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Reader Comments (19)

Posted: Mar 9th 2010 9:25AM TheJackman said

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social gaming is not the same as mmo there are some tie ins but its not the same!..... so why do I read about this crap on this site?!

Posted: Mar 9th 2010 10:46AM Keen and Graev said

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I have to go with Jack on this one. Massive amounts of people playing does not make it a MMO. Almost any "Multiplayer" game would meet these standards today.

To address your question Jack, they answered the question in the piece. More and more developers + a growing market means that Massively is going to talk about it because they are a business. One way or another, it brings more people to their site.

Despite what same may think, I do not feel that these games are here to stay. I think it's a really big fad. It will eventually fizzle out.
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Posted: Mar 9th 2010 10:59AM SgtBaker said

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I really wish I could read about Massively Multiplayer Games when I come to Massively. But as pointed out - we're probably going to get more and more stuff filed under "social gaming" (such a misleading term that).

Sigh.. get off my lawn...
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Posted: Mar 9th 2010 11:23AM Dblade said

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Keen, if it's Massively, Mulitplayer, and Online, it's an MMO. There's subjectivity, and if you were saying MMORPG I'd agree with you, but an MMO fits a lot of things.

I'm not sure what Massively's mission statement is or definition on what constitutes something they can cover. Games like MAG, Champions Online, or Second Life stretch the idea of a MMO is so many ways.
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Posted: Mar 9th 2010 9:42AM Beau Hindman said

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Despite the differences, social gaming is massive. In fact, there are more players playing with these games than there are "standard" MMO players.

The technology will catch up, and these games will no longer just be loosely connected groups of people, but millions of players connected through persistent worlds. Already on Facebook there are some games that essentially do this.

So, while social gaming is not the same as a "normal" MMO, it is only getting closer over time. It's something to watch because that's what the developers are watching, and because more people are playing these games than ever before.

Posted: Mar 9th 2010 9:53AM Dandmcd said

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Thumbs up to you Beau, there will a come a day where we will be launching our favorite MMO's straight from the browser on Facebook, and all of our achievements, equipment, and lots of information will all be recorded in Facebook ,and shared to other fans of the game ,and your friends list on FB. The technology isn't quite there yet, FB still has some issues that need to be worked out, but eventually the ultimate persistent world of Farmville might be reality, a lot of gaming companies want a piece of this new pie, SOE ported over Pox Nora, and EA and Turbine are testing some ideas using Facebook as well.
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Posted: Mar 9th 2010 10:29AM SgtBaker said

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Except no one really wants to be "connected". Sure the worlds are persistant, your high-score table (or whatever, armory, gear etc) is visible to all to see, you can have a watercooler talk about your new Farmville fence and you might even see other players pottering about ("progressing") - but heaven forbid if they actually talk to you - or even worse - want to do stuff together!

Gameplay elements for all these games are just limited to single-player-diamond-hunt.

And fair enough, it's been going that way for MMO's too, so I wouldn't be surprised if there was a tie-in game between the "Single Player MMO" breed and the "Social Facebook Game" sooner or later - a lot of the game design elements match.

I wouldn't mind, especially if that meant I could enjoy my /Massively Multiplayer/ Games (the few that are left) with other people instead of someone constantly insisting that everything should be casually soloable and instanced so they can have /their own/ experience, instead of experiencing things together with others.
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Posted: Mar 9th 2010 9:54AM (Unverified) said

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It seems there will always be a market for games that provide assholes with mindless time-wasters. I prefer my time-wasters a bit more engaging.

Posted: Mar 9th 2010 10:18AM (Unverified) said

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There is nothing that says a Facebook game can not be as in-depth as Eve Online, World of Warcraft, or any other MMO out there.

It would be nothing for blizzard to create a quick wrapper client for World of Warcraft that allows the game to be played through your favorite browser. Then from theres its nothing more then a matter of adding afew hooks with facebook to allow things to be tracked. Heck theres already apps that allow will post your achievements from WoW to twitter. You can check the armory from your iphone.

It's just a matter of time before the two systems intergrate together and create a system that allows you to communicate and track / talk with your friends no matter where and what game they are playing.

So please explain why Facebook games have to be nothing more then mindless time-wasters. Just because some of the current facebook games are doesnt mean its always going to stay that way.

Thats just like back when Zelda and FF was released. They where just shells of RPG's. Book look at what the RPG market has turned into and the amount of depth that comes out of them.
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Posted: Mar 9th 2010 10:33AM (Unverified) said

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I think your Zelda reference says more to support my comment than yours. RPGs have been dumbed down by consoles.

Need proof? Play Star Control 2, any of the SSI games, Ultima... let's say 4 through 7.5, Might and Magic or Wizardry and tell me the RPG aspects of these games haven't been pushed to the side in favor of cheap character building mechanics in the FF and Zelda series.

And what is the story in the Zelda series, anyway? They're all interchangeable. Link has to collect three this's to save/destroy that, but it turns out he really needs to collect these other things because these three original things get stolen or used against him, and then he finds the super sword and kills the original antagonist, but it turns out he was just a puppet for the final boss.

Also, I wonder how many people you just insulted by equating the mind-numbing banality of Farmville, Vampire Wars, Glamor whatever, Mafia and all those other crap games with FF and Zelda.

Additionally, read this...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zynga
Skip down to the controversies section and tell me you want more of this in your MMOs.
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Posted: Mar 9th 2010 10:31AM Pewpdaddy said

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Please don't take the the wrong way.... But the folks who play the "Social" massive games as you guys call them can have them. I for one will be avoiding any client based "regular" mmo that ties into Facebook, Twitter or any of the other social gimmicks. I am currently and will forever be social page free. The only pages I go to that are remotely social are forums such as these and my guild pages. I pray they do not lump regular MMO's into these as you stated above.

Posted: Mar 9th 2010 11:38AM Dblade said

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Beau, my personal view is that these ideas don't have legs. I think of social games in the same way I think of the Wii. Both have shallow, simplistic, but appealing gameplay. However we see the end of facebook already with the Wii: the "advanced games" don't sell. What sells is really the same old minigame collections and gimmick games.

I think the experience itself matters, not the extras like connectivity. The facebook experience is just too shallow in itself to support advanced games, and my bet would be we will soon see a list of big companies getting in on the act and then a string of high profile failures.
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Posted: Mar 9th 2010 10:39AM Beau Hindman said

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Pewpdaddy,

Understand that the social tie-ins will, instead, come to your games. Most gaming companies are already recognizing the ability of Facebook/Twitter style communications, and are incorporating them into their communications.

You have to define what it means when they are talking about these new communications. Are they talking about doing away with a client altogether? Not at all. The existent client-based developers are simply talking about using these new tools to broaden the experience of their games. Fallen Earth, for example, is releasing an iPhone app. Is this a bad decision, or a smart one? And how is a forum any different than, essentially, playing Mafia Wars? Mafia Wars is essentially a MUD, but unlike posting on a forum it is much more involved.

As far as Farmville type games "taking over" or becoming the norm, it is not about that either. It is about games like that showing traditional developers that these new trends are making HUGE amounts of money. Mafia Wars is doing very, very well, and developers of all kinds would be smart to pay attention.

"Regular" MMOs are not going away, but changing and taking on new ideas. And Facebook style games are going to be getting close to "regular" MMOs everyday. The lines are blurring, that's all.

Beau

Posted: Mar 9th 2010 10:51AM Pewpdaddy said

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My main problem is the social networking sites are just plain aggrovating... You want to know what I'm doing? Call me.... Don't expect me to twitter that I'll be away for a bit cuz I'm in the shower. Mean while your gem of a game mafia wars is built on this business model.

http://www.thebostonchannel.com/news/21572242/detail.html

I am an IT professional by trade, I've seen what these so called games harbor in their code. The day that my MMO is pushing adware onto my machine. Points at gPotato and the "Pando Media Booster" is the day that game gets dropped like a bad habit. Yes they are making money, but are they doing it ethically? Nope, probably not a one of them. I spend more of my time cleaning malware than actually fixing anything. All because of your "free" this or "social" that.

If the social tie in's are in game.... Maybe I'll consider it. If my progress is gonna be blasted on some website "Pewpdaddy just killed the one-eyed mggilicutty". You can bet I'll avoid it, and I hope I'm not alone. I'd be interested to see the amount of money these social sites make sharing their data with ad agencies.
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Posted: Mar 9th 2010 10:40AM Pewpdaddy said

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@ Kdolo

not being a pain but in reference to your comment below....

"Additionally, read this...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zynga
Skip down to the controversies section and tell me you want more of this in your MMOs."

Your too late ^^

http://allods.gpotato.com/
http://na.aiononline.com/

Both almost identical to WoW ... similar mechanics a 2 faction PvP system the list goes on and on.... As long as the sheep keep paying and playing we will get more and more of the same crap....Personally looking forward to FFXIV and maybe SW: TOR ... DDO is pacifying me for now.

Posted: Mar 9th 2010 12:22PM (Unverified) said

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I was referring more to the Lead Generation scams section, but true, you got me there :)
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Posted: Mar 9th 2010 12:04PM (Unverified) said

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You guys sound like all the old folks saying that rock and roll is mindless and doesn't have the depth and skill of big band music.

Perhaps you are upset that there are no longer letters in phone numbers? Upset that CDs and digital downloads don't have the full range of sounds that LPs do?

"These games are not MMORPGs!"

Hey - WoW is not a MMORGP. There is virtually no RP that goes on in that game. And Warhammer, Conan and every other game that has came after it (except Eve) is a ripoff of WoW.

There is a reason Lord British is getting into this business.

Any video game company not trying to jump on this fast moving train is destined for the dust bin of history.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIFYPQjYhv8

Posted: Mar 9th 2010 2:03PM Cinnamoon said

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I see RP in WoW all the time. It's an RPG if you make it an RPG.

It's just not new or news that casual games are big money. They've always been big money, and there's always a big market there. People like Garriott get into the business because there's profit to be made off of mindless tools.

But I think we'd be silly to assume *Facebook* will be the future of online gaming. Online gaming is the future of online gaming. Facebook is big now, but it won't be forever, not the shoddy, amateurish way it's run. It has some momentum propelling it forward, but so did MySpace, and look where it is today -- a punchline. Large chunks of the world don't even use Facebook at all. In five years, ten years, we'll all be onto something else entirely. Developing strictly for Facebook is beyond foolish -- it's a cheap way to piggy-back onto someone else's system and drum up players for your game, but it won't last forever.
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Posted: Mar 9th 2010 2:27PM (Unverified) said

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Myspace is in the same place UO is. It's still around but people moved on to something else.
If you think that social media is a fad...well, then it's good that you are not in the video game business...or any business for that matter.
If you think that blowing another 15-50 million on another WoW clone that doesn't incorporate social media is a good idea...you just have to take my word that type of thinking is not going to make any video game company any money.
I have to give you credit for the point about RP in WoW. I've seen it too...and my hats off to those people. Blizzard gives RPer absolutely zero tools for RP and like you, it bugs me that it's insanely popular.
Not all Facebook games are casual. They are more like the gateway drug to MMORPGs.

Facebook isn't wildly successful because of how it's run. It's successful because it's collaborative media and everyone is using it.
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