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General Discussion Forum » The Pub at MMORPG.COM » Developing MMO's : The System

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45 posts found
  juggernautJesus

Novice Member

Joined: 4/01/12
Posts: 15

 
OP  2/08/13 1:36:37 PM#1
The system used today, according to my opinion. I'm fairly certain this has been said before.

It's pretty obvious why this keeps happening, yet people continue to defend new games while "journalists" talk about just how amazing they are (news flash, ad revenue).  Publishers control game development now, not the developers. And from what I have seen, this has been happening since WoW introduced MMO's into the mainstream general audience. Note that I am not blaming this on WoW, as WoW itself was unique and creative for its time. Also note that MMO's are not the only genre this applies to (just look at Call of Duty). Here's the formula:

1) The focus is to get an extremely large amount of money at release (or actually prior to release) and then move on. Any money made afterwards (cash shops, etc) is chump change compared to what they make in initial sales. This applies to the other pieces of the formula. Do you ever wonder why EVERY MMO offers a pre-order (which is ALWAYS full price for the game, making it NOT a pre-order, but a purchase) in order to give access to "closed beta"? Come on...it's so obvious. They now are charging FULL price in order to play the game "prior to release". This is not beta people, this is release.  Beta has become release.  Anybody who cannot recognize this is...well...ya know. Why are they doing this?  Let's list a couple of reasons.

   a) It creates an excuse for developers themselves.  The game is actually released, but because it has the title of "beta", gamers will defend it and developers can use it as an excuse when the players realize it's trash. This is why I laugh at anybody who defends a game with the argument "But it's beta!  They'll fix it later!".  No, if you want to use that argument, then the game better be in its alpha stage.

   b) It creates a feeling of "Oh I have to be the first in the game!  I have to play it before anyone else or I'll be behind!" This increases sales. Nothing more to say here.

2) Produce game as quickly as possible: The more games they can churn out, the more money they make and the faster they can throw some of those developers onto a new project. Remember that hype, fake journalists, false advertisements, and false promises build up an extraordinary fan base and boost the initial sales tremendously. And INCREDIBLY, people will still defend those developers when their next game comes out, even if they lied about the previous one. This piece I really don't understand fully, I guess it all comes down to people being rather ignorant in general. Then, once the gamers realize how little the game offers, revenue slowly decreases as players leave.  But don't worry!  They're working on the next one!

3) Sacrifice almost all creativity and uniqueness, yet add JUST enough to keep interest, in order to appeal to the generic masses (aka, the WoW crowd). Sadly, this has been the death of MMOs and some of my favorite genres. It's very simple to understand. If you don't appeal to the masses, then you won't make as much money. Ever wonder why we will never get another incredible Ultima Online or Dark Age of Camelot? Because it's too "hardcore". Because it doesn't resemble WoW. Because it won't attract the kids (which are the majority of gamers I believe, no offense to them). There's not enough demand for games like that. The trick is to add just enough of something slightly different or unique to use as your selling/hype point.

All-in-all, the formula isn't going to change unless people stop supporting it itself. I don't believe this will happen any time soon, as game defenders on this forum are a sure sign that people will continue to follow it. This formula doesn't necessarily mean all the games are utter trash to EVERYONE, as people have different standards.  But I'm sorry, I come from an age where every MMO was extremely unique and creative, and my standards are far too high for the junk that is constantly released today.

Lastly, if you're someone who feels the same as me and are displeased with every MMO these days, just give up like I did until this system comes to a hault. And to those who still support the system and defend the games, if you want more variety, then simply stop buying the games and we will most likely get that. Save your money or support Indie developers (who aren't controlled by large publishers).
  BadSpock

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/21/04
Posts: 7769

Logic be damned!

2/08/13 1:54:32 PM#2

How about we talk reality for a minute -

Creating a AAA MMO will cost you probably 50-100 million dollars and 5+ years.

If you sell your game for 60$, you have to sell ~830K copies to make back your 50 million, or 1.6 million copies to make back your 100 million.

And that assumes you get 100% of that 60$ - as in they are online / digital 1st-party only sales.

We all know that doesn't happen.

Let's say because of licensing costs (like you are using a well-known IP to generate interest in your game) and then costs to distributers (like brick+motor stores) you are bring in 60% of that 60$ or 36$.

So in order to make back your 50-100 million dollar investment - you now have to sell ~1.4 million for 50m or ~2.8 million for 100m.

But let's say you sell a pretty good portion yourself online (digital) and you maybe have to sell 1 million to 2 million copies to recoup your investment.

The more digital sales you do, the more you have to have a good infrastructure behind your game (download servers) or you have to pay someone else to host the downloads.

Not to mention processing all of the user informations (credit cards) and storing it, something you already have to do for account information and character data on your servers.

So unless you want to raise your production costs (and thus raise the number of copies you have to sell) then you have to spend less on the actual development of the game.

Which means things like in-house custom tools and engines instead of leasing/buying proven 3rd party tools and engines.

Which maybe a AAA developer can do because they have the talent, but talent costs money to recruit and retain so the cost mights balance out in the end?

So to save money, you cut people (you hire less) which means less content and higher workloads per developer which will probably equate to lower quality and more "shortcuts."

I could go ON and ON and ON.

Point is -

If you are going to spend a LOT of money to make a game, you have to try and get some assurance that you will be able to recoup that investment and make a profit or you are never going to get the money to make the game in the first place.

Kickstarter may be great for 1-2 million dollar budgets and assisting in finance, but you are NEVER going to fully finance a 50-100 million dollar AAA title without investors.

And how do you get assurance people are going to buy your game?

You go with known quantities. Known IPs, known mechanics, known systems.

You take as much risk and chance as you can AFFORD to take.

And you try and be as creative as hell in the application and interpretation of those standards and hope/pray that players don't fear your changes too much.

And here is another fact people on this site tend to overlook - developers are human beings. They are not Gods, they make mistakes, sometimes they can't figure out some ingenius way to make something work so they have to fake it / do something "good enough." They also have lives outside of work, families, require time to sleep and be away from their desks...

Welcome to reality.


Games aren't made in a vacuum. They are made by real people working real jobs and require real money and real infrastructure and services etc. etc.

Now Playing: Destiny, WoW

  botrytis

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/04/05
Posts: 2564

2/08/13 2:03:08 PM#3
Originally posted by BadSpock

How about we talk reality for a minute -

Creating a AAA MMO will cost you probably 50-100 million dollars and 5+ years.

If you sell your game for 60$, you have to sell ~830K copies to make back your 50 million, or 1.6 million copies to make back your 100 million.

And that assumes you get 100% of that 60$ - as in they are online / digital 1st-party only sales.

We all know that doesn't happen.

Let's say because of licensing costs (like you are using a well-known IP to generate interest in your game) and then costs to distributers (like brick+motor stores) you are bring in 60% of that 60$ or 36$.

So in order to make back your 50-100 million dollar investment - you now have to sell ~1.4 million for 50m or ~2.8 million for 100m.

But let's say you sell a pretty good portion yourself online (digital) and you maybe have to sell 1 million to 2 million copies to recoup your investment.

The more digital sales you do, the more you have to have a good infrastructure behind your game (download servers) or you have to pay someone else to host the downloads.

Not to mention processing all of the user informations (credit cards) and storing it, something you already have to do for account information and character data on your servers.

So unless you want to raise your production costs (and thus raise the number of copies you have to sell) then you have to spend less on the actual development of the game.

Which means things like in-house custom tools and engines instead of leasing/buying proven 3rd party tools and engines.

Which maybe a AAA developer can do because they have the talent, but talent costs money to recruit and retain so the cost mights balance out in the end?

So to save money, you cut people (you hire less) which means less content and higher workloads per developer which will probably equate to lower quality and more "shortcuts."

I could go ON and ON and ON.

Point is -

If you are going to spend a LOT of money to make a game, you have to try and get some assurance that you will be able to recoup that investment and make a profit or you are never going to get the money to make the game in the first place.

Kickstarter may be great for 1-2 million dollar budgets and assisting in finance, but you are NEVER going to fully finance a 50-100 million dollar AAA title without investors.

And how do you get assurance people are going to buy your game?

You go with known quantities. Known IPs, known mechanics, known systems.

You take as much risk and chance as you can AFFORD to take.

And you try and be as creative as hell in the application and interpretation of those standards and hope/pray that players don't fear your changes too much.

And here is another fact people on this site tend to overlook - developers are human beings. They are not Gods, they make mistakes, sometimes they can't figure out some ingenius way to make something work so they have to fake it / do something "good enough." They also have lives outside of work, families, require time to sleep and be away from their desks...

Welcome to reality.


Games aren't made in a vacuum. They are made by real people working real jobs and require real money and real infrastructure and services etc. etc.

BS - TY for the reality check. People really do need to think in those terms.

"In 50 years, when I talk to my grandchildren about these days, I'll make sure to mention what an accomplished MMO player I was. They are going to be so proud ..."
by Naqaj - 7/17/2013 MMORPG.com forum

  Icewhite

Made History

Joined: 7/11/11
Posts: 6495

Pink, it's like red but not quite.

2/08/13 2:09:27 PM#4
Originally posted by BadSpock

Creating a AAA MMO will cost you probably 50-100 million dollars and 5+ years.

Of course, you could always avoid the big company/big money approach, and be happy with a much more modest level of success.

It's the AAA that creates the problem. Not every needs to play with the big boys.

Gamers, well, maybe some day the gamers will learn about ad numerum. There's always hope.

Two of the three games I played for multiple years? Never topped 250k subs.

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.

  juggernautJesus

Novice Member

Joined: 4/01/12
Posts: 15

 
OP  2/08/13 2:10:07 PM#5
Originally posted by BadSpock

How about we talk reality for a minute -

Creating a AAA MMO will cost you probably 50-100 million dollars and 5+ years.

If you sell your game for 60$, you have to sell ~830K copies to make back your 50 million, or 1.6 million copies to make back your 100 million.

And that assumes you get 100% of that 60$ - as in they are online / digital 1st-party only sales.

We all know that doesn't happen.

Let's say because of licensing costs (like you are using a well-known IP to generate interest in your game) and then costs to distributers (like brick+motor stores) you are bring in 60% of that 60$ or 36$.

So in order to make back your 50-100 million dollar investment - you now have to sell ~1.4 million for 50m or ~2.8 million for 100m.

But let's say you sell a pretty good portion yourself online (digital) and you maybe have to sell 1 million to 2 million copies to recoup your investment.

The more digital sales you do, the more you have to have a good infrastructure behind your game (download servers) or you have to pay someone else to host the downloads.

Not to mention processing all of the user informations (credit cards) and storing it, something you already have to do for account information and character data on your servers.

So unless you want to raise your production costs (and thus raise the number of copies you have to sell) then you have to spend less on the actual development of the game.

Which means things like in-house custom tools and engines instead of leasing/buying proven 3rd party tools and engines.

Which maybe a AAA developer can do because they have the talent, but talent costs money to recruit and retain so the cost mights balance out in the end?

So to save money, you cut people (you hire less) which means less content and higher workloads per developer which will probably equate to lower quality and more "shortcuts."

I could go ON and ON and ON.

Point is -

If you are going to spend a LOT of money to make a game, you have to try and get some assurance that you will be able to recoup that investment and make a profit or you are never going to get the money to make the game in the first place.

Kickstarter may be great for 1-2 million dollar budgets and assisting in finance, but you are NEVER going to fully finance a 50-100 million dollar AAA title without investors.

And how do you get assurance people are going to buy your game?

You go with known quantities. Known IPs, known mechanics, known systems.

You take as much risk and chance as you can AFFORD to take.

And you try and be as creative as hell in the application and interpretation of those standards and hope/pray that players don't fear your changes too much.

And here is another fact people on this site tend to overlook - developers are human beings. They are not Gods, they make mistakes, sometimes they can't figure out some ingenius way to make something work so they have to fake it / do something "good enough." They also have lives outside of work, families, require time to sleep and be away from their desks...

Welcome to reality.


Games aren't made in a vacuum. They are made by real people working real jobs and require real money and real infrastructure and services etc. etc.

Every single thing you said in this post ALL assumes that I am bashing the publishers for using this system. Also, you are assuming that I am bashing the developers and journalists.  Read my post again, and rethink your response.  I do not blame anybody, and already understand everything you said in this response. Of course they all do what they must to survive. They are required to play the system. I understand that this system is almost essential to the survival of "AAA" titles.  But as Icewhite said, and it's a good point, many people are happy with more creative and modest titles that don't require an enormous company's wealth.

Please be careful before you come back with a heated response. I am not blaming anybody for the system. Perhaps it was my "I don't like these games anymore" attitude that brought you to thinking I'm blaming somebody.

So thank you for the information, as it's valuable for people to understand that also. But calm down, take a breather, and try to be a little more respectable before going on a tangent.  Thanks.

  BadSpock

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/21/04
Posts: 7769

Logic be damned!

2/08/13 2:11:09 PM#6
Originally posted by botrytis
Originally posted by BadSpock

How about we talk reality for a minute -

*snip*

BS - TY for the reality check. People really do need to think in those terms.

I would love, just as much as anyone, if what I typed above weren't true.

But it is.

Every once in a while a small indie guy/gal/company does something truly amazing on the cheap that changes everything and is totally super awesome - like Minecraft.

But usually, indie just means poor quality, cheap, and extremely limited.

Indie can be a test bed for new ideas, for innovation, so it is important - but the indie won't be the one who takes that innovative idea and makes "the next great game."

It'll be the AAA studio that 'borrows' the innovative/creative/super-awesome idea from the 10$ indie studio for their $50-100m game.

Now Playing: Destiny, WoW

  BadSpock

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/21/04
Posts: 7769

Logic be damned!

2/08/13 2:13:18 PM#7
Originally posted by Icewhite
Originally posted by BadSpock

Creating a AAA MMO will cost you probably 50-100 million dollars and 5+ years.

Of course, you could always avoid the big company/big money approach, and be happy with a much more modest level of success.

It's the AAA that creates the problem. Not every needs to play with the big boys.

Gamers, well, maybe some day the gamers will learn about ad numerum. There's always hope.

I'm still waiting for a low budget game from an indie dev studio to match or surpass the quality, quantity, and polish of a AAA title.

Especially in the MMO space. It's a MUCH difference space to play in as a developer.

There really are different rules.

And besides, even a great many of the AAA devs with the massive amount of $ completely botch the quality, quantity, and polish.

The MMO genre is a genre of games that are THAT big, THAT hard to do.

Now Playing: Destiny, WoW

  Icewhite

Made History

Joined: 7/11/11
Posts: 6495

Pink, it's like red but not quite.

2/08/13 2:15:09 PM#8
Originally posted by BadSpock
but the indie won't be the one who takes that innovative idea and makes "the next great game."

You equate great with income. Same mistake corporations make.

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.

2/08/13 2:19:05 PM#9
Originally posted by BadSpock

match or surpass the quality, quantity, and polish of a AAA title.

The difference between us is, I don't need ^ that stuff, for a game to be "great", to me.

I'm sorry you've drawn nothing but "AAA" titles that made you happy, I truly am.

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.

  BadSpock

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/21/04
Posts: 7769

Logic be damned!

2/08/13 2:19:16 PM#10
Originally posted by Icewhite
Originally posted by BadSpock
but the indie won't be the one who takes that innovative idea and makes "the next great game."

You equate great with income. Same mistake corporations make.

Not at all.

Great is great.

But how many altruistic game developers have you met that make TRULY 100% free games for a living?

Now Playing: Destiny, WoW

  Blasphim

Novice Member

Joined: 8/31/11
Posts: 350

Darkness is Death's ignorance, and the Devil's time

2/08/13 2:21:49 PM#11


Originally posted by Icewhite

Originally posted by BadSpock Creating a AAA MMO will cost you probably 50-100 million dollars and 5+ years.
Of course, you could always avoid the big company/big money approach, and be happy with a much more modest level of success.

It's the AAA that creates the problem. Not every needs to play with the big boys.

Gamers, well, maybe some day the gamers will learn about ad numerum. There's always hope.

Two of the three games I played for multiple years? Never topped 250k subs.


lol as always Ice, your optimism astounds :)

  BadSpock

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/21/04
Posts: 7769

Logic be damned!

2/08/13 2:22:39 PM#12
Originally posted by Icewhite
Originally posted by BadSpock

match or surpass the quality, quantity, and polish of a AAA title.

The difference between us is, I don't need ^ that stuff, for a game to be "great", to me.

I'm sorry you've drawn nothing but "AAA" titles that made you happy, I truly am.

Off the high horse please.

I've spent plenty of time and effort playing low quality titles with a lack of polish.

I don't play them for very long.

The "cuteness" of their quirkiness wears off very quickly.

And I've never played a MMO that was low quality and lacked polish for very long.

As I said, the MMO genre is an ENTIRELY different beast than if we were to be talking about indie vs. major dev/publisher as a whole.

Now Playing: Destiny, WoW

  maskedweasel

Tipster

Joined: 9/24/07
Posts: 7284

"Kids, try imagining how far the universe extends! Keep thinking about it until you go insane."

2/08/13 2:23:11 PM#13
Originally posted by BadSpock
Originally posted by Icewhite
Originally posted by BadSpock
but the indie won't be the one who takes that innovative idea and makes "the next great game."

You equate great with income. Same mistake corporations make.

Not at all.

Great is great.

But how many altruistic game developers have you met that make TRULY 100% free games for a living?

You'd be surprised... but you won't see a whole lot of them here.  In the mobile development sector, sure.

 

Mostly though ad-supported or games that request donations are still favored, because we all want to get paid for our hard work.

"Loan me a Dragon I wanna see space"


  juggernautJesus

Novice Member

Joined: 4/01/12
Posts: 15

 
OP  2/08/13 2:23:30 PM#14
Originally posted by BadSpock
Originally posted by Icewhite
Originally posted by BadSpock
but the indie won't be the one who takes that innovative idea and makes "the next great game."

You equate great with income. Same mistake corporations make.

Not at all.

Great is great.

But how many altruistic game developers have you met that make TRULY 100% free games for a living?

Reality check.

I understand what you're saying (see my previous response to your aggressive tangent, which I'm sure you will ignore), but there are hundreds of examples of small development teams that have created games with 100x the quality, quantity, and polish of today's AAA titles. Those games are almost all older though, when publishers didn't call the shots. However, this is an OPINION. 95% of the games today, in my opinion, do not match games that were released long ago. They had everything these games today have and WAY more, minus the graphics.

The system is the problem, and nobody is to blame. Corporations see opportunities for growth, and go for it.  It's how the world works.

  BadSpock

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/21/04
Posts: 7769

Logic be damned!

2/08/13 2:24:22 PM#15
Originally posted by Icewhite
Originally posted by BadSpock

Creating a AAA MMO will cost you probably 50-100 million dollars and 5+ years.


Two of the three games I played for multiple years? Never topped 250k subs.

Yeah me too.

10 years ago.

Time hasn't stopped you know.

Now Playing: Destiny, WoW

  BadSpock

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/21/04
Posts: 7769

Logic be damned!

2/08/13 2:25:42 PM#16

PEOPLE

We are talking about MMOs aren't we?

This is NOT a "indie versus major dev/publisher" debate for the ENTIRE scope of all video game genres.

 

Now Playing: Destiny, WoW

  Icewhite

Made History

Joined: 7/11/11
Posts: 6495

Pink, it's like red but not quite.

2/08/13 2:29:36 PM#17
Originally posted by Blasphim

lol as always Ice, your optimism astounds :)

It's the truth, I don't care if Spock thinks it can't work. :shrug:

I've experienced it, you know, working.

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.

  MightyPit

Novice Member

Joined: 11/21/02
Posts: 88

2/08/13 2:29:59 PM#18

I disagree with the Thread opener.

Not the system is the reason that people don't stay in the games. It's the people's own fault. We have seen too much games in the last years. There is no magic of the new anymore. And people adapt the mechanics in these mmo's. Do something, level, get better items, do more, level, get better items and so on. It goes faster and faster. from game to game.

I looked up lately when in daoc the first player reached max level. I found a post in zam saying it was late january 2002. The game was released in north america end of august 2001. Max level in daoc was 50, and that was only the pve level. The fun begins with that. Now have a look to guild wars 2. What was the max level here? And how long did players take to reach it?

It is easy to see that when a games progress is so fast, people get bored very easily. They call for end-game content. It seems people play games just for the endgame content. The way to that end game does not matter. And when they think the have seen everything in the game, they move on. Not without complaining that the game was crap, of course. Time wasted.

Sure it was wasting time. But that's what games are. Very big time sinks to waste spare time. When I have a look back to daoc, of course that was also wasting my spare time. And I enjoyed it in those days. I also enjoyed playing guild wars 2.

And I will enjoy looking into new games. But I know for me that the newer games will never shine as bright as those in the beginning of the mmo-era.

MMO's played so far:
UO,EQ,DAOC,EQ2,GW,ROM,WOW,WAR,AOC,LOTRO,RIFT,TSW,GW2,POE
Looking forward to: Camelot Unchained, Star Citizen

  juggernautJesus

Novice Member

Joined: 4/01/12
Posts: 15

 
OP  2/08/13 2:33:53 PM#19
Originally posted by MightyPit

I disagree with the Thread opener.

Not the system is the reason that people don't stay in the games. It's the people's own fault. We have seen too much games in the last years. There is no magic of the new anymore. And people adapt the mechanics in these mmo's. Do something, level, get better items, do more, level, get better items and so on. It goes faster and faster. from game to game.

I looked up lately when in daoc the first player reached max level. I found a post in zam saying it was late january 2002. The game was released in north america end of august 2001. Max level in daoc was 50, and that was only the pve level. The fun begins with that. Now have a look to guild wars 2. What was the max level here? And how long did players take to reach it?

It is easy to see that when a games progress is so fast, people get bored very easily. They call for end-game content. It seems people play games just for the endgame content. The way to that end game does not matter. And when they think the have seen everything in the game, they move on. Not without complaining that the game was crap, of course. Time wasted.

Sure it was wasting time. But that's what games are. Very big time sinks to waste spare time. When I have a look back to daoc, of course that was also wasting my spare time. And I enjoyed it in those days. I also enjoyed playing guild wars 2.

And I will enjoy looking into new games. But I know for me that the newer games will never shine as bright as those in the beginning of the mmo-era.

I agree with you in a way though. My opening post blames the system a lot, which IS the reason we get games the way we are. But the system is the way it is because of what you said: the players. We SUPPORT the system, and the attitude of the mainstream generic gamer has created it. So I guess we could say if you want to blame anyone at all (which isn't really fair in the first place), then it should be ourselves: the gamers.

  BadSpock

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/21/04
Posts: 7769

Logic be damned!

2/08/13 2:40:10 PM#20
Originally posted by Icewhite
Originally posted by Blasphim

lol as always Ice, your optimism astounds :)

It's the truth, I don't care if Spock thinks it can't work. :shrug:

A lot of these Kickstarter games could be the one to do it. I hope it does!

As a point of reference - DAOC is estimated to have cost about 2.5 million to make, and peaked at around 250k subs.

That is a GREAT return of investment for what would now be considered an extremely "low budget" title.

EvE Online has had similar success and continues strong to this day. I pay a sub to CCP too :)

But as I said in another post - things have changed. Player expectations have changed.

You probably could still make a 2-3 million dollar game and hope (if it's really good) to get a 1/4 million subscribers.

That'd be an AWESOME success.

Whose going to do it?

Pathfinder? Star Citizen? Elite? The Repopulation?

I hope someone does.

I even said that a lot/many of the 50-100+ million titles can't nail down the quality/quantity/polish either.

This is an extremely difficult genre for developers to play in.

Guild Wars 2 is by all account a major success, both critically and financially.

Millions still play WoW. CCP and EvE are stil chugging along, many games are seeing renewed success with F2P models such as VG, EQ2, TSW, TERA, etc.

It's a great time for the genre! With a lot of great variety!

But the OP is simply wrong.

Developers don't play it safe and follow trends because they are lazy or stupid or lack creativity.

It's because if they are making games that cost 10's of millions of dollars to make, they HAVE to play the numbers game or the game won't get made in the first place.

And maybe the publishers DO want to just make a quick buck off box prices and every $ after that in subs is a bonus. That's really smart business actually. There are no garauntees on player retention.

I figured this was all obvious?

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