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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Why the Hate for companies that close down MMOs?

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  killion81

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/31/06
Posts: 888

 
OP  1/15/14 9:41:48 AM#1

I recently saw yet another, "I hate XYZ company for shutting down my favorite game and I will never give them another dollar, ever!" post and it got me thinking...

 

Whenever a game is closed down, there is hate posted anywhere and everywhere directed towards the company closing the game down.  This may go on for weeks or months (or even years in some cases).  However, no one seems to mention how great it was that a company spent TONS of money and TONS of man hours, along with a bunch of creativity, creating a game that people (including those spouting hate) gained years of entertainment from.  To put that a little bit differently,

 

You NEVER would have had the chance to enjoy your "favorite game" had this company not created and maintained it at SIGNIFICANT RISK to themselves.  If anything, you should be thankful they ever gave you the opportunity!

 

It's a lot like hating an ex that left you after a solid run.  Ignoring all the great experiences you had over the years and instead focusing on how unhappy you are that life changed doesn't help you in any way.  All good things must end.  I'm just saying, take your fond memories, enjoy reflecting on them now and then and put your energy into experiences in the here and now that will eventually be more great memories. :)

  Barrikor

Novice Member

Joined: 12/06/07
Posts: 317

1/15/14 12:18:57 PM#2

Well it's easy to see why:


- Sometimes the company that closes the game, isn't the same company that made it.

- Sometimes the game is still making money and paying for itself but gets closed anyway.

Grand Canyon Studios | Projects: Pith Framework (0.5), CactusGUI (0.3) | Planning: Ant Battles, Pirate Tide

  Helleri

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 5/26/08
Posts: 766

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”- Henry Ford

1/15/14 12:49:09 PM#3

I think I have seen the most hate in a couple of instances:

- The shutdown was sudden (practically overnight with no warning).

- The company doesn't actually shut it down but sells it off (it's almost more infuriating if the game still exists but your account for it is no good in it's new home).

 

In either case there is a break down or complete lack of communication. It's one thing if a company is replacing an old version of a game with a new one. They let the players know ahead of time the v2.0 is coming out and to prepare for that. Also, it's not so terrible if they simply can't afford to run it and close it in a saved state (preserving it) until they can find a way to open it again. At least in that case the game is not dead, it's just sleeping (that one is an especially rare case though and when they do re-open it is usually only briefly). And, if a game isn't making money and the company lets the players know "hey, you all got about 6 months left with this if something doesn't change". That is also somewhat acceptable. People will complain in each and every one of those cases sure...

 

But, when they disappear over night with scarcely a word. When you log back in after a 3day or week break and the game is simply gone. I think that is the most anger making.

 

In any case I think we feel the effect of loss greater then gain. And, we tend to recall and adjust how we feel about things in order (the very last thing we see from a company sets the tone of our mood in regards to them usually). What will get us every time as people is lack of resolution. Feeling that something is incomplete, or like we missed a step. It's the same reason songs get stuck in your head. And, why often re-listening to a song gets it unstuck. Your brain either doesn't like a detail about the song or can't recall exactly how one part goes. So it gets stuck in a loop trying to resolve that.

 

And, with the games that vanish I think it's the same thing. We often are left feeling unresolved. And without resolution you can never fully get over it. Because, your brain works best when things make sense. And, will do everything in it's power to force things that don't make sense to become sensical. Even if that means conspiracy theories and raging at the darkness. Any thing to restore logical flow. That feeling of "unfair" is a feeling we are not built well to cope with.

 


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  Bladestrom

Elite Member

Joined: 4/04/11
Posts: 3342

1/15/14 1:04:48 PM#4
Agreed ^^. There is absolutely no excuse for a game to be shutdown if it covers it's own costs. There is also the fact that players play because they feel they can trust the publisher to maintain the state of their avatars, indeed If a developer were to release a game with the warning that they may shutdown of they only break even then no one would pay, this is the unspoken promise of the mmo provider. imagine if Microsoft deleted all your cloud data overnight because it barely made a profit...

rpg/mmorg history: Dun Darach>Bloodwych>Bards Tale 1-3>Eye of the beholder > Might and Magic 2,3,5 > FFVII> Baldur's Gate 1, 2 > Planescape Torment >Morrowind > WOW (1000 hrs on main mage)> oblivion > LOTR (480 Hunter) > Rift (230 hours mage) > Guild Wars (1900hrs elementalist) Vanguard. > GW2(900 elementalist), Wildstar

Now playing GW2, AOW 3

  lizardbones

Elite Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10633

I think with my heart and move with my head.-Kongos

1/15/14 2:35:47 PM#5


Originally posted by Bladestrom
Agreed ^^. There is absolutely no excuse for a game to be shutdown if it covers it's own costs. There is also the fact that players play because they feel they can trust the publisher to maintain the state of their avatars, indeed If a developer were to release a game with the warning that they may shutdown of they only break even then no one would pay, this is the unspoken promise of the mmo provider. imagine if Microsoft deleted all your cloud data overnight because it barely made a profit...


MMO providers do not have an unspoken promise. Neither do cloud service providers. Also, that doesn't actually answer the question. It's just trying to justify being upset.

People treat MMORPGs as if they were products that the players owned instead of services that the players rent. When an MMORPG shuts down, the players feel like they are losing the product that they paid for, instead of the service to which they had no ownership rights.

For every large, complex problem, there is a simple, clear solution that also happens to be absolutely wrong.

  Lord.Bachus

Hard Core Member

Joined: 5/14/07
Posts: 8599

I believe in life before death... So dont forget to enjoy it while you still can.

1/15/14 2:37:38 PM#6

There is but one answer...

 

if they close an MMO down... they must give the server code for free to all players that ever played the game

Best MMO experiences : EQ(PvE), DAoC(PvP), WoW(total package) LOTRO (worldfeel) GW2 (Artstyle and animations and worlddesign) SWTOR (Story immersion) TSW (story) ESO (character advancement)

  RefMinor

Novice Member

Joined: 7/16/11
Posts: 3542

Hipster

1/15/14 2:49:25 PM#7
Because people were playing and didn't want to stop.
  killion81

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/31/06
Posts: 888

 
OP  1/15/14 3:00:32 PM#8
Originally posted by Bladestrom
Agreed ^^. There is absolutely no excuse for a game to be shutdown if it covers it's own costs. There is also the fact that players play because they feel they can trust the publisher to maintain the state of their avatars, indeed If a developer were to release a game with the warning that they may shutdown of they only break even then no one would pay, this is the unspoken promise of the mmo provider. imagine if Microsoft deleted all your cloud data overnight because it barely made a profit...

 

I disagree in that MMORPGs are businesses first and foremost.  No business runs with the end goal of covering it's costs.  Yes, it certainly needs to cover it's costs, but if that's all it's doing, it may as well do nothing at all with the same end result.  Business is about money.  If a product doesn't generate profit, you cut it from your lineup and allocate any resources it was using to another product that will (or hopefully will) generate profit.

 

Businesses simply don't offer products and services to make people happy.  Often times that IS a side effect of what they do when they're providing a luxury service that people don't need and only want, but it's not the reason they do what they do.  Would you stick with a job that paid you exactly what it cost for you to eat, sleep and travel to and from work, but nothing more?  Apply that to a business.

  killion81

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/31/06
Posts: 888

 
OP  1/15/14 3:01:57 PM#9
Originally posted by lizardbones

 


Originally posted by Bladestrom
Agreed ^^. There is absolutely no excuse for a game to be shutdown if it covers it's own costs. There is also the fact that players play because they feel they can trust the publisher to maintain the state of their avatars, indeed If a developer were to release a game with the warning that they may shutdown of they only break even then no one would pay, this is the unspoken promise of the mmo provider. imagine if Microsoft deleted all your cloud data overnight because it barely made a profit...



MMO providers do not have an unspoken promise. Neither do cloud service providers. Also, that doesn't actually answer the question. It's just trying to justify being upset.

People treat MMORPGs as if they were products that the players owned instead of services that the players rent. When an MMORPG shuts down, the players feel like they are losing the product that they paid for, instead of the service to which they had no ownership rights.

 

 

You beat me to it.  Stupid work making me leave my response window open for an hour before posting...

  User Deleted
1/15/14 3:26:27 PM#10

*Looks at killion81's avatar - - - hmmm, a bouncy visualization and the words "Not quite dead yet"*

Insight perhaps?

Nah, couldn't be.

Companies close down profitable games all the time for no apparent reason whatsoever *coughNCsoftcough*. In fact it happens so often that it is quite normal and can be expected of any game at any time. Hell, I expect Star Wars the Old Republic to be shut down tomorrow and World of Warcraft to go dark within hours. Afterall, it is within the owners's rights to close them down however and whenever they choose whether the players have a say in it or not.

You are exactly right! We should all expect this from each and every game that goes online and is served to us over the internet. There's no reason to hate these fine upstanding companies for their decision to give us things we love and then just take them away again without reason or logical explanation. When they close down one game we should just move on to another like the previous game didn't even matter. It's the way of the industry and we should agree and abide by it without anger, grudge or...heck any emotion whatsoever.

We're all unfeeling robots afterall.  010010010110100010001001011011010101110

  Jaedor

Elite Member

Joined: 8/17/09
Posts: 905

1/15/14 3:29:49 PM#11

The simple answer to OP's question is: attachment


We invest hundreds or thousands of hours in something and then it goes poof. Like life, there's a kind of grief that happens when you lose something you love. And it often manifests as rage.

  Tuchaka

Novice Member

Joined: 4/14/10
Posts: 458

1/15/14 3:30:45 PM#12
The answer to this one is really easy because people get emotionally attached and become irrational. Companies shut down a game because they are not profitable enough to keep running Vs. some other investment of their money. Expecting a company to loose money is irrational, i don't expect people to like loosing their favorite game but reality should at least get a honorable mention in their thought process.
  killion81

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/31/06
Posts: 888

 
OP  1/16/14 11:02:53 AM#13
Originally posted by Tuchaka
The answer to this one is really easy because people get emotionally attached and become irrational. Companies shut down a game because they are not profitable enough to keep running Vs. some other investment of their money. Expecting a company to loose money is irrational, i don't expect people to like loosing their favorite game but reality should at least get a honorable mention in their thought process.

 

Then I guess a better question would be, "Why do people see it as 'OK' to exclude reality when making sweeping decisions regarding supporting game developers?".  However, I'm going to guess that any answer to that is just as irrational as the initial thought process that brought them to their opinion.

 

I see nothing wrong with boycotting a company for well grounded reasons.  Personally, I refuse to purchase EA games, but that's based off their business practices.

  lizardbones

Elite Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10633

I think with my heart and move with my head.-Kongos

1/16/14 11:14:18 AM#14


Originally posted by killion81

Originally posted by Bladestrom Agreed ^^. There is absolutely no excuse for a game to be shutdown if it covers it's own costs. There is also the fact that players play because they feel they can trust the publisher to maintain the state of their avatars, indeed If a developer were to release a game with the warning that they may shutdown of they only break even then no one would pay, this is the unspoken promise of the mmo provider. imagine if Microsoft deleted all your cloud data overnight because it barely made a profit...
 

I disagree in that MMORPGs are businesses first and foremost.  No business runs with the end goal of covering it's costs.  Yes, it certainly needs to cover it's costs, but if that's all it's doing, it may as well do nothing at all with the same end result.  Business is about money.  If a product doesn't generate profit, you cut it from your lineup and allocate any resources it was using to another product that will (or hopefully will) generate profit.

 

Businesses simply don't offer products and services to make people happy.  Often times that IS a side effect of what they do when they're providing a luxury service that people don't need and only want, but it's not the reason they do what they do.  Would you stick with a job that paid you exactly what it cost for you to eat, sleep and travel to and from work, but nothing more?  Apply that to a business.




One of the early economic concepts taught is the idea of "next best alternative". Basically, if a company is spending resources doing one thing, but they could spend the same resources doing another thing and make more money, they are losing money if they don't do that other thing. Things like closing down an MMORPG probably fall into this category. The money saved by not running the MMORPG, or the money being invested in a different project looks like it will make more money, and a rational business will want to make more money rather than less money.

Using your example, if you could do the exact same job you're doing now, with the same benefits and no additional costs, but make more money, wouldn't you choose to do so? A rational person would choose to make more money when all other things are equal.

For every large, complex problem, there is a simple, clear solution that also happens to be absolutely wrong.

  Grunty

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/06/04
Posts: 6822

1/16/14 7:08:36 PM#15
There's more anger toward companies that don't shut down games people dislike. Well, on this site anyway. 
  GrayImpact

Hard Core Member

Joined: 11/03/08
Posts: 864

1/16/14 7:12:36 PM#16

I think part of the reason is because people get really attached to MMO's compared to other online products.

It's not that rare for players to spend hundreds if not thousands of hours on them, and it sucks knowing all that time is now gone.

  whilan

Keeper of the Archives

Joined: 1/30/07
Posts: 3115

1/16/14 9:22:46 PM#17

Run this little experiment, give a kid a toy, let that kid play with it for a few hours (but not long enough for the kid to get tired of it). Then take it away from them and say they aren't going to get it back because you decided that they shouldn't have access to it anymore.

Notice how the behavior of that kid is almost identical, it doesn't matter the kid had a couple of hours of fun with it, all that matters now is you took their toy away. That sort of feeling of losing something you wanted to play with doesn't go away because you grow older, and usually you are taught that as long as you behave that you will get to keep things givin to you, most people don't feel like they've done anything wrong so why should something I like get taken away from me? Thus they feel like their being punished for doing nothing wrong and theres very little chance they will get said product back, so they lose all the work they did as well.  Granted nothing lasts forever but that doesn't change the reaction once it's taken away.

yes it's a company and they need to make money but most people don't care (nor should they need to really) about if they make money, all they know is thats the company that took away something I like to do. This makes it even worse when you take something away for almost no reason or for confusing reasons such as CoX which was making money but closed down anyhow.

Help me Bioware, your my only hope.

Is ToR going to be good? Dude it's Bioware making a freaking star wars game, all signs point to awesome. -G4tv MMo report.

  FelixMajor

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/27/07
Posts: 546

1/16/14 9:38:30 PM#18
I hate all my exes.

Originally posted by Arskaaa
"when players learned tacticks in dungeon/raids, its bread".

  ZombieKen

Novice Member

Joined: 3/30/10
Posts: 4410

Zombie - Dead but still moving.

1/16/14 9:55:06 PM#19

I just love the "you have no reason to feel the way you do" threads.

 

If there was no reason to feel a certain way, then nobody would feel that way, and there would be no need to have the conversation.  But there is, and they do, so there is.

 

MSOTSG with PPE : Massively Single-player Online Task-driven Storyline Game with Purchasable Performance Enhancements *grin*

  RandomDown

Novice Member

Joined: 7/25/12
Posts: 147

1/16/14 10:06:09 PM#20
Originally posted by whilan

...

yes it's a company and they need to make money but most people don't care (nor should they need to really) about if they make money, all they know is thats the company that took away something I like to do. This makes it even worse when you take something away for almost no reason or for confusing reasons such as CoX which was making money but closed down anyhow.

Why shouldnt they care? They would be even more irrational if they expected a company to run a game that operated at a loss. Financial solvency is something they should care about. And if it isn't making a substantial profit, and they have talented developers they can move elsewhere for a possibly bigger gain why wouldn't they? The fact is, the players could care less about the people and the companies that create them. It is an extraordinarily selfish view to believe the company owes you something when you can't even be grateful for the fun they did give you.

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