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MMORPG's Published by Online-Game Companies

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This article is haphazardly thrown together and just something I''ve been thinking about lately. I was pondering the launches of games published by such online gaming companies as, Funcom and Playnet. As most of you probably know Funcom released Anarchy-Online, and Playnet recently released World War II Online. Now, think of other MMORPG launches: UO, AC, EQ, and DAoC. All published by stable game publishers. Both AO and WWIIOL launches were near complete failures, losing many players who bought the games because they were sadly published WAY too early. UO, AC, EQ, and DAoC all had extremely successful launches. Why, I ask myself? Is it because online game publishers do not have the funding or market support that the more successful publishers have? Your responses would be appreciated =) NOTE: These views are mine and mine only, don''t assume anything, and don''t do anything illegal with this information. Don''t know how you would but, hey, gotta cover my ass =) -Matt

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I think it''s more of a market change, for those of us who played UO in the early days, Lag was a huge issue, but it didn''t stop UO from being a hit. EQ had it''s own issues as well at launch, but the player base was tolerant of it because it was such new tecnology. 1st generation if you will. AC was one of the few MMORPGs that had a "stable" release with few lag issues and few bugs. Then came WW2 Online and AO the publishers though they could get away releasing laggy products like UO and EQ did, unfortunatly the playerbase was expecting much higher quality from what they percieved as 2nd generation MMORPGs. When they games didn''t deliver the players fled.

It is my opinion that it is getting exponentially harder for new MMORPG companies to get into the market as the expectations of quality and amount of content at release are so high. They have to compete with games that have been in development for years and have alot of content and stable service.

Only teams with expirence developing an MMORPG and a good exsisting code base to work from will be able to really innovate in the field and be successful.

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EQ and UO had anything but "stable" releases. And they lost plenty of players because of it. Just because they''re still around and maybe even turning a profit doesn''t mean the "good ol'' days" were so damn good.

Maintaining a network with enough bandwidth to support 10''s of thousands of simultaneous players is a huge expense. In the cases of EQ and UO, they had large publishers funnelling a lot of cash into them to fix their problems and keep the game running.

From what I''ve heard about AO''s launch, they didn''t fail...they succeeded beyond what they had the capacity to support. Which means they had serious issues almost immediately. I don''t know anything about WWIIO (though I think it has a really silly title), but I wouldn''t be surprised that the same thing happened to them.

So what''s the lesson to be learned? I would hazard to state the following: If you aren''t a huge publisher with lots of money, don''t hype your game until *after* you''ve released and are reasonably certain you can handle the load.


DavidRM
Samu Games

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Ah, DavidRM. Now that is a name I shall not soon forget! When I was younger (12-13) and just started getting into software development (now 17 and it is the love of my life). I was an avid player of PaintballNET! I remember the launch of artifact, how has that gone? If possible could you contact me, or me you? I''m very interested in the way you''ve done things.

-Matt

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Ah, DavidRM. Now that is a name I shall not soon forget! When I was younger (12-13) and just started getting into software development (now 17 and it is the love of my life). I was an avid player of PaintballNET! I remember the launch of artifact, how has that gone? If possible could you contact me, or me you? I''m very interested in the way you''ve done things.

-Matt

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Artifact is still running, www.samugames.com/artifact.

Also if you check the ''Press Releases'' it links to 4 (?) Articles published by David here on this site.

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