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TheKnight

Trends in Games

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As of late, I've really only heard of new MMO's or new FPS games coming out. Rarely do I hear of a singleplayer RPG (I've only noticed Oblivion) or RTS games (Havn't heard of any new ones seince...Dawn of War's expantion.) I was wondering if anyone else sees this trend (if so, discuss) or if it is just the limited scope of my local market.

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"Trend" says it all. Gaming has become big business, publishers will want games that will sell big, so developers are kind of stuck making the games publishers will want to sell. MMO is what's "hot" right now, every company wants an MMO game. Even though that's probably bad for the MMO market (more MMO games means less players on any of the MMO games, and less chance of profit for all of them), greed and trendyness will always triumph over logic.

Just like in the movie biz, the really cool stuff comes from indie developers. Or indie developers turned commercial. A ~$20 indie game (things like BreakQuest) goes a log way in terms of enjoyment, but "serious" games turn their nose up to them, because they're not "cool" (meaning hyped, with $100 million budgets).

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what jonahrowley said is true, in some sense, indies are the "sucker" of the industry.

Big publishers doesn't like to risk the money in innovative games, so they stick with the old ones that works(i.e. MMORPGs). Until there are no more money in it. When they see some indies made some really good and popular game, they pull out the big bucks and buy the whole studio down and make money out of it, and when the popularity is over, they closes down the studio and lay everybody off

IT'S A CRUEL WORLD!

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Quote:
Original post by jonahrowley
...(more MMO games means less players on any of the MMO games, and less chance of profit for all of them)...

Not exactly.

The problem is that the current MMO model requires that you subscribe to each MMO independently, per month, such that if you don't get back enough gameplay from the MMO - or if you can't find the time to play it - it's a waste of money. An alternative theoretical model would be one based around revenue sharing, such that a single fee gave a user access to multiple MMOs, with the amount of time spent in each being tracked and a proportional portion of the user's subscription fees being credited to the developers/publishers of that particular MMO.

In addition to the N current MMO gamers paying $X/mo for one, or at most two, MMO, you would draw in additional users excited at the prospect of not having to commit to a single game for the fee - and you could charge a higher fee than $X, perhaps up to $(2X), because you're delivering "more value."

This would be the approach I would suggest to multiple indie MMOs as a way to build traffic. I think it's worth a shot.

Quote:
Just like in the movie biz, the really cool stuff comes from indie developers.

The indie film thing is largely a myth. For one, a staggering proportion of indie films suck. For another, no indie film gets into wide theatrical release without the help of a studio's distribution arm - ie, the distributor buys the theatrical rights and pours in money for promotion. Truly independent films fly so far underneath the radar that their being "cool" (which is an assumption) is pointless, as next to no one actually sees them, and their makers often don't earn enough revenue to stay in business.

The problem with the game business is that, unlike the movie business, game developers can rarely finance the development of large, ambitious projects, and as such have to turn to the publishers early on - or be acquired - which gives the publisher creative input. If you were to take a basically finished, polished game to a savvy publisher and say "All you have to do is push it," you'd see very different results. But what commonly happens is that developers take what are essentially tech demos, say "We have the beginnings of something great here; give us money so we can finish it!" and become the publishers' bitch.

It's a business. Creative failings mean that the creators' business plan(s) suck.

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I'm looking forward to Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends, a new RTS. Also, the battle for middle Earth 2 just came out, which is pretty fun. But at the same time I am looking forward to like 4 different fps that are coming out while enjoying the 4 or 5 I currently have installed on this system. But trend really does say it all. One guy sees another guy making money off an MMO, so he makes one. Another guy sees him doing it, so he does it. Etc etc etc. Eventually someone will make a huge RPG (could be oblivion, its been too short a time since it came out) and others will start making SP rpg's. or an rts. Then the MMOs might die down, or the FPS. Only time will tell. The good thing about trends is they tend not to be permanent, or maybe that is just the current trend ;)

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Good timing for a link from digg (about indie films): http://www.empireonline.com/features/50greatestindependent/40-31.asp

As for the "more MMO games are bad", there can only be so many MMO gamers out there. Most of them are probably only willing to pay for one on any month. More MMO games means all of them are smaller. Enough MMO games (and assuming one of them is a lot more popular than all the rest), and most of them become just... sort of MMO.

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Quote:
Original post by TheKnight
As of late, I've really only heard of new MMO's or new FPS games coming out. Rarely do I hear of a singleplayer RPG (I've only noticed Oblivion) or RTS games (Havn't heard of any new ones seince...Dawn of War's expantion.) I was wondering if anyone else sees this trend (if so, discuss) or if it is just the limited scope of my local market.


Kingdom Hearts II
Dragon Quest VIII
Final Fantasy 6-billion-whatever

There are plenty of single player RPGs, they're just all console games by Square Enix :)

I know what you mean, though. Theres very little innovation in the hardcore PC market. Five years ago I was telling people that the hardcore PC market was going to be dead by the end of this generation of consoles. I don't think I was too far off...

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I'm not into consoles in the least, but from what I can think of I havn't seen an RTS for a console seince Red Alert for ... Playstation?

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Battle for Middle Earth

Though the console is definitely not the platform for RTS games... at least, until somebody comes up with a good interface for one.

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Agreed, the console isn't really built for RTS. It's the controllers, the one that might be able to change this is the Nintendo Revolution controller. We'll have to wait and see with that one.

As for RPG's, they are not only made by SquareEnix, lol. The Suikoden series is a perfect example. If you like console RPG's and have not played these... you need to pick any one of the 5 that are out (there is a Tactics version out, but I haven't played that one yet). Very engrossing storylines, an extremely diverse collection of characters (they each boast 60+ playable characters, but you actually get over 100 in each, some just have certain skills not useful in combat).

Someone mentioned Oblivion, which is a great RPG if you like Free-form games. Here is something a lot of people may not know about Bethesda... but in April of 2004 (yeah, it's a long time ago), they announced that they were going to revive the Fallout series with Fallout 3. Again, if you haven't played Fallout, it's a great set of RPG's too, avoid the console game though, it doesn't do the series justice.

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Fallout was the single BEST rpg I ever played. EVER. I heard they where reviving it, and it totally excited me; I also hear rumors of an MMO version...

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