Syncaine’s best when he’s acting as a devil’s advocate, and this week he’s had the chance to advance one of his most controversial yet well-thought-out points.
In a lengthy yet still interesting piece, he argues that MMORPG designers have been living in a dreamland for too long, but that we’re starting to see a correction back to more realistic expectations of the genre:
“It’s been almost 9 years since WoW has been released, and in those 9 years, how many titles and how much money has been spent without a single title even coming close to retaining a tenth of what WoW peaked at? No, today no one is using WoW as a yard stick, just like no new music record is using Thriller as the make-or-break point.
But the angst is understandable, because the slow confirmation is sinking in; those who enjoyed what WoW offered will be left out in the cold soon. That ‘mass market’ is, shockingly, just not profitable. The content is too expensive to produce, the players don’t stick around long enough, and even when you seem to get most things right, you still fall about ten million subs short of expectations.”