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WoW Killing P2P MMOs

Dana Massey has written an editorial that argues that World of Warcraft will be the sole reason that the Pay-2-Play model of MMOGs will end in 2008.

Massey argues that World of Warcraft has absorbed so many consumers that the market has locked-up. Apparently, the only games that will now succeed are those that are Free-2-Play, have ingame ads or charge players for items.

WoW casts a huge shadow and no one has been able to get out from under it. The evidence is in the numbers. Before WoW, EverQuest lorded over the genre with an estimated peak in the range of 500,000 subscribers. Star Wars Galaxies was at its most successful still considered a relative disappointment with over 300,000 subscribers. Games like Dark Age of Camelot once hovered well over the 200,000 mark. Then came WoW, now at 9.5 million and counting.

Such titles as Lord of the Rings Online have seen limited success when it comes to player figures, despite the backing of a massive IP and an award winning deveolpment team. Massey claims this is due to the sheer size of World of Warcraft which is absorbing all of the available cash and players.

The article closes with a declaration that while the P2P model of MMO gaming is failing, the F2P model is becoming a wild success as it has the benefit of attracting even the most reserved of gamers to the MMO world.

Massey also claims that such things as delays to polish the game hamper the ability of strong IPs to succeed against World of Warcraft.

EA Mythic's position is not altogether unlike the spot where Turbine stood a year ago. They had a big backer in Midway, loads of experience with Asheron's Call and Dungeons and Dragons Online, and an even bigger IP to back them. I have no doubt that WAR will be a profitable game, with lots of units sold and a healthy number of subscribers, but will it reach the goals EA Mythic had for it and will it justify the millions of dollars they have pumped into it?

Funcom's position is also eerily similar to that of EA Mythic and Turbine. This time Eidos is the big publisher, Robert E. Howard's Conan novels the IP and Anarchy Online the experience.

So far, the reactions to the editorial on the Warhammer Online have mostly been against the opinion given by Massey, with people stating that World of Warcraft has seen a much wider release than most other Western MMOGs and also that subscription fees need to be profitable and exceed the cost of maintaining the game in order to be considered a success.

I'm interested to see what the Curse community think about this topic. Is World of Warcraft going to be the destroyer of P2P or is there still room for the giant to be over-thrown or at least matches?

Comments

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  • #1

    I just want to bump the comment on EvE - I see a lot of WoW players who have tried other fantasy games and fallen back to wow because the games were too similar, or simply didn't have the draw to pull someone away from WoW.

    However, I challenge anyone to get seriously involved in the Eve universe and come back to say that PVP in WoW is challenging, exciting, and dynamic. Compared to Eve, it is none of those things. The highlight of my Eve PVP career was fighting alongside 400 allies versus 800-1000+ enemies in a single massive battle. Yeah, we crashed the server... a bunch of times... but the exhilaration was still there, and I've never had adrenaline dumped into my system from a pvp battle than the ones I've had in Eve.

    It might not be everyone's cup of tea, the game is complex and takes time to get into, but once you start figuring out the nuances and find yourself a nice corporation and maybe even an alliance... worlds will open up to you that you never thought possible in an MMO.

  • #2

    Before i started playing WOW, I was strictly a PS2 player, and at the time i thought it would be stupid to pay a monthly fee for a video game. Most everyone knows how it is you go buy a game from game stop, beat it with in a few weekends,and bak to game stop it goes.Well a homeboy of mine hooked me up with a trail copy, and i went through with it, he had been trying to get to try it for a few months, needless to say I have not stoped playing since, and not because i cant take it back ive never wanted to. Its true the content, special events, and weekly maintenance make the fee worth it, at least i know where my money goes. And as long as they continue doing what they have been i will keep playing, and I'm sure there is 9.5 million people out there that feel the way I do about it.

  • #3

    Reading some of the comments I believe that the hold WOW has on players is the constant new content which is released. They almost create a new game each major patch. Along with the expansions they release players simply salivate waiting for new content. Blizzard also includes a great graphics experience for players that immerse them into the game along with PvP and arenas to go along with questing. The world itself is awe inspiring when you first play. No other MMO I have tried since wow has made me say wow.

    BUT there are major downsides to WOW. The major downsides start when you reach the level cap. It is very repetitive. I have never seen a game where a player will repeat the same instance over and over again to get one item ( I know I did it many times). Also the game plays based on groups and hardly any serious solo play. So if you are not a self promoting and chatty player you are left swinging in the wind. Lastly the rewards for the time put into the game is can be disappointing 80% of the time and the quantity of items dropped from bosses are way too small for a full instance group. Players will spent literally months repeating an instance time and time again, through fighting if the item drops and some else gets it, guild break ups, instance crashes, etc.. all for one item or two items in that instance.

    So if game companies feel they cannot compete with Wow they need to take a hard look at Wow and what works and enhance what is seriously broken with the game. But I feel that changing the pay system will not lure players away. Players will try something only if it is better, well thought out, and a true escape from real life they can enjoy playing.

  • #4

    P2P is still viable, for wow2 :P

    but ya i agree, warhammer is gona fail misserably

    and we are all gona lol about it

  • #5

    This is actually pretty cool 'cause I've been having a WoW-WAR discussion with my friend for about a week or so.

    He's a BE Affliction Lock, over-geared for Kara, and ready for his attunements for Hyjal and BT. Problem is that it seems as if no one is offering attunement runs anymore, so all that is left for him is farming and PvP. Needless to say, he's pretty annoyed because his precious toon is stuck where it is and can't get anywhere. And so, he's considering leaving WoW for WAR, trusting that it will be the WoW-killer that everyone has been waiting for. Meantime, I'm trying to tell him that the WoW player base is so extensive that every server for WAR is gonna seem like the most sparsely populated RPG server in WoW.

    He's convinced that WAR is gonna kill WoW, and that the WotLK release date is just a desperate attempt to keep players from switching over.

    I'm conviced that WoW can't die until there's another great depression. It's just too wide-spread.

    (On an un-related note; I highly doubt that he'll leave WoW. His brother's an Undead Rogue and is sporting the Warglaive of Azzinoth (offhand). That instantly earns you some cred :P)

  • #6

    Although I enjoy WoW, it can only go on for so long before people such as myself become tired of the same-old same-old. The it's time to try another game.

  • #7

    It is a fair point, but I dont believe WoW will suck life out of all p2p games, just games in its genre, aka fantasy.

    I will ALLWAYS continue in eve, wow or not. There are things they make so much better, pvp mainly. WoW has no way to compete with the more mature gamers, if they want more than just hack 'n slash, wich WoW sortta is, at least compared to complexity of eve.

    And whats the talk about virgins and whatnot? Doesnt belong to here but I may have to add that being a virgin isnt nececarily mark of gamer, nor does it mean no social life.

    Im bloke myself with far too many one nighers behind...

    Anyway! I do believe p2p model will remain, at least in other genres. I dont see many games challenging WoW tho, not in fantasy genre.

    Its david vs goliath when it comes to challenging wow, expect david forgot his sling.

  • #8

    Hmmm, think it's actually a strong point made. Cause i don't see any game that might even come close to WoW. I played WAR and i didn't like it (duh, i am pve) but even a lot of PvP players i know admit WoW is still a lot better and will stay that a long time.

    We have to consider ofcourse that this is still the beta of WAR and Blizzard has had a lot of time for trial and error. However, looking at it right now, WoW won't have a lot of compitition from WAR.

    The bright side? Mythic has shown a LOT of interest in the player and personally respond to new idea's or suggestions for improvements and implement a lot of improvements in the game. They really do know how to deal with bad feedback and remake the game to a better extend. If mythic keeps doing that, they might get a good balanced and fun game going with it's final release and a healthy portion of Wow PvPers will go WAR, but WoW will still be on top.

  • #9

    lol, the first and foremost argument against games. But do you know 90% of the men under 25 play computer games in western countries? Don't tell me all those men are virgins (meaning no social life). The game doesn't matter, it's the person who plays it where the social issue's lie.

    However, i got to admit, seeing that the average WoW player plays 14-70 hours a week (something like that) it might be one of the few games such as Counterstrike and Unreal Tournament that actually have an influence on your social life. But still, the main problem always lies with the player....

  • #10

    I started with GW (GuildWars) and although actually I'm playing most time WOW i still play GW and have bought the latest release "Eye of the North".
    Also: I think GW has a better graphic and doesn't need so much Hardware as WOW does.
    Still playing WOW? Yes -> It has a flair actually GW doesn't give to me.
    Buying more games like this in future?
    No I don't think so. As I have to work and I could not afford to play more time than actually.
    But -> as having played Diablo2 long time ago... Time comes ...

  • #11

    Hardcore? I seriously doubt you can call yourself HARDCORE because you give up your car and take the BUS? In the real world, which you are very unfamiliar with, being HARD is probably as far from what describes you (or anything in your gravitational pull) as your dreams of a car, or moving out of your mom's house, or marrying a pretty girl are from you. Oh, wait, you haven't THOUGHT of any of those things. you are getting ready for a raid. My shit is more Hardcore than you. Please find another word to describe yourself.

  • #12

    As the sister of two late-twenties VIRGINS (who have had their whole lives and youth sucked away first by the likes of Everquest, and then The wonderful World of War-Crack), I would like nothing more than to see WoW dissolve- and the sooner the better. There has to be something better out there for 9.5 million people to do.. Like I dunno.... READ A F*@&!# BOOK? Or maybe watch a movie? Hell, maybe even try to get a GIRL to go to one with you. Let World of War Crumble. Nothing is worse than nerds in numbers. :p

  • #13

    The removal of P2P model of MMOs is never going to happen. 99% of F2P games are poorly translated korean or chinese MMOs that are designed to suck as much time as they can out of you. They're simply grindfests with one, maybe two new quests per lvl and godly loot for max level players who either have the time or money to get something with a 0.000001% chance drop.

    I, like many people, would rather pay $15 a month for a game than have it contain either ingame advertising or to ability to pay real money to get better stuff than everyone else. Not to mention that the $15 a month fee filters out the majority of idiots you find in F2P games as well as warding off cheaters who don't want to get banned and lose their investment.

    As far as new MMOs failing goes, the main reason WoW is dominating them is because of its ease of use and availability. WoW runs fine on most computers made in the last 6 or so years. A lot of the new MMOs that are coming out/have come out required a pretty good PC to be playable on decent settings (ie Vanguard). WoW also appeals to casual and hardcore players (and anything in between) because it contains content for both sides. A lot of new MMOs coming out have experienced players in mind. This leaves no place for the casuals. The new MMOs that DO have casuals in mind often forget that casual players don't have computers that they constantly upgrade to render the latest graphics at a good framerate.

    WAR seems like it may be successful, because it's shooting for the same market as WoW is. Everyone who has a PC capable of running a game with 2003(ish) graphics.

  • #14

    Someones a virgin... (Massey)

  • #15

    OT: I can see one reason why WOTLK is going to have a lot less sales than TBC. This time around, people know that it is a whole new MMO they are releasing. And Blizzard who are from what I can tell, stalling their game to have it be released alongside WAR, will have a nasty surprise when people take the release of the new expansion as a perfect time to switch MMO. Last time there wasnt really any opposition when they released TBC, this time theyre in for some trouble.

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