Sign in to follow this  

MMOs: the Future or Fad?

This topic is 4292 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

I would like to ask what people think about this. I have found that a well done MMO can make the best type of game, giveing you chalenges and oportunities that other generes cannot. But is it the Future of games, where MMOs will grasp the bulk of the gaming community, with its vast possibilities and endless content improvments? Or will it pass and just be another on the long list of game generes, housing a decent sized community of fans?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm sure that the genre will have many players hooked, but it will not -be- the future of games. Can you believe how boring it would be if 60% of the games released would be MMORPGs? Not everyone likes MMORPGs (or RPGs) and the companies know that. (EA will probably make another Fifa for those people ;P)
So it will just be one of the genres.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
World of Warcraft having recently acquired 6 million people paying a monthy subscription makes me believe that it's not a fad.

Assuming 6 million people paying $10 a month = $720 million a year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Pipo DeClown
I'm sure that the genre will have many players hooked, but it will not -be- the future of games. Can you believe how boring it would be if 60% of the games released would be MMORPGs? Not everyone likes MMORPGs (or RPGs) and the companies know that. (EA will probably make another Fifa for those people ;P)
So it will just be one of the genres.


Aye, I would have to agree that its not everyone's thing, not to mention a lot of people don't have the time to put into them that is required to keep up with everyone else. I dislike MMORPG's because they are too boring/repetitive. The only one that I have ever truly liked would have to be Ultima Online. WoW kept me busy for about 2-4 weeks before boredom started creeping in like an executioner's axe. I quit about a little over a months time.

However I do like RPG's :D Baldur's Gate of course is one to mention. Morrowind was ok, but the beginning was too slow for my liking so I ended up never getting into that. I was kept busy by Neverwinter Nights for around 2 to 3 years, scripting and DMing for servers. The thing that kept me there for so long was the custom player content, and the smaller community with more personal rewards and experiences. Not to mention its easier to weed out immature players in a smaller player base ;)

However I won't be suprised at all if the MMORPG genre grows in the future for a while as more people are being introduced to it, and are willing to pay the monthly fees to maintain the servers, keep active game support and pay for more content to be added ;) Another factor that should help the MMORPG genre would have to be the increase in availability of broadband internet. Though we've personally had that since the EQ days, woot. I cringe inside whenever I hear a friend tell me they're still using Dial-up, haha. Anyways... I guess the genre will grow, and my personal guess would be that it would possibly be a worthwhile investment to make a MMORPG if you played your cards right.

My thoughts worth, sorry for the lack of statistical data if thats what you're going to need to be convinced ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Good points guys, but i must point out the question is...

"MMOs" the Future or Fad?

MMORPGs are a sub-genre of an MMO, so i guess the question is. Are Massive Multi-Player Online Games the thing, i mean if you could take your favorite single player game, what ever that might be, and make it an MMO would you play it?

One reason i ask this is, when ever i come up with a Game Concept some how i end up wondering if it would make for a good MMO. This could just be me, but some how i feel MMOs can, if done right, make just about any game more entertaining than the solo single player version (Heck "Tetris" MMO, could it be done?)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Will F
World of Warcraft having recently acquired 6 million people paying a monthy subscription makes me believe that it's not a fad.

Assuming 6 million people paying $10 a month = $720 million a year.


Ok, that is
+720 million
-??? server maintenence fee
-??? server hardware upgrade
-??? costumer support
-??? initial development cost
-??? expansion development
-??? advertisements

add all that up...you decide

and...MMO is definitely a fad, with all the MMO addiction cases around, government will will step in and regulate it. By then, it will fade.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Heh, I'm sure someone could think of a way to do the Tetris, but it would be incredibly pointless. The only reason I could think to run Tetris on server side on massive scales would be to improve the integrity of a High Scores table. Less chance of it being messed with if secured properly. They way they don't just hack the memory and change their score before or as the packet is being sent out X collecting server.

As to your question. I can see some genres moving torwards MMO gameplay, such as FPS or games such as Sims 2. FPS being the more likely canidate. Though it would be interesting seing a community of Simulated houses/malls/etc... where people can hang out and do whatever, open a buisness etc. That would be kinda cool, but probably take more work than MMORPG and MMOFPS haha.

I don't really see RTS having any reason/advantage to go MMO style, nor puzzle games like Bejelwed, Tetris, etc...

So what I'm trying to say is, yeah in some areas its going to be something thats probably going to keep growing as long as there is some advantage/reason for doing so. The more the merrier :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by lightblade
Quote:
Original post by Will F
World of Warcraft having recently acquired 6 million people paying a monthy subscription makes me believe that it's not a fad.

Assuming 6 million people paying $10 a month = $720 million a year.


Ok, that is
+720 million
-??? server maintenence fee
-??? server hardware upgrade
-??? costumer support
-??? initial development cost
-??? expansion development
-??? advertisements

add all that up...you decide

and...MMO is definitely a fad, with all the MMO addiction cases around, government will will step in and regulate it. By then, it will fade.


+ recovering from incredible investment they had to go through to get the game made, servers set up and etc ;)
+ a good profit for the hard work. Probably pretty huge profit haha, but I'm thinking not as much as we would think. Though I personally don't know much about running MMO systems obviously ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by lightblade
Ok, that is
+720 million
-??? server maintenence fee
-??? server hardware upgrade
-??? costumer support
-??? initial development cost
-??? expansion development
-??? advertisements

add all that up...you decide


I've read that the development costs of WoW was between $40-60 million. Subtract the other costs, and i'm sure they're still making a tidy profit - and the $720 million a year I estimated was based on a $10 a month subscription fee, I wouldn't be suprised to find out they're making more per month.

Quote:
and...MMO is definitely a fad, with all the MMO addiction cases around, government will will step in and regulate it. By then, it will fade.


The Chinese are already doing so [wink]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Regarding how subscriptions are counted, the company has explained in earlier releases: "World of Warcraft customers include individuals who have paid a subscription fee or purchased a prepaid card to play [the game], as well as those who have purchased the installation box bundled with one free month access. Internet Game Room players having accessed the game over the last seven days are also counted as customers.

http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=7844

There are in the region of 1 million subscribers in Europe. Probably the same or even double that number in the states. The rest are Asian customers, the vast bulk of whom don't pay subscriptions. They buy game cards with credits or access an account via an internet cafe on a pay per play basis. That means around half the customer base aren't paying a subscription each month. That's not to say that Blizzard aren't coining it in, just not to the degree listed above.

As for costs....
Quote:
The European office was established in late 2003, and now comprises 400 employees across twenty-two nationalities - it is now the company’s second largest office in the world.
... at least 800 staff world-wide - that's gotta be one mighty large wage bill.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think the current model is not going to succeed; in fact, I think it's set up currently so that it can't possibly succeed. Basically, the entire business design for MMO's is "monthly subscription". That's the only way an MMO in the classic sense is sustainable, and the only reason so many companies are trying to jump on the bandwagon. (Guild Wars is a counterexample but that is a special case design, not really MMO, that I won't digress into.) However, almost all users are going to be somewhat stingy with monthly fees. People will pay $15 a month for WoW. But will they simultaneously pay another $15 for EQ2? A few might. What about yet another $15 for the next game? And then $20 for the next? I really doubt it. People will gladly buy multiple normal games and play them all, but people are not going to buy 8 or 9 MMO's with their ever-increasing monthly fees and play them all at the same time. I'd say the huge majority will only ever play ONE mmo at a time, because that's all they're willing to spend. And right now, for a lot of people, that one is WoW. The only way you're going to get someone to like your MMO is to convince them to quit WoW and switch over. This is Bad for Business. It creates an unsustainable competition, where only one game can be "number one", and forces gaming companies to invest millions to try and destroy eachother's market shares; something that generally leads to the awful truth that is Consolidation; there will, in time, be two or three gigantic monolithic "MMO Corporations", kind of how right now there are only two or three giant console manufacturers or OS vendors. Each of these will have one or two MMO's at a time, because they won't want to "cannibalize" their own current games (see the continual failures and shutdowns of Ultima Online 2).

I don't think most marketeers realize any of this yet. They're still slavering over the very idea of monthly fees, but more and more a lot of MMO's have shut down as they realize that it's not the incredible cash machine they thought it was. The only way I see MMO's flourishing is if they can make it so that people could reasonably play as many MMO's at once as they can currently play normal games at once. And that means free, or much cheaper, monthly fees.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by makeshiftwings
I don't think most marketeers realize any of this yet. They're still slavering over the very idea of monthly fees, but more and more a lot of MMO's have shut down as they realize that it's not the incredible cash machine they thought it was. The only way I see MMO's flourishing is if they can make it so that people could reasonably play as many MMO's at once as they can currently play normal games at once. And that means free, or much cheaper, monthly fees.


Technically it's not a MMO - but I think marketers should take a look at at South Korea's Kart Rider. It has no monthly fees and a basic account is free, but given that the game is pretty much exclusive to South Korea, it's pretty amazing that it has over 10 million members. I think it's entirely possible to create a business model around only one game.

[Edited by - Will F on March 2, 2006 6:24:10 AM]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Xelen
I don't really see RTS having any reason/advantage to go MMO style


I dunno, I think a very large persistant world would work wonders as an RTS, however it would require a certain degree of team work and alliance building, however if my experiances with Eve are anything to go by that shouldnt be a huge problem (many many people there naturally allied themselves into groups to push the story line).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
FEH.

Yes, feh. Right down the middle. Some games will MMO, and some people will play them, and some will not.

Quote:

Are Massive Multi-Player Online Games the thing, i mean if you could take your favorite single player game, what ever that might be, and make it an MMO would you play it?


No way in hell.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Anonymous Poster
I think one major problem with MMOs today is the extreme focus on time commitment in order to succeed/progress. Obviously put in place to keep people "playing and paying", I guess this can be a deterrant for some that could spell trouble in a longer run.

One possible future variant of MMOs that I think could be successful is to combine different genres of games in one persistant online world. An example would be a world with cities where you could have "GTA" style game play, combined with a fully fledged flight sim, racing, business simulator etc. Not just mini-games, but "full" games on their own.

I think many MMOs today are, in a way, elaborate versions of one-armed bandits combined with chat support. And while they certainly can be fun, combining genres in clever ways could be a good way to add some much needed depth and complexity.

A game development nightmare probably, but still ... :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
After recently spending a lot of time on MMORPGs, Civilization IV is a breath of fresh air. In fact, I love the game so much I don't forsee wasting any more of my money on MMOs. There's a beauty to be found in playing single-player games.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Both, they are the "future" in that they create an all new environment for players to play in. Single player games will stay, but MMO's are already growing into a huge genre.

A fad, in that they are so over-done right now, everyone wants to "make their own MMO", and this will die down so that there will be a few big ones and a few little ones and everyone else will still be making other games.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well, there's the doomsday MMO metaverse theory, amusingly summed up by David Wong in this article, and there's the "fizzle" theory, which shouldn't require any explanation.

I think we'll get a widespread, muted form of the MMO. It'll become common technology, and a few big services will spring up (Google, perhaps Sprint) that offer the servers and support for a broad array of shared online presences (SOPs). Everything from teleconferencing to online shopping with friends to multimedia news and commercial presentations to grinding the Molten Core will be handled via the SOP servers.

Instead of going to the mall, you'll log onto the web and download the new storefronts and areas that have been implemented, meet up with friends and exchange chit-chat while discussing different sources for good deals or fun little games that you can play together or alone. It'll be like IM, cell phones, shopping and hanging out all rolled into one mass-marketed service, probably with some kind of avatar system so you can do these things as Awesome You.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm thinking we'll see more games with an MMO component that are mainly based offline. Even today many people don't have high speed internet access, especially on thier gaming consoles. Companies are going to be producing MMO-based games as well as traditional games for this reason. (and the fact that there's always that jerk who plays 20000 hours a weak and hacks the game to keep it from being any fun for everyone else)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Will F
Quote:
Original post by lightblade
Ok, that is
+720 million
-??? server maintenence fee
-??? server hardware upgrade
-??? costumer support
-??? initial development cost
-??? expansion development
-??? advertisements

add all that up...you decide


I've read that the development costs of WoW was between $40-60 million. Subtract the other costs, and i'm sure they're still making a tidy profit - and the $720 million a year I estimated was based on a $10 a month subscription fee, I wouldn't be suprised to find out they're making more per month.

Quote:
and...MMO is definitely a fad, with all the MMO addiction cases around, government will will step in and regulate it. By then, it will fade.


The Chinese are already doing so [wink]


WoW costs 15 a month and used to cost 50 dollars for the game. Add that into your equation and that equals a lot more profit

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
I don't think most marketeers realize any of this yet. They're still slavering over the very idea of monthly fees, but more and more a lot of MMO's have shut down as they realize that it's not the incredible cash machine they thought it was. The only way I see MMO's flourishing is if they can make it so that people could reasonably play as many MMO's at once as they can currently play normal games at once. And that means free, or much cheaper, monthly fees.


There are a few examples of sustainable economic models outside of monthly fee's, like Secondlife, Runescape, Puzzle Pirates. Accessing and playing their MMO's is free or with a one time initial charge, but is limited in scope, so if the players want to become more involved in the MMO they can pay for perks, or pay a monthly fee in order to have access to greater content.

Now do i think MMO's are the future of gaming? Well i don't think they'll die anytime soon, and there's a fair chance they'll survive for the long haul. I think would be cool though if they eventually went past gaming and replace the "Web" as we know it, becoming something like the 3d Environment from Johnny Mnemonic. There were BBS's, IRC channels, Webpages, etc. A large central interconnected 3D environment where people create personal spaces and avatars could be an interesting next step for the net.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by lightblade
Quote:
Original post by Will F
World of Warcraft having recently acquired 6 million people paying a monthy subscription makes me believe that it's not a fad.

Assuming 6 million people paying $10 a month = $720 million a year.


Ok, that is
+720 million
-??? server maintenence fee
-??? server hardware upgrade
-??? costumer support
-??? initial development cost
-??? expansion development
-??? advertisements

add all that up...you decide

and...MMO is definitely a fad, with all the MMO addiction cases around, government will will step in and regulate it. By then, it will fade.



bluntly, a whole load of crap.

like it did to the "LAN" based games, "Networked", "Battlenet", MMO will be another element in games. How many percentage of good games we see these days that DO come with some form of networking as compared to 5-10 years ago?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It is true that not everyone likes MMORPGs, at least not the current model.

Some of the reasons are the time investment, the boredom factor, etc.

I think that the genre has the potential to be highly captivating for much wider audiences when a new design provides a game that is FUN to play for however much time you have. A vast and interactive world (with whatever theme appeals to people at the time) where the actions of players with the tools provided create ongoing and interesting content for everyone else. I'm not talking content like you can make your own objects (that clash horribly with everyone elses, like in second life) but content that is generated by the interactions of players with each other and the environment. Things that can make a huge world change in different areas at different times from prosperous kingdoms, vast empires, tribal warefare, post-apocolyptic waste land, etc. and all the little roles and scenarios and such that come in-between.

Some people would be in for the long haul. Others would want to log into such an exciting world when they hear of some big events on the horizon. They have kept a basic fighter decently equipped and trained and they want to hire out for a couple of hours and fight in some land-dispute battles. They just hop right in, go to the local recruiters office, receive their assignment and off they go to participate in a battle that really will determine the balance of power in that area for a time. That would be a dynamic world where players can AFFECT outcomes. That's the true potential of the genre and perhaps the future if someone takes the risk. Even people who like other genres couldn't resist the pull of participating in one or more facets of such a dynamic world where the content stretched out to infinity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:

That would be a dynamic world where players can AFFECT outcomes. That's the true potential of the genre and perhaps the future if someone takes the risk. Even people who like other genres couldn't resist the pull of participating in one or more facets of such a dynamic world where the content stretched out to infinity.


Heh, how are people going to be irresistably pulled by something (player affected content) that is the very thing that they abhore (having their entertainment defined by the whims of malicious swarms of pre-pubescent little Napoleons)?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This topic is 4292 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this