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WildStar

WildStar 

General Discussion  » Wildstar business model failed predictably

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82 posts found
  mark2123

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/24/08
Posts: 238

 
OP  9/02/14 5:25:38 AM#1

The reason Wildstar has been a failure and will not last for much longer is an obvious lack of understanding of how business works.

You either create something to appeal to the masses and hit volume sales e.g. a game with a broad appeal to all types of players (but you must still do it well for you are competing with others for the same customers, so you need quality and USP), or, you appeal to a small niche with something that is so good, the majority of that niche will come to you to purchase.

Wildstar went for the niche and by having an endgame focussing on hardcore raiding, that's their small target of players to aim for.  But it's not enough to sustain a business model for a game that obviously had a lot of time and effort put into it and will have huge ongoing dev costs.  They also put in a major flaw to cheese off their niche market by making the questing grind so bad.  The quests are just in your face, full on tedium, over and over with no meaning to them - the worst kind you could get.  Probably the worst kind of quests to give hardcore raiders as the stick before the carrot.

Wildstar has made it difficult to get those niche players and keep them - and of course, there are other games vying for those same gamers.

At least EVE has a niche with no real competition - Wildstar does not.

The success of WoW is partly down to first-mover advantage and an IP that everyone recognised i.e. Warcraft, but they also cater for all playing styles.  You can be casual and you can be a hardcore raider - and what they do, they do it well.  So Blizzard have a huge potential audience whereas Wildstar has to be damn appealing for it's much smaller target.

Wildstar cannot now be recovered unless they change their strategy, accept losses and re-market a more casual game.  And, tidy up the awful questing.

Otherwise, there is no hope.

  AzurePrower

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/18/07
Posts: 1543

Ahh yes, "Hypers." The people who praise and hate every MMORPG... We've dismissed that claim.

9/02/14 5:31:50 AM#2
I think you're confusing business model with game design.
  Kyleran

Bitter Vet™

Joined: 9/13/06
Posts: 19237

Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing their own opinions. Pvbs 18:2, NIV

9/02/14 5:40:00 AM#3
A change in business model might rescue this MMORPG from its questionable design choices, which really what most of the OPs talking points were about.

But maybe not, sometimes you can't give it away for free even.

Arrogant, Condescending, Dismissive, Elitist, "Meany", you speak as if these are bad things?
Kyleran - Bitter Vet ™ since 2006
"This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon

  LegacyGame

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/25/14
Posts: 81

9/02/14 5:43:38 AM#4
People will pay for a product if it does what it says on the tin. I got a refund on WS immediately running into that wall of uninspiring ridiculous monotonous questing. The final straw was finding out that they kept monster auto attacks completely ruining fighting big monsters. Can't quest, can't solo big game with skill, can't do squat without face palming. Wildstar really does have impeccable art direction though, such a shame :( 

Tumblr: http://legacy-game.tumblr.com/

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  Nitth

Elite Member

Joined: 7/29/10
Posts: 3344

Magic Propels my Rolly Chair.

9/02/14 5:45:23 AM#5

Does an mmorpg that starts out sub then converts to f2p make more money than a game that goes f2p on day one?

The answer is yes.


TSW - AoC - Aion - WOW - EVE - Fallen Earth - Co - Rift - || XNA C# Java Development

  mark2123

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/24/08
Posts: 238

 
OP  9/02/14 6:00:59 AM#6
Originally posted by AzurePrower
I think you're confusing business model with game design.

The business model they used obviously directed how the game would be designed i.e. they chose the niche and then went for it - they are intertwined but they made mistakes.

  Slapshot1188

Hard Core Member

Joined: 5/06/07
Posts: 4185

9/02/14 6:09:43 AM#7
Originally posted by mark2123
Originally posted by AzurePrower
I think you're confusing business model with game design.

The business model they used obviously directed how the game would be designed i.e. they chose the niche and then went for it - they are intertwined but they made mistakes.

Now you are confusing business model and target audience.  They are not the same thing.

 

"I should point out that no other company has shipped out a beta on a disc before this." - Official Mortal Online Lead Community Moderator

Starvault's reponse to criticism related to having a handful of players as the official "test" team for a supposed MMO: "We've just have another 10ish folk kind enough to voulenteer added tot the test team" (SIC) This explains much about the state of the game :-)

  mark2123

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/24/08
Posts: 238

 
OP  9/02/14 6:19:43 AM#8
Originally posted by Slapshot1188
Originally posted by mark2123
Originally posted by AzurePrower
I think you're confusing business model with game design.

The business model they used obviously directed how the game would be designed i.e. they chose the niche and then went for it - they are intertwined but they made mistakes.

Now you are confusing business model and target audience.  They are not the same thing.

 

They decided how they would capture value i.e. by going for the hardcore niche, and got it all wrong because they didn't deliver to entice enough of that niche to stick with it.

[mod edit]

  Soaapy

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/08/11
Posts: 128

9/02/14 6:22:55 AM#9
business model is like.. subscription or f2p lol
  mark2123

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/24/08
Posts: 238

 
OP  9/02/14 6:26:08 AM#10
Originally posted by Soaapy
business model is like.. subscription or f2p lol

Business model is erroneously used by many on this forum to decide that, but if you look up the term on wikipedia or something, you'll see it's actually more about how you design and build your offering to appeal to your target market i.e. how you capture value to appeal to them.

How you get your revenues in is such a small part of a business model [mod edit]

  Rusque

Elite Member

Joined: 6/08/10
Posts: 1783

9/02/14 6:50:16 AM#11

Their model only failed if it fell short of their predictions and aren't generating enough revenue to sustain their game/studio. I have to believe that they fully understood that they were going after one of the tiniest MMO market segments, because if they didn't know that, then they have reached unimaginable levels of incompetence.

Large-scale, hardcore raiding was not, is not, and never will be popular. The only reason people slogged through in the old days is because there were no options. The moment options showed up, people bailed on it left and right and games stopped catering to an almost non-existent group of players. I have no problem with people who want this type of game-play, but any developer that chooses to pursue this group has to know how small a niche it is and offer something else for the non-hardcore large-scale raider to do.

  grimal

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 9/11/05
Posts: 2499

9/02/14 6:51:27 AM#12
Do we need another one of these threads?

"I'm sorry, if you were right, I'd agree with you." - Robin Williams

  PioneerStew

Elite Member

Joined: 9/24/11
Posts: 803

9/02/14 6:55:22 AM#13

I would have said that a game with broad appeal should be able to offer a return on high development/ running costs, but a game designed for a niche audience should not.  Part of Carbine's mistake was making a game for a very small niche with (estimated) relatively high development costs.  

But I would say that this is only a part of Wildstar's problems.  There are many other design choices that would turn players away regardless of the audience they were aiming for.

  mark2123

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/24/08
Posts: 238

 
OP  9/02/14 6:59:17 AM#14
Originally posted by grimal
Do we need another one of these threads?

Not interested, don't reply.  Simples.

  Uhwop

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/20/10
Posts: 1663

9/02/14 7:06:58 AM#15
Armchair developers always know best, right?  
  TerminalDeity

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/11/13
Posts: 90

9/02/14 7:07:41 AM#16
Wildstar's MAIN problem is that it looks like it's 10 years old, yet runs like it came from the future. No one is going to play some poorly optimized grind fest that looks like shit, and no I'm not running AMD hardware.
  mark2123

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/24/08
Posts: 238

 
OP  9/02/14 7:08:02 AM#17
It's those in the armchairs that buy, play and keep the companies like Carbine in business - so if they don't listen, they can't be surprised.
  bcbully

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/03/12
Posts: 7316

9/02/14 7:09:21 AM#18
thought you were going to talk about credd and how people have bought years worth with in game plat already. You are talking about marketing.

When I eat chocolate chip pie it just doesn't feel like chocolate chip cookies. The texture, the consistency, it's just not the same and this is disappointing.

  PioneerStew

Elite Member

Joined: 9/24/11
Posts: 803

9/02/14 7:13:46 AM#19
Originally posted by mark2123
It's those in the armchairs that buy, play and keep the companies like Carbine in business - so if they don't listen, they can't be surprised.

I have to agree.  

Now don't get me wrong, I find a lot of armchair sports punditry quite irritating because people simply are not party to a lot of the information that inform those decisions.  

But as a customer of a product people know what they like and what they don't, and if a company ignores the feedback from potential customers during beta's, or ignore the lessons learnt by their competitors, or hugely over-estimated the size of their market; then that is just stupidity. 

  Pratt2112

Elite Member

Joined: 2/12/12
Posts: 1226

9/02/14 7:16:13 AM#20
Originally posted by mark2123

The reason Wildstar has been a failure and will not last for much longer is an obvious lack of understanding of how business works.

You either create something to appeal to the masses and hit volume sales e.g. a game with a broad appeal to all types of players (but you must still do it well for you are competing with others for the same customers, so you need quality and USP), or, you appeal to a small niche with something that is so good, the majority of that niche will come to you to purchase.

Wildstar went for the niche and by having an endgame focussing on hardcore raiding, that's their small target of players to aim for.  But it's not enough to sustain a business model for a game that obviously had a lot of time and effort put into it and will have huge ongoing dev costs.  They also put in a major flaw to cheese off their niche market by making the questing grind so bad.  The quests are just in your face, full on tedium, over and over with no meaning to them - the worst kind you could get.  Probably the worst kind of quests to give hardcore raiders as the stick before the carrot.

Wildstar has made it difficult to get those niche players and keep them - and of course, there are other games vying for those same gamers.

At least EVE has a niche with no real competition - Wildstar does not.

The success of WoW is partly down to first-mover advantage and an IP that everyone recognised i.e. Warcraft, but they also cater for all playing styles.  You can be casual and you can be a hardcore raider - and what they do, they do it well.  So Blizzard have a huge potential audience whereas Wildstar has to be damn appealing for it's much smaller target.

Wildstar cannot now be recovered unless they change their strategy, accept losses and re-market a more casual game.  And, tidy up the awful questing.

Otherwise, there is no hope.

Well, I don't see any kind of hard statistics or data backing up anything you're saying there, so I can only take that as conjecture. 

However, if by your statement about WoW having a "first-mover advantage", you're speaking in terms of them being the first MMO to have a sub-based business model, then you're flat out wrong. They were not the first to have subs, nor the first to do it successfully. Not even close.

Also, you make the very common mistake of trying to use WoW as a standard measure of "success". WoW is an anomaly in how well it's done. And  you do not have to have WoW-like numbers to be successful. FFXI is a sub-based MMO that peaked, then settled at around 500,000 players for its first 7-8 years. It's since gone down, but FFXI has been, by any measure, a very successful venture for SE. And XI was and, to some degree, still is, very much a MMO that appeals to a limited audience.

In my  opinion, one problem with post-WoW MMOs, and why - in part - they aren't doing as well, is that they keep making the same mistake. They keep... trying... to... emulate... WoW... and keep missing the mark. They're just following the same basic formula, and aren't doing nearly enough to differentiate themselves.

Asking someone which post-WoW MMO they enjoy most is like asking someone which brand of Cola they like better. They all have the same flavor, there's just little differences between them that makes them not exactly the same. However, they're all still Cola. Wildstar seems to have gone that same route. They adhered to the post-WoW, themepark model, and made a few adjustments to set it apart "just a little". At the end of the day... it's "yet another post-WoW themepark MMO"... just like XIV, just like Rift, just like WAR, just like almost all the others. The little differences work at first, but before long, players see through that and realize they're basically playing the same game all over again.

MMO devs or, rather, the people making the decisions, have to stop with the "me too" game design and try doing something to actually stand out as something different.

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