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Reader Comments (118)

Posted: Nov 2nd 2011 11:12AM hami83 said

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Yup, let's all make fun of this guy. GANG UP ON HIM.

Doesn't matter if he's right at some thing, considering Zynga (I hate them btw) has made millions of dollars in the social space. It's Garriot! He's like the Micheal Patcher of the MMO world.

Posted: Nov 2nd 2011 11:49AM commonperson said

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@hami83 Here's the thing, Zynga is a bubble (in economic terms) like the housing bubble or the .com bubble. The ultra-casual game market is already starting to implode and Zynga are an example of a company that actively sought to steal from other companies in order to emulate their success (and is on the books for doing so.) This is hardly a company to be championing and frankly Garriot has no one to thank but him self for the ill will the community have towards him. He's like Peter Molenyux, you can only talk so much of a good game without producing anything. The last project he completed was Tabula Rasa which was a train wreck for developers. His last success was Ultima and the only reason that continues to be in the minds eye is EA still supports it. So his current income from rights over the property are solely due to the people he's slagging.
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Posted: Nov 2nd 2011 11:59AM Lucidus said

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Posted: Nov 2nd 2011 1:16PM Space Cobra said

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@Lucidus

Yeah, but according to that link, Zynga spent money to grow/hire and that drives revenue/profit down. Although the article did mention a 4% drop in players.

I don't mind the new development into the social gaming arena, I think Garriott and others may do something different with it than Zynga has, however, we got no real game as evidence of that yet. And really, I feel, when Garriott and many others finally enter into it, there is not only going to be existing competition, but competition from the ones entering into the field, so numbers of players may/may not cool down.
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Posted: Nov 2nd 2011 11:14AM Ceridith said

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Garriott is out of touch with the current gaming industry. Zynga's success is merely a bubble, one that's already starting to burst. The thing about ultra-casual games meant for non-gamers, is that even if they play for a while and drop some money, eventually they'll get bored, wise up to the revenue model these games use to get people to open their wallets, and leave. Zynga has basically been teaching this generation's non-gamers why gamers typically stay away from these types of games.

Posted: Nov 2nd 2011 11:41AM DevilSei said

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The only reason Zynga exists in the first place is because the guy running the company has personally admitted to ripping off, scamming, and doing every single dirty trick in the book that he could.

Which... actually explains why Garriott is defending Zynga, seeing as they might have plenty in common.

Posted: Nov 2nd 2011 11:45AM commonperson said

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What a tool, he seems to ignore the fact that EA owns one of the larger casual game creators (Popcap) and has invested a large amount in ensuring it's continued prosperity. Honestly this is the dying throes of a hasbeen who can't admit it.

Posted: Nov 2nd 2011 11:47AM (Unverified) said

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The funny thing is all these F2p devs knock Blizzard and other AAA mmorpgs for sticking with the paid subscriptions for their games, believing in ths "f2p revolution" LOL. The truth is, these f2p/hybrid games make their money from a very very very small minority of their players - those that have plenty of money to burn and no life to spend it on. So they spend it in these game's shops and play multiple games as well.

There is no f2p revolution- because while there are many many more players signing up for these mmorpgs, they are also playing a bunch of other games that are f2p/hybrids as well. So there are even less loyal players. So, if a game had 50k subscribers on a monthly basis and then goes to a f2p/hybrid setup and soon has 500k players sign up for that same game - its only a TEMPORARY good thing. Because, as some of you know already, out of those 500k, maybe 10-20k will be loyal to that game and that game alone, most of these people spending real $$ in their game of choice. But the other 480-490 THOUSAND players are playing a bunch of other mmos and are ONLY playing because the game is free to play/try. So while the money may seem like "MORE" at first from the minority spending a ton of $$ in their cash shop, in reality, the game has LOST reliable and loyal players.

Now think of this.... Once a new game comes out and these flip-flopping f2p chasers rush to the next shiney thing they see, some of these cash shop junkies will be taking their $$$ along with them.

The games that have the loyal, appreciative and reliable SUBSCRIBERS will remain, because most of these players play ONLY that one mmorpg. Or if they play multiple ones, the game they subscribe to is their "home mmo", the one they spend the most time in and always come back to.

You will see over the next 1-3 years that this "f2p revolution" will fade away as more and more games are released. Heck, the last two years have seen more mmorpgs released than the 8 years before then. So with more games coming out, these f2p flip floppers will be spread out even more- while the games that stick with the subscription ONLY plan, will keep the majority of their players.

So, let these devs knock Blizz and other subscription only games - because these games are the ones that will continue to grow, remain and thrive over the next few years, when the f2p hype dyes down. Remember this - the longer a player plays multiple mmos, the more bitter and jaded they become from burnout. We already have a huge vocal minroty of burnt out whiners and more and more will be created as time passes.

WOW, Rift and others might flounder a bit, but will stay strong. Also, those f2p.HYBRID games that have a STRONG subscription/premium playerbase will also stay strong.Those games with a majority of free players and a small minority of no-life players that spend hundreds each month - THOSE are the games that will fail in the next few years.

Enjoy all the content you can, because games that are subscription based can always go f2p/hyrbid as a last resort. Those that are ALREADY at a f2p/hybrid have nowhere to go once things start to go bad.

Mark my words people. This is part of the future of our great mmorpg gaming community, You WILL see what I have stated come to pass.


ps.- also, the more burnt out . bitter and jaded players a game has, the worse the community will be. And as the community builds up more ignorant scumbag players, the game itself will start DYING and eventually, games wll not be closing their doors becuase there is a low population, or bugs or lack of content. You will see mmorpgs FAIL and close up shop, because the devs refuse to clean house and remove all these pieces of trash that seem to destroy an mmo's community. THis too is reality and is ALREADY becoming worse day by day.

Good luck to the majority of us that DO appreciate the games we play and play these games for FUN above all else. The rpers, the explorers, the open world pvpers and the people that take their time to read quests, enjoy all of a games content and raids. YOU are the mmorpg genre's FUTURE - not the level rushing, gear junkie, cash-shop addicts that you see in the vocal minority of your favorite games. Stand up and speak your mind. Let the devs know that the appreciative, loyal players in ALL of us is here to stay and will not be swayed by those that let their jaded ignorancy rule their hearts.

Be well travelers of the mmorpg space. You are our communities future! Salute!

-X

(yes, i am half joking with the "tone" in which i wrote the above lol)

Posted: Nov 2nd 2011 12:06PM Seldra said

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If he wants to see a real mobile studio with good games and is stable and successful he should look at Spacetime Studio and not zynga.

Posted: Nov 2nd 2011 12:09PM (Unverified) said

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I was a fan of Garriott for Ultima Online.. but that's pretty much it. He really should have stopped after UO. = /

Posted: Nov 2nd 2011 6:30PM Mystal said

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@(Unverified) UO was the product of Raph Koster, AKA "Designer Dragon." The same guy who led the development for the Star Wars: Galaxies. As far as I can tell, the only thing he did on UO was to collect royalties, and occasionally show up to "role play" Lord British, his alter ego.

Garriott created the original Ultima series, which was pretty good, but failed to evolve like Final Fantasy, Fallout, etc. His only serious MMO attempt was Tabula Rasa, which failed in part because RG was more interested in being a cosmonaut than being a developer.
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Posted: Nov 3rd 2011 3:35AM (Unverified) said

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@Mystal

From wikipedia:
"The initial team was composed of Garriott, Starr Long, Rick Delashmit and, a bit later Raph Koster, who became the lead designer for the project."

From Starr Long's Linkedin: I was the Project Director of Ultima Online, one of the games credited with creating the Massively Online Game industry, and now the longest running MMO in history.

So if anyone was to take credit away from Garriot, it would be Lord Blackthorn himself. I'm not sure where your "as far as I can tell" knowledge comes from, since the game was released 14 years ago and in development for several before that. It seems difficult to glean knowledge from the outside looking in, especially going back 15+ years.

Please, please never give Raph Koster any form of credit that could possibly be misconstrued as positive when discussing Ultima Online again.
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Posted: Nov 2nd 2011 12:20PM BeeblesTV said

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Going to space, brb.

Posted: Nov 2nd 2011 12:24PM Angn said

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Mr Lord British, companies do not OWE the social gaming field a fart.

The assignment of "blame" for "neglecting" the particular market is so MIS-contextualized, it's not even funny.

Posted: Nov 2nd 2011 12:25PM Sente said

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There seem to be a lot of dislike for Richard Garriott in the comments here. My guess is that most people commenting did not bother to read the article from Industry Gamers.

I think her certainly has a point comparing him leaving NCSoft and starting Portalarium with his previous step leaving EA and starting Destination Games.

He is _not_ saying Zynga is making good games and he is not saying Blizzard & EA should switch from making MMOs to social games. He is just pointing out that some of the well-established big companies that make good games are not taking advantage of the opportunity to expand into a new gaming space. So other companies get in there instead, not necessarily doing anything better, yet.

Portalarium's casino games are probably just a testbed for what I perceive is their main work focus at the moment - the Portalarium Player.

Posted: Nov 2nd 2011 12:42PM KDolo said

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@Sente
Maybe, but if youre Richard Garriot, why would you complain that companies are not competing with you in your own market? Unless, of course, you want to shift blame for your game sucking or your market being barren.
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Posted: Nov 2nd 2011 1:09PM Space Cobra said

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@KDolo

Agreed. Garriott should've kept silent about it rather than give his competition ideas, in which EA has already made a few small moves into that arena already.

Also, businesses do not have unlimited funds. You have to focus on what you output and make profit. You can spend the profit in other areas, but then you need to hire more people and studio space. Focus gets diluted and your games may suffer.

While some people/companies can do many things well, generally, for quality sake, it's best to do one thing and do it well than many things mediocre.
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Posted: Nov 2nd 2011 2:03PM smartstep said

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@KDolo

It is because he want either to promote himself as social games genre / generally online games specialist or /and want to get financing from 'big guys' as he has his own company in social games genre.

Surely he would not mind some investment money from EA or some other company put into his products / his company.
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Posted: Nov 2nd 2011 12:35PM SnarlingWolf said

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@Jasdemi

Seriously. The guy did one thing right once and that was it. It isn't like he's a master designer or buisness man. He is a guy who got lucky and couldn't design his way out of an open field.

Posted: Nov 2nd 2011 3:45PM Sente said

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Yes, I probably would and not because any shifting of blame.

I would expect veterans like Garriott and Koster to want to try new things to expand and explore new ways and areas to move computer gaming to, perhaps more than many big companies who want to play safe.

Yes, it may potentially be that Portalarium will fail commercially; so did Metaplace also. Those are learning experiences, so try it differently next time.
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