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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

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Pussycat Catnap

Guild Wars 2 still has a few million right?

Likewise Final Fantasy XIV - a Japanese MMO that was NOT regioned, but simply translated and still run out of Japan.

And how well did that sci fi one do, Wildstar? I thought it did well.

Then there's the coming Everquest Next.

To me this reads more as Blizzard deciding that they have a dominant game, that dominance will last longer than they had once thought it would - and the cost of keeping that position after that time passes is too high for how well they expect to do.

Rather... they're going to wait until somebody else can figure out what the next generation wants... and in the mean time move on to lower budget but profitable endeavors like an online TCG.


When you combine the audience of Guild Wars, Final Fantasy, Everquest, and Wildstar - you get almost the current audience of World of Warcraft.

I think this is actually healthy - being partly splintered. All healthy competitors, none of which is so massive it can dictate to the industry... so they all have to remain 'sharp' to compete with each other.

And fans, as a result; get choices.

JJ

"Guild Wars 2 still has a few million right?"

Guild Wars 2 has zero. It doesn't have subscriptions.
It has sold a few million copies.

Pussycat Catnap

Did I say subscriptions? Don't think I did. It still has a few million.

Wagner James Au

Very skeptical of that, its website traffic is actually half as large as SL's:

http://www.similarweb.com/website/guildwars2.com
http://www.similarweb.com/website/secondlife.com

I'd estimate GW2 has more like a few hundred thousand active users.

Estelle Pienaar

Don't you think that VR will be a game changer? If I were a Blizzard decision maker, I would also not invest in an expensive WoW successor right now. It's much more clever to wait and see how VR tech and acceptance develops before deciding on a major investment. I am not sure if your insider has told you the whole story...

Franny

Market saturation, the amount of mmo players stays the same, many keep playing titles they like for a decade or longer so player attention is tied to that. Constantly new games and titles and with each one needing to come up with better, faster, cheaper and each time a shrinking userbase potential it is not worth to invest heavily in new titles.

Which brings me to Linden Lab and Altberg who is going to build a new product for the millions. The thing is the millions are building castles in Minecraft now which is cheap, easy, fun and Microsoft is not going to drive them out like Linden Lab is doing to their customers.

Destiny, game of the year which received massive media attention is also slightly underperforming in terms of expectations for sales, so there is market saturation.

Games will go the same route as internet porn, free free free and then some small niches which are still profitable. Niches like Altberg is killing right now for example. Linden Lab is hiring a market analyst: "where did we go wrong mister market analyst, we have no clue?"

Altberg should keep the honor to himself and remove himself as CEO instead of damaging 1000's of businesses which are almost a decade old and have success. Just as with homestead islands the general public does not forget the actions of the company, people spend their money where they are comfortable and not where they are fleeced and driven out.

Imagine Microsoft did the same with Windows OS about 95% of the population would have a MAC Pc or run on Linux after such a move.

Arcadia Codesmith

People have been predicting the demise of the MMO genre since before the inception of the MMO genre.

There may be a shift away from big-studio multimillion-dollar productions, but given the increasing accessibility of the toolsets for small studios and bedroom developers, that's only natural. They're the ones breaking new ground in the field, because the deep pockets are risk-adverse to the point of paranoia.

And the games that stumble hardest are the WoW clones. It's happened so consistently that it's opened up a vast world of opportunity for sandbox worlds trying desperately to NOT be WoW.

If the stagnant MMORPG industry is abandoning the dated paradigms that have kept it from achieving its potential (codified but not invented by WoW, which never had an original thought in its life), that's nothing but a good thing for players.

Pussycat Catnap

Re: GW2 and website traffic - there's not much of use on their website, so its logically low. Actually might be high for what is there: a forum.

When they were putting out concurrency metrics, they were beating of close to WoW. They used to boast 450k concurrency; higher than WoW has ever achieved. Its logicially dropped since then - but its still got a lot of activity around it so it hasn't floored or crashed. Just stabilized.

A few hundred thousand? That's more than anything but WoW was at a few years ago. But its more likely they have between 1 and 3 million - a wide range... but hard to narrow.

But this is not really a bad thing even if it has finally dipped to under 1 million.

WoW is/was too big. That's unhealthy for the industry at large - when one player dominates the voice so much.

Having the pie spread between a series of choices is much better. Its not the same as the 'virtual world community' where that spread can be very problematic for user-made content and social communities. These are games - and variety in this case is a more helpful thing.

Ciaran Laval

The rise of VR could shift games in a very different direction, it's probably best to pause right now and see which way the wind blows.

Ezra

Worth noting the premium part of the most popular and successful freemium MMOs is infact subscriptions. Since the free part doesn't pay the bills, its wrong to present freemium for MMOs as a competing business model to subscription-based MMOs, they're actually the same thing. Subscription-only on the other hand, maybe, but long before the buzzword "freemium" MMOs have had concepts like trials.

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