[MUD-Dev] Re: Wired, UO, and Internet Gaming (was Re: OT: Birth announcement )

John Bertoglio alexb at internetcds.com
Sun May 3 13:09:58 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

-----Original Message-----
From: Mike Sellers <mike at bignetwork.com>
To: mud-dev at kanga.nu <mud-dev at kanga.nu>
Date: Sunday, May 03, 1998 12:38 PM
Subject: [MUD-Dev] Wired, UO, and Internet Gaming (was Re: OT: Birth
announcement )

At 10:45 PM 4/29/98 -0700, John Bertoglio wrote:
>>>> I suspect the lengthy article in this month's WIRED magazine about
>>>> social ills in UO might pertain to the topic as well...

<cliped wired article>
>>Interesting tidbit. I have on my desk an advert for a four figure report
>>from the Jupiter Group on Internet Gaming. It mentions the most obscure
>>games on the net and misses M59 and UO. These are the experts talking!
>>of the time I hear someone in the media talking about something I qualify
>>as an *expert* on, they are wrong. Does that mean they are just as wrong
>>when they expound on things I know little or nothing about?)

>It might surprise you to know that even UO (much less M59!) is a
>small fish in the overall online gaming world.  There are some *huge*
>stakes being played in this arena by people who have never heard of a MUD.
>Once again, I'm somewhat abashed to point out the small, insular, and
>really pretty parochial state of the MUD community (whether hobbyist or
>commercial, text or graphical), no matter what CGW and Wired say.

Clearly, there are major players in this *game*. EA and 3DO don't even show
on the radar when Sony, Time-Warner and Microsoft start stomping around. I
am sure that the potential market for conventional games like bridge, chess
and Boggle vastly exceeds the potential Mud market. Online driving,
action-oriented fighting, fantasy sports and and other pursuits with more
modest intellectual and commitment requirements will also find places above
muds in the rankings. Far more people would prefer to manage a succesful
fantasy baseball team that become a level xxx elf.

I confess to a level of ignorance of the all the forces at work in the game
market. In my other life I am in daily competition with the internet
product divisions of media giants like Knight-Ridder and Journal
Communications. So I am aware of what it is like to be a small fish. My
point about the report was that they mentioned somewhat minor startups with
no serious track record and market penetration while ignoring successful
products with significant market share of people who play online games on a
daily basis.

>MUDs are
>high commitment, high cost, high risk, highly targeted, massively
>multiplayer games.  I'm still convinced that in one form or another they
>represent the next step in how we spin epic tales, and I have a lot of
>hopes for the future of both hobbyist and commercial mudding -- but they
>are far from the center of the Internet gaming universe.

This is certainly true. However, the commercial potential of any online
venture is tempting because of the nonlinear nature of the cost-income
curve. A trivial market share of a huge market can be a lot of
money....always worth a shot and much better than really working for a

>I'm not sure I'd buy the Jupiter report for the money they're asking,
>though I'm pretty sure I've seen the one you're talking about, and like
>most of them, it's quite informative.  The folks at Jupiter are
>well-informed and are not stupid, but they're not always right either.

Nice to know. I was totally ignorant of their product before.

>Mike Sellers Chief Creative Officer The Big Network
>mike at bignetwork.com

>             Fun Is Good

>MUD-Dev: Advancing an unrealised future.

John Bertoglio

MUD-Dev: Advancing an unrealised future.

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