Nice interview by Massively with Mark Jacobs. He makes some good points.
WAR’s hype was inexpensive and very effective. The point of hype is to get people interested enough to buy; for WAR, that worked. My only question would be whether the hype would have worked as well with a more measured tone. If ‘bears bears bears’ was not in the game yet, or was not how the game really worked, would a more toned-down video have been just as effective for hype purposes? Or did the hype only work because it was as crazy and outlandish as ‘bears bears bears’?
The whole third-faction, RvR vs PvE focus; obviously I retrospect this was a bad decision. As I point out frequently here, aiming at 300k and getting it is better than aiming for 1m and getting 50k. WAR/SW:TOR and many others aimed at a ‘broad audience’. They appeal to no one enough to retain them. A game like DF:UW only appeals to a tiny subset of the MMO population, but is able to retain that group because for those players, it’s the best game out due to its focus. Why this continues to be a pitfall for others I’m not sure. I get greedy is a powerful thing, but with almost 10 years of examples, it’s pretty crazy that people are still willing to throw money into the fire like that.
Finally, if you look at what WAR brought to the genre, and compare it to SW:TOR or the ‘genre fixing’ GW2, WAR win’s in a landslide in terms of contribution. Public quests, evolving cities, how they did instanced PvP, the Tome of Knowledge, map functionality, etc. Yes, at the end of the day the game did not work enough to succeed, but many of its parts were brilliant and the blueprint going forward. Other than convincing everyone NOT to do voice acting, what did SW:TOR bring? Is there one feature of GW2 that is new and worth copying into another MMO?