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Role Playing (Games) Businesses

The Quest To Build a Better Warcraft 196

Red Herring tackles the rush into virtual space, talking about the MMOG goldrush and the business consequences World of Warcraft has had on the games industry as a whole. Though sometimes it doesn't seem to fully understand the difference between a single player game and a Massive one, the article still touches on a number of important points. Lots of folks are looking to cash in on WoW's success, and they're importing or licensing every Massive game they can find to get on the bandwagon. "The problem is that no one knows what the next WoW killer will look like. Creating a hit video game, which combines strong characters, a compelling story, and top-notch production values, is part art and part inexact science. Making a hit game can be much more difficult than producing an Oscar-winning movie. After all, the hit video game must be compelling enough to keep players coming back for more." Even if a lot of their conclusions are odd, and they call Puzzle Pirates silly, it's worth a look. What do you think it's going to take to crack Blizzard's deathlock on the Massive genre?
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The Quest To Build a Better Warcraft

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  • Huh? (Score:2, Informative)

    by bigstrat2003 ( 1058574 ) on Thursday February 15, 2007 @04:17AM (#18021260)
    The article seems to imply that WoW has somehow paved the way for indie games. I quote:

    "Things were much simpler only a few years ago, when practically all video games were developed or published by industry giants such as Electronic Arts, TakeTwo, and Activision.... Then came World of Warcraft...."

    Maybe I'm behind the times, but how has WoW made it more possible, suddently, for indie games to make it big? That might be the case if Blizzard were a small-time developer, but we know that's not true. Blizzard might not be as massive as EA, but they're one of the biggest names in gaming, a company who makes games that are universally expected to be good. How does their making WoW change the scenario the author talks about? Just don't get that.
  • None Will Succeed (Score:5, Informative)

    by Ka D'Argo ( 857749 ) on Thursday February 15, 2007 @05:56AM (#18021694) Homepage
    I only played WoW briefly, but I know enough as a regular player does to know no other company at present will "beat" WoW. Why? Their personal limitations.

    Other companies, won't take a chance. How many MMO's can claim they offer player based scripting for god knows how many in game effects? Or any of the other features WoW has? Despite the fact I dislike WoW, Blizzard did do that that right; Instead of coming up with some super special features of their own that other MMO's didn't have, they cherry picked what they thought were the best features. Not stolen content mind you but just things that an MMO should have. Case in point, umpteenth kinds of filters for the various chat huds. You'd be amazed that not every MMO offers a good deal of filters like WoW, or hell even any filters at all.

    And the engine itself, of WoW, is the killer. Sure it's not really some supreme graphical eye candy people expect three years later after it's release but that is the point. Blizzard took a chance. They released a game engine that surprisingly works very well on low end hardware PC's which people tend to forget makes up the majority of gamers. Ever wonder why Counter Strike 1.6 is probably the most popular first person shooter, still, to date? Cause Half Life 1 can be run on some very low end hardware (if I remember right, the HL1 engine is a modified Quake 2 engine). Point being, no other MMO company is going to cater to low end PC users. More and more MMO's have such huge graphical requirements. You think Vanguard is going to topple WoW? No. Even if the gameplay and options of the client matched that of WoW, they'd still be eliminating a huge chunk of the 7 million WoW base (asssuming Vanguard had 7 mil) simply cause a good portion of those people wouldn't be even able to run the game.

    Blizzard rolled the dice and won. They took a chance on merging a ton of features from various MMO's and a game engine that wasn't exactly the top of the game when it came out, and it worked. You find me another developer that will take those chances, and you'll find yourself a candidate for a WoW successor.
  • Re:Game engine (Score:3, Informative)

    by UnknownSoldier ( 67820 ) on Thursday February 15, 2007 @07:13AM (#18021954)
    > but the game engine is second to none.

    Oh please. Maybe on stability, but not on features.
    The game only supports blob shadows.

  • Re:Vanguard? (Score:3, Informative)

    by aicrules ( 819392 ) on Thursday February 15, 2007 @09:35AM (#18022588)
    Unfortunately, Vanguard doesn't meet his first criteria of having the "quality of WoW" at this point. The animations in Vanguard are less than pretty, even if the environmental graphics are nice. You have to have a computer four times as powerful as you need for WoW with a specific type of video card to support those graphics...otherwise you're left with mediocre graphics with mediocre animation. Also, while it does cater to a smaller audience that would presumedly be more mature and interested in a more involved world, there were a wealth of noobs to be found during open beta. I will say that I absolutely loved the free-for-all PVP server in open beta while it was open...
  • Heard of Huxley? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Durrill ( 908003 ) on Thursday February 15, 2007 @11:42AM (#18024256)
    Just from observing the trend of MMO's, we can see that everyone is constantly trying to re-invent the wheel when it comes to the enjoyable traits of gameplay. Despite Planetside's dismal failure, other company's are infact trying to re-invent the MMOFPS. [] meID/197 [] []

    I've been following the details of this game since it was first announced at E3 two years ago. I'm an avid raider in WoW and this is the ONLY mmo that has caught my attention. I'm also a fan of paper based RPG games and for reasons I can not explain this MMO has a Rifts (Palladium) feel to it. If any of you are still on the search for a good MMOFPS, i'd recommend checking this out. It should be out sometime this year and will be running on the Unreal Engine 3.

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants. -- Isaac Newton