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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Is there really an untapped market for sandbox MMOs? Smed offers an answer

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135 posts found
  stratasaurus

Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/18/11
Posts: 222

9/07/12 2:21:10 PM#21

No there is no untapped market for Sandbox games.  sometimes companies make the big mistake of listening too much to what players say they want.  Bioware totally fell into this trap.  Everyone said hey we don't want endgame grinding and progression like other MMOs have we want a MMO based around story.  Well they really got exactly what they asked for and then 3 months in huge drops in subs and game in spinning downwards.

 

Same thing with Sandbox games, everyone likes the CONCEPT of a sandbox game but most players really don't like the actual reality of playing a sandbox game.  Lets face it, there are not as many hardcore MMO players anymore, people are starting to prioritize and lots of the old MMO players are moving into a more casual role.  Sandbox games do not work for casual players, it is not that they are harder then themepark games it is just that it takes a lot more time to advance and do things.  Now you may not agree with themepark style but the truth is the only Sandbox game that could ever hold over 1M players would be a hybrid sandbox/themepark.

  MindTrigger

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/19/07
Posts: 2628

9/07/12 2:24:28 PM#22
In my opinion, this is one of the smartest things I've ever seen Smed say.  I have to laugh/cry though to see him refer to Star Wars Galaxies after they *destroyed* the emergent gameplay in that game.

A sure sign that you are in an old, dying paradigm/mindset, is when you are scared of new ideas and new technology. Don't feel bad. The world is moving on without you, and you are welcome to yell "Get Off My Lawn!" all you want while it happens. You cannot, however, stop an idea whose time has come.

  Amaranthar

Elite Member

Joined: 1/18/06
Posts: 2417

9/07/12 2:32:29 PM#23
Originally posted by stratasaurus

No there is no untapped market for Sandbox games.  sometimes companies make the big mistake of listening too much to what players say they want.  Bioware totally fell into this trap.  Everyone said hey we don't want endgame grinding and progression like other MMOs have we want a MMO based around story.  Well they really got exactly what they asked for and then 3 months in huge drops in subs and game in spinning downwards.

 

Same thing with Sandbox games, everyone likes the CONCEPT of a sandbox game but most players really don't like the actual reality of playing a sandbox game.  Lets face it, there are not as many hardcore MMO players anymore, people are starting to prioritize and lots of the old MMO players are moving into a more casual role.  Sandbox games do not work for casual players, it is not that they are harder then themepark games it is just that it takes a lot more time to advance and do things.  Now you may not agree with themepark style but the truth is the only Sandbox game that could ever hold over 1M players would be a hybrid sandbox/themepark.

Bull, is my opinion. Players are dropping off of every themepark game to come out since WoW. They still buy, proving they are looking for something, but they don't stick.

Sandbox, and I've always called it "Sandbox World", which seems to be what he's getting at, has tremendous possibilities. The key is to do it right. Cash shops, first person views, things like that are a detraction. And wide open PvP can be too if there's no means to control it, but their efforts for "community" may help that a lot (much like with Eve). Maybe not enough to bring it into the big numbers (thinking 2 million steady customers).

Time will tell overall for this game. But for a great Sandbox game, I think the possibilities of great success are fantastic.

Once upon a time....

  GrumpyMel2

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/24/09
Posts: 1835

9/07/12 3:35:10 PM#24
Originally posted by stratasaurus

No there is no untapped market for Sandbox games.  sometimes companies make the big mistake of listening too much to what players say they want.  Bioware totally fell into this trap.  Everyone said hey we don't want endgame grinding and progression like other MMOs have we want a MMO based around story.  Well they really got exactly what they asked for and then 3 months in huge drops in subs and game in spinning downwards.

 

Same thing with Sandbox games, everyone likes the CONCEPT of a sandbox game but most players really don't like the actual reality of playing a sandbox game.  Lets face it, there are not as many hardcore MMO players anymore, people are starting to prioritize and lots of the old MMO players are moving into a more casual role.  Sandbox games do not work for casual players, it is not that they are harder then themepark games it is just that it takes a lot more time to advance and do things.  Now you may not agree with themepark style but the truth is the only Sandbox game that could ever hold over 1M players would be a hybrid sandbox/themepark.

Yeah...I'll call bunk on this as well. Sandbox/Themepark has no correlation on the amount of time/effort it takes to do anything. Does drawing a quick sketch take longer then watching all 3 of Peter Jacksons LOTR movies?

  Quirhid

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 6038

Correcting wrongs on the Internet...

9/07/12 3:48:15 PM#25
Originally posted by stratasaurus

No there is no untapped market for Sandbox games.  sometimes companies make the big mistake of listening too much to what players say they want.  Bioware totally fell into this trap.  Everyone said hey we don't want endgame grinding and progression like other MMOs have we want a MMO based around story.  Well they really got exactly what they asked for and then 3 months in huge drops in subs and game in spinning downwards.

 

Same thing with Sandbox games, everyone likes the CONCEPT of a sandbox game but most players really don't like the actual reality of playing a sandbox game.  Lets face it, there are not as many hardcore MMO players anymore, people are starting to prioritize and lots of the old MMO players are moving into a more casual role.  Sandbox games do not work for casual players, it is not that they are harder then themepark games it is just that it takes a lot more time to advance and do things.  Now you may not agree with themepark style but the truth is the only Sandbox game that could ever hold over 1M players would be a hybrid sandbox/themepark.

I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  Tibernicus

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/15/12
Posts: 437

9/07/12 3:51:01 PM#26
Originally posted by Loktofeit

TheMittani: You’ve mentioned a desire for more sandbox MMOs in your Reddit AMA, and sandboxes are obviously a major draw for EVE players. Do you have plans for adding sandbox elements to PS2, and if so, would you like to discuss them? If there really is an untapped market for sandbox MMOs, why haven’t we seen more of them, besides Eve and SWG?

Smedley: Sandbox elements - SOE is redefining itself as a creator of emergent gameplay experiences. That's our future. You can call it sandbox but it's so much more than that. A good example is Player owned bases in Planetside 2. That's coming. We're going to make huge continents that are empty and have vast resources on them and players can fight it out and put down their own bases there and other players can come and obliterate them. Sound familiar EVE Players? Actually we had something like this in Star Wars Galaxies too. THAT is content. At some point as an industry we need to realize that we have already lost the race to outpace players in making content. I personally thought SWTOR was a great game. I loved Diablo III. The problem is you get to the endgame and as game makers it's not just expensive. it's impossible to stay ahead of the curve.
 
Think about this statement - If WoW had come out yesterday.. at what point would people be "done" with the content. We need to focus on game systems that are perpetual and give players a lot more control over what they can do rather than JUST putting yet another dragon in front of them with scripted content. We need to be doing both in order to be successful. And that's our plan.

Source: http://themittani.com/features/mittani-interviews-soe-ceo-john-smedley

Finally, one of the suites wakes up and realizes where the real profit is to be made in the MMo space.

  teakbois

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/06/06
Posts: 2190

9/07/12 3:52:22 PM#27
Originally posted by MindTrigger
In my opinion, this is one of the smartest things I've ever seen Smed say.  I have to laugh/cry though to see him refer to Star Wars Galaxies after someone from SoE or Lucas Arts destroyed the emergent gameplay in that game.

Fixed that for you.  I don't think SoE is blameless, but I am certain that LA was the main drive behind this (and they are the ones that controlled things).  They fell in love with WoW and wanted a star wars WoW experience.  So they went to a company that would give that to them.

  madazz

Elite Member

Joined: 10/07/03
Posts: 1594

9/07/12 3:53:31 PM#28
Originally posted by Loktofeit

TheMittani: You’ve mentioned a desire for more sandbox MMOs in your Reddit AMA, and sandboxes are obviously a major draw for EVE players. Do you have plans for adding sandbox elements to PS2, and if so, would you like to discuss them? If there really is an untapped market for sandbox MMOs, why haven’t we seen more of them, besides Eve and SWG?

Smedley: Sandbox elements - SOE is redefining itself as a creator of emergent gameplay experiences. That's our future. You can call it sandbox but it's so much more than that. A good example is Player owned bases in Planetside 2. That's coming. We're going to make huge continents that are empty and have vast resources on them and players can fight it out and put down their own bases there and other players can come and obliterate them. Sound familiar EVE Players? Actually we had something like this in Star Wars Galaxies too. THAT is content. At some point as an industry we need to realize that we have already lost the race to outpace players in making content. I personally thought SWTOR was a great game. I loved Diablo III. The problem is you get to the endgame and as game makers it's not just expensive. it's impossible to stay ahead of the curve.
 
Think about this statement - If WoW had come out yesterday.. at what point would people be "done" with the content. We need to focus on game systems that are perpetual and give players a lot more control over what they can do rather than JUST putting yet another dragon in front of them with scripted content. We need to be doing both in order to be successful. And that's our plan.

Source: http://themittani.com/features/mittani-interviews-soe-ceo-john-smedley

WoW in its current state would be steam rolled through very quickly. However, today's wow and the vanilla version from years ago are two very different beasts. So its not really a good comparison. I play MMO's the same now as I did then, and the current MMO's I go through quickly. I am not even remotely a hardcore gamer either! Also, not sure why Diablo 3 was brought up, it doesn't relate to the subject at hand at all.

 

Either way, what is being proposed here is old and been done before. With that in mind, hopefully they can build something really great out of it! They have the experience. Though I have no faith in Smedley sadly.

  kilun

Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/25/07
Posts: 711

9/07/12 4:05:59 PM#29
Originally posted by stratasaurus

No there is no untapped market for Sandbox games.  sometimes companies make the big mistake of listening too much to what players say they want.  Bioware totally fell into this trap.  Everyone said hey we don't want endgame grinding and progression like other MMOs have we want a MMO based around story.  Well they really got exactly what they asked for and then 3 months in huge drops in subs and game in spinning downwards.

 

Same thing with Sandbox games, everyone likes the CONCEPT of a sandbox game but most players really don't like the actual reality of playing a sandbox game.  Lets face it, there are not as many hardcore MMO players anymore, people are starting to prioritize and lots of the old MMO players are moving into a more casual role.  Sandbox games do not work for casual players, it is not that they are harder then themepark games it is just that it takes a lot more time to advance and do things.  Now you may not agree with themepark style but the truth is the only Sandbox game that could ever hold over 1M players would be a hybrid sandbox/themepark.

Um maybe you didn't play SWTOR, but the endgame is grinding and progression.  Thats all the game has other than a story, and people didn't enjoy their grind and progession in the game so they left in droves.

Really it boils down to a few things to make a sandbox favorable.

SOCIAL ASPECTS.  Yes, that is all caps.  SWG had dancer, musician, buffs needed by doctors, cantinas, etc.  Things to make the game social.  You had to be involved with the community to make the best things and to recieve the best.  Most sandbox games I've played lack so much in this department its comical.  I want to live in the world, not just fight in it.

Eve is an amazing game, not for me though, but many things can be incorporated and if they incorporate the additional areas in PS2 with controlling territories for additional bonuses, by mining etc such as how Shadowbane did it could prove to be useful.  Perpetuum on the other hand stopped appealing to me about 2 months in as I didn't enjoy the rinse repeat, get blow up, wait 3 days to be back in action. 

And lastly why does a sandbox and a themepark have to no coexist.  Give a main storyline bingo you got themepark.   You can have mission terminals with random mission/spawns that are very plain, add in some user made quest, There is so much you can do as long as you keep the majority of items, buildings, etc crafted by players to create a living world.  All it takes is one company to not screw it up royally by going full blown pvp all the time. 

www.ozumgames.com

  VikingGamer

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/08/10
Posts: 1362

The strong are sometimes wrong but the weak are never free.

9/07/12 4:12:50 PM#30
Originally posted by dave6660

Many players will not be able look past the fact you're talking about SOE and The Mittani.  Two of our favorite super villians.

The difference is that Smedley is...

Drat. Sorry, dont want to get banned.

Lets put it this way. Both Smedley and The Mittani have a history of wreaking havok on their choosen MMOs

All die, so die well.

  Tibernicus

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/15/12
Posts: 437

9/07/12 4:19:05 PM#31
Originally posted by VikingGamer
Originally posted by dave6660

Many players will not be able look past the fact you're talking about SOE and The Mittani.  Two of our favorite super villians.

The difference is that Smedley is...

Drat. Sorry, dont want to get banned.

Lets put it this way. Both Smedley and The Mittani have a history of wreaking havok on their choosen MMOs

Super villains? SoE may not be great, but the super villains of the genre are either Blizzard or EA. No other company has had as negative an impact on the genre as those two companies.

  Nikkita

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/25/10
Posts: 830

9/07/12 4:27:59 PM#32
Maybe not a pure sandbox but a hybrid of themepark and sandbox features would do great if done right. In the end what matters is that gameplay is fun and interesting. Sandbox or no sandbox.


Bite Me

  ZombieKen

Elite Member

Joined: 3/30/10
Posts: 4747

I don't Forum PVP. If you feel I've attacked you, it was probably by accident.

9/07/12 4:29:48 PM#33
Originally posted by MindTrigger
In my opinion, this is one of the smartest things I've ever seen Smed say.  I have to laugh/cry though to see him refer to Star Wars Galaxies after they *destroyed* the emergent gameplay in that game.

My thoughts exactly.  However, I still have to wonder how much of a role LA had in that.

  Quirhid

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 6038

Correcting wrongs on the Internet...

9/07/12 4:32:46 PM#34
Originally posted by Tibernicus
Originally posted by VikingGamer
Originally posted by dave6660

Many players will not be able look past the fact you're talking about SOE and The Mittani.  Two of our favorite super villians.

The difference is that Smedley is...

Drat. Sorry, dont want to get banned.

Lets put it this way. Both Smedley and The Mittani have a history of wreaking havok on their choosen MMOs

Super villains? SoE may not be great, but the super villains of the genre are either Blizzard or EA. No other company has had as negative an impact on the genre as those two companies.


Why Blizzard? EA is the spawn of Satan, but whats wrong with Blizzard?

Also, Mittani is a scum - a human turd. Despise him? -Yes. Feel sorry for him? -Yes. Hate him? -No.

I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  Tibernicus

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/15/12
Posts: 437

9/07/12 4:32:51 PM#35
Originally posted by Nikkita
Maybe not a pure sandbox but a hybrid of themepark and sandbox features would do great if done right. In the end what matters is that gameplay is fun and interesting. Sandbox or no sandbox.

It is simple business. The themepark market is oversaturated with filth, too many games.

The hardcore MMORPG market, a market of millions, the millions that launched this genre... is totally untapped. A game hasn't been targeted at the core market for a very long time. If anyone with even a slight budget were to make a game aimed at these folks, it'd get massive amounts of hype and cash regardless of how it turns out (that's what happened with Vanguard).

I'm surprised it took someone this long to wake up. Thankfully the death of SWTOR seems to have been the wakeup call that I was hoping it'd be.

  Tibernicus

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/15/12
Posts: 437

9/07/12 4:34:09 PM#36
Originally posted by Quirhid
Originally posted by Tibernicus
Originally posted by VikingGamer
Originally posted by dave6660

Many players will not be able look past the fact you're talking about SOE and The Mittani.  Two of our favorite super villians.

The difference is that Smedley is...

Drat. Sorry, dont want to get banned.

Lets put it this way. Both Smedley and The Mittani have a history of wreaking havok on their choosen MMOs

Super villains? SoE may not be great, but the super villains of the genre are either Blizzard or EA. No other company has had as negative an impact on the genre as those two companies.


Why Blizzard? EA is the spawn of Satan, but whats wrong with Blizzard?

Also, Mittani is a scum - a human turd. Despise him? -Yes. Feel sorry for him? -Yes. Hate him? -No.

By showing other companies that you can make a substantial profit by never innovating and half assing old ideas without understanding how they work. They're something all lazy devs can aspire to be.

They've never pushed the genre, never tried anything new, never done anything with the vast amount of money. And, they're partners with Activision.. D3 and the CoD games are just plain bad for the genre.

  TheLizardbones

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10959

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

9/07/12 4:36:02 PM#37


Originally posted by Tibernicus

Originally posted by Nikkita Maybe not a pure sandbox but a hybrid of themepark and sandbox features would do great if done right. In the end what matters is that gameplay is fun and interesting. Sandbox or no sandbox.
It is simple business. The themepark market is oversaturated with filth, too many games.

The hardcore MMORPG market, a market of millions, the millions that launched this genre... is totally untapped. A game hasn't been targeted at the core market for a very long time. If anyone with even a slight budget were to make a game aimed at these folks, it'd get massive amounts of hype and cash regardless of how it turns out (that's what happened with Vanguard).

I'm surprised it took someone this long to wake up. Thankfully the death of SWTOR seems to have been the wakeup call that I was hoping it'd be.




Where is the market of millions for sandbox MMORPG? There are possibly millions playing Minecraft, but not in an MMORPG type setting, and that's it. Where are the rest of the millions? China? South Korea? How does that help anyone in the U.S. or Europe?

I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  Tibernicus

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/15/12
Posts: 437

9/07/12 4:36:59 PM#38
Originally posted by XAPGames
Originally posted by MindTrigger
In my opinion, this is one of the smartest things I've ever seen Smed say.  I have to laugh/cry though to see him refer to Star Wars Galaxies after they *destroyed* the emergent gameplay in that game.

My thoughts exactly.  However, I still have to wonder how much of a role LA had in that.

He has apologized numerous times for the NGE and openly admitted it was a massive mistake, one that he regrets. He said it at least 5 times in that reddit thread. He also answered my question and told me EQnext would be a return to group based community driven gameplay.

 

The reason almost all WoW clones fail is because they sell content, not worlds, and content runs out. Especially when that content is 95% similar to all the other content in the other WOW clones.

  MindTrigger

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/19/07
Posts: 2628

9/07/12 4:37:26 PM#39
Originally posted by bunnyhopper

It's a no brainer that a major part of the issue with longevity these days in mmos is due to the fact it is all scripted content and next to no actual longer term style community/player driven content.

 

When you churn out mmos akin to single player games, it's no wonder people lose interest in the rapidly.

It makes me laugh to think of how many tens of millions of dollars I could have saved several game companies over the last few years had they sat me down for a chat about MMOs.  ROFL.

See, some of you like to sit back and talk about how this website is full of people who complain about everything.  I see it differently.  I think a lot of the people here are more on the bleeding-edge of MMO gaming, and some of us have seen the writing on the wall for Themepark games for years.

It's true that complainers tend to spend more time on boards, but it's also true that hardcore players and mmo enthusiasts who have been playing for a very long time do as well. If I had a game company, I would have regular online focus groups to discuss mmo gaming in general with the community.  It's not hard to weed out people who are just eternally depressed about everything.

A sure sign that you are in an old, dying paradigm/mindset, is when you are scared of new ideas and new technology. Don't feel bad. The world is moving on without you, and you are welcome to yell "Get Off My Lawn!" all you want while it happens. You cannot, however, stop an idea whose time has come.

  Tibernicus

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/15/12
Posts: 437

9/07/12 4:37:37 PM#40
Originally posted by lizardbones

 


Originally posted by Tibernicus

Originally posted by Nikkita Maybe not a pure sandbox but a hybrid of themepark and sandbox features would do great if done right. In the end what matters is that gameplay is fun and interesting. Sandbox or no sandbox.
It is simple business. The themepark market is oversaturated with filth, too many games.

 

The hardcore MMORPG market, a market of millions, the millions that launched this genre... is totally untapped. A game hasn't been targeted at the core market for a very long time. If anyone with even a slight budget were to make a game aimed at these folks, it'd get massive amounts of hype and cash regardless of how it turns out (that's what happened with Vanguard).

I'm surprised it took someone this long to wake up. Thankfully the death of SWTOR seems to have been the wakeup call that I was hoping it'd be.




Where is the market of millions for sandbox MMORPG? There are possibly millions playing Minecraft, but not in an MMORPG type setting, and that's it. Where are the rest of the millions? China? South Korea? How does that help anyone in the U.S. or Europe?

 

Hardcore MMORPGs, not necessarily sandboxes. Though, by comparison, oldschool MMOs are more sandbox than themepark in today's eyes.

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