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Reader Comments (16)

Posted: Dec 27th 2011 10:00PM Space Cobra said

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Yeah, I see some in the United States already being affected by data caps (one commentor at Engadget stated he got grandfathered into the older, unlimited data plan, however, his fast speeds got throttled back to around .5 when he went over. So, the companies are starting to find ways already to punish you, even if have an older contract.

Posted: Dec 27th 2011 10:02PM Space Cobra said

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Otherwise, yes,browser-games will be the "slow surprise" that slowly comes in at low tide and slowly fills up a bay during high tide. One could miss it if they don't pay attention, but it's coming.

Posted: Dec 28th 2011 1:07AM Raikulxox said

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Having an active sub in RuneScape and Glitch (all for less than a "normal" MMO sub), I agree with this prediction.

Posted: Dec 28th 2011 3:30AM Seffrid said

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When browser-based games offer the same quantity of content and quality of gameplay with no lesser security threats as the mainstream MMOs then they may extend their appeal, and in those circumstances they would naturally offer a better way of serving up those mainstream MMOs. Until then, however, they will remain a niche market aimed primarily at the younger players.

Whether that change will come about in 5 years, or indeed ever, I have no idea, but it's an interesting prediction.

Posted: Dec 28th 2011 9:08AM ScottishViking said

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I think your note about the bandwidth capping is an interesting one, Beau. I'd love to see a study done to correlate the popularity of browser (or no-download) games to countries with low bandwidth caps or high overage fees. Do you know of any statistics or materials on this subject?

Posted: Dec 28th 2011 9:19AM Beau Hindman said

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@ScottishViking I haven't made a good chart, no. :) I have a lot of readers from around the world, and what really startled me was how many of them talked about data capping/problems with download caps. One friend of mine had to stop covering FTP games because of the client downloads.

But, I have studied it for a while and need to make an article of it. It's just that it sort of makes for bland reading material, but is definitely part of the bigger concern.

Thanks!

Beau
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Posted: Dec 28th 2011 9:28AM ScottishViking said

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@Beau Hindman

I live in Canada, and this discussion is definitely relevant for many Canadians. The ISPs here are nothing better than feudal lords -- a few monopolistic entities that create a climate of zero competition. The consumer always loses, and bandwidth is a precious commodity.

Check out the history of the OpenMedia.ca movement for more details on this.
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Posted: Dec 28th 2011 11:05AM (Unverified) said

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A couple of things needs to be in order for this to happen:
-The graphics will have to compete.
-The interactivity and UI must reach the same levels.
-The safety must be in place.
-The content must be as extensive.

Now given that it takes at least 5 years now to create a new AAA mmo, and no company has started to make a game that comes close to all of those bulletpoints there, I can assure you that:

1. This won't happen in 2012 (as the topic was about)
2. This won't happen in 5 years (as "the derailer" claims)

It may happen in 10 years, but then again, the world might not be around by then, so what is the point is this other than to gain attention on far out superstitious ideas like this?

Posted: Dec 28th 2011 1:57PM Beau Hindman said

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@(Unverified) I think you have to consider a few points:

1) Graphics are not the issue. Not only are there already tools like Unity that can do graphics of equal quality, but many games will simply transfer their current titles TO the browser. Runes of Magic, for example, is testing a browser version. Looks the same, acts the same.

2) The browser is quite possibly already the most popular delivery system for content. My 5 year prediction might actually be too far out. RuneScape has at the very least 100s of thousands of players, then you can add in games like Club Penguin and others. I interviewed a browser developer at GDC this last year and went to his live site. They had 120,000 active players on at the moment I was interviewing him. 120k!

3) The safety is already there. If you have ever done your banking online or purchased anything online, you have already trusted the security that the browser provides. It is the same with many MMOs.

It's not superstition at all. It's already happening. :)

Thanks for the comments!

Beau
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Posted: Dec 28th 2011 3:14PM (Unverified) said

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@Beau Hindman I still disagree:

1) I would like to see an AAA title being converted to the browser before I make any judgements here. And not Runes of Magic... To me at least, graphics are essential. Perhaps not after 6 months, but in order to even get me interrested it is of key importance. Its a marketing scheme and I know it.... but still :)

2) To say that Club Penguin had 120k players at one moment is a joke to me... Unless you want to consider Farmville as an mmo, but then you're in a different league...

3) I've also been a target of credit card theft online, and I keep reading news from time to time on safety concerns with browsers.
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Posted: Dec 28th 2011 3:23PM Beau Hindman said

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@(Unverified) Ah, to clarify: I did not mean to indicate that Club Penguin had 120k users on at once, but instead meant the browser game that was made by the developer I was interviewing at GDC. The interview didn't make the cut, but his "small" game had that number on at that time. He also told me of some numbers that were amazing. It is a browser based MMORTS, which is definitely an MMO.

I would LOVE to see Club Penguins numbers...they are probably pulling way more than that per day.

The point here is that the browser is already providing satisfying gameplay to millions of players, possibly more than any client-based game here in the US. Yes, even with WoW. WoW has about what, 2 or 3 in the US? Most of their "subs" come from internet cafe players outside of the US, who are technically not subscribing. While many readers of Massively might not consider RuneScape or other games as "AAA," they have been steadily growing and making "AAA" money! :)

I'll need to make a post combing all of the numbers I have found so far, but needless to say it's hard to pinpoint some devs. I wish they all would come out with solid numbers! :)


Beau
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Posted: Dec 28th 2011 3:33PM (Unverified) said

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Ah, I think you are getting somewhere now :)
I'd love to see a browser based MMORTS.
At least if it means that hundreads of players are able to start randomly in different locations like Travian. That really could be the new big thing, although I wonder about the lagg issues that might occur :/

I agree with you on the numbers though :) But I like to take them with a grain of salt when they mention stuff like "created characters" and "created accounts". Peak online players, and ongoing subscription numbers are the only numbers that matter. Even bought copies are less important...

Posted: Dec 28th 2011 3:36PM (Unverified) said

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@(Unverified) and with MMORTS, I mean ofcourse with graphics at least on starcraft 1 quality...
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Posted: Dec 28th 2011 3:37PM Beau Hindman said

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@(Unverified) If you're interested in browser-based MMORTS', I am streaming them all this week live on our MassivelyTV channel: http://www.twitch.tv/massivelytv

The MMORTS are some of my favorite games. My top 5 are Illyriad, Golden Age, Ministry of War, 8Realms (growing on me) and Evony. (Yeh, the one with the ads! lol) Also, one of our live streamers has done a live stream of Age of Empires Online : http://www.twitch.tv/massivelytv/b/302452611

Cool stuff!

Beau
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Posted: Dec 30th 2011 12:24AM Dread said

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No AAA Title will ever go 'Browser'. All the browser games you see around nowadays are utter crap. Good for kids and people with limited skills/short attention spans. How can you even put BSG in a category anywhere near the likes of WoW, SWTOR, LOTRO, AOC etc?? Not even remotely comparable other than they are 'games' and are 'online'.....Browser based crap has far more incommon with crappy Facebook games than any actual MMO.

Sorry, big fail on this 'prediction'. I'll sit it over next to the 'PC is Dead' and 'PC Gaming is dead' predictions from 10 years ago,

Posted: Jan 15th 2012 5:09PM kevinrahl said

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@Dread

You took the words right out of my mouth. Browser games are not the future despite what Richard Garriott and a handful of others may think.
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