How Successful Rift Is Will Determine The Future Of MMOs…

Ooh err.

Gordon’s looking at Rift a bit like a particular type of scientist would look at a lab rat. He says himself he’s not interested in making predictions about how much it will succeed in a shining puddle of glory or fail like your DPS when they stand in the fire. He just thinks Rift’s level of success will tell us a lot about us.

Before you run away because that sounds all deep, he’s got a point. His central point is that Rift’s producers, Trion Worlds, have basically taken a popular formula and polished it. He means no judgement there: it is similar to WoW. But he’s saying that if people stick to Rift after the first free month of play, that could mean what we as gamers want is what we already have, just… better.

“All I am interested in, from a completely neutral scientific point of view, is whether or not RIFT manages to achieve a decent retention rate and claw away at the subscriber pool of WoW (the other MMOs just don’t have a big enough pool to matter).

Why? Because this simple fact is going to tell us a heck of a lot about what MMO fans are really looking for. Obviously we don’t want WoW because otherwise we wouldn’t be flocking away from it at every given opportunity when a new MMO comes out. We’re definitely looking for – and totally open to – new MMOs to occupy us yet no one seems to have managed to get the formula quite right.”

As Gordon points out, if folks don’t stick to Rift then that means we want something else. He says that prospect is quite exciting and I’m with him on that, though I wonder what else it is we as a culture could be hungry for. Go have a read – and definitely don’t discount Gordon’s post as answerable by the ‘WoW tourist’ argument, because he’s also talking about how he doesn’t believe in it.

What about you – do you hold some deep-seated dissatisfaction with WoW that keeps you looking for other games, or do you think it really is just WoW tourism?

_Quote taken directly from Gordon’s post

You can find Gordon’s We Fly Spitfires homepage here_