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July 10th, 2002 · No Comments · Uncategorized

Salon has a good article about the glut of traditional MMORPGs coming to market:

Are too many game companies chasing too few hardcore gamers? If so, we could be set for a disastrous year of reckoning, as the game industry’s fixation on its own cultural inclinations sends it into a downward spiral of failure. With so many entrants fighting for air, companies will fold, game worlds will evaporate, investments of time and capital will dissolve into ether — all lost in a narrowness of imagination and an unwillingness to build a space that accommodates the rest of the world.

“You’re running a fucking service!” Bernie Yee growls at a group of his industry peers. He’s trying to persuade his fellow MMOG developers not to force their subscribers into “a Darwinian survival of the fittest,” which benefits their most obsessed subscribers. Instead, he argues, the developers should cater to casual gamers, even at the expense of their hardcore fans.

Very, very true. I think the Sims Online may do well, assuming they manage to avoid the endless treadmill of stat building that too many of these games revolve around.

Most breakaway games aren’t understood by dedicated gamers. I predict the next smash MMORPG will be pooh-poohed by all the Everquest and UO people at first as not being enough of a “real game.”

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