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Submitted by Lavalamp 282d ago | opinion piece

How MMO’s Have Become The Worst Business Model In The Gaming Industry

What Culture: "Since the fires of WoW have now tempered themselves, people really haven’t heard much in the vein of MMORPGs on a blockbuster scale. One reason is because it is very difficult for an upstart title to overtake a game’s brand loyalty and consumer base. How many other first-person shooters can you name that have a truly competitive nature with Call of Duty or Halo? Many of these games fall into a roadside ditch, never to be thought of again. Others try to replicate the design, but through a lens that doesn’t really understand why the major title was famous in the first place." (Culture)

Jdoki  +   282d ago
The problem is that WoW became the template for success - and every other MMO company just pasted a new theme on to similar mechanics.

No one has done anything new or innovative in the genre for years.

So to compensate, company's have tried different business models. The problem with Free to Play is that usually it means pay to win or be bored to death grinding to unlock basic stuff. Micro transactions are still seen as a money suck. The subscription model works, but people expect a basic level of content / features to support that subscription - and too many MMO's are launching with incomplete features sets, or get exposed for their generic mechanics and can not build abig enough player base.

Many MMO's should never get past concept stage. But because Blizzard created this massive money pie, every developer / publisher wanted a slice. So we have an over saturated market of mediocre games which hurts the credibility of the genre.

Layer on top that MMO's are hugely expensive to produce and maintain and we have a situation where ambition outstrips ability and budget - so there's little point signing up to an MMO as a player when it will either disappear in a few months, or switch business model to the detriment of the player.

Star Wars KotR is a good example. A subscription based game that promised a lot. Switched to a mixed model of F2P and subscription and gained subscribers but started delivering smaller scale expansions. I signed up as F2P, but after level 10 it become a chore to play as progress was slow and the limitations kicked in. So I subscribed - progressed faster, but that just revealed how generic and boring the game was - so I quit. The devs / publisher may have got a few quid out of me - but I don't think their model is one that can be sustained.

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