[MUD-Dev] Working with Franchises (was Star Wars Galaxies: 1 char per server)

Damion Schubert damion at zenofdesign.com
Thu Jan 30 21:28:45 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003


From: Dave Rickey
> From: "Michael Tresca" <talien at toast.net>
 
>> A fair point, Damion.  To be more specific -- massive virtual
>> universes seem (to me) to be long-term investments.
 
>> And thus the question: just how long do MMORPG designers expect
>> their games to last?
 
> In my opinion, there's no absolute reason properly designed and
> operated MMOG's ever have to go away.  That doesn't mean that any
> of the existing games will last forever.  It certainly wouldn't
> surprise me to see the larger current games still operating in 10
> years.

That's my opinion too.  I have seen business plans that would have
been quite successful if people had only chosen to play their MMPs
for 6 months and left.  Why you'd choose to do that over go for the
ten year gravy train, I don't know, although one reason might be
you're pursuing a genre that has to stay up to date graphically (car
racing enthusiast and quake addicts care a lot more about having the
hottest, latest graphics than most RPG spawn campers).

Ten years is the number I've seen thrown around a lot.  UO is still
at greater than 200K subs five years later, and decline is likely to
go slower than growth unless the suits decide to pull the plug.

Anyway, what the designers expect is usually closer than what the
suits expect.  EA was constantly telling us that UO would be dead in
12 months.  This might give some indication of how often their bean
counters listened to the development staff.

--d

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