[MUD-Dev] Gamasutra: Online Justice Systems

AR Schleicher ars at iag.net
Mon Mar 27 15:11:41 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000

----- Original Message -----
From: Todd McKimmey <rufus at wombatgames.com>

> Two things -- in a market where it's pretty standard to get x amount of
> characters for $10, if you only offer 1 character, and your competition
> offers 5, likely you're going to loose a great deal of business. The
> of the online gaming market has to appeal to the senses of a populace that
> might not think in terms of game value and 'what my experience in relation
> to the overall game is'. Shop A advertises 5 for $1, and a Shop B
> 1 for $1, in most cases (hardcore gamers with a history and devotion to
> game itself aside) most people are going to take the Shop A route. It's
> rather unfortunate that this is the case, but in order for most MMPORPG's
> succeed, they have to appeal to more than the core gamers.

There's another, more subtle approach, that seems to be what Origin is now
aiming for with Ultima Online...  While you're given five characters per
account (per shard/world, but that's unimportant here), there are being
restrictions added which make it seem more and more like one character per
account.    For instance, housing is being changed to only allow one house
to be owned per account.  The new faction system, is being setup so that
only one character on your account can be a member of a faction.

This, combined with the fact that everyone who got Ultima:9 (which I'm sure
is very similar to the group who plays UO), just got one or more additional
free 30 day UO accounts suggests Origin is attempting to encourage people to
purchase multiple accounts.  What effect this will have on the game remains
to be seen.  It does seem like a good way (at least without seeing any other
effects) of increasing profits however.

As for me, I have owned two accounts for years, and the benefits, while
small, have been significant enough to me to justify the additional cost.

AR Schleicher (Jerrith)
ars at iag.net

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