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Author Topic: The next phase of MMO's  (Read 843 times)
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rshetts2
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« on: May 29, 2012, 10:31:06 PM »

Playing Diablo 3 got me thinking.  Is Blizzard test marketing the next new financial model for MMOs?  Are we looking at Free to Play with a real money economy as the next thing?  I think that its being proven that subscription based MMOs have seen better days.  The companies running these things are looking for a way to make crap tons of money of MMOs and I believe this is the next logical step.  Give us the crack, make all of us dealers and then skim off the cream.  If they get the real money AH running and profitable, everyone will notice.  In truth I think this model is inevitable.
So, what say you all?
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tcweidner
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« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2012, 02:54:01 AM »

possibly. But I also see things such as in game placement ads and items also, but first they really need to actually start creating dynamic worlds, this genre is very stagnant with little more the EQ clones for the last 10 years ( people say WOW clones, they are just ignorant that wow is nothing but an EQ clone)

The sad part is that since uo the genre has actually gone backwards.  I think Archeage has the right idea, we will see.

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« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2012, 01:16:08 PM »

I think the future of MMOs is indeed Free-To-Play with novel in-game real-money economies and micro-transactions. Game developers need to be following Riot Games' 'League Of Legends' and ArenaNet's 'Guild Wars 2' examples. No MMO with a monthly paid subscription after 'World Of Warcraft' has suceeded. Not at that 7 million subscriber level. And it's not likely to happen again. Game developers must get smarter. It's about generating micro-content that people will want to buy on a regular basis: With LoL, it's about champions and skins at 10 bucks a pop. With 'Guild Wars', each expansion had one set price and that was it, but the sequel will have micro-transactions. There are tons of stuff developers could offer in-game to generate income: Characters, clothes, weapons, armor, in-game living spaces, etc. They could also just skim a bit of the money made from player-to-player real money transactions. Most game developers aren't thinking outside the box; that's why so many MMOs have failed thus far.

Edited to add: Want to add 'Eve Online' as another example of a relatively 'sucessful' MMO. The in-game cutthroat economy is one of the best of any MMO game.
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Jumangi
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« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2012, 05:50:38 PM »

Diablo III's auction house is a reponse to how many poeple traded stuff in D2 even though there wasn't an officiqal way to do it. It could make its way into more games if it proves succesful.
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Misguided
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« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2012, 12:54:29 AM »

I don't disagree, but can we please not equate WoW-levels of subscribers with success? If you want to say we might not ever see another mega-hit, I'm ok with that. But I do think that games can and will make money the old way for a while. Yeah, though, things are clearly moving towards micro transactions. I wonder how City of Heroes is doing...

Quote from: PR_GMR on May 30, 2012, 01:16:08 PM

I think the future of MMOs is indeed Free-To-Play with novel in-game real-money economies and micro-transactions. Game developers need to be following Riot Games' 'League Of Legends' and ArenaNet's 'Guild Wars 2' examples. No MMO with a monthly paid subscription after 'World Of Warcraft' has suceeded. Not at that 7 million subscriber level. And it's not likely to happen again. Game developers must get smarter. It's about generating micro-content that people will want to buy on a regular basis: With LoL, it's about champions and skins at 10 bucks a pop. With 'Guild Wars', each expansion had one set price and that was it, but the sequel will have micro-transactions. There are tons of stuff developers could offer in-game to generate income: Characters, clothes, weapons, armor, in-game living spaces, etc. They could also just skim a bit of the money made from player-to-player real money transactions. Most game developers aren't thinking outside the box; that's why so many MMOs have failed thus far.

Edited to add: Want to add 'Eve Online' as another example of a relatively 'sucessful' MMO. The in-game cutthroat economy is one of the best of any MMO game.
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rshetts2
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« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2012, 04:15:41 PM »

Quote from: Misguided on May 31, 2012, 12:54:29 AM

I don't disagree, but can we please not equate WoW-levels of subscribers with success? If you want to say we might not ever see another mega-hit, I'm ok with that. But I do think that games can and will make money the old way for a while. Yeah, though, things are clearly moving towards micro transactions. I wonder how City of Heroes is doing...

Quote from: PR_GMR on May 30, 2012, 01:16:08 PM

I think the future of MMOs is indeed Free-To-Play with novel in-game real-money economies and micro-transactions. Game developers need to be following Riot Games' 'League Of Legends' and ArenaNet's 'Guild Wars 2' examples. No MMO with a monthly paid subscription after 'World Of Warcraft' has suceeded. Not at that 7 million subscriber level. And it's not likely to happen again. Game developers must get smarter. It's about generating micro-content that people will want to buy on a regular basis: With LoL, it's about champions and skins at 10 bucks a pop. With 'Guild Wars', each expansion had one set price and that was it, but the sequel will have micro-transactions. There are tons of stuff developers could offer in-game to generate income: Characters, clothes, weapons, armor, in-game living spaces, etc. They could also just skim a bit of the money made from player-to-player real money transactions. Most game developers aren't thinking outside the box; that's why so many MMOs have failed thus far.

Edited to add: Want to add 'Eve Online' as another example of a relatively 'sucessful' MMO. The in-game cutthroat economy is one of the best of any MMO game.

I dont disagree with you.  Still I think that subscription based MMOs have pretty much run their course.  They are too limited in content at end game and people just blast through them and un sub.  With FTP/ real money economy style of game people have no reason to un subscribe as theres no cost to keeping the account active.  They will be willing to play more that way, theoretically. Anyway, success isnt determined by subscription numbers, its determined by profitability.  Thats why I think real money economies/ micro transactions are the inevitable future of MMOs, that model has made even tired old games profitable.
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Pyperkub
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« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2012, 03:04:47 AM »

I think the next MMO to succeed will find some way of leveraging handhelds and consoles too. It may even be a facebook game.
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cheeba
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« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2012, 02:12:56 PM »

Dunno what will happen but I think SWTOR's failure may potentially be a good thing for future MMO's. I think companies are going to think twice about taking WoW and slapping a new paint job on it from now on.
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« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2012, 03:30:53 PM »

Frm what standpoint are you calling SWTOR a failure?
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cheeba
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« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2012, 03:59:19 PM »

They went from 1.7 mil to 1.3 mil subscribers in a couple months.
They had to give pretty much every subscriber a free month.
The vast majority of their servers are dead (with many servers having less than 50 total people online during prime time) and 6 months into the game people are converging on the 1-2 populated servers.
They laid off *200* people despite insisting that they would be keeping the entire team together.
They're now saying really stupid spin shit like, “Subscriber numbers are funny things. How you count them – the math you use – really matters, and there are lots of variables to consider,”

But mostly it's because expectations on this game were that it would be a huge success. It may make its money back, but this is a game that should be doing a lot better than breaking even.
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Blackjack
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« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2012, 08:56:03 PM »

I enjoy Diablo 3 despite all its warts, but until they actually get the RMT component of the game working, it seems a little early to call it the Next Phase. Given all the accounts being compromised, I'm not sure how many players are going to want to enter that particular dark, forbidding forest.  paranoid

As people have corrected me here, D3 is no MMO. It's not even an MMO to the extent Guild Wars might be (i.e., a hub where you're among many players, and then you go adventuring in small instances). Most companies can't afford to run a battle.net, and probably would be hesitant to rely on an RMT transactions auction house as their main forum of revenue to cover the costs. Heck, even Blizzard itself can't seem to run battle.net properly or really comes to grip with their security issues (or their players' security issues). icon_neutral

The writing seems to clearly be on the wall in terms of monthly fee MMORPGs, but I would attribute that more to Turbine/WB starting the ball rolling with LOTRO, and then nearly everyone else lining up in lockstep. Or to the fact that other than WoW, people just don't seem inclined to pay monthly fees on a truly massive scale (several million subscribers) to anyone else. And once publishers see this, they just gradually give up on the fees and try to make the game survive as an F2P (see STO, Champions, Age of Conan, City of Heroes, DCUO, the upcoming Planetside 2 etc.).

I'm not convinced F2P is necessarily a gravy train. But if it works, if more big budget mmorpgs can survive or even thrive as an F2P, and don't have to go to the same graveyard as Tabula Rasa and others, then more power to them.  icon_smile

As far as SWTOR goes, I see it as a "qualified" success. It has, by all accounts, retained more than enough subscribers to be profitable. Is it a "WoW Killer"? Are all the millions who played at launch (like me) all still loving it and want to play it for years? No -- imho, EA probably didn't expect quite the churn rate SWTOR has so far. In my case, I just abruptly "fell out of love" with it, I didn't leave it for another mmorpg. But mmorpgs are a marathon, not a sprint. Lets see where it is a year after launch. Two years after launch etc.

My take on "next phase" of mmorpgs isn't so much the payment scheme as the basic gameplay. If nobody's really going to find a way around mmorpg server-client infrastructure limitations and deliver gameplay that's more compelling than bashing 50 some odd hotkeys in various sequences, to do the same sorts of quests over and over, then I think I and many others just won't bother anymore.

It's been 13 years since Everquest. Newer gamers maybe don't drag that same baggage to the experience, but I think many of us older types simply aren't interested in doing the same stuff, no matter how many new coats of paint are draped over the experience. I've already said that in other threads. I won't beat a dead horse on the subject.  icon_smile Beat that horse!
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Misguided
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« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2012, 05:56:53 AM »

Quote from: cheeba on June 03, 2012, 03:59:19 PM

They went from 1.7 mil to 1.3 mil subscribers in a couple months.

That sounds like pretty good retention to me.
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« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2012, 02:55:25 PM »

Quote from: Misguided on June 05, 2012, 05:56:53 AM

Quote from: cheeba on June 03, 2012, 03:59:19 PM

They went from 1.7 mil to 1.3 mil subscribers in a couple months.

That sounds like pretty good retention to me.

Clearly everyone is speculating since we don't have actual dollar figures but I just can't believe they are profitable.  The game must have cost an exorbitant amount to make compared to other MMOs (just the marketing budget for SWTOR is staggering compared to other MMOs).  Subscriber numbers that are great for a cheaper MMO just doesn't seem good enough to sustain SWTOR.
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« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2012, 03:14:00 PM »

Well, if they went in needing 2+ million subscribers to be profitable, then they deserve what they get.
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cheeba
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« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2012, 04:50:17 PM »

Quote from: Misguided on June 05, 2012, 05:56:53 AM

Quote from: cheeba on June 03, 2012, 03:59:19 PM

They went from 1.7 mil to 1.3 mil subscribers in a couple months.

That sounds like pretty good retention to me.

And that's why they gave out the free month right before they reported those numbers. So people like yourself who don't know any better might think that smile.
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