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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Why is every game now a Cookie-Cutter MMO and there are no AAA sandbox MMOs?

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102 posts found
  Novusod

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/30/09
Posts: 877

2/05/13 12:10:26 PM#21

 

 

 

I agree with overall point the original poster is making but I would just like to point out a few things.

1.  It takes atleast 4 or 5 years to make a AAA game from start to finish. Realizing that you have to look at what the market was 5 years ago. In 2008 WoW was in its prime. Industry leaders such as Smedley declared that the Sandbox was dead. This was before the WoW clones failed so dev studios were still thinking they could replicate the WoW magic if they had just the right IP and better graphics. What happened afterwards was year after year the same tired theme park was recycled to the public and then failed miserably.

 

2. This left indie devs to pick up the scraps while poorly translated Korean grindfests with Pay to win cash shops took whatever was left. There were a few dimonds in the rough here but low advertizing and empty servers prevented any of these game from becoming major hits. EVE is about the only exception.

 

3. About halfway through this MMO darkage some of the dev companies realized maybe WoW was a fluke that could not be replicated and put new AAA Sandbox into development. As said earlier it takes years to make a AAA game. With that said Arch AGE looks really promising but there is no release date yet. Design of EQNext was changed to Sandbox but that too is at least a year down the road.

 

4. Hope is coming. The sandbox will indeed rise again. Just hold out another year or two and the MMO dark will be coming to an end. Try to make the best of it and have fun with what is available.

  ShakyMo

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/21/11
Posts: 7246

2/05/13 12:15:50 PM#22
Well Archeage is a hybrid.

Eqn I doubt will be a sandbox, will alienate the raid raid raid fanbase of the first 2. Expect an open world themepark with some sandbox elements, e.g something like daoc minus the pvp.
  KAIvilln

Novice Member

Joined: 1/24/13
Posts: 4

2/05/13 12:20:28 PM#23
Originally posted by revcasy

http://digitalbattle.com/2012/02/21/top-10-highest-grossing-video-games-ever/

 

That list is why. WoW has made more money than any other video game in history. Furthermore, there is no other MMO even in the top 10. It's all about the money.

 

It's like gold fever for devs and for their investors. They want to somehow replicate that magic $$.

Not true, it was officially stated that League of Legends is the number one most played, and the largest grossing pc game of all time.. It was official last year in PC mag. Its rediculous they release 1 champ for 10 dollars, and 32million+ people buy it.

  apocoluster

Novice Member

Joined: 4/15/07
Posts: 1305

\m/,

2/05/13 12:23:15 PM#24
Why does the sand box have to be AAA.   Why not a decent AA or single A :)

No matter how cynical you become, its never enough to keep up - Lily Tomlin

  botrytis

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/04/05
Posts: 2564

2/05/13 12:26:28 PM#25
Plain and simple is that a game, like you want, has to have a dedicated player with large amounts of time to spend on it. Most people don't have that amount of time, so we play what we like. Also, there is a smaller audience for the type of game you are talking about and it would take large amounts of cash to probaly write and publish it. I just think no company wants to bet the farm on a game like that.

"In 50 years, when I talk to my grandchildren about these days, I'll make sure to mention what an accomplished MMO player I was. They are going to be so proud ..."
by Naqaj - 7/17/2013 MMORPG.com forum

  ignore_me

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/04/11
Posts: 2034

2/05/13 12:53:39 PM#26
patience OP. The paradigm is shifting as each new X of Y immutable maze hits the saturated market with a sound not unlike horse crap hitting the ground.

Survivor of the great MMORPG Famine of 2011

  Onomas

Novice Member

Joined: 7/05/11
Posts: 1160

Sandbox is your only hope for a decent mmo ;)

2/05/13 12:58:08 PM#27
Originally posted by ShakyMo
Onomas what were these pre wow successful sandboxes
1 uo
2 eve
.........?

Swg and ac are hybrids
Ao, coh and eq2 are themeparks
EQ is an open world themepark
Daoc is an open world themepark with leaning towards hybrid.

No such thing as a hybrid in this industry.

Sandbox does everything a themepark does anyways and much much more. How can a sandbox be a hybrid themepark when sandbox games does it all? Sandbox have story, quests, and anything else a themepark does. On top of that it gives choice, freedom, and its own content.

And if you do wish to go with the hybrid theory, by definition its a mixture of different things to create something new. Basicaly if you have a style of game already doing that, how is adding something it already had to begin with a hybrid? Not possible.

Simple fact a sandbox does it all, a themepark limits everything.

And yes SWG was a sandbox before it was changed to be like WOW. And even then offered moer to the game than any of these new aged games that cant last more than a few months.

  VengeSunsoar

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/10/04
Posts: 4914

Be Brief, Be Bright... Be Gone.

2/05/13 1:03:05 PM#28
Originally posted by Onomas

All the major sandbox games were released pre-WOW. Since wow everyone has been trying to copy their sucess. Has nothing to do with which style is better when you dont have an equal amount of each style to compare. The game devs of today are following the money and have dumbed our games down.

All the sandoxes of pre-wow were successful in terms of time, holding players, and game features. Any game that can last 5+ years, hold 50-500k people for a lengthy time, and able to add to their game over time is successful You do not need half the people in the world playing your game to be successful. 90% of the new aged games die within a few months to a year........ and these games are more successful than ones lasting 7-8-9 years?

With a huge amount of sandboxes coming AA and AAA, indie to top companies, i  do hope to see changes and more companies dabble into sandbox feeling. Hopefuly this will stir competition in the industry and we can start seeing better games pumped out than the past 5 years.

 

 Most of the games released post wow have held onto 50-100k plus subscribers for several years.  I fully expect they will be around as long as games released pre-wow.

The longevity argument is false.

edit - I agree on the no such thing as hybrids, in theory.  In theory a sandbox should have everything a themepark does.  In practice a sandbox has very very little of anything, themepark or sand or tools to shape the sand.  And thats why they fail.

Quit worrying about other players in a game and just play.

  Onomas

Novice Member

Joined: 7/05/11
Posts: 1160

Sandbox is your only hope for a decent mmo ;)

2/05/13 1:20:45 PM#29
Originally posted by VengeSunsoar
Originally posted by Onomas

All the major sandbox games were released pre-WOW. Since wow everyone has been trying to copy their sucess. Has nothing to do with which style is better when you dont have an equal amount of each style to compare. The game devs of today are following the money and have dumbed our games down.

All the sandoxes of pre-wow were successful in terms of time, holding players, and game features. Any game that can last 5+ years, hold 50-500k people for a lengthy time, and able to add to their game over time is successful You do not need half the people in the world playing your game to be successful. 90% of the new aged games die within a few months to a year........ and these games are more successful than ones lasting 7-8-9 years?

With a huge amount of sandboxes coming AA and AAA, indie to top companies, i  do hope to see changes and more companies dabble into sandbox feeling. Hopefuly this will stir competition in the industry and we can start seeing better games pumped out than the past 5 years.

 

 Most of the games released post wow have held onto 50-100k plus subscribers for several years.  I fully expect they will be around as long as games released pre-wow.

The longevity argument is false.

edit - I agree on the no such thing as hybrids, in theory.  In theory a sandbox should have everything a themepark does.  In practice a sandbox has very very little of anything, themepark or sand or tools to shape the sand.  And thats why they fail.

Pre-WOW only 12 people out of 100 had internet access. Of those people the majority was used for business  not games. Now in todays society 40+ people out of 100 has internet access and used more for recreation now. Its pretty simple to see why older games had less population, there were less people playing mmorpg's. In early 2000's only about 300 million were online, now we have over 2 billion.

The fact those games lasted is proof enough. These games brought more to the table than any of your new aged cookie-cutters by far. 50-100k people back then would equal to about 500k paying players is better than 90% of the new games do today until they go F2P.

 

  ignore_me

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/04/11
Posts: 2034

2/05/13 1:21:40 PM#30

I think a sandbox can contain a theme park, but the opposite is an inferior design.

-Themers are good with a smaller, directed course of activity that has defined boundaries and a finite course of play.

-Sandbox players need at least a credible illusion of vast areas and undirected play.

As one of these models is more restrictive than the other, if you put sandbox inside of a theme park, you get meta-walls that dilude the experience for the sandbox guy. The opposite would seem workable to me, as Themers are ok with having a narrative within a frame, and could simply test he waters of the open world as much (or as never) as they like.

Survivor of the great MMORPG Famine of 2011

  VengeSunsoar

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/10/04
Posts: 4914

Be Brief, Be Bright... Be Gone.

2/05/13 1:28:48 PM#31
Originally posted by Onomas
Originally posted by VengeSunsoar
Originally posted by Onomas

All the major sandbox games were released pre-WOW. Since wow everyone has been trying to copy their sucess. Has nothing to do with which style is better when you dont have an equal amount of each style to compare. The game devs of today are following the money and have dumbed our games down.

All the sandoxes of pre-wow were successful in terms of time, holding players, and game features. Any game that can last 5+ years, hold 50-500k people for a lengthy time, and able to add to their game over time is successful You do not need half the people in the world playing your game to be successful. 90% of the new aged games die within a few months to a year........ and these games are more successful than ones lasting 7-8-9 years?

With a huge amount of sandboxes coming AA and AAA, indie to top companies, i  do hope to see changes and more companies dabble into sandbox feeling. Hopefuly this will stir competition in the industry and we can start seeing better games pumped out than the past 5 years.

 

 Most of the games released post wow have held onto 50-100k plus subscribers for several years.  I fully expect they will be around as long as games released pre-wow.

The longevity argument is false.

edit - I agree on the no such thing as hybrids, in theory.  In theory a sandbox should have everything a themepark does.  In practice a sandbox has very very little of anything, themepark or sand or tools to shape the sand.  And thats why they fail.

Pre-WOW only 12 people out of 100 had internet access. Of those people the majority was used for business  not games. Now in todays society 40+ people out of 100 has internet access and used more for recreation now. Its pretty simple to see why older games had less population, there were less people playing mmorpg's. In early 2000's only about 300 million were online, now we have over 2 billion.

The fact those games lasted is proof enough. These games brought more to the table than any of your new aged cookie-cutters by far. 50-100k people back then would equal to about 500k paying players is better than 90% of the new games do today until they go F2P.

 

 I didn't state the reasons as to why games these days will hold onto 50-100k, I stated that most have them have.  There are many reasons for why they have done so.

Yes some games in the past have held onto 50-100k subscribers for a long time.  However it is equally true that many games post WoW have also held onto 50-100k+ subscribers for many years.  There is no reason to thing they will not last 10 years or more.  Therefore the argument that old games have longevity because they held onto subscribers while new games don't is false.  New games have held onto subscribers for years showing longevity, and in the future we will likely see them continue to hold onto them. 

However only a few games in the past offer more than today's games.

Quit worrying about other players in a game and just play.

  User Deleted
2/05/13 1:31:40 PM#32

The OP needs to take a closer look at GW2.

Nobody can agree on a definition of Sandbox, so until they can the term shouldn't be used.  Every game that claims to be a sandobx has a thousand people explaining why it isn't.  The reason there are no "sandbox" games because by the time a game has AAA features, purists don't call it a sandbox anymore.

  Miner-2049er

Novice Member

Joined: 8/13/07
Posts: 436

2/05/13 1:41:42 PM#33

Sandbox = More Freedom

More Freedom = More opportunity to Exploit

More Exploiting = Poor Experience for the majority of players

I could be wrong, but this has been my experience. I love the idea of a sandbox, but I fear that there are too many players who will do anything they can to be best.

Win Game > Play World (unfortunately)

Also exploring died with Wiki.

 

 

  ShakyMo

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/21/11
Posts: 7246

2/05/13 1:49:35 PM#34
Roxtarr
I would class gw2 as a half way point between full on themeparks like wow and swtor(e.g. glorified lobby games), and open world themeparks like daoc and vanilla EQ.

It's certainly not a sandbox, and its dungeons being instances and the existence of spvp stop it being a true open world themepark. Full credit to it for moving in the right direction by getting people outside a bit more rather than sat in cities queueing to go instances though.
  Loktofeit

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12405

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ArcheAge, and Combat Arms

2/05/13 1:53:34 PM#35
Originally posted by Miner-2049er

Sandbox = More Freedom

More Freedom = More opportunity to Exploit

More Exploiting = Poor Experience for the majority of players

I could be wrong, but this has been my experience. I love the idea of a sandbox, but I fear that there are too many players who will do anything they can to be best.

Win Game > Play World (unfortunately)

Also exploring died with Wiki.

Dealing with how players will use or abuse new systems is part of dealing with emergent gameplay. If devs are avoiding the huge benefit of the latter for fear of the chance of the former seems like a major loss for us gamers. 

I want to see more of THIS from devs. 

"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

  Four0Six

Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/18/11
Posts: 1161

2/05/13 1:55:56 PM#36

OP:

*Yells as loud as possible*

WOW HAD 10 MILLION PLUS SUBS FOR HOW LONG? AT $15 A MONTH THAT IS $150 MILLION A MONTH.

MONEY, MONEY, MONEY, MONEY. THAT IS THE EVER LOVING REASON THAT ALL WE HAVE NOW IS WOW-CLONES.

IF YOU OR ANYBODY ELSE WANTS SOMETHING OTHER, GO TO SCHOOL LEARN TO WRITE CODE AND MAKE IT. OR WAIT FOR WOW TO DIE.

*storms out, slamming the door behind*

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 20541

2/05/13 2:00:17 PM#37
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by Miner-2049er

Sandbox = More Freedom

More Freedom = More opportunity to Exploit

More Exploiting = Poor Experience for the majority of players

I could be wrong, but this has been my experience. I love the idea of a sandbox, but I fear that there are too many players who will do anything they can to be best.

Win Game > Play World (unfortunately)

Also exploring died with Wiki.

Dealing with how players will use or abuse new systems is part of dealing with emergent gameplay. If devs are avoiding the huge benefit of the latter for fear of the chance of the former seems like a major loss for us gamers. 

I want to see more of THIS from devs. 

What huge benefit? I have yet to see anything more interesting emerged from a player in the game context, than a well crafted STO story mission.

 

  Wighty

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/10/08
Posts: 615

2/05/13 2:02:37 PM#38

Simple... No one wants to pay a sub anymore and Sandboxes are a bitch to monetize.

Expect sandboxes from independent developers with the exception of EQNext which is "wait and see"

What are your other Hobbies?

Gaming is Dirt Cheap compared to this...

  Loktofeit

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12405

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ArcheAge, and Combat Arms

2/05/13 2:05:37 PM#39
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by Miner-2049er

Sandbox = More Freedom

More Freedom = More opportunity to Exploit

More Exploiting = Poor Experience for the majority of players

I could be wrong, but this has been my experience. I love the idea of a sandbox, but I fear that there are too many players who will do anything they can to be best.

Win Game > Play World (unfortunately)

Also exploring died with Wiki.

Dealing with how players will use or abuse new systems is part of dealing with emergent gameplay. If devs are avoiding the huge benefit of the latter for fear of the chance of the former seems like a major loss for us gamers. 

I want to see more of THIS from devs. 

What huge benefit? I have yet to see anything more interesting emerged from a player in the game context, than a well crafted STO story mission.

Narius, I'd be happy to discuss that in a thread on the benefits of emergent gameplay. I've no interest in derailing this 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

  Miner-2049er

Novice Member

Joined: 8/13/07
Posts: 436

2/05/13 2:09:41 PM#40
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by Miner-2049er

Sandbox = More Freedom

More Freedom = More opportunity to Exploit

More Exploiting = Poor Experience for the majority of players

I could be wrong, but this has been my experience. I love the idea of a sandbox, but I fear that there are too many players who will do anything they can to be best.

Win Game > Play World (unfortunately)

Also exploring died with Wiki.

Dealing with how players will use or abuse new systems is part of dealing with emergent gameplay. If devs are avoiding the huge benefit of the latter for fear of the chance of the former seems like a major loss for us gamers. 

I want to see more of THIS from devs. 

I agree that CCP are inspiring, but like WoW they had some advantage from the time they were conceived . The players mentioned in the article are trying to break the in game monopolies rather that exploit technical issues as a fast track to success.

I think they've done wonders to hold onto their vision and become successful. I hope future developers see the value of such risk, but I understand why so few take the risk. I'm disappointed in myself I've just never been able to get into EVE, I wish CCP would do something essentially land based with the same mentality.

 

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