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Reader Comments (35)

Posted: Nov 9th 2011 11:39AM jimr9999us said

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The mmog's poised for the greatest success in the next 5 years will be the ones that allow a variety of world experiences and gameplay options cross platform.

My guess is Titan will be first, but Trion is moving awfully fast. Smart phones will mean the death of AAA mmog's if someone doesn't adapt.

Posted: Nov 9th 2011 11:47AM Comrade Domovoi said

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CMON BLIZZARD BABY. I'm currently subbed to WoW but having it as F2P as the majority of other nice MMOs (play LOTRO here and there) would be very nice. Also, regarding that comment about LEGO Universe: they're completely brainless for doing that, they never had a chance to be a sub game and the entire setup of the game with its segmented areas was a perfect fit for a F2P model.

Posted: Nov 9th 2011 12:03PM DarkWalker said

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@Comrade Domovoi

For WoW, just dropping the price of the base game and the expansions - and instead making money from the subscriptions and micro-transactions - should already give it a nice boost (or, at the very least, reduce the rate they are losing players).

For me, I'm currently unsubscribed. I have no interest in getting back into WoW the way it currently stands, but MoP has perked my interest. I won't purchase the expansion just to try and see if I like it enough to subscribe again to the game, though; if Blizzard is still charging for the expansion, I'll most likely wait for a free trial before even considering a purchase.
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Posted: Nov 9th 2011 12:01PM yeppers said

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Wow... such an increase in F2P games ... looks almost like a bubble... hm.

Posted: Nov 9th 2011 12:04PM DarkWalker said

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@yeppers
On the other hand, the bubble covers MMOs as a whole, not just F2P.
If / when it bursts, it will most likely take it's toll on subscription games too.
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Posted: Nov 9th 2011 12:51PM yeppers said

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@DarkWalker

You might be right... something I'm not against if it means the quality of MMOs goes up after a market lull, giving way to some quality single player games. Maybe some good IPs will be created/expanded during a gap in MMO demand.
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Posted: Nov 9th 2011 12:06PM SnarlingWolf said

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84% are likely to be enjoying a browser title - really? I'd like to see how this survey was done, the demographics and of how many people.

I know a lot of MMO players, but not one of them plays a single browser based MMO.


Also due to the rush for every company to get into F2P mode. There are far more games with a f2p option than there are games that are subscription only. So it is far more surprising that the few subscription only games are still pulling in over 50% of the revenue from MMOs and ALL of the rest of the F2P are splitting a little less than 50%. That actually looks really bad for F2P profitability.

Posted: Nov 9th 2011 12:10PM DarkWalker said

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@SnarlingWolf
I'm a MMO player, with a number of lifetime accounts and a pair of subscriptions. I'm also currently playing two browser MMOs, and from time to time will try other browser MMOs.
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Posted: Nov 9th 2011 12:13PM SnarlingWolf said

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@DarkWalker

Good for you, I didn't say that no one plays browser based MMOs. I said that 84% can't possibly be accurate and that the demographics/sample size of the study probably caused some significantly skewed results.
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Posted: Nov 9th 2011 12:19PM Adeptus Enginus said

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@SnarlingWolf

Mate, do you play client based MMOs? If that's the case, then of course everyone you know is going to play client based MMOs, you MET them in client based MMOs. That's like saying "I'm a football player, I don't know anyone who plays baseball".

I personally don't play any browser based MMOs, but I can easily see how they would hold a majority for the most part. Runescape, even in spite of the recent massive bot killing, still retains more players than most client based MMOs, and also keep in mind that a survey like this would likely consider more off things like AdventureQuest (God help us...) to be an MMO (which they technically are, but not in the eyes of gamers like us), which are played by a substantial casual audience.

To further this point, I'll simply say this: Farmville is technically an MMO, just not an MMO made for gamers.
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Posted: Nov 9th 2011 1:09PM SnarlingWolf said

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@Adeptus Enginus

I'm not referring to people I met in game. I am referring to people I met and know in the REAL WORLD.

So that theory does not work even the slightest bit.

And no, farmville isn't even close to technically an MMO.
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Posted: Nov 9th 2011 2:29PM Space Cobra said

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@SnarlingWolf

"I'm not referring to people I met in game. I am referring to people I met and know in the REAL WORLD.

So that theory does not work even the slightest bit."

And no.

Again, you are going off personal experience. And we don't know if they included Farmville in their MMO-category. If they did, do you know anyone that plays Farmville out of your real-world friends? Let's just look at their player numbers....it's alot, again, there MUST be some folks you know that....no?

Thing is, you and I and Adeptus don't know these people, but there is a "force of folks" out there playing these types of games and are considerable. Hell, I have never watched the "Twilight" series of movies and never will, but they are making sequels and apparently a woman screams every 3.2 seconds about it. I've never SEEN these people in my personal life, but there they are...somewhere...and sequels are being made.
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Posted: Nov 9th 2011 2:46PM Sente said

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@SnarlingWolf The text in the source article actually says:

"Overall, 84 percent of U.S. MMO gamers play browser-based MMOs, while half of these gamers also play client-based MMOs."

which has a slightly different meaning that what was written in the Massively post. A sentence at the end of that article points to that League of Legends is considered an MMO in this context, so MMO probably means any online multi-player game.
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Posted: Nov 9th 2011 3:39PM Beau Hindman said

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@SnarlingWolf I cover browser-based MMOs. RuneScape and others have numbers you would not believe.

Browser and mobile is the future, I've said it for a long time. It's just a switch of technologies, not genre or quality level. The browser and mobile can just do more now, and of course people would rather go without a massive download.

It's just a natural progression.

Beau
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Posted: Nov 9th 2011 12:08PM DarkWalker said

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Lol, from the source article, seems like the US is the last bastion for non-F2P MMOs. In Europe, Asia, and the other emerging countries, F2P revenues is already above half the total MMO revenues; in fact, in emerging countries, F2P revenue is almost 50% higher than non-F2P revenue.

Posted: Nov 9th 2011 12:13PM Rodj Blake said

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It's odd in a way.

People used to pay for their internet access by the minute, and now they pay a subscription for it.

I'd guess that the proportion of people who have PAYG mobiles has dropped over the last few years as well.

So why should MMOs be the exception?

It could because they're marketed as being free, even though you end up paying more if you want to access all of the available content.

Sonner or later, people will wise up.

Posted: Nov 9th 2011 2:36PM Space Cobra said

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@Rodj Blake

That's a great point, however, I would say internet access, especially when it first started, was aimed at BIG corporate businesses that could pay $25.00 (or more) an hour for prime time usage (6am-6pm)...and people working overtime could pay roughly half that for non-primetime usage.

Certain models and costumers did not figure into all of that at that time. College Students got their internet for free thanks to Universities and the U.S. government. Big Business was the intended target for those rates at that time.

Of course, the target changed and people started targeting consumers. And yes, AOL charged by the hour, but it still was lower and fairly easy for novices to sign-in.

Not saying you are wrong, but there is always a way to go after profits in another way. ;)
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Posted: Nov 9th 2011 2:54PM Sente said

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@Rodj Blake Internet access is a very generic service with lots of applications and something people expect to always be there and "everyone" has it. That is why fixed fees works there.

If you were offered a flat fee to be able to visit the local cinema as much as you want for $100 per month, would you go for that? Or would you prefer to pay for each visit still?
And whichever option you would choose, could you see that others might want to choose differently?

The key aspect here is choice IMHO and pretty much all of the Western MMO titles are hybrids anyway - you have both fixed fee options as well as pay-per-stuff options.
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Posted: Nov 9th 2011 12:16PM Utakata said

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I sometimes wonder if this simply all to do with what's available. So if subscription models where all the rage and and every MMO studio, save for a few exceptions and hold outs, was pushing it, wouldn't then P2P become the majority of how people who play these in the good ole U of A? It seems to me then this is a game company inflated phenomenon as oppose to a player one.

Posted: Nov 9th 2011 2:50PM Space Cobra said

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@Utakata

IMHO, I would say not. You have to consider other countries and how the internet is connected. Those foreign countries would be making f2ps and people, even in the U.S. and Europe, would find out and start playing them, at least on the side, because they are free.

Now, let's expand your premise to include these countries: I've only seen a few early MMOs offer subs there and these eventually disappeared and there were not many in the first place. In fact, from personal perspective, there were not *that many* MMOs on the market when p2p was king, especially from small studios and such.

Why? Well, maybe it's a variety of reasons, actually. First of all, while games are "big business" in Asia, the perception of gamers still is rather low in most of society. Young people and poor students. You could say the same thing here, too, but to a ever-growing lesser degree. Couple that with the past. Lots of free text MUDs and MUCKs and a few graphical game portals that required subscriptions, but were not that really well-known or big. Then couple that with investment capital (and again, how "adult" or well-known games are). The perception of, "will it make money?"

Of course, the biggest shot was UO, but that was totally self-funded to begin with by Origin Systems (which was shortly later bought by EA when the game launched or thereabouts).

I would think...the barrier to entering the market is smaller with f2p games (and yes, it can show in quality). Less monetary investment. Of course, "mobile gaming" is even "newer", so that is sorta related, but separate and has an even lower level of entry devs are just now discovering.

I would think if subs were still the norm, there would be LESS gaming choice out there. Games would certainly close (and never return, assuming we never heard of f2p) and things would be much like they were around the late '90's-early 2000's. Handful of titles.
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