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79 posts found
  Gdemami

Elite Member

Joined: 9/23/08
Posts: 6822

10/17/12 1:06:42 PM#21


Originally posted by dzoni87

If single-player RPG market was like this

...and single player RPG market is exactly that way, just had years to evolve it's own "clones".


It is like I said before, you ignore any real and relevant factors shaping MMO development and input your own personal bias.

  Burntvet

Elite Member

Joined: 11/16/07
Posts: 2724

10/17/12 1:14:26 PM#22
Originally posted by DavisFlight
Originally posted by Burntvet

Well, the thing is that MMOs are much, much more expensive to make than they used to be, so it is pretty much ONLY the large companies that can afford to lay down the cash for anything aproaching "AAA". (And no, such things as Darkfall, Mortal Offline and other do not come close, the games actually have to work).

Stopped reading there. Darkfall DOES work.

You could probably make two jaw dropping MMOs just from the marketing budget of Rift or SWTOR or WAR if they were developed without publishers and by good game devs, not soulless WoW followers.

Perhaps you were not there at launch, but DF was a buggy, broken, and exploit riddled mess, and was over run with BOTers and cheaters/hackers of all types, that were not punished for the most part (which is especially unforgivable in a full loot PvP game, the playing field MUST be level). And it stayed that way, for a long time. The fans of DF complain that the game was "too hardcore" for most MMO fans and that was why players quit in droves over the first 6 months (and they did), but the reality is that many quit because DF was just technically not a very well made game.

Good "game management" and responsiveness to hacks and other exploits is generally one of the few things the large MMO companies do do well (or at least better than the indies). And if a game does poorly out of the gate, its reputation is set.

 

I do not disagree with you on bugdet, the "right group" could do a fantasic job with $40-50 mil and make a very good game, something the "wrong group" can't even do with $200 mil.

But those days may be gone, it is just the nature of the business now.

 

  DavisFlight

Advanced Member

Joined: 9/25/12
Posts: 2406

10/17/12 1:27:18 PM#23
Originally posted by Burntvet
Originally posted by DavisFlight
Originally posted by Burntvet

Well, the thing is that MMOs are much, much more expensive to make than they used to be, so it is pretty much ONLY the large companies that can afford to lay down the cash for anything aproaching "AAA". (And no, such things as Darkfall, Mortal Offline and other do not come close, the games actually have to work).

Stopped reading there. Darkfall DOES work.

You could probably make two jaw dropping MMOs just from the marketing budget of Rift or SWTOR or WAR if they were developed without publishers and by good game devs, not soulless WoW followers.

Perhaps you were not there at launch, but DF was a buggy, broken, and exploit riddled mess, and was over run with BOTers and cheaters/hackers of all types, that were not punished for the most part (which is especially unforgivable in a full loot PvP game, the playing field MUST be level). And it stayed that way, for a long time.

 

I was there since early beta. There weren't many bugs at all during launch. There were exploits, that got patched within the first week. There wasn't much hacking until month 2, and that got shut down by a huge ban wave and hasn't really been an issue since. People were indeed punished for both exploiting and hacking. Those accounts got wiped out quickly. It was just as prevalent as it is in every other MMO ever made, no more or less.

Macroing was widespread, that was the big issue for a long time, but it didn't "break the game". I didn't macro and I played the game just fine for 3 years.

  Gdemami

Elite Member

Joined: 9/23/08
Posts: 6822

10/17/12 1:37:52 PM#24


Originally posted by DavisFlight

I was there since early beta. There weren't many bugs at all during launch. There were exploits, that got patched within the first week. There wasn't much hacking until month 2, and that got shut down by a huge ban wave and hasn't really been an issue since. People were indeed punished for both exploiting and hacking. Those accounts got wiped out quickly. It was just as prevalent as it is in every other MMO ever made, no more or less.

Macroing was widespread, that was the big issue for a long time, but it didn't "break the game". I didn't macro and I played the game just fine for 3 years.



I understand people like the game and have passion for it but c'mon...

  DavisFlight

Advanced Member

Joined: 9/25/12
Posts: 2406

10/17/12 1:45:08 PM#25
Originally posted by Gdemami

 


Originally posted by DavisFlight

I was there since early beta. There weren't many bugs at all during launch. There were exploits, that got patched within the first week. There wasn't much hacking until month 2, and that got shut down by a huge ban wave and hasn't really been an issue since. People were indeed punished for both exploiting and hacking. Those accounts got wiped out quickly. It was just as prevalent as it is in every other MMO ever made, no more or less.

 

Macroing was widespread, that was the big issue for a long time, but it didn't "break the game". I didn't macro and I played the game just fine for 3 years.


 


I understand people like the game and have passion for it but c'mon...

But c'mon what? I never said Darkfall was flawless, but to claim it was "broken" at launch is just stupid. You can't play broken games. There are many MMOs I couldn't play at launch because they were broken.

Darkfall was not broken.

  Jaedor

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/17/09
Posts: 799

10/17/12 1:53:51 PM#26

Specific games aside, companies are in the business of making money. They make games because there is profit to be made. As has already been posted, we would not have the wealth of choices available today if it wasn't for companies being willing to gamble millions of dollars on a risky, long-term investment.

Ten years ago, the gaming industry was mostly non-existent. You can thank Blizzard and a couple other big companies for being willing to take the risk and put gaming as an industry on the map. Add F2P to the mix and suddenly, gaming is a billion-dollar business that everyone wants a piece of.

If you want something to blame as a bad influence on mmos, greed works. Kinda.

  DavisFlight

Advanced Member

Joined: 9/25/12
Posts: 2406

10/17/12 2:00:28 PM#27
Originally posted by Jaedor

Specific games aside, companies are in the business of making money. They make games because there is profit to be made. As has already been posted, we would not have the wealth of choices available today if it wasn't for companies being willing to gamble millions of dollars on a risky, long-term investment. Wealth of choice? You mean... WoW clone a, WoW clone b, WoW clone c, WoW clone d, and underfunded indie MMO 1 and 2? Yeah. Great choice. I remember when we had a choice between about 8 different AAA MMORPGs that were all VASTLY different from one another. THAT was a wealth of choice. That was before WoW.

Ten years ago, the gaming industry was mostly non-existent. You can thank Blizzard and a couple other big companies for being willing to take the risk and put gaming as an industry on the map.

Blizzard? Seriously? You don't think that gaming was an industry 10 years ago? Are you like, 9? Gaming has been huge since the 80s.

  Burntvet

Elite Member

Joined: 11/16/07
Posts: 2724

10/17/12 2:37:48 PM#28
Originally posted by DavisFlight
Originally posted by Gdemami

 


Originally posted by DavisFlight

I was there since early beta. There weren't many bugs at all during launch. There were exploits, that got patched within the first week. There wasn't much hacking until month 2, and that got shut down by a huge ban wave and hasn't really been an issue since. People were indeed punished for both exploiting and hacking. Those accounts got wiped out quickly. It was just as prevalent as it is in every other MMO ever made, no more or less.

 

Macroing was widespread, that was the big issue for a long time, but it didn't "break the game". I didn't macro and I played the game just fine for 3 years.


 


I understand people like the game and have passion for it but c'mon...

But c'mon what? I never said Darkfall was flawless, but to claim it was "broken" at launch is just stupid. You can't play broken games. There are many MMOs I couldn't play at launch because they were broken.

Darkfall was not broken.

Tell that to all the people complaining in thread in the DF section, launch/just pre-launch starts around thread 200.

All the complaints about BOTing/macroing/speedhacks are there, plus all the exploitable mechanics like the vigor exploit, Bloodwall, swimming in place, casting magic at rocks and on, and on, and on....

And that is before talking about the lag, which was beyond attrocious for anyone playing in the US before the US server, and all of the other broken stuff in there.

Plus the abject failure of the design of the skill system, which only encouraged the exploiting AND made sure everyone played the same exact build. And almost no one was punished for any of that.

 

Some things were exploitable, some things were broken, and taken together, everything was a big mess.

And it took them 6-12 months to fix? So what. That is/was too damn long, even for fans, to sit there and pay while waiting for things to eventually get "fixed".

Gotta love forums, the threads are there for all to see.

 

That is all what happens when a no-experience indie developer tries to make a game for beer money: DF was the result.

 

  DavisFlight

Advanced Member

Joined: 9/25/12
Posts: 2406

10/17/12 9:19:45 PM#29
Originally posted by Burntvet
Originally posted by DavisFlight
Originally posted by Gdemami

 


Originally posted by DavisFlight

I was there since early beta. There weren't many bugs at all during launch. There were exploits, that got patched within the first week. There wasn't much hacking until month 2, and that got shut down by a huge ban wave and hasn't really been an issue since. People were indeed punished for both exploiting and hacking. Those accounts got wiped out quickly. It was just as prevalent as it is in every other MMO ever made, no more or less.

 

Macroing was widespread, that was the big issue for a long time, but it didn't "break the game". I didn't macro and I played the game just fine for 3 years.


 


I understand people like the game and have passion for it but c'mon...

But c'mon what? I never said Darkfall was flawless, but to claim it was "broken" at launch is just stupid. You can't play broken games. There are many MMOs I couldn't play at launch because they were broken.

Darkfall was not broken.

Tell that to all the people complaining in thread in the DF section, launch/just pre-launch starts around thread 200.

First, and this WILL sound like a cop out but I don't care, it's the truth. You cannot trust THIS forum about Darkfall's launch. There was a MASSIVE stigma against Darkfall for years before its launch, people dedicated multiple accounts to trolling threads with "lol vaporware" and other inane conspiracy theories. Once the game turned out to be real, many of the same accounts shifted gears and started shit posting about Darkfall, despite the fact that they never played it. It was so widespread that AV had to create a subscriber only forum to weed out the real complaints from the trolling.

All the complaints about BOTing It is literally not possible to bot in Darkfall/macroing Yes, this was ongoing for a long time/speedhacks are there speedhacks were rare and were more or less only existed in month two, and were promptly squashed. However, claims about "hacks" remained because whenever anyone loses at PvP they try to accuse someone at hacking. Happens in all FPS games. , plus all the exploitable mechanics like the vigor exploit, Bloodwall, swimming in place those weren't really exploits, you didn't have to break the game to use them, they were a part of things, just a bad part, and none of that "broke" the game. I could play just fine without doing any of that, especially considering the stats you got from doing that didn't actually benefit your character much., casting magic at rocks was changed almost right away and on, and on, and on....

And that is before talking about the lag, which was beyond attrocious for anyone playing in the US before the US server, and all of the other broken stuff in there. I was playing from the US and I didn't experience pings above 120.  None of my friends from the east coast to Washington complained. Sooo....wrong again.

Plus the abject failure of the design of the skill system, which only encouraged the exploiting AND made sure everyone played the same exact build. And almost no one was punished for any of that. Punished for using the same build? Why would they be punished for the same build? Yeah the skill system encouraged about 3 loadouts only, and that was a big flaw in the game, long term. One that they've worked a lot to fix in Unholy Wars. But it didn't make the game "broken" and didn't make the PvP unfun.

 

Some things were exploitable there was one exploit to fall under the world, and a dupe exploit that was fixed on day 2, only ones I can think of, some things were broken can't think of anything that was broken...maybe the weather system, and taken together, everything was a big mess. Not really.

 

That is all what happens when a no-experience indie developer tries to make a game for beer money: DF was the result.

 

They made the game because they love that type of MMO and no one else was making one. They turned down publishers and delayed the game two years simply so they wouldn't have to compromise on the game's vision. All the publishers wanted them to add a safe zone, or be able to turn PvP off.

And the result was one of the most technically impressive MMOs ever released. A 20 man team in Greece made a game with a massive zoneless seamless world with real time twitch based combat, with 10k players on the same server at the same time, no instances.

 

I think you need to learn what "broken" means and come back. Or take a time machine and actually play the game at launch instead of guessing as to what it was like from trolls and disgruntled forum dwellers.

  Burntvet

Elite Member

Joined: 11/16/07
Posts: 2724

10/18/12 1:30:14 AM#30
Originally posted by DavisFlight
Originally posted by Burntvet
Originally posted by DavisFlight
Originally posted by Gdemami

 


Originally posted by DavisFlight

I was there since early beta. There weren't many bugs at all during launch. There were exploits, that got patched within the first week. There wasn't much hacking until month 2, and that got shut down by a huge ban wave and hasn't really been an issue since. People were indeed punished for both exploiting and hacking. Those accounts got wiped out quickly. It was just as prevalent as it is in every other MMO ever made, no more or less.

 

Macroing was widespread, that was the big issue for a long time, but it didn't "break the game". I didn't macro and I played the game just fine for 3 years.


 


I understand people like the game and have passion for it but c'mon...

But c'mon what? I never said Darkfall was flawless, but to claim it was "broken" at launch is just stupid. You can't play broken games. There are many MMOs I couldn't play at launch because they were broken.

Darkfall was not broken.

Tell that to all the people complaining in thread in the DF section, launch/just pre-launch starts around thread 200.

First, and this WILL sound like a cop out but I don't care, it's the truth. You cannot trust THIS forum about Darkfall's launch. There was a MASSIVE stigma against Darkfall for years before its launch, people dedicated multiple accounts to trolling threads with "lol vaporware" and other inane conspiracy theories. Once the game turned out to be real, many of the same accounts shifted gears and started shit posting about Darkfall, despite the fact that they never played it. It was so widespread that AV had to create a subscriber only forum to weed out the real complaints from the trolling.

All the complaints about BOTing It is literally not possible to bot in Darkfall/macroing Yes, this was ongoing for a long time/speedhacks are there speedhacks were rare and were more or less only existed in month two, and were promptly squashed. However, claims about "hacks" remained because whenever anyone loses at PvP they try to accuse someone at hacking. Happens in all FPS games. , plus all the exploitable mechanics like the vigor exploit, Bloodwall, swimming in place those weren't really exploits, you didn't have to break the game to use them, they were a part of things, just a bad part, and none of that "broke" the game. I could play just fine without doing any of that, especially considering the stats you got from doing that didn't actually benefit your character much., casting magic at rocks was changed almost right away and on, and on, and on....

And that is before talking about the lag, which was beyond attrocious for anyone playing in the US before the US server, and all of the other broken stuff in there. I was playing from the US and I didn't experience pings above 120.  None of my friends from the east coast to Washington complained. Sooo....wrong again.

Plus the abject failure of the design of the skill system, which only encouraged the exploiting AND made sure everyone played the same exact build. And almost no one was punished for any of that. Punished for using the same build? Why would they be punished for the same build? Yeah the skill system encouraged about 3 loadouts only, and that was a big flaw in the game, long term. One that they've worked a lot to fix in Unholy Wars. But it didn't make the game "broken" and didn't make the PvP unfun.

 

Some things were exploitable there was one exploit to fall under the world, and a dupe exploit that was fixed on day 2, only ones I can think of, some things were broken can't think of anything that was broken...maybe the weather system, and taken together, everything was a big mess. Not really.

 

That is all what happens when a no-experience indie developer tries to make a game for beer money: DF was the result.

 

They made the game because they love that type of MMO and no one else was making one. They turned down publishers and delayed the game two years simply so they wouldn't have to compromise on the game's vision. All the publishers wanted them to add a safe zone, or be able to turn PvP off.

And the result was one of the most technically impressive MMOs ever released. A 20 man team in Greece made a game with a massive zoneless seamless world with real time twitch based combat, with 10k players on the same server at the same time, no instances.

 

I think you need to learn what "broken" means and come back. Or take a time machine and actually play the game at launch instead of guessing as to what it was like from trolls and disgruntled forum dwellers.

Whatever man,

It is much easier to stay in your own little private fantasy when you ignore 50+ pages of complaints, some of which I mentioned, many more I didn't. And pretend none of it ever happened.

Can't expect reasonable discourse from people that refuse to see, and embrace willful revisionist history.

I played DF quite a bit on a friends acct at launch (when the servers were not crashed, and there wasn't a 3 hour queue), but I seriously doubt you did, or else you just ignored every possible bug/exploit/broken mechanic and "la la la"'d yourself to a happy place.

 

DF was seriously F'D up at launch and for the first year, some say it got better after that, I did not bother to stick around. It was a sandbox, without much sand in it.

And that is the point of these low budget indie games: they are what they are. If you like that, fine. But don't pretend the poopie is chocolate ice cream.

 

  Scot

Elite Member

Joined: 10/10/03
Posts: 5150

10/18/12 4:45:33 AM#31

I will repeat an old post I did that looked into this question using CEO's as a litmus test of the effect of corporate philophy on MMO's:

 

How did MMO’s loose their Mojo?

“But Then They Changed What It Was” was a recent article by Jon Wood which suggests that we complain so much about MMO’s because we are all getting older and losing ‘it’. Here I put forward the argument that MMO’s and gaming in general have seen a replacement of creative and programming personnel in the driving seat with corporates. While gaming companies themselves acquire independents, cherry pick a couple of titles and cancel everything else. This is why we think MMO’s are becoming worse…because they are. As it is difficult to track every member of a MMO company I have used CEO’s as the test for this, who make the final decisions and are not so hard to track.

Below I look at various examples of this happening in MMO and gaming companies we all know:

Origin Systems created Ultima Online one of the first real MMO’s. Richard Garriott who was a game designer and programmer founded the company with his brother. It was acquired by EA the CEO of EA then being Larry Probyst. Probyst started his business career at Johnson and Johnson then moving on to Clorox, just so you realise his corparate credentials. The founder of EA was Trip Hawkins who did his degree in Strategy and Game Theory, but he was replaced by Probyst one year before Origin Systems was acquired. Within a year EA had cancelled all of Origin's new development projects, including Ultima Online 2, Privateer Online, and Harry Potter Online. Good business thinking? I don’t know, but bad for MMO’s certainly.

Lets take a look at Mythic Entertainment’s two founders; Mark Jacobs was a designer and programmer, Rob Denton was a communications engineer who became a lead programmer. They created DAOC a MMO still held up as the best RvR game there is. Mythic was taken over by EA and lost Jacobs. So the CEO was Probst, then Riccitiello both businessman. Mythic now under EA start and then cancel projects to make MMO’s like Imperator finally going on to make the much less well received Warhammer. Hopefully you will see the pattern that is emerging.

This is a trend in it’s self, smaller companies taken over by larger ones who do not have a designer or programmer leading the company. But even some businessmen are more in touch with gaming than others. The medical students who began the small gaming company that was Bioware wanted to form a gaming company which shows where their interests lay. Bioware, now owned by EA ends up being run by a businessman like Riccitiello who has a background in Pepsi Cola and Haggan-Dazzs. But enough about EA.

Cryptic Studios were conceived by Michael Lewis and Rick Dakan who describe themselves as roleplayers who wanted to continue what they had done in their youth online. I could not find anyone to be named as the first CEO, but essentially it was founded by roleplayers. In the summer of 2008 John Needham became the CEO, an executive from SOE. The company was now being run by a corporate, in the winter of the same year Cryptic was sold to Atari. I do not know if Needham was brought in to pave the way for that move, or as a corporate the new CEO could only see a benefit in joining a larger company, but I really doubt that it is a coincidence. David Gardner is the CEO of Atari, he started in sales and marketing and moved on to management. Cryptic now go on to produce Champions Online which got a panning. Need I say more?

Eidos was founded by Stephen Strater a mathematician. I am not trying to say he was a creative, I am using Eidos as another example of how larger companies chew up small ones, dismantle the creative team and only continue with a few cherry picked titles. It became a solo games company which itself acquired other gaming companies and then only continued with the best sellers from those acquisitions. They were acquired themselves by Square Enix in 2004. They released games like Tomb Raider, Deus Ex, Thief and Hitman. Their numbers of new titles dwindled and it seems 2010 will be the last year they publish. The big name games will no doubt get another outing in the series, everything else has been shelved. Only the strongest titles should survive you say? I agree to a certain extent, but so many don’t make it out the door to see if they will survive or not.

EA has taken over Bullfrog, Westwood, Lionhead, Origin, Maxis, Mythic, Bioware etc. Do you really think we got better games from those companies after the takeover? EA has kept these software house’s best titles and removed the competition. This is a classic business strategy, but one which stifles innovation and creativity in the gaming industry.

I have backed up my statements about the gaming industry by doing a little digging on the internet. While I would hardly call that journalism it would be nice if the staff writers occasionly did a bit of digging themselves instead of just telling us we complain because we are all old crusties. I welcome any corrections or additions, I am sure there are people who know more about gaming history than I do.

I am not saying you must have a creative person as the CEO to get a good game, but it sure helps and now we are entering an era where the only only people at the helm of MMO’s will be suits. What do you think is more likely to happen? An explosion of creativity and gameplay styles, or the remarketing of the same old products redesigned to milk as much cash out of players as they can?

  Cranktrain

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/13/12
Posts: 25

10/18/12 4:50:39 AM#32

It's just a bit sad the way that MMO publishing has worked over the last 5 years. It's much easier for a developer to get a publisher to give them XX many millions of dollars to develop an MMO by saying "Hey, check out World of Warcraft! Look at the profits from that beast. We're making a game that's like it, we'll give you a piece of that pie." and lo and behold, there's a complete lack of innovation. It's harder to get the money by saying "we're going to do something untried and risky!"

But as people have been saying, it won't be long till the independant development studios start properly competing with the massive studios.

  Gdemami

Elite Member

Joined: 9/23/08
Posts: 6822

10/18/12 4:54:38 AM#33


Originally posted by Cranktrain

But as people have been saying, it won't be long till the independant development studios start properly competing with the massive studios.

Never is fairly long time period in my book but I guess perception of time is subjective...

  Draemos

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/20/10
Posts: 1459

10/18/12 5:00:38 AM#34
Originally posted by Jaedor

Specific games aside, companies are in the business of making money. They make games because there is profit to be made. As has already been posted, we would not have the wealth of choices available today if it wasn't for companies being willing to gamble millions of dollars on a risky, long-term investment.

Ten years ago, the gaming industry was mostly non-existent. You can thank Blizzard and a couple other big companies for being willing to take the risk and put gaming as an industry on the map. Add F2P to the mix and suddenly, gaming is a billion-dollar business that everyone wants a piece of.

If you want something to blame as a bad influence on mmos, greed works. Kinda.

How old are you?

  Arclan

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 1/29/07
Posts: 1318

"Ideas are worthless. The only currency that holds any weight is the ability and drive to execute."

10/18/12 4:26:43 PM#35

Scot, awesome awesome post. Very informative. Thanks for all the hard work!!

P L A N E T S I D E 1 is up !! check PS1 forum for link to current installer.
Luckily, i don't need you to like me to enjoy video games. -nariusseldon.
In F2P I think it's more a case of the game's trying to play the player's. -laserit
video game company layoffs are twice the national average.

  Beatnik59

Hard Core Member

Joined: 11/23/05
Posts: 2137

"Playing things I shouldn''t be playing since 1977."

10/18/12 9:00:42 PM#36

I just don't like the uncertainty we get with these big publishers.

I don't like how SOE can come in and wholly redesign SWG out from under the original developers and the playerbase.  I don't like how NCSoft can come in and kill CoH--not because it wasn't profitable--but not profitable enough for them.

We need more people who love games running games.  We need less people who love money running games.

__________________________
"Its sad when people use religion to feel superior, its even worse to see people using a video game to do it."
--Arcken

"...when it comes to pimping EVE I have little restraints."
--Hellmar, CEO of CCP.

"It's like they took a gun, put it to their nugget sack and pulled the trigger over and over again, each time telling us how great it was that they were shooting themselves in the balls."
--Exar_Kun on SWG's NGE

  DSWBeef

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/11/09
Posts: 758

10/18/12 9:05:54 PM#37

I totally agree. Look at EA on how they handled SWTOR and WAR. They a game to where they can get really good box sales and then minimally support it. The reason i believe trion is doing soo well with rift is that they published there own game. They had a vision and saw it come true.

 

I tell people all the time that when people in any industry lose there PASSION and focus on MONEY it will give you a lesser product. Look at WoW when Activision came in which has arguably the most money hungry CEO (kotick) many passionate blizz devs left and made flagship studios, runic gaming, Iron Lore, Crate Gaming ect ect. Actiblizz didnt want passion they wanted people who could make a game to soak the most money out of. I mean you cant tell me the COD devs are passionate about rehashing the same game over and over again right?

 

Playing: Archeage Alpha, War Thunder, World of Tanks
Waiting on: Archeage, Wild Star, Everquest Next and The Black Desert

  GN-003

Novice Member

Joined: 10/22/10
Posts: 78

10/18/12 11:28:18 PM#38
Originally posted by Jaedor

Specific games aside, companies are in the business of making money. They make games because there is profit to be made. As has already been posted, we would not have the wealth of choices available today if it wasn't for companies being willing to gamble millions of dollars on a risky, long-term investment.

Ten years ago, the gaming industry was mostly non-existent. You can thank Blizzard and a couple other big companies for being willing to take the risk and put gaming as an industry on the map. Add F2P to the mix and suddenly, gaming is a billion-dollar business that everyone wants a piece of.

If you want something to blame as a bad influence on mmos, greed works. Kinda.

Wait, wait, wait... what?

 

Either you're a child (which doesn't seem likely), or you have a very skewed perception of the video game industry as a whole. Granted, video games have clearly blown up, but it's ridiculous to claim that they were non-existent (from a business perspective) a mere 10 years ago. It was only the year 2002 ten years ago! If you look at a chart of the 50 best selling games from 1990-1999 and compared it to a list from the 2000's, you'd see that they're not that far off in terms of sales.

You do realize that the original Playstation is the second highest selling console of all time, right? That was released in 1994. Playstation 2 is the highest which was released in the year 2000. If you include handhelds, the original Gameboy and Gameboy Color are sitting pretty in third place. As we all know, the original GB came out in the late 80's. In more "recent" times, I'd say Nintendo and Sony have had a much bigger impact on the gaming industry than Blizzard. Reiterating my first point, if you look at video games charts from the 90's and 2000's, you'll see that they both share a common thread. Both lists are absoultely littered with Nintendo titles. So no, you shouldn't be thanking Blizzard.

  Quirhid

Novice Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 5492

I dare you to pin a label on me.

10/19/12 4:53:12 AM#39
Originally posted by Burntvet
Originally posted by DavisFlight
Originally posted by Burntvet
Originally posted by DavisFlight
Originally posted by Gdemami


Originally posted by DavisFlight


Guys, guys... Lets just say that some people are content with less, OK? Happy? DF was a mess imo, but clearly some people still enjoyed it.

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

  dustyhayes

Novice Member

Joined: 5/19/11
Posts: 174

10/19/12 6:02:43 AM#40
Originally posted by Scot

I will repeat an old post I did that looked into this question using CEO's as a litmus test of the effect of corporate philophy on MMO's:

 

How did MMO’s loose their Mojo?

“But Then They Changed What It Was” was a recent article by Jon Wood which suggests that we complain so much about MMO’s because we are all getting older and losing ‘it’. Here I put forward the argument that MMO’s and gaming in general have seen a replacement of creative and programming personnel in the driving seat with corporates. While gaming companies themselves acquire independents, cherry pick a couple of titles and cancel everything else. This is why we think MMO’s are becoming worse…because they are. As it is difficult to track every member of a MMO company I have used CEO’s as the test for this, who make the final decisions and are not so hard to track.

Below I look at various examples of this happening in MMO and gaming companies we all know:

Origin Systems created Ultima Online one of the first real MMO’s. Richard Garriott who was a game designer and programmer founded the company with his brother. It was acquired by EA the CEO of EA then being Larry Probyst. Probyst started his business career at Johnson and Johnson then moving on to Clorox, just so you realise his corparate credentials. The founder of EA was Trip Hawkins who did his degree in Strategy and Game Theory, but he was replaced by Probyst one year before Origin Systems was acquired. Within a year EA had cancelled all of Origin's new development projects, including Ultima Online 2, Privateer Online, and Harry Potter Online. Good business thinking? I don’t know, but bad for MMO’s certainly.

Lets take a look at Mythic Entertainment’s two founders; Mark Jacobs was a designer and programmer, Rob Denton was a communications engineer who became a lead programmer. They created DAOC a MMO still held up as the best RvR game there is. Mythic was taken over by EA and lost Jacobs. So the CEO was Probst, then Riccitiello both businessman. Mythic now under EA start and then cancel projects to make MMO’s like Imperator finally going on to make the much less well received Warhammer. Hopefully you will see the pattern that is emerging.

This is a trend in it’s self, smaller companies taken over by larger ones who do not have a designer or programmer leading the company. But even some businessmen are more in touch with gaming than others. The medical students who began the small gaming company that was Bioware wanted to form a gaming company which shows where their interests lay. Bioware, now owned by EA ends up being run by a businessman like Riccitiello who has a background in Pepsi Cola and Haggan-Dazzs. But enough about EA.

Cryptic Studios were conceived by Michael Lewis and Rick Dakan who describe themselves as roleplayers who wanted to continue what they had done in their youth online. I could not find anyone to be named as the first CEO, but essentially it was founded by roleplayers. In the summer of 2008 John Needham became the CEO, an executive from SOE. The company was now being run by a corporate, in the winter of the same year Cryptic was sold to Atari. I do not know if Needham was brought in to pave the way for that move, or as a corporate the new CEO could only see a benefit in joining a larger company, but I really doubt that it is a coincidence. David Gardner is the CEO of Atari, he started in sales and marketing and moved on to management. Cryptic now go on to produce Champions Online which got a panning. Need I say more?

Eidos was founded by Stephen Strater a mathematician. I am not trying to say he was a creative, I am using Eidos as another example of how larger companies chew up small ones, dismantle the creative team and only continue with a few cherry picked titles. It became a solo games company which itself acquired other gaming companies and then only continued with the best sellers from those acquisitions. They were acquired themselves by Square Enix in 2004. They released games like Tomb Raider, Deus Ex, Thief and Hitman. Their numbers of new titles dwindled and it seems 2010 will be the last year they publish. The big name games will no doubt get another outing in the series, everything else has been shelved. Only the strongest titles should survive you say? I agree to a certain extent, but so many don’t make it out the door to see if they will survive or not.

EA has taken over Bullfrog, Westwood, Lionhead, Origin, Maxis, Mythic, Bioware etc. Do you really think we got better games from those companies after the takeover? EA has kept these software house’s best titles and removed the competition. This is a classic business strategy, but one which stifles innovation and creativity in the gaming industry.

I have backed up my statements about the gaming industry by doing a little digging on the internet. While I would hardly call that journalism it would be nice if the staff writers occasionly did a bit of digging themselves instead of just telling us we complain because we are all old crusties. I welcome any corrections or additions, I am sure there are people who know more about gaming history than I do.

I am not saying you must have a creative person as the CEO to get a good game, but it sure helps and now we are entering an era where the only only people at the helm of MMO’s will be suits. What do you think is more likely to happen? An explosion of creativity and gameplay styles, or the remarketing of the same old products redesigned to milk as much cash out of players as they can?

I think this sums it all uphttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-LE0ycgkBQ

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