[MUD-Dev] Evolutionary Design

Koster Koster
Thu Jun 13 20:10:39 New Zealand Standard Time 2002


From: Dave Rickey

> There's something big about the Sims I've never seen anyone
> comment on, a dog that isn't barking: Where are the clones?

I think a major part of that is that hardcore gamers by and large do
not find The Sims to be fun. And the industry is made up of hardcore
gamers. So they're not interested in working on something they do
not find fun. I remember telling a manager at Origin years ago that
I thought The Sims would be huge and very interesting. He said
(paraphrased), "I've seen it. It's a game where you manage people
peeing. Not in a million years." Now, I am sure he's eaten his words
by now, but at the same time, I heard a designer on my team make a
very similar remark today.

Another major part of it is simply that The Sims dominates its
market niche so thoroughly that it's unlikely a competitor could
really take hold very well there. I was asked how to compete with
the Sims Online once. My reply was "You get out of its way." Go find
a different mountain to climb, and replicate its success that
way. Don't just clone it.

> Why haven't more MMOG's come out?

There's a jillion of them in Asia. There's the Street Fighter one
and the caveman one, there's the cell phone one where you roam
medieval Japan based on a GPS signal from your phone, and it
reflects the actual weather in the game as you play. There's a bunch
in Europe as well; I hear that some of the anime-inspired ones are
about the size of UO or DAoC but nobody thinks of them as being
"real." In terms of size, I'd guess that EQ is not #1 (Lineage) or
#2, but probably more like #10 or less. More MMOGs did come out. We
just haven't noticed them very much here.

> It's been 5 years since UO proved there was real money in it, 3
> since EQ and AC proved it wasn't a fluke.  Sure, there's some true
> second generation products planned for release in the next year,
> but where *is* everybody?

Failing. Or failing to get money.

-Raph
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