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Reader Comments (18)

Posted: Nov 3rd 2011 3:33PM edgecrusherO0 said

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Looks like the bubble is beginning to pop. Too many companies trying to get too many pieces of the pie.

Posted: Nov 3rd 2011 3:40PM Arkanaloth said

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@edgecrusherO0 I hope that's not the case but these events stringing back to back are not reassuring.
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Posted: Nov 3rd 2011 4:55PM SnarlingWolf said

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@edgecrusherO0

I don't think it is the bubble popping, I think it is all of the crap being cleaned up.

Everyone wanted in on the "easy to make millions" MMO market after seeing things like WoW's numbers. So they rushed to make crap and get it out there to get some money. Companies that did make money on a solid product like CCP rushed to see how many more products they could get out instead of growing slowly and expanding slowly.

It was a gold rush, and with every gold rush most people actually go broke, only the first ones end tend to make it rich.

That is why you don't hear SOE (shockingly with their troubles), Turbine, Blizzard laying people off. Turbine learned the lesson of trying to expand too quickly and has now gone back to concentrating on its products. Blizzard waited years to start working on its second MMO and isn't in a rush to get it out there because it is expanding slowly.

It's like the early Atari console market where everyone rushed in to throw a crap game on the pile to make a buck. Too much crap piled up and everyone stopped buying. The console market died off a lot for a bit and then when it came back people made sure not to all pile on the crap.

The MMO market will shrink down some, restructure and then later it will get new entries at a higher quality/slower pace then before.
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Posted: Nov 3rd 2011 5:53PM (Unverified) said

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@SnarlingWolf

SOE already had their layoffs in March, before the large security breach,

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/33836/SOE_Hit_With_205_Layoffs_Three_Studio_Closures_Agency_Cancelled.php

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Posted: Nov 3rd 2011 7:28PM Skyydragonn said

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@SnarlingWolf
Probably the most succinct way of explaining the situation I've ever seen.
excellent comment
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Posted: Nov 3rd 2011 8:36PM thud said

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@SnarlingWolf

What you just described is precisely the mechanics of "bubble and burst."

Remember the dot-com bubble? Everyone was getting money thrown at them by VCs, a lot of money. It was all about rapid growth, get as big as possible, as fast as possible, with as many customers as possible, even when it means you're spending so much your sitting on net losses, big losses. It's a business model that takes the risk of the market not persisting long enough for that initial spending to balance out into amazing profit over time by retaining customers.

The MMO market is the same. Jump back a year or two before everyone went f2p and think about the status of the major f2p publishers (gameforge being one of them). They all had 5-10 games hosted, one for every "theme" imaginable, even if the company was in its infancy. They spent a lot of money to buy publishing rights, casting out as big of a net as possible to pull in as many players as possible. But the games were all "crap" as you called them. Maybe one was profitable, but the rest were losing money. Over-saturation means none of these guys can retain customers. The market didn't persist.

Pop goes the bubble.

But fear not! Out of the wreckage of the dot-com crash arose Web 2.0. Innovation when it was needed most. MMOs can surely do the same. We just have to wait and see who can weather the storm and come out on the other side unshaken.
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Posted: Nov 3rd 2011 3:34PM real65rcncom said

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Everyone's trying to get all slim and trim for the SWTOR release, lol! I can't imagine how many will lose their jobs when GW2 gets launched...

Companies are trying to free up some stuff so the sting won't be too bad is my guess.

Posted: Nov 3rd 2011 3:46PM Lucidus said

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@real65rcncom I doubt a sub game like SWTOR is a threat. GW2, though, since it is b2p, could be.

I can see them dumping the Trek game, since STO already exists and will be f2p once the devs figure out what the hell they're doing.
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Posted: Nov 3rd 2011 3:50PM DevilSei said

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@real65rcncom

Actually, its called Mythos failing hard, which is resounding through them and affecting other parts of the company's development. How the release of a P2P game affects a F2P publisher makes no sense.
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Posted: Nov 3rd 2011 5:07PM Space Cobra said

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@DevilSei

Yeah, agreed there. They had Mythos and it didn't take off, so their expansion efforts in the company's efforts didn't work in this case. If you spend money and it doesn't work, it hurts. Plus the danger of Star Trek : Infinite space not launching without a partner, could be more money down a drain.

All companies are in a tight bind, but this is not a good sign for any newer and more experimental MMOs entering the scene, because investors generally want safe bets (although you will have risk takers, but they are in the minority and tend to feel gun-shy if they lose out).
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Posted: Nov 3rd 2011 5:43PM real65rcncom said

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@DevilSei

Mythos failing is one thing. That could be the answer. But any game affects any other company. Price doesn't matter.

The main thing regarding games is time played. If people are not spending time in a game, that's not good. For P2P games it means that people will drop the sub; people don't keep subbing to games they hardly touch.


For FTP games, it means people aren't likely to spend in money in the shops which means the games will shutdown. Either way, the key thing is time first, not money.
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Posted: Nov 3rd 2011 4:15PM smartstep said

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Agree with edgecrusher.


There is simply too many mmos and especially mmorpg's on the market.
Seriously nowadays it seems like everyone and their cat want to have their own mmorpg out there.

Sorry that won't work. F2P model won't auto-magically solve this as well.
Too many titles, games are already very casual and noob-friendly so there is no reserves left here to aquire new playerbase.

So yeah I see much more news like this to come. While I feel for people losing their work I actually think bursting the bubble will do good for genre itself.

Just making another mmorpg copy won't do anymore, as well as just sticking 'free to play' won't bring tons of revenue and profits anymore either imho.

Some investors just have to take their money elsewhere and some others curb down their % profit expectations. It is unavoidable imho.

Posted: Nov 3rd 2011 5:31PM JoeH42 said

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@smartstep Totally agree. Every time I hear of a new MMO I just roll my eyes and keep on playing LoTRO. I'm going to give a certain upcoming MMO a shot because it sounds like the company has been putting serious effort into making it a good game and it's a good company doing it.
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Posted: Nov 3rd 2011 4:18PM Protoavis said

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ST:IS has been promoting account creation for a while now so they must be somewhat close to an actual release, would kind of suck for it not to get the chance to launch.

Posted: Nov 3rd 2011 5:23PM aaradun said

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Crappy F2P released software bubble bursting now that's there actualyl AAA titles going F2P

Posted: Nov 3rd 2011 7:29PM dudes said

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It's been seen in many industry's. The financial world is a crock of **** right now.

Posted: Nov 3rd 2011 7:34PM Fabius Bile said

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F2P are the future!!!

Posted: Nov 4th 2011 1:55PM (Unverified) said

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Maybe the MMO market is just shrinking? Less people less money to go around. It's possible but I think it's unlikely, of course I am biased.
What use to stop a lot of people (by that I mean me, hopefully I'm generalisable enough) from playing a lot of MMO was that at one time most of the good ones were sub-based, sure I didn't mind paying for a sub but I didn't feel like paying for 3 so my money went to WoW and I was happy for a while (it got old and I started looking around). Now that things are going F2P the concern isn't money anymore it's time, so many games and so little time to play them and it's not just MMOs.
So much like the over saturated FPS market I'm hoping that this particular turn of events will mean more focus on innovation and quality, leading to a all around better gaming experience for everyone.

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