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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Is it time for AAA (not indie) MMOs to change genres?

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  TheScavenger

Novice Member

Joined: 7/05/12
Posts: 672

Those who ask a question, are stupid for 30 seconds. Those who never ask, are stupid for life.

 
OP  8/26/13 9:45:57 PM#1

Of course, indie MMOs try...but have not near the funding that an AAA company would have.

 

So what am I talking about? Every AAA MMO is themepark after WoW. Only one is going the sandbox route. Granted, it does seem EQNext is going to change things...so that is (from what has been revealed) a great step in the right direction.

 

Every themepark MMO that has been released has either shut down or went free to play. Even WoW is thinking of going down that path.

 

But no sandbox MMO has ever needed to be free to play. Some have free options (like Runescape), but all of them survive on a pay to play model...no themepark MMO except WoW (and even then, it doesn't look good) has needed to go free to play.

 

Lets see here.

 

SWTOR...failed and went free to play

LOTRO...failed and went free to play

EQ2...failed and went free to play

Age of Conan...failed and went free to play

RIFT...same thing...

 

list goes on.

 

However, Ultima Online is the oldest MMO...AND IS PAY TO PLAY! AND A SUCCESS!

EVE Online is a very successful MMO and completely pay to play (minus the stupid 50 dollar cash shop item that I still lol myself to sleep at)

Asheron's Call is also still pay to play, and it is as old as EQ

And...lets see...then some exceptions (like Ryzom has a free model, and probably only really true sandbox MMO that failed for some reason (which is a shame, as it is amazing))...and runescape having a free model, similar to Ryzom.

 

Now...what are the most successful games that MMOs can learn from?

Skyrim, X3 Terran Conflict, Minecraft (which EQ Next seems to be using ideas from), Grand Theft Auto, Saints Row 3...all are a super success, have more life span than a linear game AND...sell more copies than most themepark MMOs do.

 

And many companies are seeing that open world and sandbox games are a success and going that route...the next witcher...the next assassin's creed...and I'm sure others.

 

So to refer back to the title...is it time for AAA MMOs to change genres? All sandbox/openworld games (mmo, singleplayer or multiplayer) see FAR more success than any linear game.

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  Axehilt

Novice Member

Joined: 5/09/09
Posts: 7213

8/26/13 10:18:30 PM#2

A. Why would an MMO change genres?  We've seen what happens when an MMO merely changes target demographics (SWG), so hopefully you're not suggesting MMOs should change genres (poof now SW:TOR is an RTS!)

B. The raw demand for themepark experiences is massive.  So massive that even with the huge reduction in demand associated with being a clone, all the "failures" you mention managed to be profitable games.

  VengeSunsoar

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/10/04
Posts: 4331

Be Brief, Be Bright... Be Gone.

8/26/13 10:34:30 PM#3

LOTRO...failed and went free to play

EQ2...failed and went free to play

 

These two at least are not correct.  They have both had stable populations for years.  The switch was to get even more money, call it greed if you want, but they did not switch because they failed.

And these "failed" games have by and large generated more profit than virtually all the sandbox put together.  So why would they switch?

You tell me what would you rather do.  Start out with ten thousand subs and hopefully grow to 450k over a decade, or start out with 2 million subs and drop to 500k in 2 years?

Which one do you think the industry notices more?

Quit worrying about other players in a game and just play.

  Quirhid

Elite Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 5382

I dare you to pin a label on me.

8/27/13 6:23:31 AM#4
F2P is not the same as FAIL. Not to anyone who knows what he's talking about.

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

  lizardbones

Elite Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10003

I've become dependent upon spell check. My apologies for stupid grammatical errors.

8/27/13 6:32:19 AM#5

UO was a sandbox and EQ crushed it. SWG came along and it was a sandbox and EQ crushed it too. So did EQ2 for awhile. Sandboxes, in what I'm starting to consider the "fundamentalist" style are not commercially viable entities. Not at a AAA level. Eve is the exception, and it's just that, an exception. It was self funded, which allowed it to grow its subscribers until it topped both UO and SWG. A AAA game will not be self funded. It will have investors, and will not be a "fundamentalist" sandbox.

That doesn't mean that "progressive" sandbox games won't come along. I think it's almost inevitable. The theme park vein has nearly been tapped, something else is going to have to come along. Sandbox features seem like a good thing to tap into (to me).

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

  Apraxis

Elite Member

Joined: 9/28/05
Posts: 1250

8/27/13 6:37:40 AM#6
Originally posted by VengeSunsoar

LOTRO...failed and went free to play

EQ2...failed and went free to play

 

These two at least are not correct.  They have both had stable populations for years.  The switch was to get even more money, call it greed if you want, but they did not switch because they failed.

And these "failed" games have by and large generated more profit than virtually all the sandbox put together.  So why would they switch?

You tell me what would you rather do.  Start out with ten thousand subs and hopefully grow to 450k over a decade, or start out with 2 million subs and drop to 500k in 2 years?

Which one do you think the industry notices more?

The 10 year old.. because the one starting with 2 million, got 500k after 1 year will most probably be dissapeared within 10 years. And the profit generated from the 10 year old is also a lot bigger.

@OP: 3 month ago i would most probably answered that no AAA mmo will be able to change the genre, because they are to expensive to try out anything unknown, and will always go the easy, the predictable route.

Now we do have EQN.. and maybe it will actually change the genre.. another design paradigm shift like back in the days from UO to EQ, and now again back to more UO style.

But in all honestly it is far to early to make any prediction, because we don't know enough about EQN to forsee anything.

And i still believe that the most innovative ideas will come from indy games(and it is true for EQN too.. they are heavily influenced from Minecraft a indy game).. and so i think small kickstarter games with experienced developer will more likely try out new things, and will change the genre a lot more than any AAA game ever could. But yes.. as usually AAA games will copy good ideas from indy game, when they have proved to be successful. And basicly that is it what happens with EQN, although they go by far further as i would have imagined a few month before.

  VengeSunsoar

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/10/04
Posts: 4331

Be Brief, Be Bright... Be Gone.

8/27/13 8:44:19 AM#7
I bet swtor will be here in 10 years and with the 2 million boxes sold, 500k subs for more than a year plus 2 million ftp players ot has probably almost made the same profit that eve has over its whole life.

Quit worrying about other players in a game and just play.

  VengeSunsoar

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/10/04
Posts: 4331

Be Brief, Be Bright... Be Gone.

8/27/13 8:45:59 AM#8
Totallu agree with lizardbones

Quit worrying about other players in a game and just play.

  Jean-Luc_Picard

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/10/13
Posts: 2404

There... are... four... lights!

8/27/13 8:51:44 AM#9
Originally posted by lizardbones

UO was a sandbox and EQ crushed it.

Really? From what I know, fact is both games still exist today... and EQ went "free to play" while UO is still subscription based. Makes me wonder who crushed who at the end of the day.

Playing now: WoW, Landmark, GW2

Top 3 MMORPGs played: UO, AC1 and WoW

Honorable mentions: AO, LotRO and GW2.

"The ability to speak doesn't make you intelligent" - Qui-gon Jinn. After many years of reading Internet forums, there's no doubt that neither does the ability to write.

  VengeSunsoar

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/10/04
Posts: 4331

Be Brief, Be Bright... Be Gone.

8/27/13 8:55:47 AM#10
UO capped at 250k, EQ almost doubled that.  EQ did not go f2p because it was not profitable.  I would be today it still has more subs than UO.

Quit worrying about other players in a game and just play.

  Jean-Luc_Picard

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/10/13
Posts: 2404

There... are... four... lights!

8/27/13 9:11:44 AM#11
Originally posted by VengeSunsoar
UO capped at 250k, EQ almost doubled that.  EQ did not go f2p because it was not profitable.  I would be today it still has more subs than UO.

That's what I call "the WoW syndrome". Unless you have the most players, you failed.

UO having less players than EQ doesn't mean it has failed. Proof being that despite its very aged graphics, it's still running 15+ years after its release. EQ definitely didn't "crush" UO since UO population kept on increasing even after EQ's release, and the UO model is definitely a good, working one. I'm willing to bet that if UO had more "modern" 3D graphics, it would not have been "beaten" in player number by EQ. What EQ had and UO didn't was real 3D graphics.

Just like having less players than WoW doesn't mean the game failed, which is why I call that kind of reasoning "the WoW syndrome".

Oh, and EQ went F2P in order to "milk the dying cow dry". Now UO is edited by Electronic Arts. What do we know about those people? Yeah, right, EA are even more money greedy than SoE. Yet UO is still not F2P. Go figure...

Playing now: WoW, Landmark, GW2

Top 3 MMORPGs played: UO, AC1 and WoW

Honorable mentions: AO, LotRO and GW2.

"The ability to speak doesn't make you intelligent" - Qui-gon Jinn. After many years of reading Internet forums, there's no doubt that neither does the ability to write.

  Malcanis

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/17/09
Posts: 3183

"A very special kind of stupidity"

8/27/13 9:23:29 AM#12
Originally posted by VengeSunsoar
I bet swtor will be here in 10 years and with the 2 million boxes sold, 500k subs for more than a year plus 2 million ftp players ot has probably almost made the same profit that eve has over its whole life.

It ought to: EA spent about as much on it as EVE has cost over its whole life, not to mention the massive advantage of using an incredibly famous IP.

Give me liberty or give me lasers

  Jean-Luc_Picard

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/10/13
Posts: 2404

There... are... four... lights!

8/27/13 9:30:54 AM#13
Originally posted by Malcanis
Originally posted by VengeSunsoar
I bet swtor will be here in 10 years and with the 2 million boxes sold, 500k subs for more than a year plus 2 million ftp players ot has probably almost made the same profit that eve has over its whole life.

It ought to: EA spent about as much on it as EVE has cost over its whole life, not to mention the massive advantage of using an incredibly famous IP.

I suspect I'm not the only one who thinks that Bioware (EA) failed the Star Wars IP, but SW:TOR as a game didn't fail.

Playing now: WoW, Landmark, GW2

Top 3 MMORPGs played: UO, AC1 and WoW

Honorable mentions: AO, LotRO and GW2.

"The ability to speak doesn't make you intelligent" - Qui-gon Jinn. After many years of reading Internet forums, there's no doubt that neither does the ability to write.

  Scot

Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/10/03
Posts: 4751

8/27/13 9:46:25 AM#14
I am concerned we will see very few AAA MMO's in the future, F2P does not provide the funding needed and P2P is a rare beats these days. So I will be happy to see one in whatever genre they decide to set it in.
  VengeSunsoar

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/10/04
Posts: 4331

Be Brief, Be Bright... Be Gone.

8/27/13 9:53:28 AM#15
Originally posted by Jean-Luc_Picard
Originally posted by VengeSunsoar
UO capped at 250k, EQ almost doubled that.  EQ did not go f2p because it was not profitable.  I would be today it still has more subs than UO.

That's what I call "the WoW syndrome". Unless you have the most players, you failed.

UO having less players than EQ doesn't mean it has failed. Proof being that despite its very aged graphics, it's still running 15+ years after its release. EQ definitely didn't "crush" UO since UO population kept on increasing even after EQ's release, and the UO model is definitely a good, working one. I'm willing to bet that if UO had more "modern" 3D graphics, it would not have been "beaten" in player number by EQ. What EQ had and UO didn't was real 3D graphics.

Just like having less players than WoW doesn't mean the game failed, which is why I call that kind of reasoning "the WoW syndrome".

Oh, and EQ went F2P in order to "milk the dying cow dry". Now UO is edited by Electronic Arts. What do we know about those people? Yeah, right, EA are even more money greedy than SoE. Yet UO is still not F2P. Go figure...

Neither of us said that UO failed, only that EQ crushed it. 

Likely it is the wow effect, and likely it went f2p to milk the players.  But it was never in danger of shutting down.

EA always owned UO.

Quit worrying about other players in a game and just play.

  VengeSunsoar

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/10/04
Posts: 4331

Be Brief, Be Bright... Be Gone.

8/27/13 9:54:24 AM#16
Originally posted by Jean-Luc_Picard
Originally posted by Malcanis
Originally posted by VengeSunsoar
I bet swtor will be here in 10 years and with the 2 million boxes sold, 500k subs for more than a year plus 2 million ftp players ot has probably almost made the same profit that eve has over its whole life.

It ought to: EA spent about as much on it as EVE has cost over its whole life, not to mention the massive advantage of using an incredibly famous IP.

I suspect I'm not the only one who thinks that Bioware (EA) failed the Star Wars IP, but SW:TOR as a game didn't fail.

I would say thats accurate.  It definately didn't live up to it's predictions, and did need some retooling.

Quit worrying about other players in a game and just play.

  ray12k

Novice Member

Joined: 4/08/05
Posts: 474

8/27/13 9:55:11 AM#17

I am sure minecraft will open a mmorpg in the future. and after they get the subs a bunch of clones will flood the market. I think the age of hand holding and telling a player what to do will end soon.

 

 

  ariboersma

Novice Member

Joined: 9/26/11
Posts: 1817

8/27/13 9:55:13 AM#18
Originally posted by VengeSunsoar

LOTRO...failed and went free to play

EQ2...failed and went free to play

 

These two at least are not correct.  They have both had stable populations for years.  The switch was to get even more money, call it greed if you want, but they did not switch because they failed.

And these "failed" games have by and large generated more profit than virtually all the sandbox put together.  So why would they switch?

You tell me what would you rather do.  Start out with ten thousand subs and hopefully grow to 450k over a decade, or start out with 2 million subs and drop to 500k in 2 years?

Which one do you think the industry notices more?

this..  I about choked when I was EQ2 failed... >.< I cant believe he didnt add Lineage 2 to the list, it had more subs than EQ2 and lasted as a sub for around the same amount of time. I suppose by his logic only WoW and Lineage 1 havent failed =P

http://mmodata.blogspot.com/ the current info isnt all that accurate but the old info is pretty accurate.. I dont think they update it much anymore so please dont use it regarding current MMOs.

  User Deleted
8/27/13 10:18:45 AM#19

The reason sandboxes do well with subs is because theyre open ended. Theres always a reason to come back. Themeparks don't do as well because once you ride the rides theres no reason to come back. So its not really about genres, its about content. So long as you can keep giving people something fun to do, they'll keep paying.

However I think there is money to be made in getting away from wow clone fantasy and branching out into other historical genres like western, martial arts, roman empire, etc. People may not recognize it, but they are tired of magic and ogres. Which is why they don't find yet another wow clone exciting. People want NEW.

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 17994

8/27/13 10:22:29 AM#20
Originally posted by TheScavenger

Skyrim, X3 Terran Conflict, Minecraft (which EQ Next seems to be using ideas from), Grand Theft Auto, Saints Row 3...all are a super success, have more life span than a linear game AND...sell more copies than most themepark MMOs do.

 

If you want to talk about SP games, there are tons of super successful linear story games.

D3, Dishonored, Halo, GoW, CoD, Bioshock, Dead Space, Splinter Cell  .. a lot more than open world games.

In the MMO space , even a themepark failure like TOR is bigger than Eve, which is viewed a sandbox success.

Yes, AAA MMO may be changing genre ... into non-MMOs like Destiny.

 

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