[MUD-Dev] MMO Launch issues ruining potential segments of the market.

Daniel Anderson melinko at insight.rr.com
Thu Jun 19 12:34:36 New Zealand Standard Time 2003


On Tue, 3 June 2003, Derek Licciardi wrote:

> Will SWG send a signal to investors/publishers/players that MMOs
> can only be accomplished with massive budgets and high profile
> licenses if it is the only successful launch of the year?  God
> forbid if even SWG fails to launch smoothly.  I hate to see the
> opinion of the investors/publishers if the MMO flagship product
> doesn't go off with a bang. (i.e. the one with the experienced
> team, the big budget, and the great license)

SWG has a lot of leeway just because of the license-- which is sad.
I think people ought to ask themselves if they would play SWG if it
wasn't Star Wars (which I don't think they would because SWG
wouldn't be much different than a mixture of EQ and UO).  So, to get
back at the point at hand (sorry to go off on that tangent) I do see
the market for MMOs being overrun by games with bigger and bigger
budgets.  It's going to be very hard for a small team to pump out a
fun GOOD game.  In order for people to leave their current MMO,
(assuming they only play one a time) the new one would have to
better.  I think Raph Koster said that to make a perfect MMO would
take at least 5 years and a $50,000,000 budget.

> If any of this is the case, it is bad for users that want a
> different MMO experience. It's worse for developers without a high
> profile license to lure players in with/convince investors that
> the product will float.  How do you convince someone that your
> game will work when the vast majority of your colleagues can't
> seem to get it right is my thinking.  My feeling is that
> creativity will be crushed to some degree by the selectivity of
> investment dollars because the genre is shaping up to look like EQ
> clones are the only thing that is commercially viable.  All in all
> it's been a pretty bad year for MMOs so far.  Subscription numbers
> are dwindling and products are failing left and right.  It
> definitely makes one ponder the viability of the market in the
> immediate and long term future.

I think the market is just being over saturated with too many MMOs
currently...  Like I previously stated, people only tend to play one
at a time and they don't want to just quit their "investment" after
putting in so much time (character creation time).

Also, I do agree that the creativity is being crushed because
investors aren't willing to try anything new.

Daniel Anderson
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