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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
  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 19124

9/21/12 4:45:19 PM#121
Originally posted by bunnyhopper
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by bunnyhopper
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by bunnyhopper
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by rungard
 

 

 

And it is a question about sandbox .. that is .. why he don't play something ELSE other than sandbox.

I'm going to take a massive stab in the dark here and guess because in mmos that's the kind of mmo he likes to play.

MMO is not the only kind of games out there ... and games are not the only entertainment there.

It is hard to believe a person will only enjoy so narrow a slice of ALL possible entertainment.

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 19124

9/21/12 4:47:57 PM#122
Originally posted by Aelious

People have been moving on from the games that have come out recently so it's in the best interest of companies to come up with a model that keeps them.  After a few iterations of "hey, this worked for WoW" developed games I hope SoE is going for something different, something better.  That was the point of this thread based on his quote.

That is certainly NOT true.

Keeping the SAME customer for a long time is obviously not the only viable business strategy. And it depends on the ROI of keeping them.

You can also:

- make quick money up front, and move on.

- let customers leave, and focus on acquiring new ones ... if you acquire new customers quicker than losing them, you don't need to care how long they stay.

  RefMinor

Novice Member

Joined: 7/16/11
Posts: 3541

Hipster

9/21/12 4:53:56 PM#123
Originally posted by nariusseldon

- let customers leave, and focus on acquiring new ones ... if you acquire new customers quicker than losing them, you don't need to care how long they stay.

Like a flat pyramid scheme.

  Paradigm68

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/24/11
Posts: 878

9/21/12 5:17:48 PM#124
Longevity in an MMO is driven by community not by content. Community is what defines mmopgs and separates them from standalone games and games with multiplayer.
  Vesavius

Old School

Joined: 3/08/04
Posts: 7119

Players come for the game, but they stay for the people- Most Devs have forgotten this.

9/21/12 5:24:58 PM#125

Smed lies, we know this. I have trouble getting excited anything he says.

Couldn't give a shit either way about who asked the question, it's just a question.

But Smed, the guy giving the answer, lies.

 

Is he saying the right thing? Sure.

But that's what Smed does.

  Torvaldr

Elite Member

Joined: 6/10/09
Posts: 5509

9/21/12 5:37:35 PM#126

Originally posted by Vesavius

Smed lies, we know this. I have trouble getting excited anything he says.

Couldn't give a shit either way about who asked the question, it's just a question.

But Smed, the guy giving the answer, lies.

Is he saying the right thing? Sure.

But that's what Smed does.

You know, that sounds like such a canned thing to say, but it's how I feel as well.  It's not that SoE can't say the right thing or even do interesting experiements occasionally.  It's that when they finally implement something it rarely feels anything like what they were talking about originally.

I think a mind wipe so people could play an mmo like it was their first time again, would be easier to build than a new mmo people here would actually like. - DamonVile

  Aelious

Hard Core Member

Joined: 9/27/11
Posts: 2294

World > Quest Progression

9/21/12 6:40:09 PM#127
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by Aelious

People have been moving on from the games that have come out recently so it's in the best interest of companies to come up with a model that keeps them.  After a few iterations of "hey, this worked for WoW" developed games I hope SoE is going for something different, something better.  That was the point of this thread based on his quote.

That is certainly NOT true.

Keeping the SAME customer for a long time is obviously not the only viable business strategy. And it depends on the ROI of keeping them.

You can also:

- make quick money up front, and move on.

- let customers leave, and focus on acquiring new ones ... if you acquire new customers quicker than losing them, you don't need to care how long they stay.

 

There are many business strategies but I would have to disagree that your example is "viable" based upon the last year or two in this industry.  MMOs have, to this point, been based upon customer retention because they are expected to grow and be maintained over time.  If you don't believe me ask Bioware, EnMasse and Funcom if this is true (please note that I am not arguing an opinion on game quality).

 

From top to bottom, F2P/B2P/P2P, MMOs are successful (see profitable) based upon customer retention.  Developers are accused at times of "wanting to make a quick buck" but I'm positive that their intent was the opposite.  History has shown us that grab wouldn't get them anywhere but downsized and an excess of spare servers.

  stratasaurus

Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/18/11
Posts: 222

9/21/12 6:48:48 PM#128
I think this concept is a lot harder to pull off then some devs lead on.  Especially in an MMORPG game.  Now from what I have read and watched I think Neverwinter will really be our first look at if this is doable in a MMORPG and I for one am really excited to see it come out.  I don't think this is a thing that MMO companies have not thought of thought wouldn't work if they could pull it off.  More it has been how do we pull it off and most aren't willing to take the chance because they think it have too high of a risk of failure.  Also what he is talking about doesn't really seem to be Sandbox but more a everchanging Themepark style.  I think people often confuse a changing world with player environment interact as meaning sandbox.  I don't think it does at all.
  gaugemew

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/09/11
Posts: 159

9/21/12 6:53:43 PM#129
Originally posted by Smedley

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.
 

It took him long enough, but maybe he gets it now.

  stratasaurus

Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/18/11
Posts: 222

9/21/12 7:07:59 PM#130
Originally posted by gaugemew
Originally posted by Smedley

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.
 

It took him long enough, but maybe he gets it now.

Not really.  Devs could easily make games that required more grind to get to endgame, had more stuff midgame that you couldn't chew up so easily and have much longer lasting power and more time inbetween content, more hardcore world pvp so you couldn't run through levels and content so easily because you had other players to worry about spend hours hunting/being hunted before you could go back to content.  Basically it's not impossible to stay ahead of the curve, what is impossible is making a stroll in the park MMO for casuals that stays ahead of the curve.  Doesn't matter if its Tera, Wow, SWTOR, or GW2, I don't remember the last time I had to think about strategy to complete a quest outside of a dungeon or raid. Its dev own fault for making quickly chewed content.  I'm not saying player environment content isn't a great idea but don't tell me devs couldn't stay ahead of the curve by making hard engaging content that makes players think and work together.

  Aelious

Hard Core Member

Joined: 9/27/11
Posts: 2294

World > Quest Progression

9/21/12 9:33:09 PM#131
I agree Strat and challenging content could be part of EQN since they say they are harkening back to EQLive. Whether that will happen who knows but I am certainly hoping so. I would settle for regions (since EQN will be seemless :)) that are filled with mobs/content only doable with groups. I also hope leveling is not fast but can still feel rewarding.

On the subject of sandbox content I think any game that allows you to build persistent structures in the gameworld a sandbox. I know this is a highly subjective term to some though and may vary from my point of view. The last part of the interview captures what I think people took to be honest sandbox type content. This is on top of his mention of player made bases from local materials in PS2.

"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."
  Paradigm68

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/24/11
Posts: 878

9/22/12 1:18:04 AM#132
Originally posted by Aelious
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by Aelious

People have been moving on from the games that have come out recently so it's in the best interest of companies to come up with a model that keeps them.  After a few iterations of "hey, this worked for WoW" developed games I hope SoE is going for something different, something better.  That was the point of this thread based on his quote.

That is certainly NOT true.

Keeping the SAME customer for a long time is obviously not the only viable business strategy. And it depends on the ROI of keeping them.

You can also:

- make quick money up front, and move on.

- let customers leave, and focus on acquiring new ones ... if you acquire new customers quicker than losing them, you don't need to care how long they stay.

 

There are many business strategies but I would have to disagree that your example is "viable" based upon the last year or two in this industry.  MMOs have, to this point, been based upon customer retention because they are expected to grow and be maintained over time.  If you don't believe me ask Bioware, EnMasse and Funcom if this is true (please note that I am not arguing an opinion on game quality).

 

From top to bottom, F2P/B2P/P2P, MMOs are successful (see profitable) based upon customer retention.  Developers are accused at times of "wanting to make a quick buck" but I'm positive that their intent was the opposite.  History has shown us that grab wouldn't get them anywhere but downsized and an excess of spare servers.

The devs expect that, the players expect that. For the investors and publishers the only expectation is ROI. Return on Investment. The problem is long term is risky and the people who put up the money are risk averse so the business plan for a game is geared towards a quick ROI, if the game has legs, that's just gravy.

  wormywyrm

Novice Member

Joined: 11/01/04
Posts: 1719

9/22/12 1:27:32 AM#133

I don't hate smed but I don't trust him either.  I will believe in the quality of SOE games when I see them.

Planetside 2 is a great game as is.

It is not a sandbox on the level of ArcheAge, SWG, or EVE.  Just like PS1 getting 'outfit controlled bases', PS2 might never see player-constructed bases.  Probably won't.

What he is saying is correct, but SOE has not had the quality of designers and lead programmers to create such a game OR they have not had the willingness to invest in such a game so far.  The closest they've come to this is SWG, but even that they released too early and did not market enough- Probably due to budget constraints.  Thats when they lost Raph Koster, which was probably the best game designer SOE has ever had on staff.

I do enjoy smeds insights and he posts pretty frequently (SOE would probably be better off if he posted less) which I like.  He messed up on SWG and has since said so, which I like (he should have reverted the game and/or let the server code leak, however).  He has made a lot of conjecture about what good games are but hasn't had the resources to make one, which I do not like.

Play as your fav retro characters: cnd-online.net. My site: www.lysle.net. Blog: creatingaworld.blogspot.com.

  Scot

Elite Member

Joined: 10/10/03
Posts: 5090

9/22/12 3:08:11 AM#134

MMO’s were designed to generate profit over the long term in the early years. Solo players were pandered to so that the playerbase would expand and the ROI would be bigger. But those solo players brought there playstyle with them, which was to only play a game for a couple of months.

MMO companies have responded by making the game really polished for launch as that has to be a success. The long term is now way too much of a risk to invest in, so end game for example gets little attention. This is the business model of solo player games imposed on multiplayer games.

One of the reasons I dont think PS is a MMO is that you are in end game from day one. Well from the first day you are in the battle regions anyway. So there is a big incentive to get end game right for once. By not following the WoW MMO template PS may be a real success.

  Aelious

Hard Core Member

Joined: 9/27/11
Posts: 2294

World > Quest Progression

9/22/12 6:17:21 AM#135
A focus on quick ROI vs. long term customer retention may have become prevalent because of solo players but I think both developers and investors have seen it doesn't work.

The ironic part would be that long term growth is typically smiled upon as a good investment. Maybe with so many titles out there they don't figure people will stay anyway so they expected developers to crank out something for quick and easy consumption. I feel bad for them as that obviously this isn't a good strategy.
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