Pushing Back...
Apr 09, 2008 02:12:10

These days the industry is fraught with announcements that the release of a particular MMO has been delayed until a later date. The latest announcement along those lines came from EA/Mythic regarding the much awaited Warhammer Online. There are many reasons why a developer may delay the release of a game. The first that comes to mind is the now over used buzz word "polish". Not long ago the CEO of Activision Blizzard told a group of investors that it would take an investment of $500 million to compete with WoW.

Right or wrong we are in an economy when "R" stands for recession a lot sooner then it stands for "release date." When the astronomical sums on the line that it takes to release a triple-A title are on the line, whether the capital is from an investor or funded by the company developing the game, the people fronting the money are going to be very cautious with both their money and their product.

No gamer likes to look forward the release of a game only to have it snatched away from them. Delays of a game like Warhammer Online are likely to be exacerbated by the expectations built up by the "blogosphere" of EA/Mythic's entry into the market being the savior of all that is wrong with gaming "" both perceived and real. The more this perception is built up however, the more cautious EA/Mythic is likely to be with their product. We have been promised some real innovations where Warhammer Online is concerned. I consider those, and the fact that this is an MMO where PvP is designed into the game and not and afterthought and one thing comes to mind "" this game has the very real possibility of bringing gaming back to a time when PvP was done just for the fun of it, and not what the gamer can get out of it. We may just see games that are no longer systems of "inventory management" as Richard Garriott so aptly described World of Warcraft.

But the problem with all the promises by devs at Mythic of what will be in the game, and all the hype created by gamers by what they HOPE will be in the game is this: if the game doesn't deliver, it is likely to fall flat on its virtual face. So when you consider the fact that the release date of Warhammer Online has been delayed YET AGAIN consider this:

The biggest offender, the biggest reason for delaying the game isn't some garbage the CEO of Activision Blizzard tried to shovel down some investor's throats. It isn't even developers who are overly concerned with putting "polish" on a game. The biggest offender isn't the developers of Warhammer Online at all. Who is the biggest reason for delaying the game? My friends, WE are the biggest reason "" you and I, and all the expectations we have for this game.

The biggest game delaying offender for the push back of Warhammer Online is looking each one of us in the mirror in the morning.

See you online,

- Julie Whitefeather

Submitted by Brent on Apr 09, 2008 02:12:10 CST (comments: 3)


'A revelation!' by Wilhelm2451
Submitted on 2008-04-10 12:54:56 CST
What an amazing passive-aggressive concept! I will have to remember that next time I am going to miss a project date that has been announced. I will just blame the customers for having such high expectations!

'Setting expectations' by Sente
Submitted on 2008-04-10 19:02:21 CST
And who is responsible for setting the expectations and the hype for any game being developed? The game companies and their marketing.

It is rather an exercise in risk management, trying to find some middle ground with lower risk to loose a lot of money and higher chance of earning a bunch of money.

I do not follow Warhammer Online and have no interest in the game, but a few others seem to show some interest in it. Getting and keeping people interested is part of the work there to get the initial games sales up to lower the risk of loosing too much money.

'hello!' by Token
Submitted on 2008-04-11 04:29:32 CST
I really don't agree that the blogosphere builds up expectations, if anything the blogosphere tends to expect the same old game mechanics, possibly to recapture some nostalgia from when most of them were in college playing Ultima. Mythic said they could deliver the game in two years iirc and they didn't do this, people have a right to be disappointed. I'm constantly disappointed when my bus is late and it's not because I built it up too much. Of course I don't mind waiting, there are plenty of quality games out right now.

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