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MMORPG.com Videos - MMOFTW - Ep 28 - The Top Stories of 2012

This week's MMOFTW is the last of 2012, and because of this we're recapping the top FIVE MMO news stories of the year. Watch and learn what we at MMORPG thought were the most important headlines of 2012 and why they're changing the genre for better or worse.

Duration: 5:59
Views: 6,240  36 comments
Game: General
Direct Link: http://youtu.be/JyuS-IfapeI
Alverant writes:

1) NCSoft did NOT do what they could to keep the game going. They got a multi-million dollar offer for the game and turned it down.

2) The game WAS making a profit. It wasn't big, but it was there.

Mon Dec 31 2012 9:48AM Report
therain93 writes: I'm not sure it has been explicitly stated that City of Heroes was not turning a profit.....not turning *enough* profit is different from not turning one at all. Mon Dec 31 2012 9:53AM Report
TheQuinch writes: If CoH hadn't been turning a profit, there wouldn't be nearly as huge a hubbub over its sequestering - if it wasn't drawing in enough money to support itself, we'd accept it. But NCsoft has gone out of its way not to say that the game wasn't turning a profit, as they have with their first four victims. Instead, the only reason we were given about the shutdown was a say-nothing line about "realignment of company focus and publishing support". This is not to say that CoH might have not been pulled if it were more profitable {despite the fact that NCsoft treated the whole studio with what could generously called negligence}, but at no point in its history was the game ever a charity case whose time had come. Mon Dec 31 2012 10:21AM Report
Starsman writes:

 

 

Feel forced to keep the echo going: City of Heroes WAS profitable. Sure, it was not World of Warcraft, but it was profitable. In fact, last time I looked at the quarterly reports, they were on an up-swing compared to the year-before quarter. The devs were getting very good at providing the kind of premium content that made people open their wallets. 

 

I think reports always shown CoH did better than Guild Wars 1, and that's a big thing given that unlike GW, CoH was mostly a US niche with little international appeal. In fact, that may be the only reason NCSoft had at all to let go of the game: they were just not interested in a game, profitable or not, if it was not internationally viable. Something that is as as absurd, almost every company that engages in international business realizes that sometimes you have to carter to niche markets (see McDonald's international menu or crazy international flavors of Coke.)

 

Mon Dec 31 2012 10:28AM Report
TheQuinch writes: I'm not even so sure about the international appeal aspect of it - keep in mind that the Union server came in with plenty of activity. No US, but keep in mind that there were plenty of Yurpean players like yours truly on the US servers, as well as a healthy Oz/Zealander population. Mon Dec 31 2012 10:41AM Report
jimdandy26 writes: Yeah Coh was turning a profit, but not enough of one to be worth thier time or effort. The best estimates I have seen show roughly 5m profit a year, and while that is a lot of money to you and me, for a company like Ncsoft, it just is not enough to worry about. Mon Dec 31 2012 11:20AM Report
Lustmord writes:

I liked the live ones better.

I don't like that little musical segway you do at the beginning...

It's really bad.

Mon Dec 31 2012 12:18PM Report
NobleNerd writes:

Nice short episode.

Never played CoH but it is sad to see an MMO die. Maybe another company will be able to buy the rights to revive it. I have played SW:TOR a few times since the F2P launch and I am always shocked at how much they nickel and dime the consumer over features most F2P offer standard. Maybe the consumer voice will eventually change their choices for charging fees.

See ya next year. Have a great one!

Mon Dec 31 2012 12:34PM Report
madnessman13 writes: good recap, loved it! Mon Dec 31 2012 1:37PM Report
LJonte writes: While it doesn't apply specifically to MMOs, I would have thought the explosion sexism (and the subsequent backlash) in gaming in general would have rated at least an honorable mention. Mon Dec 31 2012 2:54PM Report
Maephisto writes:

I should start researching Star Citizen.  Is it really an MMO?  Or is it one of those games who people just call an "MMO"?

 

Mon Dec 31 2012 2:57PM Report
BillMurphy writes:

@Lisa: It could have!  I tried to keep these to JUST major stories around MMOs.  Perhaps a "gaming in 2012" post is warranted.

@Lustmord: How dare you insult my dancing... (it's actually SUPPOSED to be bad).  :)

@Maeph: It's both online and offline... there's not really a better way to put it.  It can be an MMO if you wish to play it that way, or remain entirely your own private universe.  Catch some of our interviews with Chris for more info.

Mon Dec 31 2012 3:16PM Report
n00bit writes: I watch this segment soley for the chin-eyebrow. Mon Dec 31 2012 3:27PM Report
erictlewis writes: All I can say about revenue models.  Well if you make a great game folks will pay you play it.  You make a bad game it does not matter what kind of  revnue model you have your game will fail.  Mon Dec 31 2012 3:27PM Report
Mithrundir writes: The 38 Studios debacle really was worthy of a top 2012 gaming news story. Such a shame to see an entire company crumble and for an mmo to never reach the shelves and have it's fair chance. Mon Dec 31 2012 4:08PM Report
thinktank001 writes:

@BillMurphy

 

Their FAQ states that Star Citizen is not an MMO, but does have some MMO features.

Mon Dec 31 2012 4:12PM Report
Aeolyn writes:

Exactly erictlewis, that's why games like UO are still alive even with a sub model, too bad they drove so many away when they turned on the neon lights and tried to compete with all the quest driven mmos that had entered the market.  Niche games can not only be reasonably profitable but they also let some of play games the way we want and not just follow the herd.  Yea yea, memories are sweet and yes there were the usual(note I said usual as in all games have the same kind) issues.

 

All I know is I'm sick to death of all the war type games that glut the market(isn't there enough violence irl?).  When will someone be brave and creative enough to base a mmorpg around something other than endgame pvp?  When you train the masses to casually kill their friends/peers there can be no surprise when a few will take it to rl.  I miss oldschool rpgs like Lunar, BoF, HM and RF, all were great games for all ages as long as you don't require a constant diet of blood and gore to be entertained.

Mon Dec 31 2012 4:30PM Report
mikahr writes:

Nice one.

But what i think is most important was mentioning of suits meddling with games. Thats why i like kickstarter and indie companies making their way through and having some kind of a budget to at least try to make what they want.

When you create game without a spark it doesnt matter how much money you pour into it (SWTOR, Kingdoms of Amalur).

I bought Fallout 1/2 on Steam sale (i also have boxed copies more than 10 years old) and man, those games still beat anything that released afterwards. Its really sad.

Mon Dec 31 2012 5:48PM Report
Tuchaka writes:

yunno what this year wasn't about all the great mmo's that came out....it's really about all the MMO's that have failed , so the lead stories are not that exiting. if COH was making enough money it would still be around it's not because it wasn't  

i get why people are pissed because they lost a great mmo that frankly got a lot of things right games just being released fail hard at. But let's not go all anti-economics simply because you lost a game you like.

Mon Dec 31 2012 6:05PM Report
BurntToast6 writes: While CoH was making some profit - it was not enough to entice NCSoft to continue to support CoH/Paragon. Paragon had two failed pitches for future MMOs to NCSoft which also did not help their standing with NCSoft. While CoH was STILL turning a profit - it was on a steady decline towards unprofitability and only had at closure 25% of their peak subscription base. I played CoH for 7+ years and loved every minute of it, but unfortunately you have a few (approx 100) people over at Titan who are trying everything from pitches to Disney in order to reboot CoH...and in the process coming across as quite delusional and bigoted. If any investor were truly interested in purchasing the IP...one look at the Titan forums and their constant bashing of NCSoft will certainly make them think twice. It's a shame because CoH had a great community...IN GAME...not so much on the forums; and that has spread to Titan tenfold.  Mon Dec 31 2012 7:15PM Report
Teala writes: Nope, you nailed the list very well.   Good job MMORPG.com.    :) Mon Dec 31 2012 8:34PM Report
TheQuinch writes:

@"When will someone be brave and creative enough to base a mmorpg around something other than endgame pvp?"

That's pretty much CoH in a nutshell. The game was crazy alcoholic and "it's the journey, not the destination" meant that there were people who after years of play had dozens of characters which they never got to the level cap. PvP in any level range was... a niche, and that's being generous.

@"if COH was making enough money it would still be around it's not because it wasn't"

BurntToast6: I'm afraid I'm going to have to call you on accusations of being "delusional and bigoted". We are very much aware that everything we did so far - and probably everything we will do in the future - was a long shot, a proverbial Hail Mary pass that probably won't, but just might work. The odds are against us - we are under no delusion about that - but better than simply submitting to NCsoft's whims. 

As for bigotry, there is little NCsoft is being accused of that isn't supported by evidence, and if bringing that evidence to light amounts to bigotry, then at least one of us has been using the word wrong.

Tue Jan 01 2013 12:14AM Report
TheQuinch writes:

{{ignore the last post, I messed it up. If a mod can delete it, that would be groovy}}

@"When will someone be brave and creative enough to base a mmorpg around something other than endgame pvp?"

That's pretty much CoH in a nutshell. The game was crazy alcoholic and "it's the journey, not the destination" meant that there were people who after years of play had dozens of characters which they never got to the level cap. PvP in any level range was... a niche, and that's being generous.

@Dampyre "if COH was making enough money it would still be around it's not because it wasn't"

That depends on your definition of "enough money". If CoH turned out to be, despite all the odds {to say nothing of NCsoft's "couldn't care less" attitude towards the franchise in general} a WoW-killer grade property, I very much doubt it would be at risk of shutdown. But it was also, at every stage of its history, profitable. Modestly, but consistently. The idea that it was being shut down to bolster their other franchises might make sense if any of it was recycled, the developers reassigned, but that's not the case - instead, the whole franchise was burnt to the ground, with NCsoft standing by the pile with a shotgun to make sure nobody tries to do anything with the ashes.

BurntToast6: I'm afraid I'm going to have to call you on accusations of being "delusional and bigoted". We are very much aware that everything we did so far - and probably everything we will do in the future - was a long shot, a proverbial Hail Mary pass that probably won't, but just might work. The odds are against us - we are under no delusion about that - but better than simply submitting to NCsoft's whims.

As for bigotry, there is little NCsoft is being accused of that isn't supported by evidence, and if bringing that evidence to light amounts to bigotry, then at least one of us has been using the word wrong.

Tue Jan 01 2013 12:20AM Report
Razperil writes: @Jimdany26, you clearly have no idea on how much they were actually making do you? Stop sputtering your nonesense and get your facts straight. They were doing well over 2 million a  quarter. Look up the information before you "assume!" At over 2 mil a quarter, that is well over your pathetic estimate! (yeah, I flamed him, oh well, he'll live I'm sure and I'll either get my warning or ban. Well worth it always :) Tue Jan 01 2013 12:23AM Report
cylon8 writes: city of heroes was kept open for one reason only..as a sourcing fund for gw2.... it's that simple. The estimated 5m a year it generated offset dev overhead until gw2 was launched. Tue Jan 01 2013 5:17AM Report
TheQuinch writes: @<span com_who"="">cylon8 : So basically, it considered CoH and its players as nothing more than feedstock for GW2, and if they didn't move there, they were considered useless? Tue Jan 01 2013 6:05AM Report
MrMinotaur writes:

So much rubbish posted on this thread.

CoH was making a profit, and indeed as was confirmed by a couple of the devs in a livestream recently, revenue was UP in the last year or so with shop purchases more than outweighing the drop in subs.

Err - what ? Paragon had at least one other project in development as far as I could tell and one more where I've no idea how far it had got. Where did this info come from ?

 

 

Tue Jan 01 2013 2:59PM Report
MrMinotaur writes: OK, the website mangled my last post, the final paragraph was in response to Burnttoast6's assertion that there were 2 failed pitches. Tue Jan 01 2013 3:01PM Report
LJonte writes: @BillMurphy I think that's a brilliant idea. Tue Jan 01 2013 5:04PM Report
Alverant writes:

To the people who say CoH wasn't making enough profit I say to look at what happened. All the people at Paragon Studios were fired. If NCSoft thought they could make more money by not supporting the game they would have reassigned all the employees. They did not. They fired them. Saying "they didn't make enough money" is like walking by a $5 bill on the sidewalk because it's only worth your time if it's a $20.

The only reason to cancel a profitable product is if you think you can make more of a profit by shuffling around the resources. Destroying a profitable product and the resources involved is throwing away profit.

As for how TitanNetworks reacted, considering that it was in responce to NCSoft's behavior and lying it is completely understandable.

Tue Jan 01 2013 7:42PM Report
Rider071 writes: Bill, great job this year. MMOFTW and your other video vloggers have changed the face of how we get our info in our genre. I would add one other issue that happened this year, that be PW acquiring Cryptic and NWN. It may not be a sexy story, but I have a feeling it will be one we all look back on. Happy New Year! Tue Jan 01 2013 7:48PM Report
Thane writes: "Is Star Citizen an MMO?

No!"

 

(official page F.A.Q.) ^^ just saying....

Wed Jan 02 2013 8:06AM Report
adam_nox writes: mmo or not, star citizen isn't worth anyone's time or mention.  The cash grab of hundreds of dollars just to get a fancy starter ship tells me definitively that the game is going to suck. Wed Jan 02 2013 10:25AM Report
thebaroness writes:

Let me put this here to correct the statement that City of Heroes was not making a profit, that is a grave factual error.

"Meticulous Meta: Looking back at the finances was going free to play good for City of Heroes or did the money coming in drop?

Matt: Oh my goodness was F2P the right move for us! We were making a LOT more money per month than the normal subscriptions brought in. This allowed us to leverage even more for the Paragon Market. If we were not doing well we wouldn’t have been adding as many costumes and power sets to the market over the past year and planned out as many as we had."(1)

"According to local industry analysts, the game has been bringing in 3 billion won ($2.76 million) every quarter. “It is hard to comprehend what NCsoft means when they said they closed it for strategic reasons,” one analyst said." (2)

 

Sources:

(1) http://www.onrpg.com/MMO/City-of-Heroes/interview/Metas-Verse-Interview-with-Melissa-Bianco-and-Matt-Miller-on-City-of-Heroes

(2) http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/biz/2012/12/123_126197.html

Fri Jan 04 2013 6:26AM Report
SBE1 writes: Interesting that it seems that the top 5 stories all involve some kind of failure.   Success be damned in this world I suppose. Fri Jan 04 2013 12:56PM Report
Fortenbas writes: Lets not forget the best story of 2012 turbine bringing back AC2. Sun Jan 06 2013 5:03PM Report

MMORPG.com writes:
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