[MUD-DEV] a shrinking pool of players?

Koster Koster
Thu Feb 17 13:47:17 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Chris Turner [mailto:christ at rd.bbc.co.uk]
> Sent: Thursday, February 17, 2000 6:06 AM
> To: 'mud-dev at kanga.nu'
> Subject: RE: [MUD-DEV] a shrinking pool of players?
> On Wed, 16 Feb 2000, Koster, Raph wrote:
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From: Ryan P. [mailto:ixiterra at earthlink.net]
> [Snip]
> > >  Text muds are one step 
> > > between AD&D
> > > and video games. EQ/UO are video games, plain and simple.
> > 
> > Fighting words, my friend. I'll leave it to other posters 
> to decide whether
> > or not UO, for example (but I could just as easily pick one 
> of the others)
> > is a more simplistic mud than your average (or even 
> moderately customized)
> > text mud.
> It's not really a case of being more simplistic, it's the 
> fact that video
> games are incredible accessable to the average person.  
> They're in shops,
> they're reviewed in magazines and on the TV.  It's very easy 
> to stumble
> across a game you've never heard of.

In terms of the ease of finding out about the game: a free text mud is
likely never going to have the advertising that a triple-A game title has,
true (btw, the vast majority of games get no advertising really). This is a
scaleable factor, though. Just as in the video game world, having a brand
name (meaning, a recognizable fiction like World of Darkness, Pern, Robert
Jordan, or whatever) has been pretty clearly shown (via MUDConnector stats)
to have a HUGE impact on attracting newbies to text muds.

In terms of the game proper being accessible: Well, if accessibility means
that it doesn't qualify as part of the mud community, then I'd say the mud
community is doomed. :) Accessibility is an issue of degree, not type,

> Where as text (or rather free) muds, on the other hand, 
> suffer from a lack
> of exposure.  To find out that they exist, you have to first 
> get onto the
> 'net and find them or know someone else that has found them.  
> Very catch 22.  

Very true.

> > Now, if they are capable of being played that way in order 
> to attract more
> > people... does that make them less a mud? Well, no. It 
> arguably makes them a
> > better mud (for that specific purpose).
> True.  It'd be interesting to see just how popular a free mud 
> could get with
> the kind of advertising & exposure of UO though.

Free, I don't know. But there are numbers on how well a text mud can do with
large-scale advertising. The games that ran on AOL had a captive audience in
the millions, but did not capture nearly that many people, arguably because
of accessibility as well as the hourly charge they had...


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