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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » How do you take a great IP and make a bad game?

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73 posts found
  DavisFlight

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/25/12
Posts: 2594

10/02/12 3:14:25 PM#41

Pretty easily. The only two IPs I can think of that became great MMOs were Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies.

Its a product of the time, back then dev teams were smaller, more independent, and interested in making unique social virtual world MMORPGs.

Look at the Lord of the Rings Online. In 2004, LotRO was called Middle Earth Online. They made it as far as beta, and many played MEO in the Turbine offices. It was a sandbox game with the tag line "live in Middle Earth". But as soon as WoW started attracting big publishers to the business, publishers weren't interested in well thought out virtual worlds. They wanted super casual mostly solo online games like WoW.

And so at the last minute MEO was rebranded LotRO and it became a very bland themepark game that got 95% of its features from WoW. SWG was retooled to be more like a themepark (and that didn't end well). It's all about the publishers, not knowing what makes a good MMO. Here we have two games underoing an "NGE" and losing the bulk of its playerbase. When the biggest IP in the entire world barely manages to stay afloat and has to go FTP, and the other shuts down... man.

And then they try to make the exact same kind of themepark with SWTOR, and fail again.

  akiira69

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/28/07
Posts: 525

Need longer quote limits.

10/02/12 3:34:44 PM#42
Originally posted by RefMinor
Originally posted by gaeanprayer
Originally posted by ZigZags

I think its a shame that some of the greatest intellectual properties of our life time were made into MMOs that utterly failed. I remember watching movies and reading books thinking to myself, "I wish I could live or play in this world" and eventually some corporation got involved with the creators of the IP, made a game and it ended up sucking, going free to play or closing down.

 

HOW CAN THIS BE? Ironically, some of the best MMO's still in play and going strong didn't really have a big following before the game ever came out. I find that kind of funny.

You answered your own question. MMOs based on popular IPs do badly for the same reason that movies based on video games do badly; people already live in this world through their initial introduction to it, and no derivitive work that comes after will ever measure up. The expectations are always higher than can be met, because your imagination and fantasies will ALWAYS tell a better story than any writer.

And this is why SWG was far and above SWTOR, one lets you watch their story and the other lets you live through your imaginanation and fantasies.

SWG Pre-CU was better than SWTOR but Post-CU and Post-NGE SWTOR is better than SWG. Pre-CU it was an honor to get to unlock the Jedi Class. When the Combat Upgrade came out it became easier to get a jedi cause there was a walk through on the official forums. By the time the NGE(New Game Enhancements) came out being a Jedi was a joke, not to mention that after the NGE came out everyone could create a Jedi from the start. The reason why BioWare chose the Old Republic time line so that everyone could create a jedi without breaking lore like SOE did in SWG.

"Possibly we humans can exist without actually having to fight. But many of us have chosen to fight. For what reason? To protect something? Protect what? Ourselves? The future? If we kill people to protect ourselves and this future, then what sort of future is it, and what will we have become? There is no future for those who have died. And what of those who did the killing? Is happiness to be found in a future that is grasped with blood stained hands? Is that the truth?"

  Robsolf

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/21/06
Posts: 4043

Let go of my ears, I know what I'm doing!

10/02/12 3:35:30 PM#43
Originally posted by Quirhid

IP is like a paint job on top of the game - the nuts and bolts. I strongly feel that the game should come first and IP should be developed around it, not the other way round.

For example, the Jedi sound nice in the books and movies but they translate poorly into games. As they are portrayed, they are outrageously overpowered compared to anyone else in that universe. Same for the wizards in Eddings' books, they're practically demigods.

Authors rarely create their fiction with games in mind. Also some have no clue about developing good games: quidditch anyone?

This right here.  While there are probably other reasons IP games are often substandard, a pre-established IP ties the hands of a game developer in many respects.

Take LotRO, for example.  Imagine if Turbine put Griffon rides in there... or even worse; a Great Eagle taxi system...

What if they wanted to create an Asuran type race?  Or some steampunk type technology?  What if they wanted to have a whole zone based on something like "Expedition to the Barrier Peaks"?

Turbine would be "shoot on sight" for LotR fans.  Meanwhile, games like Rift, WoW, and many others could do it without a problem.

  Leoghan

Novice Member

Joined: 12/27/03
Posts: 611

10/02/12 4:49:25 PM#44
Originally posted by Robsolf
Originally posted by Quirhid

IP is like a paint job on top of the game - the nuts and bolts. I strongly feel that the game should come first and IP should be developed around it, not the other way round.

For example, the Jedi sound nice in the books and movies but they translate poorly into games. As they are portrayed, they are outrageously overpowered compared to anyone else in that universe. Same for the wizards in Eddings' books, they're practically demigods.

Authors rarely create their fiction with games in mind. Also some have no clue about developing good games: quidditch anyone?

This right here.  While there are probably other reasons IP games are often substandard, a pre-established IP ties the hands of a game developer in many respects.

Take LotRO, for example.  Imagine if Turbine put Griffon rides in there... or even worse; a Great Eagle taxi system...

What if they wanted to create an Asuran type race?  Or some steampunk type technology?  What if they wanted to have a whole zone based on something like "Expedition to the Barrier Peaks"?

Turbine would be "shoot on sight" for LotR fans.  Meanwhile, games like Rift, WoW, and many others could do it without a problem.

WoW certainly did have more leaway than other titles like the SW MMO's or LoTRO, but it wasn't devoid of prior IP. My only interest in the game was from my experiences as a Warcraft player. In fact, the new panda people come from Warcraft III. 

  TalonsWing

Novice Member

Joined: 4/18/12
Posts: 33

10/02/12 5:12:57 PM#45

It really is astonishing isn't it.  I've now gone through TWO Star Wars licensed MMOs (who would EVER have thought there would be more than one shot at this) and both failed.  Why?   We could go on forever discussing it but at the end of the day, in deep irony, they ultimately ended up trying to placate Lucas Arts or the minority of the playerbase.  The problems with SWTOR truly are inconceivable given the lessons they should have learned from SWG.

1.  Players want to actually BE something in the SW universe.  Not one of 10,000 Sith Lords flying around a space station.

2.  Players want an advancement system at end game, not a grinding system.

3.  Players want full PvE AND PvP options.

4.  Players want to influence their universe.  

 

Easy easy easy concepts.  What did we get?  Wargames and shlock.  But in fairness, the best single player experience I have had since the TOR games themselves.

 

Oh well, as they say.  I dont think there will be a third one.

  ShakyMo

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/21/11
Posts: 7246

10/02/12 5:16:22 PM#46
That's not true though, xwing and tiefighter are 2 of the best regarded star wars games, and you just play Mr regular pilot in those.
  Sevenstar61

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/22/12
Posts: 1640

"But it was so artistically done..." - Grand Admiral Thrawn's final words

10/02/12 5:18:36 PM#47
Originally posted by RefMinor
Originally posted by gaeanprayer
Originally posted by ZigZags

I think its a shame that some of the greatest intellectual properties of our life time were made into MMOs that utterly failed. I remember watching movies and reading books thinking to myself, "I wish I could live or play in this world" and eventually some corporation got involved with the creators of the IP, made a game and it ended up sucking, going free to play or closing down.

 

HOW CAN THIS BE? Ironically, some of the best MMO's still in play and going strong didn't really have a big following before the game ever came out. I find that kind of funny.

You answered your own question. MMOs based on popular IPs do badly for the same reason that movies based on video games do badly; people already live in this world through their initial introduction to it, and no derivitive work that comes after will ever measure up. The expectations are always higher than can be met, because your imagination and fantasies will ALWAYS tell a better story than any writer.

And this is why SWG was far and above SWTOR, one lets you watch their story and the other lets you live through your imaginanation and fantasies.

There are plenty of fan fiction in SWTOR. And some of it is awesome. If players can create such jewels based on stories in game, that means that there is something more to this game then eye can see:)

http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=514775

 


Sith Warrior - Story of Hate and Love http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxKrlwXt7Ao
Imperial Agent - Rise of Cipher Nine http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBBj3eJWBvU&feature=youtu.be
Imperial Agent - Hunt for the Eagle Part 1http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQqjYYU128E

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13654

10/02/12 5:25:26 PM#48

It's pretty easy to make a bad game, actually.  And as you seem to have belatedly noticed, a nifty IP can't save an otherwise bad game.

I think the more interesting question is how to make a good game.

  Leoghan

Novice Member

Joined: 12/27/03
Posts: 611

10/02/12 5:38:52 PM#49
Originally posted by Sevenstar61
Originally posted by RefMinor
Originally posted by gaeanprayer
Originally posted by ZigZags

I think its a shame that some of the greatest intellectual properties of our life time were made into MMOs that utterly failed. I remember watching movies and reading books thinking to myself, "I wish I could live or play in this world" and eventually some corporation got involved with the creators of the IP, made a game and it ended up sucking, going free to play or closing down.

 

HOW CAN THIS BE? Ironically, some of the best MMO's still in play and going strong didn't really have a big following before the game ever came out. I find that kind of funny.

You answered your own question. MMOs based on popular IPs do badly for the same reason that movies based on video games do badly; people already live in this world through their initial introduction to it, and no derivitive work that comes after will ever measure up. The expectations are always higher than can be met, because your imagination and fantasies will ALWAYS tell a better story than any writer.

And this is why SWG was far and above SWTOR, one lets you watch their story and the other lets you live through your imaginanation and fantasies.

There are plenty of fan fiction in SWTOR. And some of it is awesome. If players can create such jewels based on stories in game, that means that there is something more to this game then eye can see:)

http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=514775

 

I don't think you understand his point, sure people can write great fan fics and all, but there are few if any tools in game to "live" these stories. They don't even offer bios for players and the chances for RP are minimal compared to nearly every other game. SWTOR has some decent stories in game, but they are on rails with switchs for good or evil decisions and that is it. 

  Sevenstar61

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/22/12
Posts: 1640

"But it was so artistically done..." - Grand Admiral Thrawn's final words

10/02/12 5:45:44 PM#50
Originally posted by Leoghan
Originally posted by Sevenstar61
Originally posted by RefMinor
Originally posted by gaeanprayer
Originally posted by ZigZags

I think its a shame that some of the greatest intellectual properties of our life time were made into MMOs that utterly failed. I remember watching movies and reading books thinking to myself, "I wish I could live or play in this world" and eventually some corporation got involved with the creators of the IP, made a game and it ended up sucking, going free to play or closing down.

 

HOW CAN THIS BE? Ironically, some of the best MMO's still in play and going strong didn't really have a big following before the game ever came out. I find that kind of funny.

You answered your own question. MMOs based on popular IPs do badly for the same reason that movies based on video games do badly; people already live in this world through their initial introduction to it, and no derivitive work that comes after will ever measure up. The expectations are always higher than can be met, because your imagination and fantasies will ALWAYS tell a better story than any writer.

And this is why SWG was far and above SWTOR, one lets you watch their story and the other lets you live through your imaginanation and fantasies.

There are plenty of fan fiction in SWTOR. And some of it is awesome. If players can create such jewels based on stories in game, that means that there is something more to this game then eye can see:)

http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=514775

 

I don't think you understand his point, sure people can write great fan fics and all, but there are few if any tools in game to "live" these stories. They don't even offer bios for players and the chances for RP are minimal compared to nearly every other game. SWTOR has some decent stories in game, but they are on rails with switchs for good or evil decisions and that is it. 

I agree that they could add many of mentionned things, sure it would make it better. I hope that it will happen sooner or later. But unless you want to make a niche game for the few who have unlimited time to make their own stories etc. it's just unrealistic.


Sith Warrior - Story of Hate and Love http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxKrlwXt7Ao
Imperial Agent - Rise of Cipher Nine http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBBj3eJWBvU&feature=youtu.be
Imperial Agent - Hunt for the Eagle Part 1http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQqjYYU128E

  DavisFlight

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/25/12
Posts: 2594

10/02/12 5:47:47 PM#51
Originally posted by Sevenstar61
Originally posted by Leoghan
Originally posted by Sevenstar61
Originally posted by RefMinor
Originally posted by gaeanprayer
Originally posted by ZigZags

I think its a shame that some of the greatest intellectual properties of our life time were made into MMOs that utterly failed. I remember watching movies and reading books thinking to myself, "I wish I could live or play in this world" and eventually some corporation got involved with the creators of the IP, made a game and it ended up sucking, going free to play or closing down.

 

HOW CAN THIS BE? Ironically, some of the best MMO's still in play and going strong didn't really have a big following before the game ever came out. I find that kind of funny.

You answered your own question. MMOs based on popular IPs do badly for the same reason that movies based on video games do badly; people already live in this world through their initial introduction to it, and no derivitive work that comes after will ever measure up. The expectations are always higher than can be met, because your imagination and fantasies will ALWAYS tell a better story than any writer.

And this is why SWG was far and above SWTOR, one lets you watch their story and the other lets you live through your imaginanation and fantasies.

There are plenty of fan fiction in SWTOR. And some of it is awesome. If players can create such jewels based on stories in game, that means that there is something more to this game then eye can see:)

http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=514775

 

I don't think you understand his point, sure people can write great fan fics and all, but there are few if any tools in game to "live" these stories. They don't even offer bios for players and the chances for RP are minimal compared to nearly every other game. SWTOR has some decent stories in game, but they are on rails with switchs for good or evil decisions and that is it. 

I agree that they could add many of mentionned things, sure it would make it better. I hope that it will happen sooner or later. But unless you want to make a niche game for the few who have unlimited time to make their own stories etc. it's just unrealistic.

Haha that "niche" is a lot bigger than the current population playing SWTOR. It is FAR more realistic to make a game for that niche than go for the WoW audience who will play for a month and then leave. History has shown that SWTOR style games always fail.

  Leoghan

Novice Member

Joined: 12/27/03
Posts: 611

10/02/12 5:52:19 PM#52
Originally posted by Sevenstar61
Originally posted by Leoghan
Originally posted by Sevenstar61
Originally posted by RefMinor
Originally posted by gaeanprayer
Originally posted by ZigZags

I think its a shame that some of the greatest intellectual properties of our life time were made into MMOs that utterly failed. I remember watching movies and reading books thinking to myself, "I wish I could live or play in this world" and eventually some corporation got involved with the creators of the IP, made a game and it ended up sucking, going free to play or closing down.

 

HOW CAN THIS BE? Ironically, some of the best MMO's still in play and going strong didn't really have a big following before the game ever came out. I find that kind of funny.

You answered your own question. MMOs based on popular IPs do badly for the same reason that movies based on video games do badly; people already live in this world through their initial introduction to it, and no derivitive work that comes after will ever measure up. The expectations are always higher than can be met, because your imagination and fantasies will ALWAYS tell a better story than any writer.

And this is why SWG was far and above SWTOR, one lets you watch their story and the other lets you live through your imaginanation and fantasies.

There are plenty of fan fiction in SWTOR. And some of it is awesome. If players can create such jewels based on stories in game, that means that there is something more to this game then eye can see:)

http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=514775

 

I don't think you understand his point, sure people can write great fan fics and all, but there are few if any tools in game to "live" these stories. They don't even offer bios for players and the chances for RP are minimal compared to nearly every other game. SWTOR has some decent stories in game, but they are on rails with switchs for good or evil decisions and that is it. 

I agree that they could add many of mentionned things, sure it would make it better. I hope that it will happen sooner or later. But unless you want to make a niche game for the few who have unlimited time to make their own stories etc. it's just unrealistic.

You're telling me at this point SWTOR isn't a niche game? Come on, outside of WoW evey MMO is a niche game and it is a niche market. It is fine if SWTOR fits your niche, but it's not a wide market success, thus making it niche. 

  Banquetto

Novice Member

Joined: 10/06/09
Posts: 1033

10/02/12 7:18:45 PM#53


Originally posted by Vynt
There would be no reason to make a Firefly MMO. It is kind of a generic scifi theme. Don't get me wrong, I loved the series too, but an MMO could be made without having to pay for the IP.

A vast empire that does what it wants, spanning multiple worlds, many forgotten or uncard for. People making what lives they can. A beaten down rebellion, a thing of the past.

What made Firefly interesting were the characters, not really the universe.


And, of course, the big reason to license an IP is to lock in the fanbase - and with a niche fanbase as small as Firefly's, again, no reason to pay for the IP.

  MMOman101

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/05/08
Posts: 1213

10/02/12 7:32:44 PM#54
  Jaedor

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/17/09
Posts: 991

10/02/12 7:37:59 PM#55

Just like great books can make terribad movies, a great IP/story can make a terribad game.

  indef

Hard Core Member

Joined: 9/22/12
Posts: 374

10/02/12 7:44:38 PM#56

The IP is the skin of the game.

You could make an AMAZING game that is in black and white, all characters look 100% identical, the world is boring and bland, but the mechanics and gameplay are phenomenal.  

If you take a great game and slap on an IP, you get a masterpiece.

If you take an IP and try to form a game underneath it, you end up with garbage that looks nice.

SWTOR was created for the sole purpose of taking money from Star Wars fans and was built on the WoW model because it is proven to work.  It was never made to be a good game.

The only companies still making good games and either indie ones or big companies with their own ideas, not IPs.

  Gorwe

Elite Member

Joined: 9/16/11
Posts: 1884

10/02/12 8:16:47 PM#57
My turn!

I've been through thick and thin and through jungle and desert in the past few years. And I came to the following conclussion: only Themebox/Sandpark experiences matter(think TES). The thing is, I can't really recommend even one Themepark to someone(is not quite an experience, now is it) and we all know how quiant is the size of Sandbox Kingdom(about the size of one hand). Themeboxes/Sandparks are the MMOs of future. Games such as GW 2. Perhaps even sandboxes, but somehow I doubt their power and Influence. The games shouldn't be about grind(YUCK), but about exploration, about worthy new experiences and about making new friends as well as new foes. The era of WoW crafting MUST end and devs MUST look up to SWG pre-CU and other Classic titles for inspiration. They also MUST realise that less is more. Meaning that there can be no greater adventure than the one you forged for yourself.

IP does not compute into this. Most often Pubs are gr33dy(well what would you Expect, they are dirty, rotten gits by default) and they use IPs as means to Cash in on the game. Look at WAR and answer me honestly: Is this a good game? Now do the same for AoC/TOR/LoTRO/others. The answer? No, it is not! And why? Because under the bonnet there lies nothing more than pathetic imitation of WoW. I mean, I can add all sorts of widgets and plonks and stuff on Yugo(nothing wrong with it!) or Reliant Robin or (gods forbid) Tuk-Tuk, but it still is what it is. Simple as that!

I value games such as CoH, such as GW series and such as TES/The Witcher/BG series, such as Heroes of Might n Magic. Most of today's MMOs, sadly, just do not compute when we are talking about such grand(for the lack of better Word) games-nah scratch that, grand EXPERIENCES. Until MMOs stop being piontless Cash grabs and lewt grindz and until MMOs start being that E Word again, I feel that I haven't got anything to look for in them. Keep in mind, TOR/TSW/GW 2 have set quite a good Base for the future MMOs to expand upon, seeing how all 3 of them are worthy experiences(yes, that is coming from Trekkie and anti-Cthulhu guy). May we have another Golden Age of MMOs(and soon)!

With Asuryan's blessings...

Gorwe Baranion
  Sevenstar61

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/22/12
Posts: 1640

"But it was so artistically done..." - Grand Admiral Thrawn's final words

10/02/12 8:33:28 PM#58

I agree that they could add many of mentionned things, sure it would make it better. I hope that it will happen sooner or later. But unless you want to make a niche game for the few who have unlimited time to make their own stories etc. it's just unrealistic.

decisions and that is it. 

You're telling me at this point SWTOR isn't a niche game? Come on, outside of WoW evey MMO is a niche game and it is a niche market. It is fine if SWTOR fits your niche, but it's not a wide market success, thus making it niche. 

I agree that it was not wide market success. It's a game for people like me who appreciate good story as it is all about story. No question about it.  This might change though, not that I would be too happy about it :(

Niche game? You are probably right. All games but WoW are niche /shrug.

Though I will wait and see how F2P will play out before saying the final word about it.


Sith Warrior - Story of Hate and Love http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxKrlwXt7Ao
Imperial Agent - Rise of Cipher Nine http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBBj3eJWBvU&feature=youtu.be
Imperial Agent - Hunt for the Eagle Part 1http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQqjYYU128E

  smh_alot

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/10/12
Posts: 990

10/02/12 9:45:10 PM#59
I think we aren't quite there yet. Before the Lord of the Rings movies got made, I and many others used to say that Tolkien's IP, his epic Lord of the Rings/Hobbit saga, was simply impossible to translate properly into a movie. However, like Lord of the Rings and The Dark Knight and Game of Thrones have shown, movie and tv studios have learnt the knack of making good IP translations into movies and tv.

For singleplayer games, studios are getting better at it as well. What's more, I think that Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights were already good IP translations into games, just like Vampire the Masquerade.


However, for MMORPG's game companies are still figuring out the art of it. Besides it being subjective of course. SWG and LotrO are to some considered good IP translations, but to many others they failed in the implementation. I'd personally consider TSW a fairly good Lovecraft IP translation when it comes to vibe and atmosphere, but TSW is an independent IP (an IP btw that I think would do great as singleplayer game, movie, tv series or books)
  Leoghan

Novice Member

Joined: 12/27/03
Posts: 611

10/02/12 9:57:09 PM#60
Originally posted by Sevenstar61

I agree that they could add many of mentionned things, sure it would make it better. I hope that it will happen sooner or later. But unless you want to make a niche game for the few who have unlimited time to make their own stories etc. it's just unrealistic.

decisions and that is it. 

You're telling me at this point SWTOR isn't a niche game? Come on, outside of WoW evey MMO is a niche game and it is a niche market. It is fine if SWTOR fits your niche, but it's not a wide market success, thus making it niche. 

I agree that it was not wide market success. It's a game for people like me who appreciate good story as it is all about story. No question about it.  This might change though, not that I would be too happy about it :(

Niche game? You are probably right. All games but WoW are niche /shrug.

Though I will wait and see how F2P will play out before saying the final word about it.

See I don't think there is anything wrong with these games being "niche" as long as the developers understand that that is what this genre is. There is no one game to rule them all, and I'm not sure when it comes to MMOers there every will be. There was WoW and WoW is an anomaly, it will never happen again, developers need to simply accept this and realize that the one thing WoW brought was more attention to the genre, so now they can split a couple million players rather than the 700K or so that were in the genere before WoW. If they would just do that and focus on making good games rather than reaching some unattainable number of subs I think we'd (including the developers) would be a lot happier. 

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