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Reader Comments (7)

Posted: May 30th 2009 2:18PM (Unverified) said

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Is anyone as concerned about this as I am? The article starts off right by saying companies can't go out there expecting to beat World of Warcraft, but then it goes on to say they need to make "WoW-lite" instead. The article asserts that the "hardcore" userbase is too small to be worth considering, and if you're falling into the trap where you expect to beat WoW's numbers, that's probably right.

Here's the truth: an MMO doesn't need millions upon millions of subscribers to be successful. The market's already saturated with high fantasy with a casual bent MMOs. Companies should instead focus on the long tail of users that currently being ignored.

Posted: May 30th 2009 2:19PM Pingles said

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I'm not a business man but a fan of games. I can't help but think that editorials like this hope to homogenize games so that eventually we end up with 1,000 clones of the most popular game.

Free Realms is succeeding (so far) because it is doing something different. It made a traditional (3D environment 3rd person) MMO aimed at kids but with enough content to keep Adults interested.

I would like to believe that the "next big thing" will not be a clone of WoW or Free Realms but another unique take on the MMO genre.

Posted: May 30th 2009 8:37PM (Unverified) said

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Did anyone read the article? His point was that Free Realms is likely to suceed because it wasn't aiming at WoW's target demographic. Additionally, it is even more accessible than WoW from a basic usability standpoint - lightweight client, launched from a browser, with streaming content and lack of prolonged time commitments.

Expect to see more games like Free Realms, though not clones in the pejorative sense, because the economics for making a game like Warhammer or WoW simply do not exist any more. Three hundred thousand subscribers is certainly an accomplishment for any developer but not if the revenue from those subscribers is meant to defray the 50 million or more dollars spent in developing, marketing, and publishing the game as well as funding continued development of the game. I'd rather see more Torchlights, Wizard101s and Free Realms, games which do or won't need massive user bases to turn a profit, then developers chasing after the illusion of huge, genre defining MMOs with correspondingly massive budgets.
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Posted: May 30th 2009 5:25PM Graill440 said

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WOW is inhumanly stupid easy to play, macros and addons make the game a few button mash thing with no skill involved, unless you count rote action as skill.....

WOW is the AOL of MMO's, simple is as simple does, it is made for the brainless masses that do not want to have constantly changing dynamic anything, pretty colors to grab the kids minds and all is well. Randomness in WOW would kill the game, combining the haves and have nots would kill the game, adding devs with common sense and actual skills in programming would kill the game.

As long and the type of mechanics in WOW and EVE exist simpleminded folk will migrate to them, standing on their soapboxes they will wave their flags of leetness, "look at me!, look at me!" while the rest of us walk away, laughing at them and waiting for a decent MMO to appear. Waste your money, i certainly wont.

Posted: May 30th 2009 10:49PM (Unverified) said

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Um, EVE isn't for the simpleminded, nor is it popular with the type of people who play WoW and other MMOs. That's exactly why it has the devoted fanbase it does. Then agian, few people have the type of talent or balls that CCP does (besides maybe Mythic, but for tottaly different reasons), so it's not surprising that most people will just try and compete with WOW directly, cause everyone wants to be the big game killer.
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Posted: May 30th 2009 8:55PM (Unverified) said

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Their model of scale for gamers who play is incomplete, wow IS the center of the scale, the top of the scale is either not made yet, or its something like Eve* something with high requirements both physically and mentally. (Perhaps financially as well.) People are asking themselves questions and giving themselves answers they want to hear, because they cant produce the results they want, only the product.

Free doesnt necessarily mean, accessible, fun, simple, challenging, so on and so fourth, there are few console games in the past that meet this criteria. What they should do is take the most successfully non-mmo genre and take its good points and incorporate them into an mmo, that might be something worth paying for. Free- means nothing in the mmo industry without quality.

Posted: May 31st 2009 2:47AM (Unverified) said

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Personally I think you don't need the huge player numbers to make a game feel massive. I've played WoW, and most of the time it feels empty, or it seems like 25 other people are playing the same single player game.

What developers need to do is find they're niche. For example, EVE. 1 server. Hardcore PvP. Persistent World. Ingame market. And it's subscription model is completely different to WoW, and in a pure business perspective it is worse, but it has made one of the most original games out there that has satisfied a specific part of gamers.

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