We’re a week away, so let’s recap!
Let’s say you’re a really big developer with solid fan base. Let’s say you partner with a massive publisher. Let’s say you have been using the largest IP in the world and have had tremendous success with it. Let’s say you get tapped to make an MMO with that. What do you do to try and find success? Repeat it of course!
Repeat what worked in the single player game and throw in more players. Repeat what the largest MMO has as well. Don’t innovate, don’t provide any “out of box” thinking, just use what you know works. Oh, and throw more money at it than some countries have GDP. Hype it to heck and back. Get massive pre-orders 6 months before launch. Sell nearly 3 million copies.
Don’t forget to ignore beta feedback or all feedback for that matter than you don’t agree with. Oh, don’t let players copy players to the test server either, and wipe after every patch so no one can test in live either. Watch as that untested material, of which you had no experience developing previously nor had valuable feedback, turn away the playerbase in droves. Watch after less than 6 months you have to consolidate over 90% of your assets due to player loss. Blame the payment model.
Try a new payment model! But wait, don’t forget you don’t have experience in that either and you need to generate cash to stay afloat, somewhere near the 500K subscription mark no less (which in F2P terms means having 5 million players at a generous 10:1 ratio). Now, gouge players and penalize them so much that actually buying the content isn’t attractive at all and that a subscription is the only way to play the game you designed. So, force the players to use the payment model you know doesn’t work.
Now, sit back and watch. Wonder how the largest IP in the world, the largest publisher in the world, one of the largest developers in the world with the largest budget the genre has ever seen was able to fail in such a spectacular fashion.
I am so utterly baffled by this past year that I can’t even be disappointed.