China is a scary place for MMO gaming

The China MMO market sounds terrifying. The whole video is almost an hour, but all of it just sounds awful. And not just because of the money issue, but because none of these games are actually designed to be fun so much as getting you addicted. It’s basically browser-based slot machine design.

The cultural differences are very clear, from the competitive aspect to the acceptance of things being unfair. What stands out to me is that in the west, one of the original selling points of a game like UO was that despite your status in real life (sex, race, wealth, appearance, etc.), in a virtual world your worth is determined by your in-game actions. With F2P, and especially with P2W, your real life aspects become more and more of the focus, with your in-game actions simply being the end result or trophy.

It’s certainly interesting to observe from afar, but it’s not even remotely anything I’d actually want to get into.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
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20 Responses to China is a scary place for MMO gaming

  1. John says:

    I think the joke goes that, in the west, your virtual worth is inversely proportional to your status in real life.

  2. Xyloxan says:

    I watched the entire presentation. It’s sick and scary. The doom of Western civilization is near, no kidding.

  3. I couldn’t finish it. Too depressing.

    But one of my key take away points was that this appeared to be a good career move for somebody who ran a gold farming/RMT shop and felt good about it. So, clearly we should see Zynga headed this way shortly.

    The other was that he got out of gold farming because F2P was killing the external RMT business. So I guess that is one point for F2P.

  4. corehealer says:

    Games like those are just criminal. They make me lose hope for humanity. How anyone could, with a straight face and with genuine eagerness, reduce a creative exercise intended for fun, entertainment and artistic expression to a clock in, clock out job of accruing leaderboard and reward points and monetizing everything viciously and ripping off every new hot trend in the market… and even more how anyone could PLAY this and encourage this kind of crap?

    I get that China is full of people stuck behind a firewall with the legacy of communism still hanging over their heads; having to deal with a lack of accountability and a lack of creative drive is an everyday reality for them. And I get that things can be quite competitive amidst all the millions of people struggling to overcome rural poverty any way they can. But to be reduced to this mocking shadow of entertainment and to see this as a valid career path and a valid form of enjoyment is just beyond my ability to comprehend.

    This kind of stuff really is toxic and should be banned from Western exposure. Games like these have no substance, encourage the worst of human nature and can only dilute the true value of real video games.

  5. Mekhios says:

    Thanks for posting that link. Intriguing presentation. It’s easy to see where Zynga games get their inspiration from.

    I don’t blame Psigoda for capitalising on these type of games. He saw an opportunity in a market that prefers this type of gameplay and is probably rolling in money.

    I find these style of games repugnant though and certainly have no interest in playing them.

    • corehealer says:

      If China wants to roll around in this filth, then by all means. I just don’t want that shit here.

      • Mekhios says:

        As highlighted in the presentation that shit is already here. Just modified to make the P2W model more palatable for us westerners.

        World of Tanks also follows a P2W model. Not as blatant as that of the Chinese browser MMO’s but still present. For example buying gold ammo and 100% crew skills rather than grinding.

        • corehealer says:

          I know it’s here, even in a bastardized form; doesn’t mean I want it here or that it’s any less sketchy at best and abhorrent at worst.

  6. Oh, it’s pure hype for the guy’s “wartune” mmo. Obviously, after listening to the presentation (was interesting and engaging in it’s own right), i came the conclusion that anyone stupid enough to play farmville is perfect for this guy’s market.

    Not depressing at all, really. It’s actually quite fascinating to learn how F2P with built in P2W works on a massive scale.
    Personally, if WOT ever went this route i’d probably stop playing if some ‘whale’ could slaughter all the non paying members. Why? I just don’t get a thrill out of the ultra competitive nature of P2W.

    Actually, i have no idea how the hell P2W even survives…why on earth would masses of F2P members put up with the crap this guy is touting as reality in Asia???

    • Mekhios says:

      “Actually, i have no idea how the hell P2W even survives…why on earth would masses of F2P members put up with the crap this guy is touting as reality in Asia???”

      Well he should know. He lives and works there and presumably makes a ton of money off the market. Its the same reason the Japanese market is so different to the Western market .. different cultures .. different gaming paradigm.

      • “he should know” uhm…okay, but he didn’t get philosophical about the ‘why’ and i don’t really see an answer to my question in what you said since it’s a given “he knows” which is about as much help as “he didn’t talk much about those that don’t pay”

        • Mekhios says:

          Well maybe we should email him directly and find out the “why”. His email address is clearly listed on the presentation. And given he makes the bulk of his money off the “$100,000 whales” I doubt he even cares much about those that do not pay except how to incentivise them to want to pay.

        • you can email him. i’m not going to. Obviously, a guy whose background is RMT isn’t going to give an honest answer, which is why i made the comment you decided to reply to: it’s obvious he’d simply rephrase his “ultra competitive and unfair” acceptance by the unwashed masses to bolster his rather shaky RMT rationalization.

          So, again, ‘why’ do the F2P members put up with P2W in Asia? It certainly isn’t the rosy self promoting vision the presenter spews that’s for sure of willing acceptance of “unfairness” and “competition”

          I personally suspect he’s talking about a niche market of idiots who like to play stuff like Evony. Sucker borne every minute of P.T.Barnum infamy.

        • Pai says:

          He was interviewed by MarkeeDragon a few years back, and actually gave plenty of honest answers about the RMT market. It’s a fairly interesting look into black market RMT, since this guy was apparently a big broker in those circles:

        • Mekhios says:

          I’ve sent an email to Jared referring him to this website so will be interested to see if he responds.

  7. for the cole’s notes version of what the presenter was getting at: leaderboards, leaderboards, leaderboards

  8. Yet…we all buy into it. We all plunk down our money for the newest shiniest MMO and dont think twice about it. But I certainly see these trends in Guild Wars 2.

  9. Also if this isnt an argument against the Free To Play whinebags out there I dont know what is. This is your future…enjoy!

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