[MUD-Dev] Apple WWDC?

Daniel.Harman at barclayscapital.com Daniel.Harman at barclayscapital.com
Mon May 20 10:31:59 New Zealand Standard Time 2002

From: John A. Bertoglio [mailto:jb at dsl-only.com]

> Advance console: Absence of a keyboard and mouse is a major
> technical constraint. Not a killer. You could easily play
> Everquest on an XBox/PS2 with (I suspect) fairly minor
> modifications to the user interface.  I would be suprised if Sony
> does not do this given their involvement with EQ. For the same
> reason I would never expect to see it for the XBox. A little hard
> to see the development of a telnet mud client, though.

Well Verant are already creating a PS2 based Everquest (this was
announced 2 months ago), and lets not forget 'Phantasy Star Online'
on the Dreamcast which as far as I know is the first console based
online rpg.

> The Mac/Solaris/SGI: When I was in the software retail business,
> the conventional wisdom was that the average Mac user purchased
> their computer with their LAST available "computer dollar". That
> is, because the machines were so expensive that people were forced
> to spend a bunch to get a decent box. There was, therefore, very
> little money left to purchase software. The other notion was that
> many Mac owners were people who were not computer-oriented (they
> actually needed a computer to do their work!) and were less likely
> to use the machine for recreation. I suspect this is less true
> today as Macs with reasonable performance are available for under
> $2000, but I think it is still in place to a large degree. I
> suspect that if it were not for the fact that a number of major
> game developers use Macs as their primary development platforms
> (Maxis and Bullfrog come to mind) there would be even fewer Mac
> games then there are now. Finally, there is the Mac user. As a
> group, they are probably more sophisticated than the average PC
> user. I don't see a game like "Deer Hunter" being a big hit in the
> Mac world. Watch WalMart. They are the most sophisticated
> retailers in the world. When they start carrying Mac games,
> everything I have said will be wrong. They go where the bucks are.

I tend to agree with you on this. In the UK at least, people buy
Mac's for specific productivity tasks and not to buy games. I don't
know any Mac users who are even interested in games!

> Linux: This is a wild card. There is a lot brewing under the
> surface in the Linux world. Linux is moving from a holy crusade to
> becoming a boring, stable and attractive platform for standard
> computing. The recent commiment of Sun to continue development on
> an Office alternative (Star Office) is just one of many things
> that could bring this platform very quietly into the
> mainstream. Of course, with Linux you buy some of the same
> problems as in the Windows world due to the large number of
> platforms. The killer app for Linux will be the $200-$400 complete
> computer system. A machine like this CANNOT have a $100 OS (read
> Microsoft). Every so often, I notice a Linux OS in a low end box
> in Fry's ads (my other retail benchmark).  The activation code in
> Win XP will serve to further accelerate this trend.

The question though, is whether people who want a 'free' OS such as
Linux are a good target to sell things to. When people mention
selling games in Linux, I think of a company that went bust about 6
months ago. Windows to Linux game convertes and they collapsed
because no one bought the software they ported. One of the reasons
they cited for their failure, was their belief that an awful lot of
Linux users had Windows installed on a PC anyway, and thus bought on
that platform. They also had a lot of problems getting their
products into the retailers who seem to exert in-ordinate control on
the games industry these days.

Personally, I lament the passing of the Commodore Amiga, where
people working in bedrooms really could still produce profitable and
fun games. The entry of Sony et al. into the market place has pushed
production values so high, that there really aren't that many
opportunities for bedroom coders to set up their own software houses
and possibly make some decent money.

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