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34 posts found
  BitterClinger

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/19/12
Posts: 205

2014 Watch List: World of Warships, Wildstar Online

 
OP  1/23/13 4:17:30 PM#1

Are there any sandbox MMORPGs, past or present, that were financially successful?  I don't care about how fun or interesting they were to play. I'm just trying to guage how many there are or were.  Also, this is not a bait thread.  I don't have a "zinger" waiting or anything like that.

I'm just looking for a credible list of sandbox MMORPG games (past or present) with a proven record of financial success.

Top Games Played JAN 2014: World of Warplanes, Guild Wars 2, World of Tanks

  Azoth

Elite Member

Joined: 7/08/04
Posts: 390

1/23/13 4:19:02 PM#2
UO, Eve, Wurm Online and prolly a couple more
  Kerosien

Novice Member

Joined: 6/04/10
Posts: 56

1/23/13 4:19:06 PM#3
Wurm Online and EVE are the only things that coms to mind
  RajCaj

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/11/08
Posts: 679

1/23/13 4:29:16 PM#4
Originally posted by BitterClinger

Are there any sandbox MMORPGs, past or present, that were financially successful?  I don't care about how fun or interesting they were to play. I'm just trying to guage how many there are or were.  Also, this is not a bait thread.  I don't have a "zinger" waiting or anything like that.

I'm just looking for a credible list of sandbox MMORPG games (past or present) with a proven record of financial success.

Ultima Online - While it's currently not in the same form as it was released, it's been a cash cow for Electronic Arts.  Their overhead is EXTREMELY low (in comparison to other subscription based MMOs) and still has a respectable following, considering the competition in the market.

 

One could make an argument that the reason we haven't seen many sandbox MMOs is because of the high cost associated with modern 3D MMOs.  In order to recoup the money invested, the games have to appeal to a broader audience (mainstream themepark types). 

  RajCaj

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/11/08
Posts: 679

1/23/13 4:31:17 PM#5
Originally posted by RajCaj
Originally posted by BitterClinger

Are there any sandbox MMORPGs, past or present, that were financially successful?  I don't care about how fun or interesting they were to play. I'm just trying to guage how many there are or were.  Also, this is not a bait thread.  I don't have a "zinger" waiting or anything like that.

I'm just looking for a credible list of sandbox MMORPG games (past or present) with a proven record of financial success.

Ultima Online - While it's currently not in the same form as it was released, it's been a cash cow for Electronic Arts.  Their overhead is EXTREMELY low (in comparison to other subscription based MMOs) and still has a respectable following, considering the competition in the market.

 

One could make an argument that the reason we haven't seen many sandbox MMOs is because of the high cost associated with modern 3D MMOs.  In order to recoup the money invested, the games have to appeal to a broader audience (mainstream themepark types). 

Forgot about EVE......if only it wasn't a ship avatar in deep space lol

  User Deleted
1/23/13 4:35:09 PM#6

From what I've heard Darkfall recouped development costs, paid off Aventurine loans*, and possibly covered development costs for DF:UW.

 

I'm not sure if that would be called economically viable, but it does seem to have generated a fair amount of revenue.

 

* at very least kept the payments current.

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13110

1/23/13 4:35:27 PM#7
I don't know if Uncharted Waters Online was financially successful, but it's done well enough for Koei to find it worthwhile to release a whole bunch of expansions for it, and they're still releasing new stuff as fast as ever nearly eight years after release.
  Loktofeit

Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 11822

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ESO, and Combat Arms

1/23/13 4:38:44 PM#8
Originally posted by Azoth
UO, Eve, Wurm Online and prolly a couple more

A Tale in the Desert

Free Realms

Vendetta Online

Red Light Center (NSFW)

Sociolotron

Second Life

  RefMinor

Novice Member

Joined: 7/16/11
Posts: 3541

Hipster

1/23/13 4:39:34 PM#9
SWG made money for SOE, even with the licence fees to LA, it had several years bringing in 4m dollars a month.
  BitterClinger

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/19/12
Posts: 205

2014 Watch List: World of Warships, Wildstar Online

 
OP  1/23/13 5:11:43 PM#10

Financially Viable List:

  • SWG
  • A Tale in the Desert
  • Free Realms
  • Vendetta Online
  • Sociolotron
  • Red Light Center (NSFW)
  • Second Life
  • Uncharted Waters Online
  • Darkfall
  • EVE
  • Wurm Online
  • Ultima Online
Blockbuster List (self-sustaining, self-expanding):
  • SWG
  • Free Realms
  • Second Life
  • Darkfall
  • EVE
  • Ultima Online
Ok, so folks will probably argue with me on the separation of these lists, but some of the other titles from the first list can hardly pay their own upkeep. For example, Vendetta Online has a kickstarter for a possible expansion in 2013. So, while these games might be "paying the bills", they aren't able to generate enough revenue to hire new developers and add infrastructure.

Top Games Played JAN 2014: World of Warplanes, Guild Wars 2, World of Tanks

  KnutCup

Novice Member

Joined: 12/01/12
Posts: 23

Really? awww, I'm crying on the inside! 2013 KnutCup

1/23/13 5:16:10 PM#11
Viable is a term that could have a few different meanings, Did DarkFall make money, you bet. Did they make enough to develop DF 2? NO, they have investers from Korea now. In their defence, they have a substantial building, and have employed a few people thru the years, HAHA could well be Greece's largest employer! not.
  BitterClinger

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/19/12
Posts: 205

2014 Watch List: World of Warships, Wildstar Online

 
OP  1/23/13 5:16:12 PM#12
Originally posted by RajCaj

One could make an argument that the reason we haven't seen many sandbox MMOs is because of the high cost associated with modern 3D MMOs.  In order to recoup the money invested, the games have to appeal to a broader audience (mainstream themepark types). 

That's a very good point.  So what is it about "sandbox" MMOs that don't attract a lot of customers?  I mean, it's not like all the people playing World of Warcraft or Guild Wars 2 thought to themselves, "I really like themepark games".  There must be something about the way themepark games are designed that appeals to more users.

Are they easier to play or just easier to learn?  Is the "themepark" user base just more "New Player" friendly than sandbox players? Is it something else entirely?

Top Games Played JAN 2014: World of Warplanes, Guild Wars 2, World of Tanks

  Yaevindusk

Hard Core Member

Joined: 9/05/10
Posts: 1126

Logic, reason and fact do not supersede human nature. Ignorance reigns without justice.

1/23/13 5:17:12 PM#13

 

What you also have to consider is the source that is making such a game.  Most have been Indie titles, and when putting that into the equation there has been a massive amount of success with the Sandbox MMO genre as is.  Heck, even if you consider the large player run servers of Minecraft (minecraft itself) you see a love of pure sandbox games.

Ultima Online was made by an Indie developer that was later bought by EA; if a game has a large budget behind it, it could do even more than what has already been shown by small budget companies and their great success.

When faced with strife or discontent, the true nature of a man is brought forth. It is then when we see the character of the individual. It is then we are able to tell if he is mature enough to grin and bare it, or subject his fellow man to his complaints and woes.

  Larsa

Novice Member

Joined: 2/14/04
Posts: 992

1/23/13 6:31:42 PM#14

As other posters already said, plenty of sandboxes are doing well from an economical point of view.

The main difference is that the sandboxes don't get the millions of mainstream players, but then sandboxes also don't need the investment of 50+ million euros or dollars.

I maintain this List of Sandbox MMORPGs. Please post or send PM for corrections and suggestions.

  ShakyMo

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/21/11
Posts: 7246

1/23/13 6:34:53 PM#15
Well eve.

Then uo and swg back in the day.

For the future, I reckon if a minecraft mmo ever got made that would be a huge success.
  ShakyMo

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/21/11
Posts: 7246

1/23/13 6:37:25 PM#16
Yaev

Uo was made by origin, while they were owned by ea.

The most successful indie mmos would be eve, daoc, Ao and maybe tsw if that's turning a profit now.

I guess you could make an argument wow is the most successful indie mmo of all seen as they weren't with activision when they made it. But I reckon its a push to call blizzard indie.
  aRtFuLThinG

Novice Member

Joined: 4/30/09
Posts: 1000

1/23/13 7:00:04 PM#17
Originally posted by BitterClinger

I'm just looking for a credible list of sandbox MMORPG games (past or present) with a proven record of financial success.

 Success as in a high positive Profit/Loss ratio?

 

Then I'll have to say Entropia Universe - it is basically a casino but it is in many ways a sandbox game.

I think that pretty much what MMO comes down to if they want to make money - addiction. You'll have to make people addicted to the game. Sandbox tends to be more difficult to make people addicted, but people are always easily addicted to gambling and the possibility of making money.

 

Look at EVE, the other financially successful mmo, you can make money off playing it, technically speaking, as well (though not to the extent of EU).

  Yaevindusk

Hard Core Member

Joined: 9/05/10
Posts: 1126

Logic, reason and fact do not supersede human nature. Ignorance reigns without justice.

1/23/13 7:05:27 PM#18
Originally posted by ShakyMo
Yaev

Uo was made by origin, while they were owned by ea.

The most successful indie mmos would be eve, daoc, Ao and maybe tsw if that's turning a profit now.

I guess you could make an argument wow is the most successful indie mmo of all seen as they weren't with activision when they made it. But I reckon its a push to call blizzard indie.

 

I could've sworn Origin: We Create Worlds was a small studio that was bought out by EA after they already pitched the idea of Ultima Online.  It's a story I followed closely, albeit 15 years ago or so.  Though I guess memory fades after that amount of time if I'm wrong.

Still, it wasn't a blunder and to this day is celebrated as one of the great Sandbox games; only goes to show what could be done (back in the 90s no less!) no matter which part is true.

My memory might have been solidified (falsified) by a lot of the fan hatred of what EA "did" to UO after they "bought" them what with the frequent expansion after expansion and the implementation of Trammel.

 

Here's what I managed to find online, since it is an old story.

 

"With the publication of Ultima Online they attracted the attention of EA games, who saw potential in the game, going on to buy Origin Systems. Electronic Arts disbanded the studio after cancelling some of the upcoming games being developed by Origin."

http://www.giantbomb.com/origin-systems/65-344/

When faced with strife or discontent, the true nature of a man is brought forth. It is then when we see the character of the individual. It is then we are able to tell if he is mature enough to grin and bare it, or subject his fellow man to his complaints and woes.

  GrayKodiak

Novice Member

Joined: 11/15/12
Posts: 576

1/23/13 7:13:11 PM#19
Originally posted by Yaevindusk
Originally posted by ShakyMo
Yaev

Uo was made by origin, while they were owned by ea.

The most successful indie mmos would be eve, daoc, Ao and maybe tsw if that's turning a profit now.

I guess you could make an argument wow is the most successful indie mmo of all seen as they weren't with activision when they made it. But I reckon its a push to call blizzard indie.

 

I could've sworn Origin: We Create Worlds was a small studio that was bought out by EA after they already pitched the idea of Ultima Online.  It's a story I followed closely, albeit 15 years ago or so.  Though I guess memory fades after that amount of time if I'm wrong.

Still, it wasn't a blunder and to this day is celebrated as one of the great Sandbox games; only goes to show what could be done (back in the 90s no less!) no matter which part is true.

My memory might have been solidified (falsified) by a lot of the fan hatred of what EA "did" to UO after they "bought" them what with the frequent expansion after expansion and the implementation of Trammel.

 If you watch the video around the internet with the UO developers chatting they mention a lot of stuff they did at the start, that made it sandbox, gave them most of the headaches down the road. Hence you had the more tame version of UO that is out now. Unlimited items on the ground, never been copied and was a big headache for UO..but very sandbox. Housing was an issue in UO if you remember there were literally houses plastered everywhere in many cases more houses than trees. PK'ing was an issue they actually corrected, even though I thought it ruined some of the elements of what made uo great from a customer service standpoint I guess they thought otherwise.

 UO had to hotpatch an axe into the game so players could break the seige of trammel.....imagine today's audience...based on the MMORPG community...reaction to being stuck in one town for three days because of a PK siege with no way out....it would be incredible.

  Yaevindusk

Hard Core Member

Joined: 9/05/10
Posts: 1126

Logic, reason and fact do not supersede human nature. Ignorance reigns without justice.

1/23/13 7:18:10 PM#20
Originally posted by GrayKodiak
Originally posted by Yaevindusk
Originally posted by ShakyMo
Yaev

Uo was made by origin, while they were owned by ea.

The most successful indie mmos would be eve, daoc, Ao and maybe tsw if that's turning a profit now.

I guess you could make an argument wow is the most successful indie mmo of all seen as they weren't with activision when they made it. But I reckon its a push to call blizzard indie.

 

I could've sworn Origin: We Create Worlds was a small studio that was bought out by EA after they already pitched the idea of Ultima Online.  It's a story I followed closely, albeit 15 years ago or so.  Though I guess memory fades after that amount of time if I'm wrong.

Still, it wasn't a blunder and to this day is celebrated as one of the great Sandbox games; only goes to show what could be done (back in the 90s no less!) no matter which part is true.

My memory might have been solidified (falsified) by a lot of the fan hatred of what EA "did" to UO after they "bought" them what with the frequent expansion after expansion and the implementation of Trammel.

 If you watch the video around the internet with the UO developers chatting they mention a lot of stuff they did at the start, that made it sandbox, gave them most of the headaches down the road. Hence you had the more tame version of UO that is out now. Unlimited items on the ground, never been copied and was a big headache for UO..but very sandbox. Housing was an issue in UO if you remember there were literally houses plastered everywhere in many cases more houses than trees. PK'ing was an issue they actually corrected, even though I thought it ruined some of the elements of what made uo great from a customer service standpoint I guess they thought otherwise.

 UO had to hotpatch an axe into the game so players could break the seige of trammel.....imagine today's audience...based on the MMORPG community...reaction to being stuck in one town for three days because of a PK siege with no way out....it would be incredible.

 

I actually remember the credits on UO after booting it up on the first working day.

"Twas the night before launch, and all through the game, not a damn thing was working, not even god mode"

or some such.  xD

 

Also, edited my prior post with a link to the Origin discussion.  

 

I don't think anyone who played then would say it was a perfect game at launch, but it turned into a Jewel that was destroyed when the game was given land update after land update in expansion after expansion, splitting up the community.  Britain used to be full of people trying to sell their wares, but it became a ghost town after a while.  The economy was further attacked with the implementation of Magic Items and such, that pretty much made crafting less viable in a game where that's what it pretty much was all about (not the minor magic ones, but that really powerful ones a half decade or so after launch).

When faced with strife or discontent, the true nature of a man is brought forth. It is then when we see the character of the individual. It is then we are able to tell if he is mature enough to grin and bare it, or subject his fellow man to his complaints and woes.

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