Last night something came up in my WoW guild that got me to thinking. Yeah I know, it should happen more often, this “thinking” thing.
I’m almost level 79 so I’m running some stuff with friends, trying to level. As such I’m not in Naxx with the rest of my guild on the nights they run that. Tarkheena is 80 and she has started running Naxx with the guild and as such was in the Vent channel with them during the run. Before I get into the details, let me set the stage.
The guild I am in has been together for years and years. They play other games and WoW just happens to be the game that they are playing as a group now. We got invited to the guild because we know some of these guys in real life. Most of the people in the core of the guild live here in Austin and we’ve been to lunch and we’re probably going to do a LAN party event here soon. They are adults, most of them have kids or long-term relationships, and have pretty good jobs in the high tech industry. As such, there is a very high level of trust among the core. I’m not likely to ninja something if I have to be on a conference call with that person in a few weeks trying to sell something to a customer. It’s just not gonna happen. Plus, no one wants to jeapordize that kind of relationship.
Darren over at Common Sense Gamer has hosted and posted the 47th edition of his podcast, Shut Up, We’re Talking (SUWT.) I’m happy to have been on for the third time with Darren and Karen from Journeys with Jaye. Here are the particulars;
What we’re playing
Darkfall and Eurogamer
Avatars. Players, Characters – The Gap
Blog of the Week
Darren – Commonsensegamer.com
Karen – Journey’s with Jaye
Openedge – Dichotomy of the Gamers Blogosphere
Genda – The Grouchy Gamer – Yay me!
As discussion on some of the blogs in the MMO blogosphere seem to be discussing the slowdown of activity in some of the WAR-dedicated blogs recently it occurs to me that there are all kinds of different definitions of what makes an MMO commercially “successful.” While some companies look at anything less than Blizzard-Level numbers as too small, many companies are looking at smaller niches or alternate styles and saying “yes” to new game development.
So what DOES make an MMO a success in your eyes? I think that is a complex question. There are certainly different levels of success. There are definitely different levels of failure. When you see a game like Tabula Rasa close down so soon after launch, you have to probably agree that it’s a business and critical failure. Same for games like Auto Assault. But what of those games in between? Certainly I’ve written enough about how big a DISAPPOINTMENT Vanguard turned out to be, but with a dedicated team still working on it and a small but loyal customer base you may be able to successfully argue that it’s not a total failure. Certainly the economy of scale that SOE has working allows for some marginal games by today’s standards to stay open and running. Whether the publisher thinks a game is successful or not is certainly dependent on the investment they have in it and how profitable it remains.