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Reader Comments (16)

Posted: Mar 18th 2009 8:40AM (Unverified) said

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If people are smart, it's Research that brings people to a new MMO. True, there will be people who are brand new to MMOs, and those people will pick up a game because it has to do with an IP that they are interested in, or because their friends are playing it, but a person disgruntled with an old game and looking for something fresh is definitely going to do his homework before picking up any game, whether influenced by IP OR friends, because that person doesn't want to end up playing the same game they just left.

For new gamers, I think your original argument has a pretty simple resolution. IP is important for new gamers who don't have friends that are playing MMOs, and their friends are important for ANY gamers who are changing games and want to play with them.

Posted: Mar 18th 2009 8:41AM (Unverified) said

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I've never been sad to leave an IP. I"ve never cared that I was leaving Azeroth to the hands of the Burning Crusade. I wasn't worried about Norrath being ravaged by the Gods in the Planes of Power. And now I really don't care that the elves of Lothlorien need me to help protect their lands.

But I do miss my friends from each and every game that forced me to leave due to idiot developer decisions.

Posted: Mar 18th 2009 4:46PM (Unverified) said

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So... you're still playing WoW then, nothing should've ever forced you to leave =D
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Posted: Mar 18th 2009 9:18AM elocke said

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Honestly, now that I think back on this. IP was actually the biggest reason I started playing mmo's. I had heard about EQ, but tried it once and the controls completely through me for a loop and I never tried again.

What got me into the genre was Star Wars Galaxies. My first true mmo. Until they went and changed a fantastic game for some odd unknown reason. Then I moved onto another popular IP, Final Fantasy XI, and I loved that game as well.

Since then though, I have tried every mmo I can possibly get my hands on. Funny thing is, most of the really good ones(at least in my opinion), WoW and LOTRO, and the 2 I'm looking forward to this year, Star Wars The Old Republic and Star Trek Online, happen to be major IPs.

Posted: Mar 18th 2009 9:24AM (Unverified) said

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Lately, it seems what brings people to an MMO is, "I'm tired of WoW and want something new"...., which leads to, "this game sucks because it doesn't have X like WoW does and I'm going back to WoW."

No, seriously, that's the case. Some people don't give two "craps" about the IP. Other people are just clueless to IPs in general (For example, roughly 1 out of 20 WoW players will argue until their blue in the face that the Warhammer Universe is a rip off of the Warcraft Universe and that Blizzard created Warcraft way before Warhammer was ever thought of).

IP generally is one thing that'll get people to the game, but features and gameplay are what keeps them there and actually wanting to play the damned thing. Darkfall was a relatively unknown IP that had huge launch base (so I'm told) and players strictly because it sold itself on the features of the game.

Two IP based games that'll sell mostly on name alone:

Star Wars: The Old Republic
Star Trek

Seriously, if you've never heard of either of those two IPs then you're the biggest nerd on the face of the earth. Star Wars and Star Trek are they biggest IPs ...world wide (well, Lord of the Rings might tie them, barely). SWTOR will sell even better because not only does it have the Star Wars IP, but it also has the KotOR IP behind it (Top 5 RPGs of all time) and the company that comes with them as well as many quality products.

In retrospect:

IP:30-40%
Features:40-60%
Company:20-30%

Company playing into it by their track record. Funcom had a crappy start for AO, and so that left a few players being warry of Conan...the IP gave that game a boost to it's sales, and the feature only solidified that. The subscriptions, however, were completely based on delivery (which was like a mentally retarded monkey delivering pizza by throwing it at your door and then throwing crap on top of that).

Posted: Mar 18th 2009 9:52AM Nef said

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It's always a combination of factors and always varies from person to person.

Well known IP's have an initial advantage since people know the world and have an idea of what to expect. New players (I'm taking 'new' as in never really played an MMO) can come in from outside the MMO genre and get into the game more easily if they are fans of the IP. The downfall of a well known IP is also its advantage -- people know it and expect something from it. Initial player base will likely be high but retention is the problem.

Word of mouth is usually the way I get into MMOs. If a friend that also plays them tells me something is good or at least looks good it generally has me more interested than usual. For new players this could be a big push to get into MMOs and just as important as the IP's draw -- more so for unknown IPs.

What got me into MMOs was Everquest and I got interested in it from reading gaming magazines at that time.

As far as other factors: story could be suggested, but most MMOs don't really have much of one (note -- I got into Eve because of the player stories coming out of it) and price could be a factor. With the number of F2P MMOs out there, it's really only a matter of time before someone new runs across one and decides to try it. However, this could easily drive off many potential MMO players...

Posted: Mar 18th 2009 10:25AM (Unverified) said

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My first MMO was SWG. I had gone to a friend’s house that played MUDs, and UO and been in the genre for sometime. He knew what a big SW fan I was and showed me the limitless possibilities of SWG (at launch). I had to wait nearly a year to play though, as my PC at the time was used mostly for Napster and pr0n.

But once I was able to upgrade to a better comp, I wanted so badly to be in the Star Wars universe that I didn’t care I had no clue about how to play. I didn’t care that my RL friend had left for CoH and then WoW. I didn’t care that my knowledge of the game play was minimal at best. I NEEDED to be in the SW universe.

So initially, I think regardless of the friend, if a totally new player, especially those w/ very little knowledge about MMOs in general is looking to play, a highly recognizable IP usually draws them in.

Now, that nostalgic state is done for me. Having learned the ropes of MMOs (though, I’m certainly no expert) I’ve played enough to know that a strong IP doesn’t make a good game. It’s the ability to create, and adjust for the community they’ve acquired.

Like in the case of TOR. I love the idea of the MMO in that timeline, but thus far there hasn’t been jack shit to get me excited. I reserve my final decision closer to launch and as more info comes out, but right now I haven’t seen anything to show me this is an immersive MULTI-player game.

Posted: Mar 18th 2009 10:50AM Wensbane said

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A game's IP can be very important for me. In the case of LOTRO it definitely is one of the top factors, but in the end, what matters to me the most is the overall quality of the game.

A game can have a great backstory and a great community, but if it's defining features aren't properly implemented, I won't play it for long. WAR is a good example of that.
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Posted: Mar 18th 2009 10:44AM (Unverified) said

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I've tried several MMO's. What got me into them initially was people, and now that I'm thinking about it the ones that I went to because of the IP were generally let downs. Let's review -

Everquest - Got pulled into it by my girlfriend at the time. First MMO.
City of Heroes - Started playing due to the genre, so I guess that was the IP. Eventually burned out due to repetitive nature of the game.
World of Warcraft - Live-in Girlfriend (not the one who got me started on EQ, although we did play that together) and temporary roommate were really jazzed about the IP. I was indifferent (never played the RTS games or Diablo all that much). Have played it ever since.
Matrix Online - IP. Total Fail.
Star Wars Galaxies - IP. Total Fail.
Everquest 2 - IP. Not total fail but nothing exciting.
Lord of the Rings Online - IP. Same as above. Didn't hate it, didn't love it.
Age of Conan - IP. Epic Fail.
Warhammer - Having been burned by IP's so many times I avoided. Glad I did.

All that being said, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't jazzed about Star Trek : Online.

Posted: Mar 18th 2009 10:52AM Platypus Man said

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IPs alone aren't enough for me-- although, an IP that I already enjoy (Star Wars or Star Trek) is certainly enough to get me to take a look at an upcoming game. But it's the overall game concept and the quality of the initial information that hooks me.

Case in point: Stargate Worlds. Although the original film is one of my top favorites, I've never been a fan of the multiple spinoffs. The combination of poor writing, poor acting and lazy production values have never kept my attention.

However, having taken a close look at what information is available on the upcoming Stargate Worlds, I have to say... I'm interested. I like what I've read about the classes and combat system, and I've always liked the setting of Stargate (even if I didn't like the way it was executed on the series.)

It's definitely a case of my wanting to play a game DESPITE the IP.

Posted: Mar 18th 2009 11:31AM (Unverified) said

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I .... wouldn't get to excited about SGW if I were you. It's not looking good for them right now.
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Posted: Mar 18th 2009 12:32PM Platypus Man said

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I just meant in terms of what hooked me initially. But yeah, I've been reading the stories -- I'm not optimistic.
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Posted: Mar 18th 2009 12:37PM (Unverified) said

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My first MMOs were cruddy free ones (Runescape and Maplestory) I went on when I was younger (back in the days of dial up :) ) which I got bored of after a few months. For the reason that my my PC at the time was awful I didn't play WoW around release when my friends started playing it. Although I was very interested at the time, I never bothered getting it.

However by the time I got a better PC, LOTRO was released, so along with my friends (who played WoW) I bought it. I was very impressed with LOTRO, and carried on playing even after my friends went back to WoW.

Eventually, I got a WoW free trial to play with my friends, having high expectations, I was to an extent, unimpressed. Most of the features I really liked in WoW were in LOTRO (an most other MMOs) anyway.

Loved features from LOTRO that were missing from WoW include: player housing, a friendlier community, a "loot all" button, dye/cosmetic slots and, most of all, a running story. I wasn't so keen on the over the top visual use of flashing and magic too. WoW simply didn't grip me as much, for the last few days of my trial, I didn't play at all because I even preferred my offline games. Don't get me wrong, WoW is a great game, without it I appreciate that MMOs would be to a large extent worse off.

SWTOR is probably the only MMO that will grab me from LOTRO, partially due to the iP, but mostly to do with the fact the concept is simply amazing for an MMO. SWTOR is as much a "Bioware game" as it is a "Star Wars game", without the story features it would be just another MMO.

Posted: Mar 18th 2009 4:42PM (Unverified) said

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I swore I would never play an MMO ever -- but then Blizzard made a Warcraft MMO so I HAD TO because I love warcraft. Luckily, it's also the best one =D But I would have to say it was definitely the IP that pulled me in, nothing beats Warcraft.
I tried playing LOTRO because I'm also a huge LOTR geek, but it was just WoW but not as good (and why settle for something less then the best?)

I will say though that I am counting down the days to DCUO (its a long countdown since there is no release date...) so that Batman and I can save the world together. That should be awesome.
I am also strangely interested in that APB game, if it ever gets anywhere...

Posted: Mar 18th 2009 4:51PM (Unverified) said

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A lot of good points in the comments above, so I won't rehash. I'll just say what does it for me.

I'm usually willing to try a game if it has features I like and a gameplay model I agree with. Occasionally, I will pick up a title that I otherwise wouldn't, but only if it has something innovative that I'm eager to try out.

For instance, I am not generally a fan of PvP in MMOs, so I never thought I'd be interested in WAR. But then I heard about Public Quests, and the idea so enthralled me that I just had to see what it was like firsthand.

So I got WAR, I played it, and I enjoyed it -- even the PvP! Turns out the public quests were not as great as they could have been, but still a good idea. I take it they've been trying to improve them?

I don't actually play WAR anymore because my computer is not strong enough. Otherwise, I might be leveling up a Choppa this very moment instead of writing comments on Massively.

Posted: Mar 18th 2009 10:42PM (Unverified) said

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Definitely IP for me.

People have raved to me about how good LotRO and City of Heroes is. I tried both and just couldn't get passed the world. Sorry, but the Lord of the Rings world does nothing for me, hobbits irritate me and I really just don't find it exciting.

Superheroes are.. I'm sorry, they're dumb. I've got some respect for heroes like Batman and The Punisher, but the square-jawed, spandex wearing, super-power flingers are just...stupid. Especially when you have giant big groups of them. Moth-man... penguin-man... big-hair man.

Doesn't matter how great your gameplay is, if I can't get myself to think your world is cool, I'm not going to get myself to play it.

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