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Reader Comments (23)

Posted: Aug 3rd 2009 8:24AM (Unverified) said

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I find it amusing that DDO Unlimited is being counted as a "new release," but I'll bite nonetheless.

Fallen Earth and Champions both may be enough to hook me, but honestly, none of these releases are looking great. Aion seems to be more of the same, but with flying as the hook. Champions has potential but I'm still in the air. Fallen Earth scratches my itch for a post-apocalyptic Sci-Fi kind of setting, but I don't know enough about the gameplay to decide.

Really, seeing the Fall releases listed like that is really, really disappointing.

Short answer: Probably not. But honestly, the Fall release has absolutely nothing to do with it. There is just a lack of very good quality games. Champions comes close. Everything else misses my mark.

Posted: Aug 3rd 2009 8:42AM oGGe said

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Since the average mmo-player is older that the average gamer I don't think school is a problem. Most people I play with are above 25.

Posted: Aug 3rd 2009 8:45AM Nadril said

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I'm a college student and in all honesty there is plenty of time to do things other than schoolwork. I'll be playing Aion this fall.

Posted: Aug 3rd 2009 8:46AM (Unverified) said

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It's half a dozen of one, six of another. Summer seems to be a good time to get kids hooked. Then again, there's a reason why people stop playing games for long stretches in the summer if they are NOT kids. People with children do sports (all year round) and have to make games and practices. There are summer vacations to think about. Every year in summer, WoW guilds have HUGE drama in the summer time because people stop coming online to play. Just the way it is.

Now, for working adults without kids, all year round is a good time to play. For those of us with kids, playtimes are seasonal around a child's activities. Weekends tend to be a bust for parents.

I don't think that the time of a release matters. It'll impact different groups differently.

Posted: Aug 3rd 2009 9:13AM Greyjoy said

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If anything the Sept-Oct time is quiet its the Nov-Dec that deadlines loom and students have to bust a gut to meet them

Everyone just chills out in the first couple of months, or at least that ones that do mediocre do :D

Posted: Aug 3rd 2009 3:30PM (Unverified) said

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Release for September, then have a huge marketing push in November for the holidays...it gives time to work out the inevitable bugs on launch just in time for the holiday season.

there is no "bad" time to release a game whose target audience is "as many people as possible", with the exception of maybe Dec.26 (missing the holiday deadline) or the day of Diablo3 coming out (the end of time).
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Posted: Aug 3rd 2009 9:30AM (Unverified) said

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Summer and Christmas are bad times to release an MMO. Summer has lots of vacations and parties. Christmas has lots of vacations, parties, and student deadlines. Fall and Winter are the ideal seasons(Winter after new year's).

Posted: Aug 3rd 2009 9:37AM Macabre 13 said

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I don't think releasing in the fall has much bearing on the success or failure of a game.

I feel it might be questionable to release just after the holidays, as most people are pretty spent, and usually have at least one new game to occupy their time.

The only other time that might induce a rocky launch could occur any time of the year, during a blockbuster game's release that happens to be direct competition. For example, I'd think it'd be financial suicide to try and launch an FPS this November alongside Modern Warfare 2.

Other that the above, I think timing has more to do with what's hot and what's stale in the industry at a given moment, rather than what time of the year it is. I think at least some part of WoW's success was due to what else was available at the time of its launch and the months/years following. It seems to me they tapped into a huge casual player market, much like the Wii, at a time where there wasn't much competition for that demographic.

Posted: Aug 3rd 2009 9:53AM elocke said

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Finally someone with a lick of sense. I hate hearing about release dates not being at certain times of year because of the time of year it is. To me that is just stupid. If the game is good enough, it WILL sell. But like Macabre said, competition is what can make or break sales. That or bad quality.

I see it this way. Take WoW. Do you think it really mattered what day of the year it launched? I don't. Funny thing is the movie industry screws this up as well. If you launched Harry Potter, or Transformers, or Star Trek, or Star Wars, any of the big budget popular movies, at ANY time of year, depending of course on competition, I don't think the date it is released really factors in at all.
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Posted: Aug 3rd 2009 10:09AM (Unverified) said

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Aion: Looks like a grind, although with nice graphics, playable

CO: super hero game, with an in game store, so the people with money will be more uber than you, I'll skip that one.

DDO: interesting, may give it a go if I ever want to try my geekdom mindset of AD&D.

Crimecraft: GTA online? Um...ok.

Fallen Earth: Craft grind game. Very buggy, looking forward to seeing it Epic Fail.

Cities: Making Sim City into a MMO? Your kidding right?

Posted: Aug 3rd 2009 11:01AM (Unverified) said

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Have you even played Aion? How do you know it's a grind game? I don't understand where people are getting this information. In closed beta I have yet to grind @ level 20. I did hear there was some grinding in the higher levels, but WoW and every other MMO at launch has run out of content or offered it so sparsely that it forced the player to grind out a few levels towards the end between quest hubs.

And CO has tried to assure the playerbase that nothing in the store will affect gameplay or "uberness", but I'm more on your side with this one. I believe in subscription-based games because they put everyone on the same level regardless of their real-life financial status. No one should be able to look cooler or have better items or an easier time leveling just because they are willing to pay extra.

To me it's an underhanded way of taking advantage of the die-hard fans in an attempt raise the cost of playing on average. However, things like account management and character re-customization and name changes (ie Blizzard, WoW has micro-transactions too you know), are fair game and do not give certain players benefit over others. Everyone should be able to enjoy the game equally without having to shell out extra cash. Let's just hope CO doesn't go the route of experience potions and the like.
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Posted: Aug 3rd 2009 11:11AM (Unverified) said

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1. DDO is not built on AD&D ruleset, but D&D one.
2. DDO will contain ingame store with items directly affecting gameplay like mana/hp/buff potions.
3. CO ingame store will be more like a system used in guild wars or everquest 2, where things you buy have mostly cosmetic effect. (new costumes, haircuts, character slots).

If you think having a different kind of beard makes you uber, definitely stay away.
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Posted: Aug 3rd 2009 12:04PM (Unverified) said

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Aion: Looks like a grind, although with nice graphics, playable
CO: super hero game, with an in game store, so the people with money will be more uber than you, I'll skip that one.
DDO: interesting, may give it a go if I ever want to try my geekdom mindset of AD&D.
Crimecraft: GTA online? Um...ok.
Fallen Earth: Craft grind game. Very buggy, looking forward to seeing it Epic Fail.
Cities: Making Sim City into a MMO? Your kidding right?

ok, your 1000% wrong on your assessment of Aion

I don't see what the shop has to do with it, I would think there isn't a large enough player base interested in super heroes.

DDO - you condem CO for having a shop but then say DDO, a F2P with nothing but shop is interesting???

Crime - GTA is one of the most popular PC titles ever. So makes sense.

Fallen Earth - agree. I "was" looking forward to it but recent "insights" changed my mind drastically. You guys thought WAR and AoC had bad launches...wait.

Cities - LoL, pretty much my thoughts.
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Posted: Aug 3rd 2009 11:30AM mysecretid said

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The school thing was never an issue for me; if anything, your free time can be more flexible, especially in college.

What's more to the point -- every year, almost like clockwork -- somebody releases a geme in the so-called "off season" (spring, summer) which does far better than it might have normally done, simply because it was released at a time when many gamers were starved for something that was new which didn't suck.

When are game companies going to realize that people only have so much money to spend between September and January 1st?

If you offer us something good during the "dull" part of the year, when we actually have money to spend -- and you're not competing with every other new A-list release in existence -- you might actually have a genuine hit game on your hands.

Posted: Aug 3rd 2009 11:43AM (Unverified) said

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Don't think they matter too much though I wish they were spread out a little more throughout the year. It's been a very dry summer. But come October it's going to be tough to compete with the likes of Borderlands, Alpha Protocol, Uncharted 2, Dragon Age, Brutal Legend, etc., etc..

This year's mmos releases seem a bit light. DDO? Not really a new release. Fallen Earth? Maybe interesting, but haven't heard good things. Aion? No interest in it myself (don't like the art or gameplay), though I expect it'll probably hit it out of the park on release. CO? Weeks till release and still under NDA is a big red flag, though I will say I'm tempted to buy it just on the basis of the character creation system. And anyone even mildly interested in CrimeCraft is probably going to save their money for APB Online.

Posted: Aug 3rd 2009 12:10PM (Unverified) said

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I was of the impression that the largest demo for MMO players was 18-29? When he says "school aged" players who is he talking about? I'm 41 with a career, 3 kids and working on my masters...does that count as school aged?

Posted: Aug 3rd 2009 12:32PM (Unverified) said

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Remember the days when you thought being in college with a single job was time consuming? Heck, I was a Division I athlete, worked part time, and spent a lot of time studying. Oh, and I walked both ways to school, uphill ;)

Now I have only 1 child (three....eeek!) but work a full time job (which takes a lot more work than being a student), do some part time work on the side, and still find time to play LOTRO. While I thought the article had some points (about the games, not relating to drawing sympathy regarding time) it seemed more like the author resented the fact that the MMO world was not conforming to his needs.
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Posted: Aug 3rd 2009 2:19PM (Unverified) said

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Yeah my kids are older so it's not really a big deal. They think MMOs are boring because "all you do is kill stuff" lol.

I walked uphill both ways to school when I was a kid also, we must be from the same area.

As far as time goes, dunno, IMHO MMO's are far easier to manage these days then in the past. I remember the "good old days" of raw merciless grind of AC, EQ and SWG. I don't raid nor go for multi hour marathons (never did) It's really just about managing your time and to be honest the entertainment dividend just isn't there for me at that level of play.
I play MMO's for fun not as a lifestyle so an hour or two, 3 or 4 times a week is way more then enough. Although I did get carried away with Aion this weekend....wings....mmmmmmm......

I guess my point is today, someone is school can easily have an enjoyable / full game experience on a limited time budget. Guild Wars, Warhammer, AoC and a lot of other titles all can easily accommodate this type of player. The days of standing in a corner killing the same spawn for dozens of hours hoping to get a rare drop are lonnng gone thank God.
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Posted: Aug 3rd 2009 12:23PM GRT said

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Fall seems tough to me, not because of school so much as for all the other games coming out starting in October.

For people who only play MMOs this doesn't matter, but there're so many single player games I want to play coming out in Oct. & Nov. that an MMO is going to have to be very, very good to keep me subscribed.

Posted: Aug 3rd 2009 1:00PM Cendres said

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I hate to say it but Dragon Age is probably going to pwn these fall releases, with the exception of Aion, maybe. I don't think it has much to do with when they are releasing but just the quality of the game and/or what type they are.

Aion: Going to be a great game when live hits, word of mouth will take care of it's population.

Crimecraft: I think there's coop games that does this better.

Champions Online: It will be ok at release when it's fresh and new but it better eat it's spinach to compete against DC Online... I'm betting a portion of CoX players who will try this will go back to CoX....

Fallen Earth: It's the little train that could, maybe, will it? Hard to say.

DDO: Will get a few more people in, may even enjoy some profit this time.

CitiesXL: Don't know much about it, but it looks like a fun game for builders.

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