Oversaturation of MMOG's

http://24.42.250.88/game012903e.htm

I was perusing Voodooextreme and I saw this plug for Ghost and Goblins online and I began thinking. Aside from my first impression which was "What a silly/odd choice to make a persistant world out of" I seriously began thinking how this whole genre is heading towards a train wreck.

To me, it's actually not so much that there are so many MMOG's being developed, it's the fact that it all comes down to what the consumer is going to spend/time put in. Let's look at an example of monetary issues first:

1- Any Random High Speed Cable service

35 Dollars a month (Ball Park figure, most services are 39-49 dollars a month)

2- EQ/Camelot Account

Say you're already an avid player of Camelot and EQ (Which is the case with a lot of people), they both run around 12 dollars a month. Let's total that out to 25 dollars a month.

You're now up to 60 dollars a month, 720 dollars a year. Not too bad, anything higher the average gamer would probably start to get a little concerned on how much he/she is spending.

Now let's look at the grand scheme of things, there are 4-5 heavy weights that fans will be loyal to.

1- Sony
2- Mythic
3- Microsoft
4- EA

These are the top companies who will probably get most of the buisness in the market.

Sony's up coming titles and current titles are:

1- Everquest Online Adventures
2- Everquest
3- Everquest 2
4- Planetside
5- Galaxies
(Note: I left off that online RTS they were developing because it's in development hell now)

Mythic

1- Camelot
2- Imperator

Microsoft

1- Asherons Call
2- Ahserons Call 2

EA

1- Ultima
2- Earth and Beyond
3- Sims Online
4- Motor City Online

And of course there are some other current MMOG'S on the market but their companies definitely aren't as big and can't afford to take big risks.

Neocron, Anarchy Online, Jumpgate (Dont know if this is running anymore), Lineage, Shattered Galaxy, World War 2 Online.

I'm probably missing some off this list, I wanted to put Blizzard as one of the top Power companies but they don't officially have an MMOG out yet.

This is where the crux of the matter resides to me at least. Do these companies expect people to move on from one MMOG to another? I for one can't even remotely image paying for Cable Service and anymore than 3 online games @ 12-15 dollars a month. And to add to that, there is absolutely no way in hell I could even put in the time requirements for 3 different MMOG's.

Then of course you have the train wreck of genres colliding. The RPG is definitely on course for that, now I see the space genre is heading that way too.

The compeititon is really fierce in the MMOG field, it's not like your regular single player/multiplayer game where there is PLENTY of room for same genre titles.

Thoughts anyone?

I find that I can only play one MMOG at a time, and that''s been Jumpgate. I tried AC, DAOC, ENB, and they all bored me to tears. I assume that many of these other games would likely elicit the same response.

Largely you echo my feelings Valcron, but what the industry also notes is that no MMOG to see release has yet failed. Even the real launch stinkers like WW2OL and Anarchy Online are still at the very least limping along. Until a significant number of MMOGs prove truly unprofitable, you can expect a steady diet of Massively Multiplayer.

- Elysium

I think the problem is that you're basing everything that all things will stay the same. Each new MMOG brings in new MMOG players and they aren't as loyal to companies as you think. Also, most consumers don't mind paying for 2 or even 3 MMOG at a time, it's only hardcore gamers like us that bitch. I talked to an EA producer at E3 about their MMOG in development and basically the market is still growing. I think it will end up like cable TV where you've got a lot of channels that should make everyone happen.

I think we're going to see all MMOG stay live for the next year or so. When trying to do a market analysis you must factor in the growth of the market which you really aren't doing. We aren't dealing with a closed number of gamers and expecting them to switch back and forth. DAoC came out and got 200,000 subscribers quickly but EQ didn't lose a large amount of subscribers it actually gained some. The same goes AC and AC2.

Look at this next year you've got SWG which will do well on brand name appeal, Dragon Empires which might not be a big hit because the lack of races and it's PVP focused. If Shadowbane ends up sucking and not doing well, then Dragon Empires will do very well. Then you have Horizons and Cities of Heroes those two games both offer something new. With City of Heroes you've got comic characters and Horizons offers Dragons.

With more and more MMOG''s hitting the shelf, it really gives the gamers/consumers some choice of where to spend there money. I for one, being a fan of MMORPG''s, like the idea that I can walk into the store and select my style of MMOG to play.

Whether it be Sci-Fi, Fantasy, FPS or ""other"" at least I''ll have a choice. MMOG''s also bring in people that may not have not have been big gamers on any platform before, but with the popularity of IM and chat these days you get more people giving these MMOG''s a try for at least the social aspect.

Once you get them in playing an MMOG and realizing they''re more than just graphical chat rooms, they might start getting into other gaming (console, SP PC stuff, etc).

http://news.com.com/2100-1040-982673...

Does anyone think this is the start of it? Or is this because EA shot themselves in the foot with a 100 Sims games and then the Sims online.

Also, 82,000 people is considered a failure?

I''m awestruck, to me that seems like a good solid number for a game that''s only been out since December. 200,000 people by March is a bit unrealistic. Espically why you already have a million games out already with the SIMS.

I think the problem is that you're basing everything that all things will stay the same. Each new MMOG brings in new MMOG players and they aren't as loyal to companies as you think. Also, most consumers don't mind paying for 2 or even 3 MMOG at a time, it's only hardcore gamers like us that bitch.

(While I do agree with you that each new MMOG does bring in new players, those new players aren''t necessarily new to the genre. For instance, Horizons/Dragon Empires are both definitely MMRPG''s. It''s not like they''re going to bring in the Space Simulation player, it''s going to be the hardcore RPG player. And this typical RPG player isn''t going to pay for more than 3 games a month at 12+ bucks a month. While prices continue to rise, people continue to get laid off and can''t search for jobs.)

I talked to an EA producer at E3 about their MMOG in development and basically the market is still growing. I think it will end up like cable TV where you've got a lot of channels that should make everyone happen.

I think we're going to see all MMOG stay live for the next year or so. When trying to do a market analysis you must factor in the growth of the market which you really aren't doing. We aren't dealing with a closed number of gamers and expecting them to switch back and forth. DAoC came out and got 200,000 subscribers quickly but EQ didn't lose a large amount of subscribers it actually gained some. The same goes AC and AC2.

Look at this next year you've got SWG which will do well on brand name appeal, Dragon Empires which might not be a big hit because the lack of races and it's PVP focused. If Shadowbane ends up sucking and not doing well, then Dragon Empires will do very well.

(Personally I think Shadowbane is doomed, they missed their window of Opportunity)

Then you have Horizons and Cities of Heroes those two games both offer something new. With City of Heroes you've got comic characters and Horizons offers Dragons.

(I think city of Heroes will do well because it''s the first of it''s genre. But, get a couple more Super Hero MMOG''s around, that particular genre will bottleneck and will be hard pressed to sell new customers espically if you''re playing a couple.)

Another thing I forgot to factor into the system is consoles, there will be more console specific games that are MMOG''s in the future. I GUARENTEE you if EQ Online Adventures sells well and gets a ridiculous amount of people, you will see a a dozen developers jump to developing console only MMOG''s in a heartbeat.

PS- I heard it''s selling extremely well through Electronics boutique, the guy around the corner from me he''s sold out on his preorders believe it or not.

Personally I think Shadowbane is doomed

I wouldn''t bet on it. It''s got name recognition, and for now that''s enough with this genre. Even if it launches poorly it will probably hobble along for several years.

- Elysium

I think it''s lost a lot of it''s initial fanbase.

Is Shadowbane''s release date somewhat locked down? I have always wanted to play it and would drop EQ for it, if I was still playing EQ

They claim that SB''s release date is firm.

I think every new MMOG released brings in new players that have never tried one before. Even though many have similar features and gameplay, there''s still some facet that makes people choose it over another. SWG will have the obvious appeal of being set in Star Wars univers, and that will bring in plenty of people by itself. AC and Everquest have been around for awhile, which gives them some name recognition. Bascially, future releases are going to have to find a way to differentiate themselves from the competition, and get some name recognition.