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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
  TheHavok

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/13/04
Posts: 2354

"Free crack and everybody gets laid."

8/27/13 2:07:57 AM#21

The main difference from then and now?  The market is saturated with titles, giving players many more options then in the past.  This leads to a lot stiffer competition between studios but also means that they must make every dollar and every cent count.

Its actually a good thing for us, since studios fight harder to keep us playing their games.  Unfortunately it does mean that games shut down and your community dies out - but that's what is to be expected for online gaming.

  Loktofeit

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 11358

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ESO, and Combat Arms

8/27/13 2:11:54 AM#22
Originally posted by wakatack

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.

Maybe we're missing the point because we're simply looking at how the world works all wrong. Help us out.

Can you explain how an entertainment service makes money without providing something people WANT to PAY FOR?

 

 

  Rydeson

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/05/07
Posts: 3114

8/27/13 4:29:51 AM#23
     Because the world is changing..  The days when businesses used to be satisfied turning a profit in a small market are almost gone..  Your mom and pop stores are being eaten alive by the global companies.. Gaming isn't any different.. EA Sports, Blizzard or whoever aren't focusing on a small niche audience, they now see global dollars, and greed always comes into play..  I have personally watched small companies that excelled in a niche market, grow too big > more profit > greed = downfall of company product and service..
  MumboJumbo

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/18/10
Posts: 3066

Veni, Vidi, Converti

8/27/13 4:46:22 AM#24

Go back in time:

Late 90's: Game cost 60$ and a few million players buy if a hit.

First mmorpgs: Cost similar or less or a bit more - generate decent playerbase maybe not as bit as the above due to tech, lack of connection etc...

BUT:

Each player pays a sub each month to play!

So that's your answer, once you have a sub cost that could go on a few years and steady audience, it's an awesome market to get into - cue publishers start throwing in.

Next however, the costs go up, as Bigger, better mmorpg = more players = more subs = more ROI.

As mmorpgs are expensive, risky, long dev and very complicated but potential to earn mega bucks eg wow, that's why.

Look at the budgets of AAA mmorpgs.

  SnarlingWolf

Novice Member

Joined: 6/23/09
Posts: 2728

8/27/13 1:45:20 PM#25

Don't kid yourself OP. Companies were always about making money. Making something because you think it will be fun does not mean you aren't making something to make money.

 

There are more MMO players now then there was back before WoW. Clearly that means there are more people who find it fun to play MMOs now than those of us who did back then. Just because you don't like something doesn't mean suddenly the world became about money (it always was) and not about making things fun (people still find them fun).

  stayBlind

Novice Member

Joined: 4/19/06
Posts: 447

8/27/13 1:48:44 PM#26
Originally posted by VengeSunsoar

Yes.  "Bangs Fist"

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

That really grinds my gears.

A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business.

Henry Ford

Little forum boys with their polished cyber toys: whine whine, boo-hoo, talk talk.

  Arclan

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 1/29/07
Posts: 1174

Ideas are worthless. The only currency that holds any weight is the ability and drive to execute.

8/27/13 1:51:59 PM#27

Two reasons:

1. The economy tanked

2. Investors saw big money to be made using the deceptive business practice that is F2P.



Originally posted by Novusod

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.


And Lineage never advertised that I saw. I know nothing about the game. Contrast this to WoW that has advertised everywhere constantly such that every possible gamer on the planet has seen dozens of WoW advertisements on TV, the internet, and in stores. Blizzard must be laughing all the way to the bank at how other companies have not learned the importance of product placement and marketing.

I'm not going to a party full of clowns (F2P), then offer to buy them all drinks. -GregorMcgregor

Playing: XCom, Rome Total War, Master of Orion II, Majesty 2, and HOMM I.
Played: Everquest, Planetside, Vanguard, Pirates of the Burning Sea, EVE, UO.

  Terranah

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/03/04
Posts: 3609

8/27/13 1:53:22 PM#28

In the beginning there were visionaries.  People who were like...wow, can we really do this, is it possible....

 

They had good success and the money makers took notice.  They basically took it over and started inputting bullshit formulas for success.  The problem is, art is not forumulaic.  Of course, you can break it down that way, but building it from ground zero with such silly ideas is a recipe for disaster.

  Torvaldr

Elite Member

Joined: 6/10/09
Posts: 5162

Opportunist

8/27/13 1:56:39 PM#29

It was always about the money.  If it weren't we would still be able to play Lineage 1 here in NA.

To answer your question.  Metallica: The Black Album pretty much tells you the whole story.

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 17940

8/27/13 1:58:43 PM#30
Originally posted by SnarlingWolf

There are more MMO players now then there was back before WoW. Clearly that means there are more people who find it fun to play MMOs now than those of us who did back then. Just because you don't like something doesn't mean suddenly the world became about money (it always was) and not about making things fun (people still find them fun).

yeah ... people don't pay for stuff if it is not fun enough.

Heck, devs have to give away part of the game for free (hence F2P), just to get players to try.

 

  Deivos

Elite Member

Joined: 10/14/04
Posts: 1700

Iarð skal rifna, ok upphiminn.

8/27/13 2:04:08 PM#31
Originally posted by Loktofeit

Maybe we're missing the point because we're simply looking at how the world works all wrong. Help us out.

Can you explain how an entertainment service makes money without providing something people WANT to PAY FOR?

By being fundamentally addictive without being creative.

 

You can make chocolate bars and candy canes all day, sometimes it's nice to make something novel out of that stuff though like a box of chocolates with different kinds of filling, patterns, etc.

 

Is it fundamentally still building off the same principle as if you were making a chocolate bar? Yeah, but you are putting a bit more effort into making that chocolate into something special.

 

If you only want to handle the bottom line and aim for largest profit margin, you crank that chocolate out in bars like there's no tomorrow instead. Hence a previous comment about a saturated market.

As the size of an explosion increases, the number of social situations it is incapable of solving approaches zero. - Vaarsuvius

  Rusque

Elite Member

Joined: 6/08/10
Posts: 1467

8/27/13 2:08:31 PM#32

Some of you are really weird.

Businesses are not benevolent charities. Those games you reminisce about were still made with money in mind. They always cared about numbers. It just didn't matter to players is the difference.

 

Old design decisions were made less because they legitimately thought they were awesome, but because they were limited by technology and because there was no market data on what players enjoyed. So they made what they could. A lot of you keep conflating features you liked with features that were implemented intentionally. I bet most features people love to talk about were compromises because game engines and technology wasn't at that point yet to offer the solutions they actually wanted.

 

Data is king. It not just about money, it's primarily about money, but not JUST about money. Companies look to consumer data and work around that. That's why Nike sneakers look the way they look. That's why you car is more likely to have 4 doors than 2, or why manual transmission are slowly going the way of the dodo. That's why red and yellow are such common colors in food advertising.

Every time you open your wallet or "just check out" a f2p game, you are signaling to the industry that you support the direction they're taking. They collect these data points and use them to build new products.

If you truly don't like the games that are coming out, the market dictates that you would flat out refuse to play any of them. But that's not the case. How many people on this site who absolutely "hate" what MMOs have become are still playing one of those that they hate, even if it's just to kill time? How many have pre-ordered or spent money in a cash shop? They're not analyzing your whines on gaming forums. They're registering your actions.

What you do supersedes what you say.

 

 

 

  Gdemami

Elite Member

Joined: 9/23/08
Posts: 6382

8/27/13 2:09:23 PM#33


Originally posted by Axehilt
Artists should starve to provide us art!

...right?


If no one is buying their products, sure. Why should be they paid for something no one is buying?

Art is a product like any other.

  Loktofeit

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 11358

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ESO, and Combat Arms

8/27/13 8:51:51 PM#34
Originally posted by Deivos
Originally posted by Loktofeit

Maybe we're missing the point because we're simply looking at how the world works all wrong. Help us out.

Can you explain how an entertainment service makes money without providing something people WANT to PAY FOR?

By being fundamentally addictive without being creative.

You can make chocolate bars and candy canes all day, sometimes it's nice to make something novel out of that stuff though like a box of chocolates with different kinds of filling, patterns, etc.

Is it fundamentally still building off the same principle as if you were making a chocolate bar? Yeah, but you are putting a bit more effort into making that chocolate into something special.

If you only want to handle the bottom line and aim for largest profit margin, you crank that chocolate out in bars like there's no tomorrow instead. Hence a previous comment about a saturated market.

 Here's the statement I replied to, which you conveniently left out of your reply:

"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."

Entertainment services (because that's the topic, not chocolate) can only make money if they offer something people WANT to PAY FOR.  

 

  Deivos

Elite Member

Joined: 10/14/04
Posts: 1700

Iarð skal rifna, ok upphiminn.

8/27/13 9:35:35 PM#35
Originally posted by Loktofeit

 Here's the statement I replied to, which you conveniently left out of your reply:

"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."

Entertainment services (because that's the topic, not chocolate) can only make money if they offer something people WANT to PAY FOR. 

I 'conveniently' leave out all quotes past the one I'm immediately addressing every time I do a quoted post. I don't like taking up a bunch of space with repeat text.

 

My condition on the point remains. I interpreted that poster's remark perhaps slightly differently from yours, as I took it mostly to mean the difference between playing something because it's a pez-feeder type versus you genuinely enjoying the game because when you sit back to think about it, you actually appreciate it's mechanics.

 

A service that's focused on making money, even entertainment, has many aspects that can define the quality of it's contents. Doing away with analogy, I can state directly instead that it's the reason you have the variety you do when you look at puzzle games.

 

Lets take Candy Crush for instance. For some reason people love the hell out of that game right now. When I looked at it I basically saw Bejeweled all over again.

 

Or perhaps a more clear point, Cow Clicker. The developer of that game intentionally made something that was mind numbingly simple and catered to only basic entertainment value, as an attempt at poking fun at these types of games that cater to the lowest common denominator.

The dude ended up being kinda disappointed, in that people played it a bunch.

 

You can speak what you want for personal preference, but fact is quality of a game and it's subsequent service can vary greatly, and a big point is how much the game is focused on trying to entertain the player by pushing their buttons versus it's entertainment coming from a more novel quality.

 

So you're right in that it's technically always something they want to pay for. Why they want to pay, is a rather important implicit point here though.

As the size of an explosion increases, the number of social situations it is incapable of solving approaches zero. - Vaarsuvius

  Theocritus

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/15/08
Posts: 3541

8/27/13 10:19:04 PM#36
They've really always been about the money.....SOE made EQ and started cranking out expansions.....They charged sub and box price of the expansion...Its not like they gave away much for free....WoW really changed things with the numbers they brought in though and then it opened everyones eyes as to what kind of money was possible....You're right though since then companies seem to be more focused on how can we be like WoW and get our slice of the pie rather than lets make a great game.
  Icewhite

Made History

Joined: 7/11/11
Posts: 6495

Pink, it's like red but not quite.

8/27/13 11:26:56 PM#37
Originally posted by Terranah

In the beginning there were visionaries.  People who were like...wow, can we really do this, is it possible....

Visionaries my arse. Take a well-worn RPG concept, already adapted to video game format several hundred times, combine it with MUD multiplayer and payment systems, and turn the MMO money handle.

Most devs can't find "vision" with a map and both hands. They write code...you don't learn to code in art school, nor is it even found in the same half of the brain.

Fortunately, the people with "vision" went to Roleplay school back in the PnP days....and happily provided the working Lore frameworks for the code monkeys to fill in with mechanics.

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.

  Deivos

Elite Member

Joined: 10/14/04
Posts: 1700

Iarð skal rifna, ok upphiminn.

8/28/13 2:30:36 AM#38
Asheron's Call

As the size of an explosion increases, the number of social situations it is incapable of solving approaches zero. - Vaarsuvius

  Consequence

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/29/04
Posts: 355

8/28/13 3:49:47 AM#39

You have to understand how the process of MMo making happens to fully understand what exactly has corrupted MMOs.

 

Here is a quick example that hopefully shows you exactly where the problem occurs. This is a very simplified example

-A guy comes up with an idea for a game. Often times it is a very original and good idea. He begins to work on it.

 

- Devs  cannot finance games and finance guys typically wont throw money at something unless it has the biggest chance for success, in their eyes. They make demands of the devs that cause devs to compromise everything they want the game to be. Finance guys want it to be "WoW" like since wow was a huge success. They want it to be cross platform because the number of home PCs and laptops are on a rapid decline. The game should appeal to everyone to broaden the customer base.  Etc.

 

-Devs are forced to make the decision to either give up something they have worked for a long time on or try to compromise and in doing so you end up with games that, because they tried to appeal to everyone, appeal to no one.

 

You see, people have a bad habbit of getting mad at devs for things in games, when in fact it is probable the guy who thought up the game never wanted it to be that way in the 1st place.

 

The best example of this I have ever seen was Pirates of the burning Sea, a game in which I was in alpha and Beta. The devs were actively talking in the forums about how they intended the game to be. They talked of things to come  and things they were working on. But, they struggled to get a distributor. Alpha turned to Beta  and still we had no word on how they planned to distribute the game. Finally, a few months before release they acquired Sony as the distributor. The Beta players were ecstatic at the news, but that was short lives. About a week before release, just as the beta closed, we learned the cost of Sony distributing the game and it came in the form of a "Jesus Patch" that converted the game into something completely different than we had played to that point. It was also completely different from everything the devs spoke about all through Alpha and beta. This wasn't their game anymore, they had sold their souls and I couldn't blame them. If they hadn't found a distributor, it is entirely possible all their hard work would have gone to waste and they wouldn't have been able to bring that game to market nor make a penny. Clearly the financial backers were putting pressure on them to return the investment, and  in order to do it and obliged their debts, they turned the game into everything they didn't want it to be.   

 

 

  DMKano

Elite Member

Joined: 6/17/11
Posts: 3732

8/28/13 8:13:18 AM#40
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by wakatack

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.

Maybe we're missing the point because we're simply looking at how the world works all wrong. Help us out.

Can you explain how an entertainment service makes money without providing something people WANT to PAY FOR?

 

 

My thoughts exactly.

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