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Reader Comments (8)

Posted: Apr 21st 2010 8:49PM (Unverified) said

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MMO's will change in the same way games have changed, except applying the rules of mass appeal.

Consider how innovative McDonalds is, as long as its flashy and cheep, it only needs to deliver the basic desire: Fun.

However, they'll be hard pressed to deliver new games any other way than cheep, and I dont know how cheep you could possibly go.

F2P usually requires either micro transactions or in game advertising. World of Warcraft would be free if you saw movie posters and Coke machines in it, the average consumer spends more than 15 a month on both of those products.

Posted: Apr 21st 2010 9:19PM madbassman39 said

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Man, I would love to see McDonalds/Coke/Movie posters in MMOs. Not like everywhere you go, but in the loading screens, or maybe when you log in the chat window says "brought to you by ****". Something that is easily out of your way. I would rather that then pay a sub. Just sayin. Some people hate ads I have no problem with ads, as long as they aren't invasive.
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Posted: Apr 21st 2010 9:03PM (Unverified) said

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As a consumer of MMOs, I don't care about where the business of MMOs are going (which is what this article is actually asking about).

I know what I want, and I have the money for it. The quality, style and type of the content is what is important, balanced with the quantity of money over time that an MMO wishes to extract from me. I have trouble appreciating the significance of F2P that the gaming blogosphere seems to be perpetually abuzz about. I won't play a game that I don't like, just because it's free.

Posted: Apr 21st 2010 9:26PM (Unverified) said

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While I agree with you whole heartedly, the evolution of console games has become limited to the spectrum of performance and polish rather than innovative and fun gameplay. Such is also known in WoW as the gameplay for hardcores becomes redundant after at least two content releases, because its not actually fun, just work.

The reason why I suggest F2P reigning supreme is because 1 gamers dont necessarily have money, often theyre poor with alot of time or theyre kids 2 the economy is still down all over the world, and dont forget people in poor countries 3 games developed without an initial fee will not be as polished so they must make up for it with fun gameplay 4 as we learned with Tabula Rasa, a game that is self sustaining without a monthly fee will be able to (probably) remain online indefinitelly 5 F2P as a payment method is till being innovated with many different venues, a monthly fee is something the average (kid?) or poor person on a public computer cant play and lastly 6 F2P under polished games will be able to run on more machines, consider how WoW fits a larger demographic in comparison to those more machine heavy MMO's such as Age of Conan? :)
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Posted: Apr 21st 2010 9:21PM Gaugamela said

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And when the subscription model dies off i'll just leave this game genre entirely.
The genre is heading torwards turning more and more into a goddamn Skinner Box where game developers just try to addict players to their games and make them spend money.

There's a few honorable exceptions, but unfortunately it's what this genre is turning in to.

Posted: Apr 22nd 2010 8:57AM Crsh said

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Pretty much what I was going to post, I'm truly disgusted by the current trend of western MMOs turning into money shops; the worst offenders are the publishers who would like players to pay for a monthly subscription AND "optional" perks that are heading the way of "non really all that optional".

Just like the ridiculous EA/Xbox/Bioware/whatever "points" model for purchasing extras without making it sound like you need to spend money on that stuff, the endless milking of players is really starting to irk me.
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Posted: Apr 21st 2010 9:19PM Matix said

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My own predictions (ignore the draped DeLorean in my garage):

1) As the second-hand sales of console games and the growing online nature of PC gaming continue their trends, expect MMO growth, particularly with micro-transactions and 7/11-convenient store-type game cards.

2) Expect diversity--and whining thereof: As people have more freedom to choose, people who otherwise wouldn't MMO-game will. Traditional folks will whine as they see people who WERE FORMALLY stuck doing things they hated (*cough* raids *cough*) now have the freedom to tell the bossy/snobbish/hardcore crowd which hobbit hole to shove it in.

3) Expect lots more "clones" of successful games: When DOOM hit back in the 1990's, there were many, MANY clones. In fact, it wasn't for nearly a decade that the genre of DOOM-clone vanished. In short, get used to WOW clones (and maybe SW:TOR clones?) for the foreseeable future, as well as more Farmville and MafiaWars clones, etc.-whatever-the-success--as well.

4) The "Dream Time": years from now, much like other genres (RPGs, FPS, etc.) there will come a time where MMO developers realize that their pre-packaged "clone" drivel isn't making the same "growth-gains" they are during this expansion period now and they will stop telling us what we want and start ASKING.

Posted: Apr 22nd 2010 10:29AM (Unverified) said

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Fallout from recent grind-heavy titles and poorly implemented cash shops will make MMO developers nervous. You'll still see grind games and bad cash shops, but you'll also see developers going out of their way to try and make games that subvert these norms in order to earn subs. Slowly but surely, we'll see higher quality titles and eventually WoW's position at #1 will erode and vanish. There won't be one WoW killer, but a bunch of titles that draw attention away from the aging game.

Farmville clones and other similar facebook titles will explode, flooding the market. Farmville will lead the pack (being first has its advantages), while others will falter. Eventually you'll stop seeing advertisements for these knock-offs when publishers realize they're not the money tree they hoped.

While it might not become as popular as WoW, Bioware's new Star Wars MMO will be uniquely attractive due to the depth of the single player campaign, turning it into a new subgenre of MMOs, the "Single Player" MMO. Players will buy it for the main campaign and enjoy that with the multiplayer aspects as an optional bonus not unlike most single player FPS games. Expansions (and there will be expansions) will heavily focus on all-new storylines, and result in predictable waves of players who play for the first two-three months then leave satisfied to await the next expansion.

Console MMOs will take off. Consoles are rapidly approaching a peak in graphical power, so further expansion will be through online capabilities until they're indistinguishable from computers, except without problems inherent with incompatible hardware and better quality control. Console MMOs will quickly become the trendsetter, because console manufacturers (Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft) simply won't tolerate low-quality games on their platforms. Computer MMOs will become a niche, propelled by indie studios (the source of most original concepts) and fly-by-night publishers (who will provide most of the derivative, exploitive crap).

-SirNiko

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