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Tuesday, July 01, 2014

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Arcadia Codesmith

Oh poppycock.

The author is conflating networking with community, and they are two VERY different beasts.

And while WoW is everybody's idea of a profitable MMO, it's nobody's idea of a great one. WoW is a glossy pastiche of the MMOs that came before it, well-executed but ultimately short on substance.

MMOs (and non-gaming virtual worlds, for that matter) may never be "mass market" commodities. But in an increasingly fragmented and targeted media environment, all forms of entertainment stand to lose share. And that's okay. Better to produce a work that is highly appreciated by its loyal fans than one that is universally regarded as mediocre but watched by millions because there's nothing else on.

I think there will be an evolution in the MMO space to bring production costs down to Earth. Tools are emerging that allow small studios and even individuals to produce "AAA" titles with little or no budget beyond sweat equity. Balanced well, you can have a quite wonderful and sustainable MMO with a community of hundreds or thousands, not millions.

The bean counters may see that as death. I see it as taking the power away from the bean counters and giving it back to player-creators, which is where it belongs. The worst thing we as geeks ever did was to sell out to the suits.

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