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The Future of Indie MMOGs 69

Karen Hertzberg writes "Ask any 10 gamers what constitutes an 'indie MMO' and you'll probably get 10 different answers. But one definition that most can agree on is that an indie game lacks the financial support of a well-funded publisher. But do smaller budgets mean greater freedom? Ten Ton Hammer asked Nathan Richardsson, Executive Producer for CCP (developers of EVE Online), and Todd Harris, Executive Producer of Global Agenda, to share their thoughts on the bright future of independent MMOG development. 'By definition a niche market is a segment that is currently underserved by the mainstream providers. So, to serve that audience a developer typically needs to deliver something really different and innovative vs. just more of the same thing available elsewhere,' says Harris. 'With a big budget there could be a temptation to cover up stale gameplay by shoveling out more content or simply pumping up the marketing hype. However, for an indie developer such as Hi-Rez Studios, the game must stand on its own merits and we find that liberating.'"
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The Future of Indie MMOGs

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  • Quality (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PerZon ( 181675 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @07:30AM (#29363875)

    The games popularity should depend on the quality of the game and not the market hype. With a good idea and the urge to follow through it should not matter if the game was made in a studio or a garage

  • by cthulhuology ( 746986 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @07:32AM (#29363879) Homepage
    The moral of the story is the same as with any business. You don't need to "win" by beating all of your competitors, you need to "survive". In life, like all infinite games, survival is its own reward. And if you don't understand that, or tend to disagree, please do us all a favor and leave the gene pool. :)
  • Re:Quality (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Cornflake917 ( 515940 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @12:06PM (#29366989) Homepage

    You literally need a "massive" number of players for the game to be any good.

    Not necessarily. A well designed MMO can be an enjoyable experience regardless of the number of players on the server at any given time.

  • by xepel ( 1573443 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @02:40PM (#29369379)
    I think the problem with most 'indie' games is that they don't have boatloads of cash behind them which seems necessary to have 'supercool bleeding-edge graphics.' So you automatically lose all the people who won't play anything that isn't 'pretty enough.' Fact is, it takes a bit of time and effort to explore the game and see how gameplay is. It's a ton easier to simply see the graphics and make a judgment on that. I have been playing an 'indie' MMORPG - Clanlord ( - for a good 10 years now. The population is small, and the graphics still look 10 years old, but I think it's a really fun game. It won't bring in those people who need the supreme graphics, but you get to know everyone, people are mature, and you get to play things in a different way than many other MORPG. Hey, it even has no monthly fee now, which is almost necessary when competing against all the other options. CL will be an Indie MMOG for years to come, even if it doesn't have the largest playerbase. And that's where I expect most indie games to be - niche games that do well in their niche, but that's about it.

"If the code and the comments disagree, then both are probably wrong." -- Norm Schryer