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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Why did MMOs become about the money and numbers?

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375 posts found
  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 10:00:31 PM#1

A lot of good companies degraded when they saw the money Blizzard made with WoW. They didn't make MMOs because they enjoyed making or playing them, but they actually hated MMOs, but saw how much money there was in the business.

 

Anyone remember Ultima Online? That was decades ago. That was when EA wasn't all about the money. EA helped make UO, a truly great and probably the best MMO to date. People still talk about it to this day...ITS STILL PAY TO PLAY and...ITS STILL A SUCCESS. More successful than EA's recent MMOs.

 

Then remember SWG? Yeah so do I. While I personally enjoyed UO more (always liked fantasy), SWG was amazing. Then SOE, a great company at the time, completely changed it. Again, they saw how much money they "thought" they "could" make...in the end, it was a disaster for them. Then SOE re-made it into SWTOR...they took the recent changes of SWG and made it a bit more modern and added a linear story that has nothing to do with MMO. Didn't really work out for them and SOE turned it into a free to play game like the rest of their games.

 

Even Everquest was more of a sandbox (or maybe its better classified as an open world).

 

Then of course Asheron's Call was amazing, more niche than EQ and UO. But the developers of AC LOVED their game and the genre. They really wanted to make it great. Then their new MMO, just made for cash and numbers.

 

the point is...these companies used to be great, they loved MMOs and they really wanted to revolutionize the genre. heck, these companies even let their developers play their MMO. I remember talking to developers in UO and SWG (not GMs, actual developers...in chat)...now these developers never play the MMO. When was the last time you talked to a developer in a game where you didn't have to contact them for a support question? Probably back in the classic days.

 

So like the title says...why did MMOs become about the money and numbers? What happened to the love that went into them? In the old days, they never cared how many people played the MMO...as long as the ones who played it enjoyed it. Now they are factory made, no love at all...just feels like your playing a machine.

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  Icewhite

Made History

Joined: 7/11/11
Posts: 6495

Pink, it's like red but not quite.

8/26/13 10:08:05 PM#2

Rewind to Spring of 2004.

"EQ2 is gonna so rock!" "Pfft, have you seen Blizzard's cartoony graphics, no one's ever going to want to play that."

Spring of 2005.

"Subs don't mean anything!" "EQ's still a better game, damn WoW kiddies"

 

I'd say just about maybe Feb. '05. When it finally became clear that EQ2 vs. WoW was not going to be any sort of contest at all.

Prior to that, the subs-based arguments consisted (primarily) of denial that Lineage "mattered".

Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  Icewhite

Made History

Joined: 7/11/11
Posts: 6495

Pink, it's like red but not quite.

8/26/13 10:17:27 PM#3
Originally posted by TheScavenger
not GMs, actual developers...in chat

I believe you can thank the Liability Management Team for that one.

Last time I saw a Dev in-game (anywhere) would be around...2006 maybe?

Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  VengeSunsoar

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/10/04
Posts: 4711

Be Brief, Be Bright... Be Gone.

8/26/13 10:40:54 PM#4

Yes.  "Bangs Fist"

When did for profit companies start caring about money and numbers.

That really grinds my gears.

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

  Gruug

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/03/08
Posts: 1135

The more you know, the more you know you don't know.

8/26/13 10:44:49 PM#5
Originally posted by TheScavenger

A lot of good companies degraded when they saw the money Blizzard made with WoW. They didn't make MMOs because they enjoyed making or playing them, but they actually hated MMOs, but saw how much money there was in the business.

 

Anyone remember Ultima Online? That was decades ago. That was when EA wasn't all about the money. EA helped make UO, a truly great and probably the best MMO to date. People still talk about it to this day...ITS STILL PAY TO PLAY and...ITS STILL A SUCCESS. More successful than EA's recent MMOs.

 

Then remember SWG? Yeah so do I. While I personally enjoyed UO more (always liked fantasy), SWG was amazing. Then SOE, a great company at the time, completely changed it. Again, they saw how much money they "thought" they "could" make...in the end, it was a disaster for them. Then SOE re-made it into SWTOR...they took the recent changes of SWG and made it a bit more modern and added a linear story that has nothing to do with MMO. Didn't really work out for them and SOE turned it into a free to play game like the rest of their games.

 

Even Everquest was more of a sandbox (or maybe its better classified as an open world).

 

Then of course Asheron's Call was amazing, more niche than EQ and UO. But the developers of AC LOVED their game and the genre. They really wanted to make it great. Then their new MMO, just made for cash and numbers.

 

the point is...these companies used to be great, they loved MMOs and they really wanted to revolutionize the genre. heck, these companies even let their developers play their MMO. I remember talking to developers in UO and SWG (not GMs, actual developers...in chat)...now these developers never play the MMO. When was the last time you talked to a developer in a game where you didn't have to contact them for a support question? Probably back in the classic days.

 

So like the title says...why did MMOs become about the money and numbers? What happened to the love that went into them? In the old days, they never cared how many people played the MMO...as long as the ones who played it enjoyed it. Now they are factory made, no love at all...just feels like your playing a machine.

 

I just wanted to point out that your facts are incorrect regarding SWTOR. It was not SOE that made SWTOR but Bioware (owned by EA) and NOT SOE. SOE had absolutely nothing to do with SWTOR.

 

Other then the above, I agree in principle but not in total. EVERY company that makes any type of game (or product) is about making money. They could not stay in business if they did not make money and therefore not make those games. At the same time, I agree that many companies have lost sight of WHY they made good games at one time or another. They forgot that they are suppose to make games FOR GAMERS. To paraphrase J. P. Getty....make a product that everyone wants and they will beat a path to your door.....(a key to a truly successful business).

Let's party like it is 1863!

  maplestone

Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 3109

8/26/13 10:44:57 PM#6

Capitalism 101: corporations that do not min/max their costs/revenue will be driven out of business by those that do.

  Vorch

Novice Member

Joined: 9/18/11
Posts: 761

8/26/13 10:48:24 PM#7

1. People played MMOs. Loved it but wanted a more epic world

2. People wanted to make that epic world for people. They required resources to make that epic world.

3. Players played that MMO. Loved it, but wanted an even more epic world.

4. Developers wanted to make that epic world for people. They required resources to make that epic world.

 

In order for that MMO world to exist, it MUST make money. These games, no matter how immersive, do not actually exist in another dimension. Money makes these worlds possible. All that remains is HOW that money is collected; hopefully, as convenient to the player and unintrusive as possible.

"As you read these words, a release is seven days or less away or has just happened within the last seven days— those are now the only two states you’ll find the world of Tyria."...Guild Wars 2

  Pyuk

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/21/05
Posts: 657

8/26/13 10:49:11 PM#8
Strange, i must have missed that memo that states game companies are charitable services that make games for the masses out of the kindness of their hearts. How dare they want to make a living. How dare they indeed!

I make spreadsheets at work - I don't want to make them for the games I play.

  Vermillion_Raventhal

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 6/01/04
Posts: 999

8/26/13 10:50:44 PM#9

It's more like when did they sell their souls to get the WoW money?  After WoW obviously.  The question is how much of its developer choice and how much is it the big wigs pushing them to make the next WoW.

 

Seems to be the state of the genre comes from copy catism.  Not to mention internal polling which amounts to asking kids if they want a steady diet of  candy vs. green peas without thinking about the health of the kid.    Thus we have WoWish games that are casuallized further.  

  FinalFikus

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/01/13
Posts: 910

"We're up all night to get lucky"

8/26/13 11:15:37 PM#10
What other entertainment industry do they not allow the creatives to take a risk on something? The current formula is all but used up.

"If the Damned gave you a roadmap, then you'd know just where to go"

  Novusod

Novice Member

Joined: 5/30/09
Posts: 860

8/26/13 11:30:43 PM#11
Originally posted by Icewhite

I'd say just about maybe Feb. '05. When it finally became clear that EQ2 vs. WoW was not going to be any sort of contest at all.

Prior to that, the subs-based arguments consisted (primarily) of denial that Lineage "mattered".

Anyone who thought Lineage didn't matter wasn't just in denial, they were delusional. Lineage with more than 2 million subs which they maintained for almost a decade was the second most successful MMORPG besides WoW. Lineage II was the 3rd most successful MMORPG with also about 2 million subs. Even today Lineage still makes money and considered successful.

  Icewhite

Made History

Joined: 7/11/11
Posts: 6495

Pink, it's like red but not quite.

8/26/13 11:41:57 PM#12
Originally posted by FinalFikus
What other entertainment industry do they not allow the creatives to take a risk on something? The current formula is all but used up.

Hollywood, arguably.

Network television, without a doubt.

The music industry; yes and no...not all "formula" productions; just the artists that make the most money.

Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  TheCrow2k

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 956

8/26/13 11:42:02 PM#13
No Publisher is willing to take risks on titles that innovate in any meaningful way. That is why the market is full of WoW clones.

Generally its the publishers who put money before fun, not the studios.
  Shadanwolf

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/13/10
Posts: 1867

8/26/13 11:43:00 PM#14

I'm stunned that some have no concept of the need to make a profit in a business.

Profits pay employees...allow further product development...and provide an incentive to the company owners to continue to invest and many other other things.

Simply stunned.

  Wizardry

Elite Member

Joined: 8/27/04
Posts: 6561

Perhaps tomorrow will be better.

8/26/13 11:43:47 PM#15

I been around a long long time and sorry to say but these businesses have been every bit corrupt and money greedy since day 1,nothing has changed.

How long was EA ripping off their employees from just wages before they were actually sued?

Ea was famous for buying up smaller operations to steal their properties,then shut them down.They bought out origin [Garriot Brothers],who subsequently got bought out again by NCSOFT and lost everything AGAIN.Richard had to sue NCSOFT to get some money and i am not sure if his brother got anything at all.

Both Blizzard and SOE rushed their products for fear the other would get an upper hand and to meet the Christmas deadline.

Ever play the original EQ?lol more bugs than the African rain forest,you think that is the sign of greed or a company that cares about it's game and product?

Blizzard was totally owned by Vivendi who through terrible spending was in trouble so tried to sell Blizzard.How much did they care about gaming ,when they tried to sell it lol and at an incredible bargain price and still nobody wanted it.

IMO the FIRST developer to show me a sign of caring was Square Enix.They  spent around 45 million to make FFVII.Trion recently thought they had over spent on Rift at 50 million.We are talking about a 16 year difference,that 45 million would be more like 100+ million today.Square Enix was willing to put that kind of investment way back when,even though they were not doing that well before FFVII.Trion on the other hand works a lot with investors money,yet thinks 50 million is a little too much.

SWTOR spent 200 million,so not like they held back on the purse strings.Point is there seems to be a lot of disorganized operations that really don't know how much to spend or are a little too disorganized and spend more than needed.I would not blame the NOW for going  greedy and all about money,nothing has changed in businesses or the people running them,there is simply a LOT of hit n miss behind the scenes and in our games.

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  Po_gg

Elite Member

Joined: 5/12/10
Posts: 1960

8/26/13 11:57:31 PM#16
Originally posted by Wizardry

I been around a long long time and sorry to say but these businesses have been every bit corrupt and money greedy since day 1,nothing has changed.

My thoughts exactly, I especially loved OP's "In the old days, they never cared how many people played the MMO...as long as the ones who played it enjoyed it" line :)  Those sweet, rose-tinted glasses...

  sportsfan

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/20/12
Posts: 365

8/27/13 12:44:27 AM#17

Since when became players communists ?

Since 18 year olds got the internet to spread meaningless opinions.

The problem is:

 

I can't even blame them: NOT being a socialist at the age of 18 is stupid, but STILL spreading this thinking at the age of 40 is idiocy.

 

 

  Axehilt

Novice Member

Joined: 5/09/09
Posts: 7213

8/27/13 1:33:59 AM#18

Artists should starve to provide us art!

...right?

  wakatack

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/10/07
Posts: 7

8/27/13 1:52:58 AM#19

I think allot of people are missing the point.

No one disputes that making and supporting an MMO costs money, allot of money.

But there is a big difference between making a product / service which is focused on making money, and making a product / service which is focused on actually provided something people WANT to PAY FOR.

This applies to everything in life, all money-making products / services.
You can scam people into parting with their cash, or you can make something so desirable they are blissfully unaware how much cash they are throwing at said product /service.


As a person who also was around playing MMO's before that term even existed, before the genre was even established, I can agree with the OP, the lack of passion into modern day MMO's is the real reason so many are flopping to F2P - Cash Shops, or even launches with that model.


Rather than make a game so good you never question paying for it, they a make a game where if you don't part with cash, you have little chance of enjoying it.

 


Good products / services SELL THEMSELVES!

  DamonVile

Elite Member

Joined: 11/22/05
Posts: 4379

8/27/13 2:03:47 AM#20
Originally posted by Novusod

Anyone who thought Lineage didn't matter wasn't just in denial, they were delusional. Lineage with more than 2 million subs which they maintained for almost a decade was the second most successful MMORPG besides WoW. Lineage II was the 3rd most successful MMORPG with also about 2 million subs. Even today Lineage still makes money and considered successful.

Lineage is still NCsofts biggest game. GW2 only ever got as high as 35% of their total income for a few months around launch. It's still huge numbers for them in SK and China.

People are like cats. When they die, you get a new one.

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