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News & Features Discussion  » Warhammer Online : Age of Reckoning: More Layoffs, Response and Analysis

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122 posts found
  popinjay

Advanced Member

Joined: 9/07/07
Posts: 6638

Aaron Rodgers>Brett Favre

2/05/09 10:09:35 AM#41


Originally posted by Stradden

 
Did you take box sales into account in your analysis there? I'm just asking because if we assume 750,000 (it's either that or assume that mythic was paid fior the 1.5 million units sold to retailers... which they actually might have) as the number of boxes sold (that's how many registered users they said they ahd at one point), then you're looking at like 37 mil right there in recovered cost.
Now, I too have no diea what was spent on WAR, but you seem to be talking apples and oranges? Were the cuts made because EA had a loss across the board, or because WAR doesn't have enough subscribers... And I present to you this thought: If WAR were losing money and not recouping... Don't  you think EA would shut it down rather than cut just a  few jobs?
I'm just saying.


One thing on this Stradden..

I think you are assuming 750,000 units sold at $50 a box it looks like to come up with 37 million as recovered cost. Mythic sold those units to retailers but no way did Walmart, Best Buy, Circuit City, Amazon, etc pay $50 a box and then turn around and sell it for $50 a box.


You'd have to assume Mythic got somewhere of maybe $30 a box max, maybe less. Why would a retailer like Walmart sell a box unit for 0 profit?


So at best you are now looking @ possibly 22.5 million maybe less.


I have no idea for sure what Mythic spent but we do have an "idea" based on:


From a Jacobs interview in August 08: I asked if Mythic’s parent company EA spent $100 million on “Warhammer Online.” “No, but you look at what we did spend, it was lot of money,” he said. Jacobs would only tell me that they’ve spent south of $100 million on “Warhammer Online,” and that’s because he and his team have the experience and the technology behind the game. “

  Samuraisword

Novice Member

Joined: 2/15/06
Posts: 2120

Gamers who use RMT are like athletes who use steroids

2/05/09 10:13:15 AM#42
Originally posted by Myrdek
Originally posted by hauj0bb
Originally posted by Soki123

People give it a rest, WAR is doing fine and isn t going anywhere. There are plenty of games out there, that operate with 30-50k subs.

 

But there aren't plenty of games that had the budget WAR had. The budget is important here, though I'm not 100% on the exact amount invested in this project. One way or another, EA has declared that it's taking a loss not just within WAR, but across their entire product line.

If the budget for WAR didn't exceed 60 million, I'd say 300k subs is fairly healthy, but if it were more then i'd question it.


Development cost was said to be a bit "south of 100 million" according to Mark Jacobs in a forum post

EA has already commented on the fact that they would need at least 1 million box sales and an average of 250k subs for a few years following launch in order to "break even". That is, to recoup development cost, servers and continued staff support. This was said a few weeks before launch

Now, if we're talking about the game being kept above operating cost so it doesn't shut down, we should look at Tabula Rasa. Both it and War had a close to 100 million development cost so we can assume that their operating cost are pretty close. When Tabula Rasa announced it would shut down, they mentionned that they had roughly 75k subscribers and they were now taking a loss. Which means that its VERY doubtful that Warhammer would be shut down anytime soon, I really don't think they would drop this low when they sold close to 1 million boxes to consumers.

The real question here is, can it recover from such a drop? Can it start growing again if they improve it? That would be very hard to do, most times you only have 1 chance to make a first impression. But then again, EQ 2 managed to do it so we'll just have to see :)

EQ2 has never recovered from it's poor launch, constant revamps, and dwindling subscriptions. The only thing that keeps any of SOE's games alive is stationpass. If each of SOE's products had to survive on it's own two legs, they would have to shut some of them down.

  Arawnite

Novice Member

Joined: 11/09/04
Posts: 162

2/05/09 10:18:34 AM#43

I uninstalled it after 3 weeks, was just too uninterested to bother logging on anymore.

Boggles my mind how such a huge and well funded development team can produce such a boring, linear game. What a waste...

  Theocritus

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/15/08
Posts: 3613

2/05/09 10:25:09 AM#44

         Anyone that has worked for a software company knows you always have layoffs, especially considering how many people they had employed......Also the drop off rom 750k to 300k in 3 months is a steep one and who knows where it finally levels off.......I'm sure they will have alot more layoffs in the next couple of months.

  Stradden

Managing Editor

Joined: 7/08/05
Posts: 6729

 
OP  2/05/09 10:48:52 AM#45
Originally posted by popinjay

 


Originally posted by Stradden

 

 
Did you take box sales into account in your analysis there? I'm just asking because if we assume 750,000 (it's either that or assume that mythic was paid fior the 1.5 million units sold to retailers... which they actually might have) as the number of boxes sold (that's how many registered users they said they ahd at one point), then you're looking at like 37 mil right there in recovered cost.
Now, I too have no diea what was spent on WAR, but you seem to be talking apples and oranges? Were the cuts made because EA had a loss across the board, or because WAR doesn't have enough subscribers... And I present to you this thought: If WAR were losing money and not recouping... Don't  you think EA would shut it down rather than cut just a  few jobs?
I'm just saying.


 

 

One thing on this Stradden..

I think you are assuming 750,000 units sold at $50 a box it looks like to come up with 37 million as recovered cost. Mythic sold those units to retailers but no way did Walmart, Best Buy, Circuit City, Amazon, etc pay $50 a box and then turn around and sell it for $50 a box.


You'd have to assume Mythic got somewhere of maybe $30 a box max, maybe less. Why would a retailer like Walmart sell a box unit for 0 profit?


So at best you are now looking @ possibly 22.5 million maybe less.


I have no idea for sure what Mythic spent but we do have an "idea" based on:


From a Jacobs interview in August 08: I asked if Mythic’s parent company EA spent $100 million on “Warhammer Online.” “No, but you look at what we did spend, it was lot of money,” he said. Jacobs would only tell me that they’ve spent south of $100 million on “Warhammer Online,” and that’s because he and his team have the experience and the technology behind the game. “

 

yeah, that's probably true, but I'm talking about the 750,000 people who registered, not the 1.5 million boxes that were sold to retailers. So, let's use your numbers for retailers :) That's 45 million. Now, of course, this is all speculative, but if we assume $30 for every box sold to retailers, thats the number we come up with.

 

Cheers,
Jon Wood
Managing Editor
MMORPG.com

  stine96

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/01/07
Posts: 45

2/05/09 11:55:33 AM#46

Where is the free trial ?

  Alandora

Novice Member

Joined: 12/26/08
Posts: 356

2/05/09 12:28:48 PM#47
Originally posted by Stradden
Originally posted by hauj0bb
Originally posted by Soki123

People give it a rest, WAR is doing fine and isn t going anywhere. There are plenty of games out there, that operate with 30-50k subs.

 

But there aren't plenty of games that had the budget WAR had. The budget is important here, though I'm not 100% on the exact amount invested in this project. One way or another, EA has declared that it's taking a loss not just within WAR, but across their entire product line.

If the budget for WAR didn't exceed 60 million, I'd say 300k subs is fairly healthy, but if it were more then i'd question it.

 

Did you take box sales into account in your analysis there? I'm just asking because if we assume 750,000 (it's either that or assume that mythic was paid fior the 1.5 million units sold to retailers... which they actually might have) as the number of boxes sold (that's how many registered users they said they ahd at one point), then you're looking at like 37 mil right there in recovered cost.

Now, I too have no diea what was spent on WAR, but you seem to be talking apples and oranges? Were the cuts made because EA had a loss across the board, or because WAR doesn't have enough subscribers... And I present to you this thought: If WAR were losing money and not recouping... Don't  you think EA would shut it down rather than cut just a  few jobs?

I'm just saying.


 

Wow... just wow.    Please tell me you didn't just multiply a retail box price by the number of boxes sold and try to suggest that Mythic made that much money from box sales.... it's more like 15-20% of box sales passes through to the developer... which puts it around $8M, not $37M.

I guess next you are going to multiply $15 x 300,000 and talk about how much money mythic is 'making' from subscribers without mentioning that almost 50% of subscription fees get sucked up by bandwidth charges.

The game cost between 50M and 100M to make.  If it cost under 50M, then they wouldn't have said it cost 'south of 100M'.   In other words, if the game cost 47M to make.. when asked how much it cost to make, they would have said 'south of 50M'... not 'south of 100M'.   I'm giving the benefit of the doubt.. but you could also make the same arguement for 75M.

So lets say 75M to make and 9M in box sales and 2M per month based on 300k subscribers

66M/2m = 33 months to break even at 300k
66M/3.75M = 18 months to break even at 500k subscribers

Most investments like this, they were probably looking at breaking even after 2 years.... so they were probably counting on 400k subscribers over the course of those two years.  Not an unreasonable number.  But that 400k number would be the average maintained over the life of those 24 months.  The fact that after only 4 months, they are already below that target doesn't bode well.

EVE and WOW are the only two games that drastically increased subscribers over the first year of launch.  LotRO has done a good job of getting back to 'near' launch levels.   But there is just nothing in the next 6 months of Warhammer to suggest players will be returning.  The Jan 29th announcement was met with a general 'meh'.   2 new classes in a game that has 10,000 already isn't big news.. and the addition of another dungeon to a game that has dungeons that are mostly ignored is blah at best.

There is no evidence to show that the population of Warhammer has stabilized as of Dec 31st.... so there is no reason to think there are still 300,000 people playing today.... or that there will be more people playing tomorrow that are playing today.  At best, the game may level off someday, but it isn't in the near future.

 

  googajoob7

Novice Member

Joined: 4/12/06
Posts: 877

2/05/09 12:31:12 PM#48
Originally posted by stine96

Where is the free trial ?


 

there is nt one yet . the games actually is a lot better than most wow fanbois would like to have  you think . thing is i think mythic will show the same stupidity as other game developers and not offer one untill its far too late ,

people need to try before they buy . gone are the days when an mmo can expect to be a success without a free trial ,theres been so many epic faliures like vanguard , age of conan and tabula rasa that the buying public have lost faith .

even a quality mmo will fail now without offering a free trial soon after its release .

  templarga

Novice Member

Joined: 5/13/04
Posts: 1982

2/05/09 12:41:58 PM#49
Originally posted by googajoob7
Originally posted by stine96

Where is the free trial ?


 

there is nt one yet . the games actually is a lot better than most wow fanbois would like to have  you think . thing is i think mythic will show the same stupidity as other game developers and not offer one untill its far too late ,

people need to try before they buy . gone are the days when an mmo can expect to be a success without a free trial ,theres been so many epic faliures like vanguard , age of conan and tabula rasa that the buying public have lost faith .

even a quality mmo will fail now without offering a free trial soon after its release .

So anyone who dislikes WAR is a "WOW fanboi" and conversely all WOW players hate WAR? Does that pretty much sum up your argument?

I am sorry I am getting really tired and frustrated that, whenever someone criticizes a game and do not like a game, they are automatically a WOW player.

The argument is so very stupid. Maybe people do not like the game because it is too much like WOW. I personally stopped playing because I expected the game to be closer to DAOC than WOW and what I got was a theme park where nothing you did mattered, your pvp didn't matter and most everyone just wanted to grind instances. I wanted a RVR game like DAOC and instead all I got was instanced RVR that was pointless and once the shine wore off, you realized the game's main objective was pointless.

That is why I stopped playing and WOW had nothing to do with it. But seriously, it is time for the MMO community to take a breath and stop trying to blame WOW for everything. Mythic made the decisions to design the game the way they did and it is their responsibility for the game, be it a success or a failure.

Trying to blame WOW or WOW fanbois is only mis-directing the argument and placing blame elsewhere and not where it should be. WAR has its own laurels and problems to stand on and it gets the blame or praise that it gets, regardless of what other MMO's do.

  neller2000

Novice Member

Joined: 8/04/07
Posts: 136

2/05/09 1:17:42 PM#50
Originally posted by Soki123

People give it a rest, WAR is doing fine and isn t going anywhere. There are plenty of games out there, that operate with 30-50k subs.


 

Tell that to people who were subscribing to Earth & Beyond and The Sims Online. The big EA hatchet of doom cut off both around those marks for good.

And in all honesty, Earth & Beyond was in a far better shape at that point than WAR is today.

  neller2000

Novice Member

Joined: 8/04/07
Posts: 136

2/05/09 1:31:41 PM#51
Originally posted by googajoob7
Originally posted by stine96

Where is the free trial ?


 

there is nt one yet . the games actually is a lot better than most wow fanbois would like to have  you think . thing is i think mythic will show the same stupidity as other game developers and not offer one untill its far too late ,

people need to try before they buy . gone are the days when an mmo can expect to be a success without a free trial ,theres been so many epic faliures like vanguard , age of conan and tabula rasa that the buying public have lost faith .

even a quality mmo will fail now without offering a free trial soon after its release .


 

I just recently cancelled my subscription to WoW to take a needed break from the PvE and PvP BG and Arena grind. Not because I lost interest in the game as a whole but because I was probably grinding too many things right after the WoTLK launch and trying to do too much at once. So no, not playing WoW anymore either right now.

I decided to try WAR instead. And I was entirely surprised at the amazing difference there was. WAR seemed to be unpolished, empty, devoid of content, devoid of PvP which was supposed to even be the strong point, boring quests, boring as a whole more or less. Then the complete lack of stuff to do when maxed out. Knocking on a door and performing a PQ over and over was NOT what they promised for endgame. And speaking of promises, where is the war in WAR actually? Fanboi WAR spammers were rampant on the WoW forums for months and months, they always used the same phrase, there is no war in Warcraft. Well ya know what, there sure as hell isn't any war in Warhammer either, quite a lot less to be honest.

I was just totally surprised that a game could launch in that state today. I think I'll stick to various single player and multiplayer games for a while instead.

  Kaynos1972

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/10/04
Posts: 2323

2/05/09 1:57:43 PM#52
Originally posted by m3ta

"recession" is being a nice excuse for many people, but i don't see it in Blizzard or CCP.

WAR has failed. Bugs aren't fixed, RVR is crap, the downfall is inevitable and obvious.

 


 

QFT

  Goldknyght

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/12/06
Posts: 1562

It''s one thing to have a opinion, but enforcing one is unconstitutional.

2/05/09 2:08:30 PM#53

Didn't know people were actually having issues with this game FPS wise. The game runs rediculously smooth for me on my Q9450 OC'd to 3.2ghz. With 2 Ati 3870s in CFX and 3 gbs of riznam. WAR to me failed because it just got boring when u got to tier 3. Doing the same stuff over and over again isn't fun and just renaming the quest because ur killing something else isnt unique quests. PQ's were fun thats about it. But that became the same crap after awhile. The game needed to have a good PvE side i would agree because sometimes u just dont feel like seiging the SAME FREAKING CITY!!!

  jakin

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/27/04
Posts: 235

2/05/09 3:24:20 PM#54

I'm convinced that for some reason many MMO forumites have some kind of long-term memory problems when it comes to recalling the performance of other games.

Take release bugginess - WoW was an awful mess when it released, it took - what - a year to iron most of the worst out?  WAR had a much smoother launch than that - and genuinely the smoothest I've personally been part of - and yet it's epic fail because Altdorf stutters on some machines.  Anyone remember the laggy hell that was Bree in the first month or two of LOTRO?

LOTRO is actually an excellent example.  Does anyone not remember the "fact" that LOTRO was epic fail about six months in?  That it wouldn't live out the year?  The end game was non-existant, there were no good raids, PvMP was horribly broken, people were quitting as soon as they hit Angmar, and so on.  And yet with the Moria release LOTRO is being lauded as one of the best options for a PvE game out there.  This from a game that was claimed to have 100K subs at best about a year ago, and hadn't added servers since shortly after launch.

It's nuts.  So many fanciful tales made up to suit the way the wind blows.

CCP damn near failed right out of the gate.  It went months with subs in the thousands.  The only thing that saved it was that the original dev team was on a shoestring budget and had a huge passion for it - more like garage developers than a professional game house.  Bungled release, huge exploits and a massively unfriendly game experience to new players could have sank it right there - but their secret weapon was the single game server. 

MMO players all judge a game's success by feel of population.  In EVE you could see the population of the entire game all at once - right on the splash screen at that.  Instant feed back that the game wasn't dying and so the herd panic never really took hold.

Rant aside....

WAR will be fine.  It'll stabilize (if it hasn't already) and the remaining devs will continue to improve the game (the team's still huge for an MMO live team - I'd expect many more to move on or get let go in the near future TBH).  It's pure wishful (and malicious at that) thinking to doomsay anything about doors closing at year's end.

  mackdawg19

Tipster

Joined: 5/28/07
Posts: 868

"If men were created equal, then what happened to game developers?"

2/05/09 3:31:46 PM#55

Just to add, recession is effecting MMORPG's. Do a google search, and you can find that out. This layoff should show you that if the search doesnt. This layoff doesn't suprise me with the quater losses they had. Mythic should be ok, as long as they continue forward and dont let bad times get them down. People sitting here thinking recession doesnt effect gaming in general are just putting on blinders. EA and Sony are only the start of things to come. Blizzard, or shall I say Activision Blizzard merged before they recession hit. They restructed at the right time and since they pretty much rape the online industry, they can afford to keep people on. Plus thier company size is so huge, they just move them on to other projects, where other companys like EA dont have the option.

Put it this way, Activision = smart. The rest of the gaming developers are playing catch up. 

Facts:

Activision Blizzzard owns a 20% stake in NBC Universal

They also own stake in several advertising companies.

They have deals with several magazine companies.

They also have deals with smaller gaming companies and thier projects. 

In essence, Activision Blizzard is to gaming like Microsoft is to Operating Systems, at the lead of the pack. 

  hauj0bb

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/29/04
Posts: 153

2/05/09 5:50:48 PM#56
Originally posted by Stradden
Originally posted by hauj0bb
Originally posted by Soki123

People give it a rest, WAR is doing fine and isn t going anywhere. There are plenty of games out there, that operate with 30-50k subs.

 

But there aren't plenty of games that had the budget WAR had. The budget is important here, though I'm not 100% on the exact amount invested in this project. One way or another, EA has declared that it's taking a loss not just within WAR, but across their entire product line.

If the budget for WAR didn't exceed 60 million, I'd say 300k subs is fairly healthy, but if it were more then i'd question it.

 

Did you take box sales into account in your analysis there? I'm just asking because if we assume 750,000 (it's either that or assume that mythic was paid fior the 1.5 million units sold to retailers... which they actually might have) as the number of boxes sold (that's how many registered users they said they ahd at one point), then you're looking at like 37 mil right there in recovered cost.

Now, I too have no diea what was spent on WAR, but you seem to be talking apples and oranges? Were the cuts made because EA had a loss across the board, or because WAR doesn't have enough subscribers... And I present to you this thought: If WAR were losing money and not recouping... Don't  you think EA would shut it down rather than cut just a  few jobs?

I'm just saying.

I did not take box sales into account, but we also have to remember that EA picked up Mythic during a close-to-release (year, to a year and a half?) period of development. That said, who funded Mythic originally? Was it totally based off of the profits generated from DAoC, or were there third-parties involved? We don't know, but if a third party(s) was involved they would've either been bought out by EA (which isn't very likely), or remained as share holders. This can pose a bit of a problem especially when factoring in box sales (pre-existing agreements and what not).

I hate making assumptions but to answer your question about whether or not EA would shut down WAR if it were loosing profits and not recouping; this is tricky, but I have a couple of possible answers.

1. EA definitely is not going to shut down WAR prematurely; most people understand that these games can (and often do) take time to evolve/mature. EA i'm sure understood this going in, they would have been fools not to. It would take serious losses to shut WAR down, especially due to the invested time, energy and money in the project.

2. Morale; I find this to be rather intriguing because while EA is a business that operates like any other for-profit business (seeks to increase profits), I believe it's very likely that EA would continue to take a loss with WAR (if there is a loss to be had) to maintain morale and their reputation within the industry. I say this because WAR is not an ordinary game developed by an ordinary studio, and EA is still fairly new to the MMO space (I realize they've owned UO for quite some time, but that's not necessarily a 'competitive' game in the current market).

We have reached a end of an age, and developers are begginning to realize that if they continue to target the WoW audience then the future is quite bleak. The late adopters (AoC, WAR) however, would absolutely never admit to this, but I believe it's evident in their financial reports.

  Scorchien

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/12/06
Posts: 1082

2/05/09 5:58:55 PM#57

As cutthroat as we know EA to be , Do you think for 1 minute that they would launch the Russian servers this week if they had the smallest inclanation of War failure,shutdown etc..
To the contrary they are supporting it 100%

They knew these #s long before this weeks Financial report ..and it hasnt stopped them ..

Now onto Russia , as i said before this is a huge untapped market..And is really a very smart move .. None of the other games we talk about have dedicated Russian servers .. West, Asian and Oceanic is the norm..
Russia is a hotbed of some PC gamings hottest developers in the business today and has a huge playerbase screaming for an "A" title MMO like War to give them some love.
Apparently the servers are swamped from what ive read ..No #s have been out out yet but lets assume , they can get modestly 100k subs from Russia...
Standing at 400k with a free exp coming 2nd qtr ,should generate some more subs...and many will return with the Darkness Falls mechanic.. I said it from day 1 it was needed and many agree, and are waiting for these mecanhics to be implemented into War...
Now lets consider the Asian launch they are promising for June.. does anyone here think EA would launch Russia and continue support for an Asian launch if they didnt believe in War..
How many subs do you think War will get in Asia, i think in excess of 500k in Asia is very attainable and a modest # again...

People need to just enjoy there games and Have fun and stop wishing bad fortune on others , As much as SOE has poed me i really dont troll around gigglin like a jackass hopin for a failure .. I voice my opinion ,{cancal sub} and move on ,and really could care less ....

IMO opinion War has established a great playerbase and is taking all the steps in the right direction with updates, patches ,content and mechanics to be successful , they are also taking the proper marketing steps..
If the falter in these things and make the game UNFUN ill voice my opinion and move on ..

  Keridwan

Novice Member

Joined: 7/16/06
Posts: 123

"Femmes Fatales - The Power of the Feminine in the Art of MMO"

2/05/09 7:41:18 PM#58
Originally posted by Scorchien

As cutthroat as we know EA to be , Do you think for 1 minute that they would launch the Russian servers this week if they had the smallest inclanation of War failure,shutdown etc..
To the contrary they are supporting it 100%

 

Of course they would, it is a recognized global business strategy to start off-loading failing First World Products on Third World countries ... ha! It's called GREED. McDonald's profits are falling dramatically in the West, so they concentrate their efforts on other under developed markets. Please note that McDonalds does not sell at all in the Baltic countries (Lithuania, Estonia) because the indigenous people find the burger to be vile and evil. In the Ukraine many of them think McDonald's is a German product. ha!

  popinjay

Advanced Member

Joined: 9/07/07
Posts: 6638

Aaron Rodgers>Brett Favre

2/05/09 8:20:40 PM#59


Originally posted by hauj0bb
2. Morale; I find this to be rather intriguing because while EA is a business that operates like any other for-profit business (seeks to increase profits), I believe it's very likely that EA would continue to take a loss with WAR (if there is a loss to be had) to maintain morale and their reputation within the industry. I say this because WAR is not an ordinary game developed by an ordinary studio, and EA is still fairly new to the MMO space (I realize they've owned UO for quite some time, but that's not necessarily a 'competitive' game in the current market).

Well, its certainly not an extraordinary game from an extraordinary studio, lol. It really is just an average gaming company. They don't stand heads and shoulders above Blizzard, Turbine or many other companies. Their products to date have been right (not counting Warhammer) in line with other products in the market. They've made a GOOD game in the past but they've by no means owned the genre or anything.

Mythic is a 50/50 company with a great PR team, that's all they've ever been. Here's their work. What's extraordinary in it, save DAOC? What do you see here that would inspire a company like EA to hold onto this property?:

  • Dragon's Gate (1985)
  • Tempest (1991)
  • Castles II Online (1996)
  • Rolemaster: Magestorm (1996)
  • Splatterball (1996)
  • Invasion Earth (1997)
  • Darkness Falls (1997)
  • Rolemaster: Bladelands (1997)
  • Aliens Online (1998)
  • Starship Troopers: Battlespace (1998)
  • Godzilla Online (1998)
  • Silent Death: Online (1999)
  • Darkness Falls: The Crusade (1999)
  • Darkstorm: The Well of Souls (1999)
  • Spellbinder: The Nexus Conflict (1999)
  • Independence Day Online (2000)
  • Dark Age of Camelot (2001)
  • Imperator Online (Canceled 2005)
  • Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning (2008)
  • AO Game (October 18, 2008)

Noting half of those didn't even launch. Vaporware.


EA, A multinational company holding onto a game performing barely above water for "morale" purposes? When you read it for what it is, without emotions tied in, that reason really doesn't make sense, does it? A sentimental investment in today's economic times. Sounds even worse. EA has nothing to worry about except for one thing: that is shareholder satisfaction, pure and simple. This is not a local company in the neighborhood where the owner walks down Main Street and people point fingers. This company owns tons of stuff and morale is not their worry. Does this line below make sense to anyone here about a giant company?


I believe it's very likely that EA would continue to take a loss with WAR..to maintain morale and their reputation within the industry.


By comparison, look at Blizzard before WoW (Online) and what they did. Now that's an extraordinary company. With their record, EA would surely keep them for "morale" because they have a pretty good record and likely could turn it around. Warhammer's biggest problem? Unbelievably, it's coding. With their "record" and "experience". Doesn't inspire confidence.


Ultima Online once was at 250k subs, where Warhammer is now and that was back in 2003. Now that is at 100k if that, so why would they hold onto TWO of these? Ultima mades sense.. it was paid for already. Warhammer is not, and then you figure in today's costs for Mythic employees- healthcare, benefits, etc... and it may already be a foregone conclusion when/if they decide. Ultima as a game is in maintainance mode with a small crew.


Not trying to knock you, but maybe you mistyped this or it came out wrong from your original thoughts?

  User Deleted
2/05/09 11:22:17 PM#60

I actually closed three accounts with WAR last week and went to Age of Conan (which seems to be on an upswing).  We have been with WAR since beta and are huge fans of the IP.  I'm not saying we will never play WAR again, but right now I'm disappointed with it, and so are my two sons.

In my mind the problem is that Mythic has continued to release new content (live events, 2 new classes and 2 more new classes have been announced) without fixing some of the major and even minor issues with the game.  They screwed up resists for casters and there are some glaring balance issues right now.  Add to that the next patch is making some sweeping changes they can't even preview to us yet for some reason.  I'm not being negative here, I'm just being honest with how I feel about the game.  They should stop trying to create new content and run live events with any budget at all until they fix the current game completely.  Yes, these new announcements are going to get some folks to stick with it, but after 1/29 I saw a major dropoff on my server, in my guild and even I was not able to defend the game anymore. 

Everyone wanted something more concrete from Mythic on 1/29.  How are we supposed to feel about adding 2 new classes and the problems with balance that brings, when the team can't even fix a chat box bug that has existed since beta and many other little issues like this?  I want them to fix these things, and I want them to succeed!  Still, I'm not going to be lead like a rabbit after a carrot for the next great content when the game itself has so many issues.

The engine itself is very poorly designed.  As others have said, it uses more CPU power than GPU power and this causes a bottleneck even on the newest systems.  Another issue is that the engine just can't handle the number of people fighting in the zones that they planned.  They have capped zone population to fix it, and that seems fine, but its not the only issue.  How often do you get stuck on a corner or a small item sticking out of the ground?  Do you feel the responsiveness of the user interface is good?  I can't in good faith sit here and say it is, when I can play LOTRO or even AoC and the interface reacts exactly when I press buttons and even ques skills properly.  How many times have you seen a castbar in WAR just stop for no reason?  How many skills are just broken completely?

In my eyes, it isn't the recession doing this to the game.  It could be the next WoW and it would still have layoffs at this time due to so many (400) people on the team.  Obviously, since it isn't the success they had hoped, some of those folks aren't needed.  This has no correlation on the population in the game, at this time, but the problems with the game are in fact related to the heavy losses in subscriptions.  People far less patient than I am left long ago.  For me, these are the same people I've been playing MMOs with since Ultima Online.  They lost interest a long time ago.

I never tried Age of Conan before, but it seemed to go through a similar situation that WAR is going through right now.  I don't ever think WAR is going to completely fail.  Look at DAOC - they keep that game alive with just 10,000 or less accounts.  On the other hand, we have already seen a delay in content and patches.  At the game's release we saw tons of hotfixes and quite a bit more patches.  Obviously, the reduction in work force is slowing things down.

The difference is that Age of Conan's lead was fired and replaced by someone with a proven track record of taking a failing MMO and making it profitable and fun again.  Instead of going crazy with new content, new races and classes and all these live events, this lead decided to go back to the beginning and concentrate on his current and future subscribers by fixing what is wrong with the game first and foremost.  From what I understand, Age of Conan isn't near the bad game (as much as people thought it to be) it was when first released.  Personally, I've been playing it for a week and I'm very impressed with the engine itself which runs flawlessly for me.  I've not had one crash or been stuck on one corner.  When I press a button it reacts, when I hit the next one it is qued and fires off.  The combat feels fierce.  The game still has a long way to go, but its in a lot better shape than WAR is - like it or not - that's the truth (its also been out longer).

Last, I would have to say that Mythic and EA are going to continue seeing people leave until they fix the basics and bugs.  They need to do something with PVP (RVR) to entice players to actually engage eachother instead of seeking easy conquest from unmanned keeps and objectives.  PVE needs a shot in the arse and even the little things like crafting need to be improved.  If you can do these things and improve the issues with the engine, Mythic can grow WAR into a powerhouse... If they can't do these things, it will continue to decline to a game with a loyal following of the IP but be as neglected as some of the previous MMOs of the same ilk (Matrix Online anyone?).

All of the above is my opinion and only my opinion.

/salute

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