What caused Warhammer Online to fail?

Today Tobold is asking why Warhammer Online failed to live up to it’s mega-title expectations (expectations that I was grossly wrong about as well), give readers either the choice that WotLK killed it (tourists) or that WAR was just a bad game. While the obvious answer is “both”, it’s still interesting to break down exactly what happened here.

Lets assume WAR sold 1m boxes total (it’s a little higher than that, but 1m is a nice round number). (Oh and before someone mentions Paul Barnet, his job was to hype WAR, and WAR sold over 1m boxes. He did his job, and did it well, no matter how much you might hate him) Of that 1m, I’d say 600k (60%) were WoW tourists, who no matter how good WAR was were going back for WotLK. Because unless you are a believer in the Eurogamer method of MMO evaluation, for most players a month or less is not enough time to fully evaluate a game, especially an MMO, and especially in it’s first month of release. But whatever the reason, that 60% does not count, because no matter what your game is or how good it is, they are going to leave in the first month. Accept their one-time payment of $50 and forget about them.

The problem for WAR is that, even after we forget the tourists, you still have 400k or so customers who are interested in what you offer, and 400k is more than enough subs to keep even a AAA title profitable and happy. But WAR does not have 400k, or 300k, or probably even 200k subs today, and the WotLK/tourist effect has long since passed. WAR lost a significant portion of it’s remaining 400k because, quite simply, it’s a flawed game. It’s not an outright ‘bad’ game, because many of it’s systems and overall engine are very good, but none of that matters when at the end of the game you have the utter disaster that is T4 sitting and waiting for you. That end-game RvR is a disaster is told to us by Mythic loud and clear, as every major patch is another attempt to fix it, and as every patch passes, T4 remains worthless. And sadly, at this point, with all the budget/workforce cuts, it’s unlikely WAR will get the resources to get it right. It really is sad too, because I fully believe if Mythic had fixed T4 (and it was possible), WAR would have rebounded and would have established itself as a solid choice for MMO casuals looking for some friendly RvR.

Back to the original question, as applied to any upcoming releases (or most recently Aion), you can easily write off 60% of whatever your initial sales are for any MMO due to the pop sensation that is the Mr. T grenade of WoW. The worst thing any developer can do is try and retain that 60% by modifying their game, because most likely whatever change you make to please the tourists is going to piss of your core base, and the tourist will leave regardless.

Once the first month is over and the tourists have moved on, whether you retain the remaining 40% is indeed up to your game. We are seeing with Aion that, like WAR, it’s issues are driving players away in bulk (which is even more comical given that most of whose who leave never experienced the real flaw that is the end-game RvR), while titles like Fallen Earth and DarkFall are stabilizing and slowly growing after experiencing their own (but much smaller) cases of tourism.

The tourist population makes evaluating success in the current MMO space more difficult initially, because at first glance 60% of your customers leaving in the first month does seem drastic. But if you ignore and forget them, and instead focus on the group that is ultimately going to matter, the picture gets a little clearer (plus you get a nice one-time funding bonus). Regardless of market conditions or trends, good MMOs will prosper and bad ones will struggle, you just might not be able to identify who is who in the first month.

39 Responses to What caused Warhammer Online to fail?

  1. Snafzg says:

    For dozens of reasons, most players simply don’t give an MMORPG more than a month to impress them anymore, whether they’re going back to WoW, some other MMO, or simply to just twiddle their thumbs.

    The inherent flaw in MMORPG design is that the first month of every title (each and EVERY SINGLE ONE) is going to be the very worst representation of what that game is or is aiming to be.

    I believe they call that a catch22.

    Also, very few players are willing to give your MMO a second chance, especially if you’re not improving things fast enough. In this age, new titles are coming out on a quarterly basis. In twelve months, you’re basically old news.

    I believe this would be called a double-dragon-punch-to-the-gut-catch22.

    • The Claw says:

      Are you saying that the first month after a title’s launch is going to be the worst representation of it?

      Or the first month that any given player plays that title is going to be the worst representation of it?

      I’m not sure if you’re talking about launch problems here, or a “levelling game”/”endgame” distinction, so I’m not sure whether I agree with you or not. :-)

      But no question about it, you’re right that players don’t give MMORPGs a huge amount of time to impress them, so you have to be impressive right from the start. I mean, that’s how WoW became the dominant player it is, really.

    • Stabs says:

      It’s not a catch 22

      It’s a market trend that you need to adapt to if you want to launch a successful game.

      People who launch as if it’s 1997 and simply being online on the internet is itself new and exciting will fail. People will no longer pay for a night of crashing to desktop over and over.

      Specifically look and performance are diametrically opposed qualities. If you go so overboard on your game’s look that it doesn’t bloody work you will sell a million boxes to excited over-hyped fans then die a spectacular death.

      You don’t tell people that your game will deliver thousand a side battles with every character graphically represented down to the smallest nose hair and that this will work fine on a ten year old laptop.

      Of course from a business point of view selling a million boxes then dying is actually a pretty profitable business model (especially as you can follow it up by saving money on staff costs by sacking them).

      Still assuming you want your game to succeed as opposed to making a quick money grab then it’s pretty bloody obvious how you should proceed. Eve has done it, Darkfall has done it, Fallen Earth seems to be doing it. Don’t over-hype, don’t over-fill, aim for sustainable growth and realistic ambitions about what your software can deliver.

      It’s not Catch 22 at all, all this is very well known.

  2. Juzaba says:

    If the 60% Wow tourists postulate is true, I don’t think game devs can see it as a benefit. A game has to decide how they’re going to handle massively greater numbers than their intended audience, and that presents a lot of problems (see WAR’s server issues in the first 2 months).

    Games need either a way to expand and contract sub numbers fluidly or they need to follow Darkfall’s plan of just refusing access to the “tourists.”

    That is, if you believe the tourists theory has significant impact in the first place. 60% is certainly far too high of an estimate.

  3. Bhagpuss says:

    I think you’re slightly off on the tourist effect. The tourists (and I freely admit to being one – I’m downloading Allods as I type and I know I don’t have time to play it, but I just want to have a look) ARE curious. That’s why they tour. They will stay until they get bored, and if the game is good enough, that could as easily be 6 months as 30 days.

    I try to play a lot of MMOs. I am interested in the genre both as a hobby and academically (i.e. I like to blether about it as well as play it). I tried the Fallen Earth trial as a tourist, and I liked it so much I subscribed and am likely to play it, on and off, indefinitely. If WAR had been sufficiently well-realised at launch, I think it would have held a good proportion of the tourists, at least until the next new shiny, which could have been many months.

    But WAR isn’t a good game. It has lots of good bits, but they aren’t connected. And it has lots of bad bits. I played it for about 6 weeks, got to the middle of T3 on my Squig Herder and into the teens/twenties on several others, then quit. I am currently back in the Endless Trial, enjoying T1 again.

    I like WAR, I do! There’s a reallty fun game in there fighting to get out. But unfortunately it has been Mythiced nearly to death. I see all the same finicky, nitpicking, humorless attention to utterly tedious detail that turned me off of DAOC within the first 6 months. Tiddly tiny little icons, gritty, grainy, ugly UI, horrible, scarcely readable fonts, muddy, wet, depressing landscapes in itchy textures. And the obsession with “RvR” that is actually Player vs Object. Cram into a tiny space with 100 of your best realm-mates and watch your computer die while you try to hit a door (or a “Lord” – who might as well be an inanimate object).

    I still have hope that WAR can re-invent itself as a cheerful F2P RvR knockabout. The Endless trial is a good start.

  4. Stabs says:

    Darkfall and Fallen Earth have clearly been influenced by the tourist phenomena in the way they handled their launches.

    They were low key affairs aimed at attracting a core audience to provide income while the game grows.

    They went to quite extraordinary lengths to throttle initial demand with DF shutting down the sales completely many times at the start.

    It seems very clever to me. They expect tourists and make sure there’s enough interested people who would like a look but didn’t get one on day one to replace bored tourists.

    Obviously both games mitigated the tourist factor further by being good games of their niches which Warhammer wasn’t.

  5. Malakili says:

    What caused Warhammer to fail, plain and simple, is that the game is bad. The game just wasn’t very good at launch, and I haven’t played in nearly a year now, but it doesn’t seem much (or, enough) has changed. I think their fundamental mistake was going with 2 factions, and no amount of tweaking is going to make a game with only 2 factions that is, ostensibly, about open world PvP actually function in a way that gives a consistently good experience.

    The tourist discussion is totally extraneous if you ask me. Its definitely real, though I don’t know if I think its as high as 60% that truly don’t intend to stay past 30 days. I think the tourist phenomenon, on a large scale can be attributed to people trying to recreate that “first MMO” experience. Almost no matter what you first MMO is/was you will have had a pretty remarkable experience as you make your way through even a very theme parkish MMO. The problem is that you can’t recreate that fresh feeling totally with a new game, cause it is as much because YOU were new, as that the game was new. So I suspect people want that feeling again, but almost no game will give you something close to that, and people just go back to something they already have established rather than grind up to max on a new game.

    • sid67 says:

      Actually — my WAR experience from launch was probably my favorite experience. The game itself was a real blast all the way through Tier 2. It wasn’t until Tier 3 and finally Tier 4 that the game’s shortcomings really started to show up.

      So from that perspective, I think it’s totally possible for a game to recreate that fresh/new/exciting feeling.

  6. sid67 says:

    As a marketer in real life, I just don’t buy into this “tourist” theory at all. The reality is that if the “tourist” simply tries the game, then it is the responsibility of the product design to capture and hold the user.

    This idea that people will “try” and then are “pre-ordained” to go back is just nonsense. If the product is not strong enough to maintain the trial users then that’s the PRODUCT’S fault. Period.

    It’s about opportunity. The product gets the opportunity to take market share. If they fail to capitalize on that opportunity by not offering a better mousetrap, then that’s a problem with design — not the users themselves.

    And that’s what the “tourist” theory is really trying to do. Shift blame from the product to the users. That’s retarded. The product needs to keep the user entertained — the relationship doesn’t work in reverse.

    • Malakili says:

      What if the player isn’t looking for (only) entertainment? (See my post above).

    • SynCaine says:

      Well that’s why you are in marketing and not design Sid :)

      A marketer has to believe everyone is a potential customer in order to be successful. If a designer operates that way, they will be fired real quick (can you guess my line of work).

      The simple truth is that what the customer asks for and what they actual want are often two very different things. When a box is sold, its because the tourist believes they want another MMO. When the tourist leaves >30 in, its a clear showing of what they actually want (not an MMO game). Outside of a pop sensation (WoW), the MMO genre is a niche market in the overall gaming scene for a reason, and while certain games will try to push into the overall market by removing things that are too MMO-ish, you either make an MMO for the niche that wants it, or you don’t.

      • sid67 says:

        What I find idiotic about this conversation is the notion of blaming the “user” for not liking the game. That’s just plain silly. Either the product team didn’t design the product well or the marketing/PR attracted the wrong audience.

        Marketers spend a considerable amount of time segmenting and defining the market, so they know better than anyone that everyone is not a potential customer.

        But what they *do* believe is that if the right audience has the opportunity to try a product then the product demo needs to deliver.

        That’s not to say that marketing and PR can’t share in the blame if they attract the wrong audience.

        But that’s not what happened in this case. Mythic was very aware of what market they wanted to attract — and they succeeded at it.

        What they failed to do was deliver a product that kept that audience interested.

        And THAT is a design problem. Either the WAR design team didn’t understand the target audience or their ideas simply failed or (if you are being kind) they released a half-finished product.

        The problem with trying to blame marketing for attracting the wrong users is that Mythic knew damn well what audience they were trying to attract.

        After all, where else are they going to get a million+ users if they aren’t caniblizing the WoW market?

        Now what your speaking to is matching up customer expectations. Marketing plays a part in managing expectations but ultimately it’s up to the design team to deliver a product the user enjoys.

        As you point out, that doesn’t mean blindly following customer asks. Nor am I saying the ‘design’ part is easy.

        I’m simply stating that if the correct audience actually uses the product and finds it unsatisfactory — that’s a design issue.

        In the end, people left WAR simply because they didn’t think it was as fun as the alternative.

        • Malakili says:

          I think the point here is that the “tourist” audience, as Syncaine defines it at least, is the “correct audience.” They aren’t potential long term users.

          Now, I personally left WAR because I just wasn’t having fun, period, but I did stick around for about 3 months, and went in planning on it being my “main” game for a while. The game just didn’t deliver the end game I was expecting.

          Now, I’m not convinced the tourist thing is actually people going in expecting to just play the game for the one month, or at best, hoping to be surprised at how much they like it. However, I think there is a huge number of people that are going to leave a game after 1 month no matter how “good” the game is. Whether those people aren’t in the target audience for that game, they only intend to play the game for a month to begin with, or they are expecting something other than what the game actually is, I don’t know.

          I don’t think Warcraft is really all that better than a lot of MMOs out there, so I have to assume quality isn’t the only thing coming into play here.

        • sid67 says:

          If a person cancels a subscription, then it’s because they don’t see the value in having that subscription. Period.

          As to why they don’t see the value, there are only a handful of possible explanations:

          1) technical problems
          2) can’t afford it
          3) no friends playing
          4) they didn’t find it entertaining enough

          1) and 4) are product problems. The ‘no friends’ thing could be perceived as product but has as much to do with social engineering as anything else.

          Bottom line is that if they truly thought the game was better than whatever alternative game — then they would have continued the subscription.

          As for the ‘tourist’ argument, I refuse to concede the notion that there is this huge group of “lookey-lous” that play these games and then go back to WoW.

          In my mind, any lookey-lou is just a dissatisfied player looking for an MMO alternative. When they don’t find one they like — then they move on to something else or go back to what they know.

          The crux of the issue in my mind is that these players don’t want a WoW-clone. They like some basic elements of that game but if they wanted to play WoW then they would just keep playing WoW.

          Thus, the issue is that designers fail to capitalize on the dissatisfaction because they continue to provide a product that is too similar to the one which the player is trying to leave.

        • Malakili says:

          So you don’t think its possible that people are willing to pay 50 bucks to play a game for a month with no intention to keep playing it? I’ve bought a LOT of single player games over the years that I’ve gotten a lot less than a month out of. I also frequent some forums where people regularly say they are willing to spend 50 bucks on an MMO cause they can “get a month of fun out of it.”

          The default assumption by developers is that everyone who buys a box is a potential long term player. I don’t think that is necessarily the case.

          Let me put it this way, if WoW Cataclysm was coming out next year, but it was called “Fantasy Game Online” and was made by another company, would it replace Wrath? I doubt it. I bet it would have a ton of people play it off the bat, and I bet their would be a mass exodus though.

        • rulez says:

          Please allow me to be blunt. Why would anyone leave an MMO for another, after a predefined amount of time if they are having fun?

        • malakili says:

          Any number of reasons. Friends playing somthing else. Having fun but wanting something different anyway. The fun itself coming from playing something new, so moving on before it gets stale. I think boiling it down to just “is it fun” is to oversimplify.

        • sid67 says:

          They are still quiting the game after the free subscription because they didn’t find enough value in the product.

          The original intent only plays a factor in so far that the product itself justified their pre-purchase opinion that it would only be worth $50.

      • Dblade says:

        I agree. I think the WoW tourist idea is a myth. What people don’t realize is that every MMO has churn to it, as people play it, and leave, with nothing at all to do with WoW. There’s no shortage of reasons why a person leaves an MMO.

        Even if it is a good game, it just may not attract a person long term. It doesn’t mean that the reason why is because it measures up to WoW and fails.

  7. coppertopper says:

    I would argue that FE and DF’s gameplay bugs and general issues are more serious then even WAR’s. Bad UIs, general bugginess, and gameplay issues galore. But they didn’t attempt to over hype, and so mainly attracted players with realistic expectations.

    • SynCaine says:

      Its not about hype, its about whether overall your game ‘works’ or not. Bugs in DF and FE are annoying, sure, and if the graphics looked like Crysis with the performance of a 8bit game, all the better, but at the end of the day you want a game with a functioning core. Both DF and FE know what they are all about, and at their core they are solid games. The bugs are easy to looks past for both games because eventually you know they will be fixed, and that solid core will still remain.

      The problem with WAR (and Aion) is that even if all the little bugs get fixed, you are still left with a broken core (fixed two sided RvR), and so unless you know THAT is going to be ‘fixed’, no amount of improvements or fixes is going to change that inevitable fact. If you traded half the polish in WAR for a third player faction, the game would not be struggling like it is now.

      • Malakili says:

        Agreed. I can put up with bugs as long as they aren’t crazy show stopping (CTD every few minutes, totally non-functioning features, etc). WAR has problems that have nothing to do with the polish. See Also: Aion, which is by all accounts a pretty polished game, but just isn’t a game that the western audience seems to be real keen on.

      • coppertopper says:

        Actually, since you brought up Wintergrasp, most WAR players would have been happy with fort sieges that were as dynamic and actually worked that well.

        “Its not about hype, its about whether overall your game ‘works’ or not.”

        And that is a totally subjective word: ‘works’. Because in the same line of thought I could go on and on about how Aion ‘works’ for me (and hundreds of thousands of others), and am totally awestruck at the future gameplay Aion offers. And what doesn’t function properly or generally annoys the populace for the NA release has already been addressed and/or is being actively worked on by NCsoft, not unlike DF and FE and their devs. As much as I could lmao at the “expansion” notes for DF, its being done by a small dedicated dev team and I applaud that. But the core gameplay and direction its heading is what draws its audience in, whereas I can’t even bring myself to spend $10 on it due to how much it doesn’t ‘work’ for me. Bring on the free trial. FE sort of ‘worked’ for me, but really works for 6 people in the guild.

  8. Derrick says:

    About the tourist thing:

    From my experience, both personally and with friends, tourists very often don’t return to WoW because it’s better. I personally often left WoW, tried other games, and went back to WoW.

    I was bored of Warcraft. I wasn’t terribly fond of the endgame in general. Hell, my working hours made raiding almost impossible. But yet, I always went back.

    Quite simply, I had an established network of friends there, and several levelled toons; a huge time investment. New games were often better, but I didn’t stick with them because I wasn’t able to bring my friends with me.

    Further, if the new game was WoW-ish (re: Aion) it very quickly becomes pointless. Why go through all the inane themepark game play *again* when I’ve got levelled toons on Warcraft?

    So, then, new games face a major hurdle.

    If they are similar to warcraft, they not only have to be at least comparable *at launch* to a AAA title that’s been running for years, they’ve got to be BETTER to overcome the huge disadvantage of not having an existing social framework, and of forcing players to “being anew” so to speak; to stop being the all-powerful godlike characters they’ve been playing for so long.

    So, yeah, the tourist issue exists, and it’s not entirely a design issue. I think the impact of peoples circles of friends in other games and established characters is often highly underestimated.

    The tourist issue is compounded by a subscription-only payment model. You force users to choose which they want to play, or to halve their gameplay value (play 2 games, half as much each, but for twice the price as playing one game with all your gaming time). So, a new player has to decide not just “Is this a good game, worth it’s subscription price?” but rather “Is this a good game, worth starting all over again, making a whole new network of friends, and either paying twice as much monthly or abandoning all my old friends?”

    This is why niche games are more successful, really. The more targetted at a specific niche a game is, the more it avoids direct competition with Blizzard. Darkfall, for example, appeals to a totally different player base, so there’s much less direct competition.

    • Stabs says:

      “the more targetted at a specific niche a game is, the more it avoids direct competition with Blizzard.”

      I don’t think that’s true at all.

      I’d bet that over 80% of DF players have tried WoW. If we take Sync as an example of a typical DF player he played WoW in a very hardcore way.

      What these games have that AoC and War didn’t is a realistic approach to what they can deliver.

      • Bhagpuss says:

        I’m playing Fallen Earth and WoW. I usually play both in the same evening. They are complementary, not competetive.

        Since the part of MMOs I like is the levelling-uppart, it’s entirely practical for me to play several concurrently. Even back in the dim, distant past I was subbed to DAOC, EQ and The Realm at the same time, and was betaing any other MMOs I could get into.

        I also agree with a point made above that it is not particularly surprisng that people pay $50 for a game they have no intention of playing long-term. It’s no different to paying the same for an offline game; if it turns out you even like it enough to play it for the first 30 days, it’s cheap entertainment.

        And finally, on the graphics of Fallen Earth, I think they are superb. The level of detail is phenomenal. Every single town and settlement is properly thought-out and fascinating to explore. You can tell a huge amount about who lives there and what they have been through just by exploring. The landscapes are subtle, varied and extremely atmospheric. The sunsets are gorgeous. Fallen Earth is a graphic delight; it might not be flashy or hyper-modern or color-saturated, but in terms of graphic design it’s a real gem.

      • sid67 says:

        I think this is the only really valid argument for the ‘tourist’ theory. That it’s the result of social engineering — i.e. we play where our friends play.

        But then, they aren’t tourists because of WoW but because of friendships. So gameplay and design have little relevance as to why these players quit one game for another.

  9. Adam says:

    What caused Warhammer to fail? Not being true to their core audience. Fundamental flaws in the game that they didn’t react quickly to fix.

    What are tourists?

    Warhammer was flooded with tourists. I can tell by the posts in this and Tobold’s post that most of the people commenting were those tourists.

    I can tell because people comment on inconsequential crap about the game, public quests or their time in t2-t3.

    Let me be clear. When Warhammer was working right it was some of the best gaming I’ve ever experienced. It’s a fundamentally flawed game but it’s vastly better than WoW for epic open warfare, letting you play a real game from level 1(scenarios and rvr) and the sure howling joy of death battling with the other faction.

    One saturday a full population server spent all day in a t4 zone just flat out denying the enemy. We knew no side was going to flip the zone. Noone was going to budge. We took shifts and just battled it out. Epic day. NOTHING in WoW compares to experiences like that.

    Warhammers real problems were things most of you never had a glimpse of.

    If you even made it to t4 you ran around in your 4 man boutique WoW buddy guild and then cried about getting rolled by serious guilds flipping the zone.

    Mostly this is because you were tourists… metaphorically big fat dumb Americans sitting in the middle of an exotic foreign country crying about the lack of Big Macs and Slurpies you travelled to come see. “craftings sucks…this instance is boring”

    I was a mean savage griefer in Warhammer with real hate in my heart for Destro. I hope I caused some of you to quit and return to WoW sooner rather than later

    :D

  10. jamesy says:

    I pretty much agree with Derrick as regards WoW. I played for over 3.5 years and left mainly due to time restraints and the demise of my guild. Once my network of friends fragmented I pretty much lost the motivation to carry on, and as such quit, much to my wife’s glee! I moved on through AoC, Eve, LotR and finally Warhammer of which I stayed with for almost a year and really enjoyed it. Again I left due to my guild falling apart, not due to the lack of fun, which is what War does best imo.
    I personally think Warhammer has bought more to the genre than say Aion, and that is commendable. But imo it’s biggest mistake was no third faction, and it’s probably something we’ll now never see which is very sad.

  11. armagone says:

    I wasn’t even so much as a tourist.
    I preordered my WAR CE, they fucked up the early access (can’t even exactly remember how) and I started playing a bit pissed already. But I had my 10 days of game time.
    I really liked WAR, but it was just slightly worse than WoW.
    Now, neither didn’t I have time to play 2 MMOs, nor was I keen on paying a second subscription. So even if I’d easily say WAR was the second-best game I played since I play WoW (that is 4 years) – just by being only second best I didn’t switch.
    Had I been annoyed by WoW at that point, it would have surely had me for at least a few months. (Hardcore Altoholic here, so even with T4 sucking I would have probably played 3-4 chars to max level)

    • Malakili says:

      This is definitely a good post, because it illustrates a major problem for new MMOs. 1) People often don’t want to pay for two subscriptions, even if they are willing to buy the box for a new MMO while playing another one. 2) A lot of People aren’t willing to stick around with a new game to see how things shake out, if they feel there is something better to be playing.

      This means, that for a lot of people, they will effectively never switch, as a new MMO will never ever ever be as high quality as one that has years of post launch development time to fix things like bugs, server stability, class/ability balance, add new content, and so forth.

      • armagone says:

        Then again if WAR launched now, I’d probably give it a better try. Bit more money, though even less time, but a bit annoyed by wow as well :P

  12. Ponder says:

    My experience:

    . T1 was really fun
    . T2 was OK, but lack of interesting PvP was annoying
    . T3 was reason I stopped – too few people to do PQs (also game got grindy, PvP was becoming a bore)

    After I stopped, I reflected that WHO was really just another corporate scam to get money on the MMO bandwagon. Most sickening was WHO’s motto “War everwhere” was in reality “War nowhere”.

    However, the dream of a Fantasy PvP MMO is still strong. I’m sure many WHO staff were committed to that dream.

  13. Warhammer Online failed, because it was boring. Scenarios were dull and RvR boiled down to Player versus door/mob.

    Also, I was not a tourist, I quit WoW in 2007 because that game was also terrible.

  14. silvertemplar says:

    I agree up there with sid, i’ve burned through 6 MMOs in the last year. I don’t consider myself a “tourist” , come now, does anyone believe the MMOs released in the last 2 years is worth more than a month of your time? I sure as heck did not think so.

    I definitely would like an MMO that will keep me engrossed for at least 6 months. If it had the depth and complexity from lvl 1 i don’t see the problem for doing so. Sadly the latest crop of MMOs are freaking shallow, single dimensional Diablo rip-offs with a monthly sub.

    Does anyone actually believe the “massively” in MMO is valid on 90% of the MMOs out today? Look at games like Borderlands which are not sold as an MMO, compare that to Champions Online…seriously, we are being ripped off in the MMO-genre. They are releasing instanced based 1-40 multiplayer games and callig it MMO so they can justify the pricing model.

    So while i’m burning through the one MMO after another, it’s not because i don’t want to, it’s because an MMO is no longer any different than a single player game. How long did you play Dragon Age? A month or two i bet? The game is considered a brilliant success….why is anything thinking companies like EA is not “Abusing” this in MMO-country too? Get the box, play a month, “finish” the game and for the suckers who are slow, make them pay even more !

    Bioware is already being criticized for pulling their “micro transactions” stunt in Dragon Age, if you think about it, we are fine with this in an MMO with LESS CONTENT than DA:O , why is that?

  15. Tal says:

    A month isn’t enough for most gamers to decide whether or not they like a game? Give them 2 free months when they buy it… You can’t blame the player who just paid $50 for a game that he didn’t enjoy.

  16. Derrick says:

    Well, a month should be enough to know if you like a game or not. It’s a *month*. I can tell you whether or not I’ll enjoy a game in an hour.

    If the developers designed a game wherein the “best parts” can not be experienced until the player has put in a lot of time, well, that’s their own terrible game design.

    This is the huge flaw behind the “leveling game >> endgame” philosophy that WoW pushes (and others before it).

    The game players are presented with when they start is not in the slightest related to the game they will be playing long term. It’s fine for WoW, where most people starting their “mmo careers”, but now.. not so much.

    Look at all the newer games, the ones that are actually being more successful. Things like Darkfall, Eve, FE. There’s no real differentiation between the levelling game and the end game – players know early if they’ll like the game or not.

    Quite frankly, it’s just absurd to ask a player to play for months before they get to start playing the real game. It’s terrible, terrible game design.

  17. Skull says:

    The author has no idea about this topic of why WAR failed. How in the world did you even come up with numbers such as 60% of WAR buyers are WoW players? Show me a legitimate resource anywhere that you acquired this baseless information. Your opinion is your right to express but when you throw in random numbers without doing your research, then your article is as good as reading a horoscope.

    Maybe that is what you have in mind, and that is the purpose of this article. But I can guarantee you that many people that read any articles or blogs want real fact(s). I stopped reading the whole article once I saw that 60% bullfrog hopping around your post.

    But I do agree with the one and only thing. WAR failed, miserably!

  18. [...] an innocent enough post, and certainly worth discussing. But then Syncaine came along and posted his reply on his blog, postulating a ridiculous and unsupportable figure that he claims shows why WAR [...]

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