[MUD-Dev] Differentiation and The Marketing of MUDs [was R& D]

Koster Koster
Tue Jun 11 22:49:37 New Zealand Standard Time 2002

From: Caliban Tiresias Darklock
> From: "Sean Kelly" <sean at hoth.ffwd.cx>
>> Some of the larger game companies are already branded.  Blizzard
>> and BioWare, to name a few.  Those companies have an entrenched
>> fan-base who will likely buy any game the company produces.
>> Though a big enough screw-up could obviously still drive away
>> customers.

> I'd like to point out Bethesda Softworks. They made Daggerfall, an
> excellent game, but with so many outrageously awful bugs that it
> was virtually unplayable. And this piece of complete crap was
> still promising enough that a LOT of people waited YEARS for
> Bethesda to create Morrowind, talking the whole time about how
> great it was going to be.
> That's a pretty damn loyal bunch of fans for a tiny little
> development house in Maryland that created a game I honestly
> believe is buggier than any other retail release in game
> history. And that's really saying something. In the software
> industry, we're finding out some sort of odd thing that currently
> looks like "even if your product sucks, your company can still be
> a dominant force". The big question, of course, is why... and
> how. (I can produce products that suck all day.)

In a word: vision. Because the vision of what was being attempted
was compelling enough that people felt loyalty to the people who
pursued that vision, even if they ("tragically") failed to reach it.

In a sea of "me-too" products, a project which says "to hell with
market forces, let's do THIS!" can be very compelling and can easily
attract a rabid fanbase. And in the case of Daggerfall
specifically--it came out at a time that the world was calling RPGs
dead (before Diablo broke the market back open), and it
wholeheartedly embraced randomly generated content, promising a
living world. That was a dream that many, many RPGers were willing
to sign up for.

PS, the diehards turned out to be right about Morrowind--it IS
great. In fact, I'll say outright that it is the most MUDlike single
player game I have ever played. :)

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