We Are Older Than Average Gamers
I feel comfortable saying the majority of CU backers hailed from DAOC, which launched on October 10, 2001. Back then, MMORPGers were likely a bit ahead of the times, had a decent chunk of expendable income (or their parents did) and were likely more…um, “mature” (for lack of a better word) than the toddlers walking around playing phone “apps” these days.
“Where the heck is this going?”
Patience! That game came out to a fairly “mature” player base 14 years ago, sorry for dating you DAOCers but, well, I’ll just say it-we are old gamers folks! And age only works in one direction (unless you’re Brad Pitt), we aren’t getting any younger! I’ll gently call us the 30+ crowd. For many of us the days of having more time than responsibility are long gone (and in some cases sorely missed).
“OK, now I feel slightly worse about myself and I’m STILL wondering what the heck the point you are TRYING to make is?”
Can’t a guy build up a point anymore? Many of us came to CU for a MMO with an “old school” soul but do we even have enough time for such a game? It’s an interesting paradox, one that CSE must also heavily consider. While many of us long for the days of yore our lifestyles can’t support an MMORPG that truly represents them. It’s hard to admit, but nowadays it would take me years to accomplish what took me months in SWG. I had 6 level 60’s in WOW when it was “crazy” to have 3, I’d be lucky to have a few characters to level 20 now! Heck, I bought the Witcher 3 on launch day, I was extremely excited about it (not MMORPG levels of excited but you know, pretty darn excited) and I’ve managed to put in all of 2 hours in 2 weeks! Obviously everyone's schedule is different but the point remains, how do you design an MMORPG for your audience when it has so many “OTA” MMORPGers? How do you tell them what they want and what is best for them are two very different things?
The proud old school MMO vet in me says “bring it on, I can handle anything an old school mmorpg can throw at me!” The bitter damaged goods MMO elder in me feels the ping in my wrist, hip, hamstring, and back and realizes time is the greatest PVPer of them all and it eventually ganks everyone! The truth is many of us simply cannot play the way we did back then, but how do we play now? Many younger gamers have similar schedules dictated by various levels of school. We're long past that. Many of us have different jobs, different lives and different schedules of which many are not consistent!
We are entering a wonderful golden age of gaming where we can have old school, new school, and mixes of everything in between and it’s all happening as we live it! We aren’t just part of the Camelot Unchained universe, we are part of a distinct generation of gamers. From Pong to Atari, Mario to Master Chief, DAOC to CU we got to watch it be written and now we sit on the very cusp of it unable to state how to design for us because we don’t yet know! It’s like a Terminator movie in reverse! (Or are those movies already in reverse...) The history of this genre is being written as we live it!
Should CSE even focus on its foundation of older players or try to make the game universal? They already secured us so maybe they should focus on attracting the next generation? I’ve always believed quality knows no age. Make it great and gamers young to old will play it but I might be direly wrong! Besides doesn’t your market factor into making it great? Like many aspects of MMO development is it an extremely tight rope to walk. Looking at the roster CSE appears to have an advantage when it comes to the issue, their crew looks like a good mix of young to old and everything in between. Maybe, just maybe with their crew and a little bit of feedback from us they can find a way to defeat this demon. Normally I like to play but I can’t answer these questions, maybe some of you can?
I want to take a few lines to send a “get well soon” to the Queen of Camelot. Many members of the Camelot Unchained community give a lot to the development of the game but I have a feeling she might give the most! She inspired this column today. NO NOT BECAUSE OF AGE! (Scowls at his readers) You guys are terrible…
She inspired this column because I care about her and her well-being. She made me realize the generation of gamers that I identify with are part of the community I love. A community that is aging together, living together, dying together, sacrificing together and even once in a great-great while agreeing together! I like to keep things “in game” but the reality is when it comes to MMORPGs things usually spill over and become more than an avatar with a weird name.
Over the last few years in the CUniverse I’ve seen pets lost, people lost, jobs lost, and even homes lost and my heart ached for those people. On the other hand I’ve seen pets gained, people gained, jobs gained, and even homes gained and my heart filled with joy for those people! I guess you could say it’s a whole other aspect of being in the “30+” crowd. I backed Camelot Unchained to watch a game get made and ended up joining one helluva extended family! When one of us hurts, we all hurt. To our queen I wish you a speedy recovery and remember, you have around 20 thousand more
backers people doing the same!