[MUD-Dev] Star Wars Galaxies: 1 character per server

Felix A. Croes felix at dworkin.nl
Thu Jan 9 15:56:30 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003

"Koster, Raph" <rkoster at soe.sony.com> wrote:

> We're a little bit away. We're getting very close to defining the
> "minimum feature set" for an MMORPG. Sadly, it's largish and
> expensive and nobody has actually built one yet. But I can see it
> happening within five to ten years.  What will end up having to
> give is probably profit margins (most commodities have razor thin
> margins). As the minimum feature set becomes commodified, there
> will be real danger of excessive market consolidation. The key
> things that will then set apart the MMORPGs are setting and theme
> and minor innovations.


> MMORPGs aren't there yet. Part of the problem is that the budgets
> and profit margins haven't balanced out yet. That minimum feature
> set game probably costs around $50 million, but nobody wants to
> swallow that yet.

What I see as the biggest stumbling block is not so much the feature
set, as the lack of experience of commercial MUD makers.  Even
recently released games are still making elementary mistakes, long
exposed on this mailing list and elsewhere.

The largest of these may be to declare a MUD "finished", and turn
the game over to a maintenance crew while the original developers
move on to the next game -- while the maintenance crew is incapable,
or unauthorized, to solve the glaringly obvious problems.  In my
view, any version two of a MUD is such a failure.

What should the minimum feature set include, and how did you arrive
at a figure of $50 million?

Felix Croes

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