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Mythic: Blizzard is in for a "lengthy battle"

Posted by magdalene08 Monday October 20 2008 at 5:42AM
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Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning has only just begun to compete with World of Warcraft, says Mark Jacobs, Mythic's CEO, who commented "It's a marathon, not a sprint."

Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, Jacobs took issue with comments made by Paul Sams, Blizzard's COO, that over half of the subscribers who left World of Warcraft for Warhammer Online had returned, which Mythic's CEO interpreted to as an accusation Warhammer users were leaving the MMO.

"One thing about MMOs is that people play multiple games," asserted Jacobs. "That's one of the reasons I was very surprised by Paul's comments. He knows that people may play WoW and they'll play WAR and maybe even a third game at the same time."

He added: "Any comment along the lines of 'well if they're in my game they're not playing in another game,' flies in the face of all research that's been done among MMO players… The idea that you only play one is really kind of silly."

When asked if he was confident Warhammer Online could hold onto its subscribers when World of Warcraft's second expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, comes out, Jacobs assuredly claimed that Mythic are well prepared to fight back with its own content updates.

"We've known that Blizzard is preparing to launch in November. We just announced some of the things that will be going in our first major patch… that's one of the ways we're going to respond."

"This is the beginning of a rather lengthy battle with the guys at Blizzard," Jacobs explained. "We’re in this space to be successful and, when you have a competitor that is as successful and important to the games industry as WoW has been, you don't go into this space unless you're willing to spend money and spend time and really compete against them."

Jacobs further declared: "It's a marathon, not a sprint. We've got a lot of stuff going in, not only this fall but then there's spring and then after that."

 

Source : www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/mythic-blizzard-is-in-for-a-lengthy-battle

 

Mythic fights BACK!

Blizzard: Warhammer players already returning to Warcraft

Posted by magdalene08 Thursday October 16 2008 at 5:15AM
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While a number of World of Warcraft users dropped the widely popular MMO to play EA's recently released Warhammer Online, more than half of those gamers have already returned to Blizzard's market-leader.

That's according to COO Paul Sams, who said the pattern of players leaving and then returning to Warcraft follows that of any major MMO release.

"We've certainly had some of that happen, which is the same thing we experienced with Age of Conan and each time an MMO has come out we've seen some amount of reduction of use," he said in an exclusive interview published today.

"The good news is that we've seen a significant number of people, well over half, that cited Warhammer as their reason for leaving - they've already returned."

Sams said he was surprised that Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning had a rocky start in Europe, but server troubles and registration hiccups are part and parcel of the MMO business.

"It surprises me because Mythic is a very good company and it doesn't surprise me at the same time because it's really hard, what they're trying to do and what we've done," commented Sams.

"We respect those guys over there a lot and certainly wish them well to succeed but having registration troubles, having server troubles, these are things that come with the territory when you're talking about managing a game as big as World of Warcraft or Warhammer or anything like that. So, it's not a surprise because it is really difficult."

It's not just respect for the team that Sams has – he's was keen to point out that if any other game can come close to the success of Warcraft, it's Warhammer Online, a game that has already notched up 750,000 registered users.

"I think Warhammer is best positioned to succeed out of the various products that have come out thus far since World of Warcraft has come out," he offered.

"It seems to be a good game, certainly a great company, Mythic and Mark [Jacobs] over there and his team, they're very, very talented.

"But I think without EA they would have struggled as well, because EA fortunately for them has a lot of money and so they were able to put forward a lot of marketing dollars and were able to support the huge infrastructure that they require for these kinds of games," added Sams.

 

SOURCE
 

Blizzard: Companies underestimate launching new MMOs

Posted by magdalene08 Wednesday October 15 2008 at 5:25AM
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Publishers and developers new to the MMO genre underestimate the difficulties of launching in the market, according to Blizzard's Mike Morhaime.

Following GOA's struggle to launch Warhammer Online, GamesIndustry.biz asked Blizzard's CEO if companies fail to anticipate the true logistics of launching a massively multiplayer online game.

"I think everyone who hasn't done it will probably underestimate the logistics behind it - we certainly did," he explained.

"You focus on the things you are used to but you don't necessarily realise how difficult it is to scale up quickly and with an MMO you have to factor in providing 24/7 customer service, multiple languages... and that's not just hiring all those people to do customer service because internally within the organisation you still have to support your employees and that's a whole lot of management infrastructure that doesn't exist before the launch."

Morhaime further revealed that the company still aims to release a World of Warcraft expansion annually but is currently on the "longer than a year plan" and following Wrath of the Lich King fans won't see another for more than a year.

"That's still the ideal goal," he said in response to GamesIndustry.biz, "but as with anything there is this underlying rule that trumps everything which is that we'll take as much time as we need until... it reaches the expectations of ourselves and our players."

"Right now we're on the longer than a year plan," he added. "The next one I think it is still unlikely that we're going to get it down to a calendar year. We're going to continue to try and decrease that but really the content of the expansion is more important and I think you guys are going to find with Wrath of the Lich King that it's going to be worth the wait."

 

James Lee 11:03 (BST)
14/10/2008

 

Source : www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/blizzard-companies-underestimate-launching-new-mmos

Lord of the Rings Online to get social networking site

Posted by magdalene08 Monday October 13 2008 at 3:57AM
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"Speaking at the Tokyo Game Show this morning, Turbine chief Jim Crowley revealed that Lord of the Rings Online is to get a full-featured social networking site late this year, reports our sister site Eurogamer.net.

Crowley showed a site that featured character profiles, friends lists and other data uploaded live from the MMO's game world, and YouTube-style video-sharing features.

He described it as "a version of Facebook or MySpace that sits directly on top of the gaming world. This is a fully-featured, rich, robust social network. It has every single feature that you would find in the major commercial social networks such as Facebook and MySpace."

The site will have live news feeds from the game world, with profile pages for all user characters. It will also feature friends lists, communication tools and the ability to upload and share screenshots and videos.

"A key element here is the face that the game engine needs to populate all of the game data directly into this social network, so you can share that across the world," Crowley said.

He said it would launch "at the end of Q4 this year".

He added that similar sites would launch for Turbine's other games, Dungeons & Dragons Online and Asheron's Call, in late 2008 or 2009.

In his presentation at the TGS Forum, titled "The collision of virtual worlds, online games and social networking," Crowley argued that MMOs were in an ideal position to take advantage of online social networking trends, and that a new generation of web-literate players would "demand" the openness and convenience of Web 2.0 networks attached to their games.

"Turbine believes that a closed eco-system will have to become an open eco-system," he said. "The MMO needs to learn... to adapt itself to the 'born digital' generation. The MMO needs to step out of its shell and start reaching a much broader and deeper audience."

Crowley argued that social networks like LOTRO's would solve a "business model problem" for MMO developers; how to take advantage of advertising revenues when in-game advertising wouldn't be appropriate.

"It allows you to inject advertising in a way that's not in conflict with the game world," he said. "It's natural to it, something you see across the web 2.0 space."

He also said that he expected the social network would help Turbine make more money by "extending the lifetime value of the customer" by involving them more closely in the game, and driving "viral customer acquisition". "

 

Source: http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/lord-of-the-rings-online-to-get-social-networking-site

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MMO Facebook anyone?

Top 10 Signs You Play Too Many Video Games

Posted by magdalene08 Monday October 6 2008 at 5:12AM
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ROFLCOPTER ?

 

There are many ways to know that you’ve played too many video games in your day. Some reasons are more obvious than others. Ever get that pain in your hands from holding a controller too long? Ever need to get up and go to the bathroom to see if your eyes still work? Ever refer to yourself in public as the “blue bomber”?

The signs are numerous for this phenomena, and in this list we will go through the top ten ways to know that you’ve played too many video games. This was a difficult list to make as there were numerous ways of knowing that you were knee deep in the video game world…and never coming back. Are you, like us, one of these people who are never coming back to “reality”?

 

Here’s how you can tell.

 

Full article