitely a sense (right or wrong) that a lot of companies have wildly overestimated the size of audience they would attract. 

I sometimes wonder if MMOs are more like network economies than product economies.   In a product economy (eg: a normal game) you can just clone what the competition does and sell it in direct competition.  In a network economy (eg: operating systems), whoever has the most customers gets the most new customers - even in the face of near-identical competitors. 


  User Deleted
7/24/12 10:17:24 PM#8

The WOW model has not failed. Other developers have failed at innovation and marketing. SWTOR is a prime example. EA/Bioware produced a shallow easy to play game and sold plenty of copies. The marketed and advertised the game well and produced a substantial opening sales surge. Sadly the game was not deep enough to retain those players.

Someday another company will get the equation right.

High quality innovative game + Creative marketing and advertising = Competition for Blizzard.

Until then we will continue to see the success of the WOW model as people leave to try something else and return not long after.


Advanced Member

Joined: 9/13/07
Posts: 1945

7/24/12 10:19:34 PM#9
Originally posted by MMOExposed
I see this often on this site and many other MMO forums. Seem the general population on these sites, seem to see the WoW model as a failure.

My question is, Why did the WoW model fail?

What did the WoW model do wrong?

No one in thier right mind would say the WOW model failed. What failed is everyone trying to copy it but never being able to do it as well as WOW did.

The thing WOW did extreemly well was how it evolved. It started out as a semi hardcore game. I say semi because the hardcore had enough content to keep them occupied while blizzard worked on more and it also had plenty of content for the not so hardcore-new to MMOs player. It found that perfect balance at launch. As the game has evolved they have moved more twords the casual player while still keeping thoes hardcore raids. At first they left the hardcore raid for the 25man groups and added the 10man raids for thoes guilds who where inbetween casual and hardcore so they couldnt do 25mans. Now the game has evolved into mostly a game for casuals. They have realised that the more hardcore crowd is starting to look elsewhere and making the raid content more available to completely casual players is where thier future subs are going to come from.

Now this isnt going to make everyone happy obviously. But Blizzard is smart. They realise that MMO's have gone the way of not being able to really split the content anymore. So while they will keep the hardmodes for the few hardcore players that do stick around they know thier money lies in the more casual/family player.

Name me one other company that has been able to figure out how evolve thier MMO to keep players around. The WOW model works and works well. What doesnt work is trying to copy it but not being able to do it right. Either there is a horrible lack of content, the game is buggy, or they try to please everyone at once which simply doesnt work anymore. Just like old school MMO's the market is heading to niche titles again.

  User Deleted
7/24/12 10:23:02 PM#10

Other mmos go f2p because they do not want to compete with WoW via subscriptions.


Elite Member

Joined: 9/19/06
Posts: 5663

7/24/12 10:23:03 PM#11

Games that attept to copy the WoW model and then do a worse job at it make me cringe. When I was playing SWTOR and got to endgame and was opening bags for random PvP loot, I realized that they had just taken the skinner box way too far. When I got into raids and realized how easy they were and that they weren't going to get any harder for months, I realized that they had no content for my gameplay style. When they comlpetely scrapped Ilum out of nowhere after I had quit the game, I realized they had no clue what they were doing when it came to objective based open world PvP.


In the end, the WoW model was fine for me for a while. I actually just switched over to PvP eventually in WoW. But when all of the systems are similar to WoW in a game but implemented much more poorly, I leave. If I wanted those same features, I'd play WoW because it is better at them.



SWTOR is the greatest mmo ever!


Novice Member

Joined: 3/17/10
Posts: 2943

7/24/12 10:24:13 PM#12
Originally posted by MMOExposed
I see this often on this site and many other MMO forums. Seem the general population on these sites, seem to see the WoW model as a failure.

My question is, Why did the WoW model fail?

What did the WoW model do wrong?

First, it reduced, never expanded. WoW never gave MMOs any great new ideas or innovations, it just shortened things and removed features.

Second, it focused on singleplayer. WoW is a fluke, and no one will be able to repeat it. It was the perfect storm. Any other MMO trying to win using the same model will fail. People do not stay playing MMORPGs by themselves in instances. Communities keep people together, and the WoW model gutted all the features that encourage socializing and community building. People aren't going to pony up 15 bucks a month to play a mediocre singleplayer game with a chat bar. Everything from the instanced and tiered raiding system, to the quest grinding seemed to be designed solely to destroy group play.

Even if you do the WoW model, but better, it's no promise for success. Look at SWTOR. Look at LotRO. The two biggest IPs out there and they're barely alive.


Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/29/10
Posts: 2900

7/24/12 10:24:51 PM#13

The WOW  model was a success.  Most developers simply don't understand the model and release games with just the features of vanilla WOW when Blizzard has raised the expectations much higher.  If you truly adopted the WOW model, you would have everything that's good in WOW and dump what isn't.  You'd also provide solid art, music, art design, combat and animations.


If SWTOR adopted the WOW model they


1) wouldn't have released until they had fixed the combat lag, had cross server group finders and ranked PVP.  They'd also have rated arenas ready within a couple of months after launch.




2) They would have drastically improved on WOW endgame in some way.


They failed to do either.


Novice Member

Joined: 5/01/06
Posts: 2642

A sword is never a killer, it is a tool in the killer's hands.
- Seneca

7/24/12 10:28:46 PM#14

I don't think the WoW model failed. WoW's made too much money from it to consider it failed. Some might say other games that try to copy it fail though.


Novice Member

Joined: 7/26/10
Posts: 262

7/24/12 10:29:51 PM#15

Why did the WoW model fail? Because WoW already did it...


Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/08/11
Posts: 521

7/24/12 10:30:33 PM#16
Originally posted by MMOExposed
I see this often on this site and many other MMO forums. Seem the general population on these sites, seem to see the WoW model as a failure.

My question is, Why did the WoW model fail?

What did the WoW model do wrong?


It hasn't failed.


It's stupid that people actually think it's failed when it's still actually the biggest model in western markets.


WoW might be the only game able to use the "WoW Model" effectively, but isn't that how it should be? I've never expected clones to do well, anyone who does is deluded.


Only WoW can rock the WoW Model. It's still the strongest model out there by far (For WoW, not for any other game.)


Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 3109

7/24/12 10:32:34 PM#17
Originally posted by Xzen

I don't think the WoW model failed. WoW's made too much money from it to consider it failed.

I'm assuming that the title should be read as "Why did the WoW-clone model failed to produce more WoW-sized sustained customer bases"?


Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/19/04
Posts: 211

7/24/12 10:36:04 PM#18

The wow model has not failed. What has been a failure is what many have already pointed out in this thread and that is attempting to copy wow instead of innovate. 


Novice Member

Joined: 5/19/04
Posts: 409

7/24/12 10:36:51 PM#19

WoW just copied everything from every other game and improved on it. They just did it better than everyone else. Then companies again, tried to copy it and just kept releasing unpolished trash after unpolished trash. Not to mention, I think people are getting tired of the hand holding and easy-mode games are bringing to the table.


I am not sure what is really going to "break the mold", or if it will ever happen. Personally, I think GW2 has done a good job sort of mixing things up a bit, while also including many great features with AAA polish. Polish is the key here, most companies just fail and release things way too early.


Spotlight Poster

Joined: 8/24/06
Posts: 3332

7/24/12 10:39:59 PM#20

WoW is easily the most successful MMO ever.  So it's model isn't fail.  The biggest thing that other developers don't get is that how deep the lore is in WoW.  Rift and Lotro are really the only two games that even come close to the depth of lore that WoW has.  All three are very successful in thier own rights.  Almost all other MMOs since the launch of WoW have very little depth or lore within them, and this is where they fail.  Whether you like to read the lore of a game or not, MMOs are basically cut down to a story.  Without a story, there is no real point to playing an MMO.  Developers, for some reason, think that quest grinding, gear grinding, raid grinding, is what WoW did so face this is the weakest part of any MMO.  The truth is that story (and community) are what MMOs are all about.

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