No One Is Buying MMO's Anymore

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Saul, May 25, 2012.

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    Saul Community Member

    An article posted on various websites by a journo at Joystiq, gives me some hope against a backdrop of boring regurgitated shite that has been the recent MMO releases over the past 3 years or so. With the dreadful collapse of 38 studios and Big Huge Games yesterday, many developers are simply refusing to finish, or shelving MMO projects for the foreseeable future, with a lot of talented developers looking for jobs in the states and all over the world.

    My hope is due to recent MMO failures, + Amount invested in so called AAA Rehash MMO's, + Poor development, + Stay Safe Developer mentality. We may see, once the dust has settled, more independent studios taking longer and spending less money and innovating in the true sense of the word on any future MMO releases.

    Article from Joystiq:

    Nobody is buying MMOs any more. Not a single person. Zip. Zilch. Nada.
    So sayeth Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter in anarticle on Joystiq. Referring to the recent troubles at 38 Studiosand BioWare, Pachter said:
    “Nobody is buying MMOs after Star Wars fizzled. I think value is low, probably $20 million or so. There is just no demand for game assets right now, as THQ proved when it tried to sell theWarhammer MMO. I think [Electronic Arts] could step in, since they are the publisher, so you might see some alternative way to get 38 some bridge financing.”
    Electronic Arts denied any involvement in directly acquiring the Amalur IP.
    So he’s not referring to individual sales as much as he’s referring to sales of assets, on a corporate scale. But is all this tied to SWTOR‘s problems?
    Or maybe, as ArenaNet‘s Christopher Lye postulated, companies are realizing that making “safe” games — likeSWTOR and Warhammer Online — are actually more of a risk than actually trying something different?
    And as for 38 Studios and Copernicus? Well, the way that company looks right now, would you be backing up a truck full of millions of dollars to buy it?
    Didn’t think so.
    Maybe the statement needs to be amended to say nobody is buying “questionable” MMOs right now. Maybe we need better MMOs, not more or flashier ones. Just a thought.
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    Aspira Admin Officer

    What an interesting read.

    Thanks for posting this.

    Sent from my HTC Desire using Forum Runner
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    adagio Moderator

    I don't think no one is playing mmos, just the market is saturated with massed produced shit in order to milk the last shiny liquid gold from old style mmos.

    Gamers these days have a choice and mmo devs haven't listened to players for quite sometimes. In the old days it was about social interaction and working as a guild towards a common goal. Raids of 40 players made sure you needed large amount of players. This should then naturally have lead to ever increasing large scale pvp/guild/raid wars but for some reason devs changed the way off mmos.

    Small scale became the norm and the mass social aspect dwindled. Now 10v10 is sometimes the largest battle you will see in a game. The further it goes on like this the more ppl will form groups of 10-15 and simply play coop games like diablo, minecraft, lol and terraria.

    We have probably seen the end of the mammoth guilds and now onto "friend" guilds.
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    Feidan Community Member

    A big problem with mmos up till now was that it was either everyone trying to copy wow and making a less polished version with a different skin trying to attract players with some gimmick or asian grindy mmos. In my opinion people still want to play with a lot of people but they want new experiences out of the gameplay. MMOs are just so expencive to make that innovating in that genre is so risky that almost everyone is scared to go all out with it.
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    Saul Community Member

    No the Article relates to Corporate Purchase of MMO assets. (ie) No companies are buying MMO Assets and therefore no Banks are prepared to invest $50 mill loans to furnish mmo build costs.

    The State of Rhode Island invested $70Mil into 38 Games based on projected sales of Amalur and to further the development of Copunicus, the Amalur MMO that 38 were building.

    Kingdoms of Amalur sold 1.2 million copies, but when the Rhode Island Governors Office did it's feasibility study on 38 games it showed they needed to sell double that just to break even. 38 Studios were looking for a 3million sales figure to keep them afloat.

    Since it was never going to do that, Rhode Island State lost $70mil the Vice Chairman of the Rhode Island Economic Development Trust was forced to resign and Curt Schilling folded both 38 Games and Big Huge within 24 hours, (aka) Yesterday.

    EA were publishing Amalur and they decided after the overall financial failure of SWTOR, the recent layoffs from Bioware including Steven Reid and half the Devlopers, not just Community and Customer Support people as expected, that they were not prepared to offer any bridging loans to 38 to help keep it afloat.

    What this means is we wont see many so called AAA MMO's in the near future by companies like EA / Activision.

    My bet is Funcom will also fail with Secret World, EA will totally back off from the MMO market, Activision will only bankroll Titan, and we wont see anymore mega expensive, rushed to market MMO's.

    Imo this means the MMO genre will go back into the hands of the Indy Developer, with structured finance and a need to innovate or die. We will see fewer and fewer MMO's released, and they will probaly take longer, but what will happen is Devs will purchase already established engines, instead of the dev costs involved in making their own, and the costs like Bioware spent on a new engine like the Hero Engine.

    So like Archeage, to keep costs down dev's will lease engines like Cry2 /Cry3 / Unreal, etc.

    This will bring loads of money to develop those engines to the max as opposed to people going from one engine to another to try and be unique, at a huge expense.

    In short we will see a lot fewer MMO's, but they will be much better and much more populated, and most importantly of all Innovation will be a must, not just something devs only dare to do a little bit of.

    The failure of WARHAMMER / RIFT / SWTOR / Secret World. will remove the wankers from EA and Activision from the equation, and make it perfectly clear that playing safe and copy pasta MMO's are dead, innovation and a final progression of the genre is needed or forget it, don't bother, you will loose millions. All great news for us MMO players imo.
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    Fozia Veteran BOON

    well if EA quits the mmo market it can only be a good thing
  7. Offline

    Saul Community Member

    To me this is the first sign that Play power is working.

    The MMO Player base is no longer prepared to put up with the same old shite. The player base in general will buy the game with the first month sub and leave if the game does not stack up to the hype.

    This is killing profits for EA and big publishers world wide who are bank rolling these mmo's.

    GW2 will be the model going forward for all existing MMO's including Titan, and imo SWTOR was the death of the subscription model for MMO's.

    This all means Devs have to innovate and have ongoing content, or players will not invest in DLC, MT's, etc, which is where the devs will make their money, again all good for us players imo.
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    Aspira Admin Officer

    If they were erased from history it would be even better tbh.
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    Feidan Community Member

    But then there is also Activision >>
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    Relinquished Veteran BOON

    I agree with Saul generaly except for 1 point.
    GW2 will not be the model of anything. It's just another generic MMO that will not bring anything new to the table.
    Better versions of what we already know perhaps, but no nothing new, sorry.

    Killing mobs, doing quests, getting xp, some gear and then pvp using skillsets etc etc sorry it has been around for nearly 2 decades.
    It's been done to death one way or another. Best case scenario GW2 will last longer than the other crap around mainly due to the fact that it does not require a sub.
  11. Offline

    Saul Community Member


    Sorry Reli, I meant Model as in Pricing, as In free to Play with DLC and MT's. Imo SWTOR has lost so much money for EA based on projected subscriptions that have simply not transpired, they did not have the DLC, etc to be able to switch models quickly enough to make up profits from the switch, so EA invested $150+ mil on a planned subscription model that is flawed due to the fact people get 30 days free and say "this is shit" and cancel their sub killing EA's projected earnings.

    Where as Arenanet have based their projections on box sales and maybe a small amount of DLC per user, meaning they aint lying to the banks and they have a larger scope for making profit.
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    Relinquished Veteran BOON

    In that case we agree on that as well. All valid points.
  13. Offline

    Maskerad Veteran BOON

    Yeah, MMOs aren't that hip atm.

    And suddenly, Titan.
  14. Offline

    Tvar Veteran BOON

    Oh wow yes, let's open up that can of wor.."blizzard goes on another new title" -subject, that'll be fun. I mean since Diablo is doing so awesome... :p
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    Saul Community Member


    Thing is though 'M' Blizzard must be slightly crapping themselves, they have made mega bucks from WoW so they are not in any financial trouble, but since Titan has been in development for probably 18 months or so, they better have made the right choices from day one, or they will either have to start again, or risk MMO failure, like the rest.

    Blizz are experts at copying existing content and ideas and re-packaging it, whats happened recently has pretty much sent out a huge message, "Innovate or Die". also Blizz made most of their money at the hight of the subscription model, they need to change that 100% or they will loose money.

    No doubt Blizz will get more numbers than most mmo's based on the huge amount of subs they have had, wanting a look at the new thing from Blizz, but if they have invested heavily into it and it is not a huge change from the norm, or does not live up to the hype, then people will drop it like they have every mmo since WoW, apart from the odd Asian success. To be fair WoW is as much the Elephant in the room for Blizzard as it is for other developers, maybe even more so, as Bobby Kotick will be judged by a lot of people on the success of Titan up against that Elephant.

    Plus there is a lot of people turned off by battlenet, and Diablo 3 is not exactly a resounding success even after several release date push backs.

    Like I say financially Blizz have no worries, but to be honest no matter how rich you are, your shareholders are never too impressed when their Company looses money, or directors keep telling shareholders how much profit they are going to make them, then have to revise figures downwards post release.
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    Merketh The MerkBot

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    Selenus Veteran BOON

    They need to remake Ultima Online with prettier graphics.

    I'll be happy then.

    This is why I still think Darkfall, from the last couple of years, is the MMO that would have suited me the most, if Aventurine / Talos didn't fuck up over and over and over (And over)
  18. Offline

    Fozia Veteran BOON

    tbh warhammer online could have been so much more it had massive potential
  19. Offline

    Allstar Just A "Member"


    The biggest PC-game launch in history :)

    Source
  20. Offline

    Saul Community Member

    Thing is thats release, I bet their figures are lower now, and I bet they drop off as more and more people get sick of dodgy battlenet or hate the fact you are conned into having to buy gear from the real money auction to get the most out of the game.

    The point is people are refusing to part with money for inferior products, if it's great, it will keep those figures, lets see in a month or so where they are.
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