11 responses

  1. Gazimoff
    August 20, 2011

    I think we’re seeing the start of something else.

    Yes, Warcraft has been the dominant game. But I think that there won’t be a “dominant game” in the future. I think MMO gamers have become much more aware of upcoming titles and release schedules, and instead are looking to try out several titles instead of sticking with one for a number of years.

    I think there are several people who are mentally putting together a “flight plan” of what games they aim to try out, hopping from one to another. I also think that we’re moving towards being MMO nomads, where we hop as small groups from one game to another every 6 to 12 months.

  2. Paul
    August 21, 2011

    I think WoW will recover from the decline it experienced in Cataclysm. The devs have learned some very expensive lessons, but presumably taking a multihundred million dollar hit to revenue will create some lasting institutional memories at Blizzard so they don’t fail in the same way again.

  3. Eccentrica
    August 21, 2011

    I suggest something rather different. I don’t think the era is ending. I think the target audience is changing. With every alteration to Warcraft as we know it people ask about the hows, whens and wheres, but rarely do they ask “Why” or “Who is this intended for”. Ask these questions with regard to the numerous changes implemented and see what you come up with. There is a huge untapped group of potential gamers out there; potential gamers who require gentle easing into game worlds because they did not grow up with their faces glued to monitors and cell phone screens. This group is huge, largely ignored and not only are on the cusp of having massive amounts of free time, but also have lots of cash to spend on subscriptions and microtransactions.

  4. Azuriel
    August 21, 2011

    I think it is a bit of wishful thinking that Rift or LotRO are the benefactors of this bleed – both games have peaked and are below 500k subs/active accounts. Any increase in blog posts is probably a natural result of the blogger having quit WoW, not that those games have become more popular/exciting.

    What I suspect, just like what is going on with iPads and PC/laptop sales, is that the “golden age” of F2P is cannibalizing the MMO market. I know that LotRO is technically a F2P game, but understand that League of Legends has an average of one million simultaneous players at any given time. That is as many as play Rift and LotRO combined. Supposedly LoL has 15 million registrations, which is technically more subs than WoW, but obviously there is a massive difference in revenue streams.

    Honestly, I think we are entering the age where game companies no longer compete for gamer dollars, but rather for gamer time. With the assumption that getting the former will be the natural result of capturing the latter, of course.

  5. Doone
    August 21, 2011

    I do tend to think that the “WoW Era” is ending. I’ve written on this before, but I believe WoW-style MMOs are on their way out …and it’s for the better. Rift and SWTOR are coming in at the end of an era to their great peril. While SWTOR is revolutionizing questing …it’s still questing, and it’s still a significant part of gameplay. Future MMOs will recognize that players are far better content than quests are and will trend towards more collaborative gameplay. In some ways, the genre will come full circle and in others it will shoot off into a really exciting future!

    Guild Wars 2 has a real shot of being at the forefront of a new and improved era, but their success isn’t guaranteed either. As gamers, I think we can expect SWTOR and Rift to go the way of LOTRO: they will remain successful, will capture a very enthusiastic segment of players who love their worlds, and they will never reach the success of WoW. No game ever will; WoW was an anamoly that all of us are forever grateful for.

  6. Gazimoff
    August 22, 2011

    @Azuriel – Not sure how accurate that chart is – Rift recently announced passing the 1mil mark. Do they have sources for that data, or is it estimated?

  7. Paul
    August 22, 2011

    Gazimoff: Rift recently passed 1 million “customers”, which I presume means sales, not active subscriptions.

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    January 20, 2014

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