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Reader Comments (69)

Posted: Feb 9th 2012 7:08AM (Unverified) said

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Is guess this goes to show to never release a MMO before it's ready, may future MMO projects look at this a learn.

Posted: Feb 9th 2012 7:18AM Lt Cobalt said

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@(Unverified) If you had any sense you'd know that no developer WANTS to release a game before it is done, it simply comes down to how much time they can spent developing with the money they have, eventually they are forced to release in order to continue to fund the game, this is usually what happens with indie/low budget developers.

If you want to make a good sandbox it takes time, a lot of time, and time is money. Until you have a publisher will to keep you funded for years on end you have to get it out the door on a deadline.

Yes, people should not release unfinished games, but sometimes they have to and it sucks for them, sucks for the fans, and sucks for the MMORPG community as a whole, the industry needs more sandbox games and less generic clones like SWTOR.
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Posted: Feb 9th 2012 8:14AM nhat said

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@(Unverified) Eh ALL mmos get release before they're ready lol. That's why they keep adding stuff to it.

They basically just need enough content and fixes to occupy people before the next big release.
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Posted: Feb 9th 2012 8:25AM Aelon said

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Pfff, they won't, until people stop paying money for unfinished projects.

(Which they won't, because they're insatiable for the Next Big Thing :p )
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Posted: Feb 9th 2012 9:25AM Unshra said

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@(Unverified) As already sad no MMO releases ready, but in the case of Earthrise everything felt more like a late stage alpha at best and I think that is more of an issue of the development team then the time they had. Yet sadly people wanted Masthead Studios to develop Fallout Online instead of ZeniMax Online all because the name "Interplay" was slapped on it never mind none of the original team would be working on the game, I'm glad that ZeniMax Media (Bethsoft) won the license back.
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Posted: Feb 9th 2012 10:55AM (Unverified) said

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@(Unverified)

What large sandbox has been out that has been backed by a large publisher though? Most of the ones I have seen are basically indie MMOs with no budget.
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Posted: Feb 9th 2012 10:57AM SnarlingWolf said

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@Lt Cobalt

I have to agree with the original poster not you.

All MMOs have some level of unfinished content/systems. Earthrise was a giant steaming pile of unfinished barely working unoptimized crap. The game was a nightmare to even try to play and you had to run away screaming from it.

I love the idea of some indie developers getting in and trying things that mainstream developers won't. But they have to release games that work. We keep seeing game like this and Mortal Online that get released in an Alpha state at best and then they fail. People don't want to pay for alpha, and they don't want you to call an alpha a finished product.

If you need the money to continue developing 1) You planned wrong and weren't realistic with the money you had going in to what you could have done at release. Release less that is better instead of trying for more that is worse. 2) Do an early adopters where you admit that the game isn't done and isn't in full release and let the major fans help you a little.

I did hop in Earthrise and try it out. Their buying/subscription site didn't feel professional at all. The game controls were the most awful thing I've ever seen. The engine was so unoptimized it ran like crap on a system that was powerful and has no problem with any games. The game wasn't fun or playable at all.

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Posted: Feb 9th 2012 11:05AM Dumac said

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I think it's wong to generalize the entire sandbox genre on the count on some of them being grindy. Those two aren't inherently intertwined. There are lots of grindy games that people still play. If SWTOR was grindy, would you say people love it because they love grind? There are lots of other reasons for people to love it. You might even say that TOR's success says absolutely nothing on peoples desires to be lead on. Do they love hand holding, or do they love SWTOR despite hand holding? Who are you to say?

Just wanted to say that. Things may look to be one way, but that doesn't mean they are, and sandboxes aren't inherently doomed to fail because easy access games are successful.
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Posted: Feb 9th 2012 11:31AM Saker said

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@Aelon As long as idiots keep "pre-ordering" alive, yes I agree with you! Stupid people thinking they're "leet" cuz they were "first". Of course the idiot money-men pushing these fetal products out the door long before they are remotely ready for birth doesn't help any. Filthy worthless banksters.
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Posted: Feb 9th 2012 11:38AM (Unverified) said

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Star Wars Galaxies was the most fun sandbox MMO I played and it was backed by SOE.
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Posted: Feb 9th 2012 3:05PM DancingCow said

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@SnarlingWolf

Exactly.

To have any hope of succeeding there needs to be a WoW / Aion / Rift / SWTOR level of polish to a game at launch. Consumers have a completely reasonable expectation for that.

Earthrise was conceptually quite good but the client just wasn't even close to ready.
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Posted: Feb 10th 2012 1:35AM LFsand said

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@DancingCow Lol, the funny thing about this whole argument is that none of those MMo's were actually polished at launch. They took months to years to fix all the bugs and that is with massive teams of developers. None of the sandbox's we are discussing here have released with that sort of support, so why would we expect them to be as polished? I

f we want these games to get off the ground, then the people that want sandboxes need to support what we have, no matter what the level of polish. Otherwise no big company will ever support one.
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Posted: Feb 10th 2012 5:34AM Snichy said

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@DancingCow. I love the idea of a sandbox but haven't really found one to engage with yet. Something along the lines of a 70/30 split between sandbox and themebox would be perfect, and the only game I can think of that's like that will be ArcheAge but even that isn't clear yet and may not even be released in the west....!
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Posted: Feb 10th 2012 10:24AM Budukahn said

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We haven't had a "Major" Sandbox game since Star Wars Galaxies if I remember rightly. It's a bit premature I think to start saying that there is no market for that sort of thing. As others have suggested, I'd say the real problem is that Sandbox development is the exclusive preserve of indie developers running on shoe string budgets staffed by developers who are more enthusiastic amateur hobbysists with a dream than professional developers.

Personally, I'd also lay heavy blame on the obsession with FFA PVP that next to every Sandbox game of the past six years toots as a major feature. It doesn't help that the communities that like to cluster around the game perpetuate the stereotype of an unfriendly gang of savages all too eager to pounce on a fresh noob and run off with his starter mining pick and sword. It doesn't make such games seem welcoming I feel.

Regardless though there's deffinately room for a few good sandbox games on the market I would say. Consider the Paradox Software example: It's nothing like on the scale of ActiBlizz or EA, but they've found a profitable niche in publishing deep strategy titles. I reckon somebody else could do that with Sandboxes.

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Posted: Feb 10th 2012 2:58PM Fabius Bile said

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@(Unverified)
yup, Im sure now the indusry will learn
not from the previous dozens of failed projects that were also released too early across the last 10 years

no, but from this one, yes.

suuuuuuuuuuuuure
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Posted: Feb 9th 2012 7:14AM scottsummer said

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What a surprise!!
who would have thought!!


/trollin

Posted: Feb 9th 2012 7:17AM Rodj Blake said

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A sad day.

While the execution wasn't perfect, the game had masses of potential, and I hope that the devs find new projects which will benefit from their vsision.

Posted: Feb 9th 2012 7:24AM Saunakiller said

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I plyed and liked the game even though it had alot of bugs etc that annoyed me. It was still fresh in some areas, and it did get better. But it could never undo the damage it got from it´s to early release. And it was a release they had to do since they were out of money. Sad to see indie companies that tries to do something new with this dumb down genre that MMOs have become these days, and they get punished for being poor. I hope someone takes it over so it gets a new chance in the F2P mode that I think would suite it well.

Posted: Feb 9th 2012 7:38AM (Unverified) said

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Today? That's... kinda sudden.

Always sad to see a game go down, especially if it was one that tried to do something a bit different go down.

Stories like this make me so glad that Gamersfirst picked up Fallen Earth...

Posted: Feb 9th 2012 11:41AM Lenn said

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@(Unverified) I wouldn't be surprised if GF took in Earthrise as well.
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