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Reader Comments (63)

Posted: Dec 9th 2010 1:23PM Eldan said

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I agree most with Jeff Strain, except for the part about achieving the "same level of success". In my opinion games should do what a good author does, decide on an audience and cater to that audience. WoW got lucky early and garnered a decent following, it has since been catering to a specific crowd of gamers. This is even more apparent in games such as EVE. The problems come when games attempt to reach too broad of an audience up front because then they fall short of core gameplay. If they get a dedicated crowd that spreads positive word the the game will be "successful". It may not be "WoW successful" but that doesn't mean much. That is why games such as FFXI, EVE, and Maple Story are all able to stand on their own over time. Generate a loyal fanbase that spreads positive word, don't try to appeal to everyone because that is impossible.

Posted: Dec 9th 2010 2:05PM tchuks said

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@Eldan

Well said. Like the old saying goes "it is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation" (Herman Melville). This expression does not seem to ring true for developers, who are just trying to get the next big WoW game with their own fingerprints on it so they get the cash.

Go back to the basics, make a decent game that is enjoyable and unique, and the people that want to play it will, enough that you can generate enough of a user base to generate a good profit every year. The other option is to make another WoW clone, generate hype for 6 months, release the game, then watch people go back to WoW and your game dies in less than a year.

The more people that enjoy WoW the better, as those people can be focused on WoW, instead of trying to play other MMOs and complaining all the time that the new MMO isn't like WoW. If you enjoy WoW, go play it and have fun. If you want to make another WoW, burn the money instead, it will save you a couple of years of misery.
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Posted: Dec 9th 2010 1:31PM Pewpdaddy said

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WoW with it's current subs for another 20 years... I don't think so, goes to show how out of touch some these people are. I too agree with Jeff, do your own thing and make a quality title. If the gameplay is there "they will come". Everyone is so infatuated with what WoW has done. When in actuality all they did was get the Hardcore MMO'ers in to create a buzz. Then burn them all with E Z Mode in my opinion. Blizz has done well for themselves though I mean their next MMO could be a huge turd and they would still be in good shape.

Posted: Dec 9th 2010 3:08PM DevilSei said

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@Pewpdaddy

Yeah, Pachter is a mighty big joke, and this just proves it.

Hell, there was an article where he was throwing a temper tantrum because Activision wasn't going to monetize CoD, and he's been saying they'd do it soon for several months now. Sadly, for some reason, people love to give him articles.
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Posted: Dec 9th 2010 3:32PM DaShiVa01 said

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@Pewpdaddy Wow's subs are what is keeping it progressing as the game it is. Sure they make a profit out of it, and with the subscription numbers, probably a large profit, but that is primarily through the large numbers.
Any game that wants to be successful, let alone compete with wow, will require to make similar money to suport its development, so they're going to have to charge similarly.
Sure, there's other payment methods other than $15/m subscription, but whatever way you look at it it's going to cost you around the same amount to play.
The only real way to subsidise the amount you pay is via advertising, and most don't want that.
Of course, you can go with the 'free to play, but pay for the game to be any good, but thats just underhanded marketing which usualyl results in the individual paying more to have as good an experience (as those who get the full experience by paying for the perks are also paying to support all the free players also)

In any event, the subscription system works. And not just for wow, but for many other games, millions of other services, and especially offline for everything from magazines to club memberships to timeshares.

Micropayment nickle and diming only works on dumber people, to generalise, so I'm all for it, I'd prefer to keep playing wow with the smarter folks who know their basic economic values.
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Posted: Dec 9th 2010 1:36PM SergeGaltier said

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I think WoW's reign will end once developers take risks, no one is going to make another quest grinder that is going to beat WoW. It obvious any mmo site you head to their are lots of people looking for something different but companies still keep pushing out more of the same old.

Provide a polished game with more freedom and less rails, add in dynamic content with a world people can feel immersed in and you will have a hit.

Posted: Dec 9th 2010 2:19PM Ocho said

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@SergeGaltier

GW2? Well... what we're all hoping GW2 will be, that is...
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Posted: Dec 9th 2010 5:48PM Ayenn said

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@Ocho

GW2 cannot be that. It is a qust grinder/PvP level race.
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Posted: Dec 13th 2010 6:25PM xBludx said

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@SergeGaltier

I like what you've said and I hope we get something like what you've mentioned with more player freedom and choices.

I've had some fun playing Cata, but I have found the leveling experience to make this truly an MSPOG - Massively Single Player Online Game. It is an adventure on rails but there are a couple of tracks you can choose. It is an interactive story because there is only one outcome and you go through the motions and it's done.

This is not to say it's not a fun experience. I just hope we can have different and richer experiences and I think we can. I will look forward to that.
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Posted: Dec 9th 2010 1:37PM End Dream said

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I completely agree. Blizzard will always have the top MMO.

Posted: Dec 9th 2010 1:42PM Valentina said

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Blizzard may always have the top MMO, I doubt it but they may. As for it reigning for 20 years? No. Lol

Posted: Dec 10th 2010 1:55AM Bhima said

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@Valentina

Lets see, Ultima Online has been going on now for what, 12 years? EQ 1 is at like 10 years? I actually think my numbers are lower than what they actually are. Now I ask you, did they ever have the subscription numbers anywhere even near what WoW has? Did they combined ever even reach half of WoWs subscriptions? Once you do the real math and realize that successful MMOs don't just die, they peter out then you can see that it is actually quite reasonable to say WoW will last 20 years.
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Posted: Dec 9th 2010 1:46PM Jaimie said

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@BrockObama911

Cataclysm came out only two days ago, why would you expect them to publish numbers now? And why do you act like they need to prove something to people like you who feel the need to scrutinize their numbers and pray for the day they go under?

I really don't understand you people who claim that WoW is "dying"; you must not even play the game. There are close to 250 US servers alone now, and there have been no plans to merge any due to lack of population. And since Cataclysm was released, server queues have been at 20+ minutes for all the servers I play on. Not exactly what you would expect from a "dying" game, right?

Posted: Dec 9th 2010 1:47PM cray said

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@BrockObama911

Cataclysm will sell more than the last expansion, but I do think it's on it's last leg. I give it 20 weeks and we'll be hearing more Free to Play implementation.

Posted: Dec 9th 2010 1:58PM delphinius81 said

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PLEASE, I BEG you, IGNORE gaming analyst comments that come from Michael Pachter! This guy is very often wrong and has no clue about the gaming industry. My dog can randomly push buttons that will result in more accurate analysis.

WoW for 20 years? Maybe, but not with the massive subscription numbers it has now. Blizzard will release WoW 2 or some other MMO at some point and that will topple it. There will be those that keep playing, but most people would move on to the sequel, assuming it is a quality game. The main competition to Blizzard in the MMO space will be Blizzard.

Posted: Dec 9th 2010 5:51PM ImperialPanda said

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@delphinius81

So why don't you go get yourself a 6-figure job? Or better yet, have your dog do it.

When you read a quote of a single sentence from someone, you have to consider the context very carefully.

For video games, and technology in general, it's obviously extremely difficult to predict far into the future. When someone says a game will be dominant for 20 years, you have to consider that that's compairing it to games that haven't even started development yet, games that have not even began to be conceptualized.

Following that, then, the 20 years statement is obviously an estimation based on trendlines of WoW subscription population versus MMOs released in the past few years versus MMO subscription trends in general. You can't factor in surprise breakout games in the future because they are, by definition, surprise breakouts (duh). They occur at completely random frequencies and intervals.

No one can predict with any serious accuracy what will be the next Ebay, Google, Facebook, or what the most popular game will be in 5 years.
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Posted: Dec 9th 2010 1:58PM Beltyra said

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@BrockObama911

It's been...24? hours since the numbers were even probably collected. With every single country buying this game, give them some time. I think you'll be surprised.

But troll harder hater.

Posted: Dec 9th 2010 1:58PM Nef said

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I think what they mean with the twenty year bit is that it will take at least that long for another MMO to come along that will fill the same role as WoW -- the massive MMO that everyone copies and everyone (even non-gamers) knows about. Not that WoW will last twenty years. (At the rate the expansions are going, I would expect players to be demi-gods in a few years, can't imagine them after another twenty.)

It very well could take that long, though I seriously doubt it. WoW is the MMO that went mainstream when the genre as just a wee niche in the gaming landscape, when other major MMOs counted their subscriber base in a few hundred thousand. (and most still do) That isn't something you just overcome easily or quickly.

Posted: Dec 9th 2010 3:10PM delphinius81 said

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@Nef

No, Michael Pachter means exactly what he says (which is why he is always so wrong). He really thinks that WoW will be selling strong 20 years from now. Let's ignore the fact that in 5 years we could all be playing MMOs on 3D surround-screen systems. Not like technology advances at all with time...
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Posted: Dec 9th 2010 2:05PM xyna031 said

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Complete cronological series of events that will ocur and make blizzard even more millionare:

WoW Cata > Diablo 3 > StarCraft 2 Expansion > Diablo 3 Expansion > New Blizzard MMO

.....

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