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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Economically Viable "Sandbox" MMORPGs?

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34 posts found
  Loktofeit

Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12255

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, Project Gorgon, and Combat Arms

1/23/13 7:20:27 PM#21
Originally posted by BitterClinger

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.

Yes, they have a Kickstarter. They also released within the past two years of their 10+ years of operation two new clients - iOS and Android. Acquisition of investment money is not an indication of lack of success. By your reasoning, EVE Online should be removed because they recently secured $20 million in investment funding.

What is the data source you used for your division? It would be a lot easier to give you the answer your looking for if you got straight to what the post is actually about.

 

"And wikipedia is as accurate as Britannica. Wikipedia is very reliable. You would be hard pressed to find a more reliable source for these kinds of things." -fivoroth

  Loktofeit

Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12255

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, Project Gorgon, and Combat Arms

1/23/13 7:23:17 PM#22
Originally posted by aRtFuLThinG

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

Good catch. I completely forgot that one.

"And wikipedia is as accurate as Britannica. Wikipedia is very reliable. You would be hard pressed to find a more reliable source for these kinds of things." -fivoroth

  GrayKodiak

Novice Member

Joined: 11/15/12
Posts: 576

1/23/13 7:25:09 PM#23

I am not attacking UO, it was great...I was a shadowclan orc...good times.

But I am using that as an example of why Sandbox might be a thing developers look at with a wayward eye. The more rope you give players, the more mechanics you put in, the greater the chance they do something with the system that you have to actively work to fix. Just more elements for murphy's law to play with.

  Thorqemada

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/30/04
Posts: 1205

1/23/13 7:30:17 PM#24

Entropia Universe is also viable afaik.

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  Yaevindusk

Elite Member

Joined: 9/05/10
Posts: 1221

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1/23/13 7:34:58 PM#25
Originally posted by GrayKodiak

I am not attacking UO, it was great...I was a shadowclan orc...good times.

But I am using that as an example of why Sandbox might be a thing developers look at with a wayward eye. The more rope you give players, the more mechanics you put in, the greater the chance they do something with the system that you have to actively work to fix. Just more elements for murphy's law to play with.

 

Indeed.  Though with larger budgets and more freedom a gem could really be formed, also considering there have been companies that have done it successfully without $100,000,000 in funds and Themepark MMOs that have had thrice that that still fell short of expectations.

That one that nails it could have a very profitable game indeed.  But there's always that factor of risk... Though today, with so much Themeparks and attempts to make hybrids, it may be a risk just to make an online game in general.  Might as well go for it and get a following rather than take the road everyone else is going for possibly more costs as people tired of it a month after starting.

I really want a game that lets you place stuff on the ground again.  A table, chairs next to the table, a plate on the table, food on the plate, a cup, wine, pouring wine in the cup... books to write in... etc.  Not sure how viable that is in the 3d space and on server stress.  There was a developer of WoW who said they thought about  that, but the technology wasn't available in the 3d space as they were making the game.

Imagine thousands of players placing stuff down; some might even do so just to lag nearby players or the server itself.  I've even seen someone place like 200+ feasts down in Pandaria just because he could.

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.

  BitterClinger

Novice Member

Joined: 11/19/12
Posts: 208

2014 Watch List: World of Warships, ArcheAge

 
OP  1/23/13 8:08:26 PM#26
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by BitterClinger

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.

Yes, they have a Kickstarter. They also released within the past two years of their 10+ years of operation two new clients - iOS and Android. Acquisition of investment money is not an indication of lack of success. By your reasoning, EVE Online should be removed because they recently secured $20 million in investment funding.

What is the data source you used for your division? It would be a lot easier to give you the answer your looking for if you got straight to what the post is actually about.

 

 

Like I said, I don't have a dog in this hunt.  I really appreciate the link about EVE online. I figured them for "tens of millions" but not to the tune of $66 million in one year! My sources are usually the sites of the publisher or developers themselves, or financial sites that pop up in Bing/Google results.  If you feel Vendetta belongs with the "blockbuster" tier MMORPGs, I respect that; but I will stand by my post. The reason I stand by my post is because you're comparing a $20 million dollar investment by VCs who see a good investment to a $100K kickstarter that has only $20K of charitable contributions so far.

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

  Rayshe

Novice Member

Joined: 11/30/11
Posts: 1295

1/23/13 8:10:49 PM#27
Face of Mankind has recently become profitable, however its first atttempt wasnt at all.

Because i can.
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  Phelcher

Advanced Member

Joined: 6/01/09
Posts: 1133

1/23/13 8:16:00 PM#28
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.

 

The answer is yes.

"No they are not charity. That is where the whales come in. (I play for free. Whales pays.) Devs get a business. That is how it works."


-Nariusseldon

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13388

1/23/13 9:32:29 PM#29
Originally posted by GrayKodiak

Unlimited items on the ground, never been copied and was a big headache for UO..but very sandbox.

Uncharted Waters Online allows unlimited items on the ground, but just doesn't draw them.  You have to use search (or recognition if you're at sea) and the game tells you if you found something that someone else happened to drop in that exact spot.  The game actually seeds some extra items for players to find that way in particular spots.

  Loktofeit

Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12255

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, Project Gorgon, and Combat Arms

1/23/13 9:49:31 PM#30
Originally posted by GrayKodiak

I am not attacking UO, it was great...I was a shadowclan orc...good times.

But I am using that as an example of why Sandbox might be a thing developers look at with a wayward eye. The more rope you give players, the more mechanics you put in, the greater the chance they do something with the system that you have to actively work to fix. Just more elements for murphy's law to play with.

That's a fair point. When creating tools for emergent gameplay, a developer is committing to the important perpetual follow up task of watching how the players use it and countering/assisting their efforts based on the goals of the community, game and content. Not every dev wants to get involved in playing Emergent Behaviour Ping Pong against a team the size of an MMO's playerbase. This is one of the reasons I find the CCP dev team fascinating. They look forward to seeing what craziness the EVE players will come up with for each new feature set that gets rolled out.

 

"And wikipedia is as accurate as Britannica. Wikipedia is very reliable. You would be hard pressed to find a more reliable source for these kinds of things." -fivoroth

  Greyface

Novice Member

Joined: 5/23/04
Posts: 388

1/24/13 3:44:17 PM#31
Originally posted by BitterClinger

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?

The main thing that keeps customers away from sandbox MMOs is that they're all 10+ years old or half-finished shovelware.  If someone developed a polished sandbox with a realistic learning curve, I think it would do very well.  There's no way to know for sure until someone actually tries it though.  

  botrytis

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/04/05
Posts: 2527

1/24/13 3:49:46 PM#32
Unfortunately is is hard to polish a turd. Most of those games were just that. EVE and UO (but being the first does not make it good) are probably the best of the ones that have been listed.

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  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 19753

1/24/13 3:52:09 PM#33
Originally posted by Yaevindusk

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.

Origin wasn't small. They made the ultima serise, and Wing Commander series, which are the biggest games in those days. It was like Activision buying Blizz.

Things did not help when RG screwed up Ultima 8, and that U9 was too ambitious and flopped badly. But it is not accurate to consider Origin a small boutique shop.

It was more like a Blizz, or a Bioware in those days.

  Greyface

Novice Member

Joined: 5/23/04
Posts: 388

1/24/13 4:05:02 PM#34
Originally posted by botrytis
Unfortunately is is hard to polish a turd. Most of those games were just that. EVE and UO (but being the first does not make it good) are probably the best of the ones that have been listed.

Niether of those games are what I would call "turds."  They're just old.  UO predates Everquest, and I don't think it would be fair to dismiss the Themepark based on the shortcomings of EQ.  Blizzard didn't, and things seemed to have worked out for them.

EVE is newer, but it's still old.  When it was released, the Gamecube was current-gen.

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