Why Do Online Communities Die?

Joel Taveras of DualShockers writes, "This is the question I kept asking myself during a recent romp in Uncharted 2 multi-player. Where, with a full party of 5 players, it was still taking us upwards of 2 minutes to find only a couple of players to go up against. Frustration began to settle in and that’s when the question dawned on me, why is it that community in an online game seems to disappear, and more importantly why do only a select few have any real staying power?"

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taz80803701d ago

Online games are hot when they first release and then after a few weeks the amount of people playing quickly dissipates.

Gamers are very fickle and will go with the newest shineiest game of the week, only certain titles like an MW2 can keep their numbers online up but even games like MW2 lose its numbers with time.

DasBunker3701d ago

people move to something else... i get bored of MP online within a month, then after that i just play it sporadically.. just cant play the same stuff over and over... like some casuals do with COD and halo

AAACE53701d ago (Edited 3701d ago )

Sometimes it's just because the game gets old and has to be replaced! Sometimes, it's because people have seen through the smoke and mirrors and realize the game isn't much fun in the first place.

The games that really speak to fans are the ones that stick around for a while... People are still playing Rainbow Six Vegas 1 for god sake!

@booni3... Sorry to tell you, but fighting games, racing games and things of that sort are getting the short end of the stick! Popularity for these games are getting smaller. What I suggest is when you do find people in the games you like, you should try to add them to your friends list.

I had a similar problem when I tried to play DOA 4 online a few years ago. Shooters are popular, a few fighting games like Street fighter are popular and a few racing games are popular. But most people find it more fulfilling to play shooters online.

That's one thing I don't like about the direction the industry is going in. The most popular games on the market are shooters. Doesn't matter what type of game it is, you have some form of weapon and you are shooting something.

I'll believe there is innovation when other games stand out as much!

I know you can't blame the developers because they are trying, so is it us? Are we the reason games are moving towards being shooters and not platformers?

booni33701d ago

This is such an excellent topic, i simply must contribute.
I was thinking this same thing the other day. I popped in the original BlazBlue and it took me ten minutes to find an opponent, and after that? i had to create a room and occupy myself on the PC until someon joined.
I think the reason online communities die is because there is simply so much of the same available. Notice how almost all the examples were shooting games. You can get any flavor of shooter on any console two hundred and fifty times. By this point, the everyone wants whats new, hot or exciting in the genre, if it is for only one month. Because chances are by that time there will be a new shooter out that everyone wants to sink into. This particular genre (shootiers) cannot help but suffer this because at the end of the day, there are simply too many of them. The other day i popped in Unreal tournament 3. now i know this game is ages old, but i was simply baffled by the idea that i was the only person on the internet playing UT3 online on my xbox 360, it was really eye opening. Now on the other hand, when a game offers an experience that CANT be had any where else, it tends to stick around. a quick example is the beloved fighting game Dead Or Alive 4 for the 360. This game came out in 2005 and yet if you jump on right now, you will still find more opponents than you can handle. That kind of staying power is rarely matched, but it all chocks up to the experience. BlazBlue had a new release last month and im sure that is why the competition is so dry on the online, the series has always had a very dedicated fanbase. and like the example gears of war and halo, it does a good hjob of distinguishing itself from the drones and drones of monotinous shooter afairs.

himdeel3701d ago (Edited 3701d ago ) your level it's hard to find a match. I know this weekend I was playing with 3 pals all over level 60. We had no trouble finding a match. Then a pal joined us he was level 13, we made him leader just for fun and the game found multiple matches at his level. He left and they made me leader, I'm level 50 and there was almost no one in my level to create a match. Each time the game would find maybe 1-2 people and it'd split our party to make the games even :(

Likewise this brings up something I hate about games with online competitive components. You can only enjoy that part of the game while the online community is active :( This generation people move from game to game so quickly it's kind of sickening. I know this is why I fawn over single player only games and even games with cooperative experiences.

Final thought: I hate that every games seems to have to have an online component to it. I feel like I should be able to opt out of paying for a part of the game I don't want or don't want to engage in.

SOAD3701d ago (Edited 3701d ago )

I don't play with anyone in my group so I always find a match pretty quickly.

Edit: Also, teams made up of players of varying ranks will slow down the search of any game. Halo 3 had problems finding matches when me and my friend play. He's a Brig General, and I'm a Major.

ThanatosDMC3701d ago

Taz nailed it. It's even worse on the PS3 because there's too many great games splitting the community. I've havent been playing my PS3 for a while because of Starcraft 2.

Playerz83701d ago

Hey I play Uncharted 2 online all the time, and as long as you play deathmatch or plunder, you'll always find people.

And I played Killzone 2 online last week, and there are still a decent amount of people online, you just have to find them.

FamilyGuy3701d ago (Edited 3701d ago )

This IS the case for Uncharted 2.

Your story is the perfect explanation of why one might have trouble finding a match. The game is currently filled (majorly) with die hards (people above level 60) and newcomers (people level 47 and below). If you fall in that dead zone you need to party up with someone who isn't and make that person leader.

I say 47 is low because it doesn't take long to reach that level compared to ANY level above 60.

thevokillist3700d ago

Couldn't agree more. KZ2 & Uncharted 2 are such great games, it baffles me at how the lobbies are generally empty. They are starting to fill back up though because people are beginning to realize how crappy MW2 is becoming with all of the camping noobtubers.

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Hitman07693701d ago

This is a major issue that I'm seeing more and more and if we are to keep buying these types of online Shooter games with the hopes that we will have a fun community to play with (including our friends) then we need to be realistic and realize that 10 or more games a year just aren't going to possibly ALL remain alive. Perhaps FPS gamers and online gamers in general need to take a serious evaluation on buying games for the multi-player component. But this is a good question, why do they die?

Bedrockk3701d ago

i think part of the issue is fundamentally entwined in what the game is at its core, i.e. campaign vs multiplayer expereicne. for as long as there are multiplayer shooters there will be active forums (look how long it took to get Halo 2 off the grid). But with a game like Uncharted 2, despite whatever secondary dlc or multiplayer components they attempt to tack on, its still fundamentally a 1-person campaign experience. like a movie: great to talk about when it first drops, and old news by the time the next blockbuster hits.

ShadyDevil3701d ago

Online communities die because of lack of a supporting gaming system in multiplayer. A prime example is Wolfenstien that game was great and the online was cool but nobody plays it at all now. Then theres your mediocre games like Rogue Warrior and Punisher No mercy.

-Judge_Fudge3701d ago

bingo, give this man 1 delicious point

Fanb0y3701d ago

They don't support COD multiplayer at all.

Millions still play it.

It's not to do with the support, I believe it's the fundamental gameplay itself and how it fits in with competitive multiplayer.

dkblackhawk503701d ago

Wow nice and short hello there...

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