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Reader Comments (11)

Posted: May 4th 2009 9:16AM archipelagos said

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I think that a popular IP certainly attracts the attention of people who may otherwise pass the MMO over without a second glance; whether or not the game in question is good or not is what will ultimately keep them subscribing.

Posted: May 4th 2009 11:57AM organiclockwork said

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I agree with Archi. A good, well-known IP can certainly draw people in and get more curiosities piqued than an original one that no one's heard of, but when it comes down to it, the quality of the game will trump everything.

I'll inevitably try the games coming out based on the big IPs: DCU, SW:TOR, and STO (and SGW, if it ever makes it out of development hell) but if the gameplay isn't top-notch, I will not stay. Yes, that goes for you too, Old Republic. I can't make exceptions for you based on your IP. I'm sure you understand.
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Posted: May 4th 2009 9:20AM Greeen said

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IP is always good to attrack broader masses (recognition factor). But to keep a broader/larger playerbase and sustain it over the years.... Now that is something entirely different.

Posted: May 4th 2009 9:31AM Crackbone said

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Personally, I feel the IP means alot less than what developers give it credit for. I've played some really poor excuses for MMOs with great IPs.

In the end, it's about the quality of the actual game we are paying subscription fees for. I really feel sometimes that developers should forgo paying insane licensing fees for IPs and instead dump that money into additional development resources.

Sure, the IP might help with grabbing some extra box sales, but we all know, in the end, it's the subscriptions that keep these games afloat. I'd say IPs are one of the least important elements to MMO success.

Posted: May 4th 2009 10:49AM Tom in VA said

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Personally, I am *most* looking forward to three games:

--SWTOR
--STO
--GW2

Two are based on well-known IPs, but that is less important to me than the fact that all three games appear to be story-driven, solo friendly, and involve the use of one or more NPC "helpers" that will allow me to PLAY THE GAME rather than waste valuable time in that virtual "LFG Waiting Room" that characterizes too many MMOs these days.

A lot of MMO developers (WoW, LotRO, etc., I'm looking at you) need to get a clue about this issue.

Posted: May 4th 2009 10:58AM Miffy said

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It's sad because ToR is the only game on the horizon that is the next big mmorpg and I don't understand why (if toR come sout next year) that it has taken 6 years since WoW for the next one. I mean we get massive highly polished and big budget single player games all the time but the mmorpg genre has been stuck with shit ever since. LOTRO should have been massively popular seeing the IP is huge after them movies and it's not doing that great because it has horrible character models and animaitons and combat and it has poor PVP. The classes are all boring and you can't play as the evil side and theres like 4 races to choose from.

I'm just sad that the next mmorpg like Planetside or Star Wars Galaxies might not ever come.

Posted: May 4th 2009 11:02AM Anatidae said

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And the Warcraft RTS is amazingly similar to the pre-existing Warhammer tabletop game. Not that all fantasy games are not alike, but Warcraft definitely borrowed from Warhammer a lot.

Posted: May 5th 2009 2:03AM Miffy said

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I've played both and they're nothing alike :\ Not even the lore is alike and sure they both have Orcs and stuff but what are you gonna say Warhammer Ripped off Lord of the rings? Also Warcraft is cartoony and Warhammer is dark and gritty and gorey.

Besides Warcraft is so much better and has actually had good games where Warhammer hasn't.
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Posted: May 4th 2009 12:27PM Wraibot said

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I believe that fresh new IPs are the best. When you're building a game off something already existing it limits what you can do with the game in the future.

With a new IP you can do whatever you want, the options are limitless with your storyline, your abilities and classes. Take Warhammer Online for instance, all of the classes are all predefined, so the developers had to design game mechanics that would work well with those classes. In a new IP, you define the classes, their abilities, the storyline can take whatever twists and turns you want, depending on new technologies you create for your game engine.

Working within an existing IP is like taking a game and putting it in a glass box. The developers can see all the potential of the game engine, but can't act on it because it doesn't fit the lore.

Posted: May 4th 2009 5:44PM J Brad Hicks said

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I don't think it's a coincidence that the only successful MMO based on a pre-existing IP was one that the gaming company already owned. Basing an MMO on an existing intellectual property has two gigantic pitfalls. First off, the licensing fees are gigantic hole in your budget. Secondly, your whole MMO then becomes a gamble of tens or hundreds of millions of dollars that four or five years from now, when your MMO comes out, people will still care about that franchise. Bad idea, both ways. Cheaper and safer to do something new.

Posted: May 5th 2009 10:12AM Cendres said

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I've looked at this issue from both sides and so far my conclusion is the same as Ihatemorons:

The IP will only give you a buzz, but if your game sucks, it sucks. I don't think having an established IP vs having an entirely original one assures any game they will do better then another. It may assure it gets more publicity but if the game isn't very good it will be a flash in the pan no one remembers soon or remembers angrily. But if the game is good then it's popularity will grow no matter what the IP is.

Popular IP's may get a head start but that's about it. Conclusion: Just make a good game. :)

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