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MMOGs from Several Angles 40

GameGirlAdvance has a look at the litigation between NCSoft and Marvel, examining exactly how infringy the character creator can let you be. The Square/Enix people are starting a roving FFXI party, to kick off later this month in CA. has an interview with Scott Brown, a developer on the upcoming car-based Auto Assault MMOG. The staple MMOG stats resource,, has been updated again by Sir Bruce. He's added several more games but doesn't have new subscription numbers for WoW or EQII.
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MMOGs from Several Angles

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  • Anyone else have trouble unsubscribing from a MMORPG? Nothing online, and no alternate contacts (800). I had to cancel the credit-card number (ouch!). The CSR was very helpful and immediately suggested a fraud claim. They must be getting quite a few and have redlined the vendor. Are the sysops becoming just as bad as the rogue players they rail about?

    • This is a good reason to go with MMOGs that allow you to buy time in stores with their game cards. Sometimes, you might end up paying an extra dollar or two a month for the privilege, but it a) doesn't expose your credit card to ongoing charges and b) gives you nice point every couple months where you have to consciously evaluate your game experience and decide whether or not its worth dropping more cash. It also ensures you'll hit the store every couple of months to see what's come out during the time yo
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Holy hell, those are some good points. And here I was thinking I just typed slashdot into the address bar...
        • by Anonymous Coward
          Aww, fuckall! Here I am without mod points AGAIN .

          An insightful parent and a genuinely funny response?? Who are you and what did you do with /.??!?

    • I've had no problems. Everquest, Puzzle Pirates and World of Warcraft all had easy to use interfaces on their websites that allowed me to update/change/cancel my account status and billing info.

      Now, on the otherhand, I did have trouble unsubscribing from MMORPGs, but that was more of a minor addiction problem. :)
    • I've unsubscribed from a few. Sony's is uniformly painless. The worst I've had was just needing to call in to cancel my Earth and Beyond account, mainly so they could try to convince me not to. Still, I had no difficulties with continued billing or anything.
    • by patio11 ( 857072 )
      Never had a problem myself. FFXI allowed you to do it within the game client. Puzzle Pirates had an easy option at the website (the "Arrr, we be sad to see ye go!" made me regret it, too). World of Warcraft has a clearly visible easy option, not that I intend to take it anytime soon.

      If it ever took more than a phone call to cancel (and I see NO reason why a game which I can purchase online, register online, and play online should require a phone call to stop playing), then I would immediately make a

  • I didn't realize FFXI was leading the pack. It was fun when I played it, but I never knew there was that many people online to earn 18%, the largest total of MMO's surveyed. What do the Lineage/Lineage II and Ragnarok #'s say? Anyone have a link to some info on them?

    Also surprising is that The Sims Online is still active. I thought they pulled the plug?

    • as long as a mmo is making you money it would be stupid to ever pull the plug.
      • Not necessarily - if another project will generate a better return on your capital resources, it's only prudent to axe the project that isn't profiting as much.
    • While I was also surprised about FFXI, I think the charts are misleading without WoW and EQ2 numbers. In fact I would say they are near useless. there are estimates of over 750k worldwide subscribers for WoW.
      • Actually, WoW has still only managed about 2/3rds of FFXI's subscriber base, which, contrary to one of the other replies to grandparent, is bigger than ever since the EU release. That WoW has attracted so much attention is just indicative of the level of US-centricity in the gaming press.
    • Re:Final Fantasy XI (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Square-Enix hasn't updated the FFXI numbers since before COP was released. Those figures are from the height of its popularity, the end of July last year.

      It's been speculated that it's active subscriber base has dropped to about a quarter of what it used to be, although no one really knows. I expect that in reality it's something much less drastic, like 125,000 gone.

      FFXI wound up filling the niche of "filler MMORPG" between EQ and EQ2/WoW. Now that those are out, people are starting to leave in droves.
      • Hmmm I'd have to disagree... since CoP they've launched additional servers and, being on one of the new servers, the average population I see has risen from 1800-2200 to 2600-3000 on at any time... considering the count of servers I'd find it hard to believe they are actually at 1/4 of what they used to be.

        Not actually being able to see the count of users on all servers I suppose it's possible, but I highly doubt it.
    • Take another look at the chart. It specifically says except for all three of those games.
    • Re:Final Fantasy XI (Score:4, Informative)

      by SirBruce ( 679714 ) on Monday February 07, 2005 @11:06PM (#11603393) Homepage
      No, I mentioned them specifically in my charts because I do have some data one them but they are still excluded from some of the charts. You can look at the other 120K+ chart to see L1 and L2.

      For RO I only have Japan numbers, which are only a fraction of the total. L1 and L2 are excluded because:

      1. They count subscribers in a different way.
      2. They are so large, they'd take up most of the pie chart.
      3. They are primarily Asian-market games.
      4. There are several other large Asian games that aren't listed yet, which would make it very unfair to show L1 and L2 and not the others.
      5. It's far more useful and interesting to most of my readers to have an idea of the market for North American & European MMOGs. While the data included is worldwide, for most of the MMOGs the number of Asian subscribers is limited; FFXI has maybe half of its subs in Japan; UO about 45%. So it still gives you a pretty good idea of their popularity. L1 & L2, on the other hand, are almost purely an Asian phenomenon.

      Ideally, one would be able to break subscribers out by territory for each individual MMOG. Sadly, that's almost impossible; it's hard enough getting good data on subscriber numbers. So we have to live with the data as it is.

    • Lineage I and II are obvious exceptions just when you read about the news reports about them in Asia. I believe the number was somewhere around 1 to 1 1/2 million users but theres a number of reasons for that as well (not monthly, doesn't go into detail, etc). Throw that into the chart and FFXI would probably plummet to about 9% and everything not under the 120k+ chart that to fall off the overall market share chart completely. I donno much about Ragnarok Online tho, no comment there.

      However, given the timi

      • For a very long time Ragnarok Online ran massive free subscriptions, which greatly inflated it's numbers with macroing players running 2~100 accounts simultaniously. It still allows the free accounts to be created, and from what I've seen it doesn't control them at all.

        Currently it's success is kind of muggy, and it'll vary greatly depending on your country (they sell out the game to sub companies world wide). It's also important to remember that in asia it is the most popular mmorpg of all time, so includ
    • I've been playing FFXI on the Alexander server for about 13 months. Lately, the number of players online is ranging 1800-3200, down from 2500-4500 in early autumn.
  • Valid test? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by yotto ( 590067 )
    I don't know if the article writer's inability to create Marvel characters in under 30 minutes is a valid test of if you can create valid Marvel characters at all.

    However, the fact that NCSoft took steps to dissuade her from using said characters is good.
    • Re:Valid test? (Score:2, Informative)

      by Tepshen ( 851674 )
      The GM's will readily admit that they are only chasing marvel characters ,vs DC or other copyrighted characters (I.E. DBZ characters which also run rampant last I played), because marvel is sueing them. Marvel is sueing because at the time they were not enforcing it as much. Now that the courts are involved they are bound to try a bit harder to deny marvel any further evidence to use against them.
  • EFF is helping out! (Score:5, Informative)

    by randalx ( 659791 ) on Monday February 07, 2005 @05:18PM (#11600609)
    Check out this thread Looking for fans outraged by Marvel lawsuit [].

    It looks like the EFF is getting involved in the lawsuit.
  • by jeblucas ( 560748 ) <> on Monday February 07, 2005 @07:26PM (#11601983) Homepage Journal
    Seriously. I read this article and the comments and not one person has mentioned the quasi-hot "booth babes" at the FFXXXIIXIXIIX Party site. I present:
    • One [].
    • Two [].
    • Three [].
    • Four [].
    Sometimes you have to do everything yourself.
  • check the 100,000 to 600,000 page and Market Share pages for WoW and EQ2 numbers.

No amount of careful planning will ever replace dumb luck.