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

Luca Girardo girardo at computer.org
Fri Jun 20 19:31:38 New Zealand Standard Time 2003

At 18:34 19.06.2003, Daniel Anderson wrote:

> 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.

I think that MMOGs will go through the same process the rest of
software went. Developing from scratch involves always large budgets
and implies a high risk. One solution is to move more and more
towards "off-the-shelf" software to build the different
components. There are some different products emerging, still it is
a long way to go. But an example going in the right direction is for
sure DAOC. They used too for the development "off-the-Shelf"
products like NetImmerse. That has for sure lowered the global

  Estimated budget for DAOC was $2.5 million following the article
  posted on Gamasutra:


It is not an easy road and it is for sure one needing a lot of
compromises during development. But in the long term it is the only
one that can reduce the development costs. Reducing development
costs and the development risks will for sure also lower the
acceptable ROI for "off-the-shelf" MMOGs boosting at the same time
the market of "off-the-shelf" providers.

> 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).

I would agree that the current market is more and more
saturated. And that will stay so till MMOGs will target other market
segments: from new geographical markets (Asian and European for
example) to other platforms segments platforms. There are at the
moment MMOGs in development for other platforms too and it will be
interesting to see how they will perform in that type of market. For
sure there is a large customer potential but there is the need to
move out from the current niche MMOGs are addressing.
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