Fish or Cut Bait
Oct 12, 2007 17:15:33

Grandmother used to have an expression...she would say "fish or cut bait". Grand dad had a different, and less pleasant, way of putting it but that was granddad...

One can only speculate from a vantage point outside Perpetual Entertainment why they chose to "cut bait" where Gods and Heroes is concerned, rather than market a game that was already in beta. But that won't stop me.

The initial thought here brings me back to when Sigil Games closed its doors. One of the thoughts Brad McQuaid had when he developed Vanguard was to be a "wow killer" - obviously he failed. It has been said over and over again, that a product doesn't have to be a WoW killer to be a financial success. John Smedley, the president of Sony Entertainment Online has not only proved the point, but has made a good bit of money doing so.

Yet one of the reasons cited for closing the doors on God's and Heroes seems to have been the ability of the game to be competitive in the marketplace. In a statement to the public, Chris McKibbin, Perpetual's co-founder, put it this way:
"The Perpetual team is faced with a unique challenge of simultaneously developing both Gods & Heroes and Star Trek Online in addition to growing our Online Game Platform business. After assessing all of Perpetual's opportunities, we have made the decision to put the development of Gods & Heroes on indefinite hold." - Chris McKibbin

This seem tantamount to saying your product can't bring down the 800 pound Blizzard gorilla therefore you won't even bother to go into the jungle (marketplace). Yet this isn't the first MMO to close it's doors in recent times. We all know why Auto Assault closed its doors. Still Gods and Heroes will join an ever growing graveyard of MMOs - Auto Assault, Asheron's Call 2, and soon Ryzom.

At Blizzcon 2007 the opening speech was delivered by Michael Morhaime, president and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment. In it, he said the following:
"Because of your support, World of Warcraft has quickly grown to be the most popular on line game in the world. Since we were last together in Blizzcon '05 the global population of World of Warcraft has actually doubled. There are now more than 9 million residents of Azeroth - that is bigger than half of the countries in the world." - Michael Morhaime

Richard Garriott has been telling us for years that the market for MMOs is bigger than we think it is. But is he correct? Is there always room for another MMO? Whether Richard Garriott is actually right or wrong doesn't matter. At the end of the day, whether the boss is the CEO, CFO, stockholders, or the person on the other side of the room who started the indy - what seems to be driving the MMO market these days is the perception of the size of the market.

Until next time...

See you online,

- Julie Whitefeather

Submitted by Brent on Oct 12, 2007 17:15:33 CST (comments: 3)


Comments:


'better options' by Sente
Submitted on 2007-10-13 07:52:14 CST
If there is a market for more MMOGs will depend on the definition of MMOG I think.
A constant growing market of games that are similar to WoW, EQ2, LoTRO etc? I don't think so, but expanding what an MMOG may be and also covering multiplayer online games in general I think there is a lot of growth opportunity.

Why invest in MMOGs if it takes many years for them to be developed and released and even at that point it may take more time to get to break even and one may not be sure if it actually will pay off?
If investors finds other options in online multiplayer space with less risk or cost, faster to market they will more likely go there.



'...' by darrenl
Submitted on 2007-10-15 13:03:14 CST
"At the end of the day, whether the boss is the CEO, CFO, stockholders, or the person on the other side of the room who started the indy - what seems to be driving the MMO market these days is the perception of the size of the market. "

...bingo. And if you were around high-tech/IT in 2000, you know what that usually leads too.

I'm still of the opinion that the market for any one MMO will always be in the 150-250K range and I think "people" are starting to come to realize that....or they will sooner or later.



'Pricing Model' by lochness
Submitted on 2007-10-15 18:00:40 CST
It goes back to the expansion of what MMOG wll be as well as the acceptance of different pricing models.

Once micropayments or ad based games become more accpeted in the marketplace and can co-exist with subscription based games I think we will see the market expand both in finding new players as well as existing palyer base playing multiple games.

I see myself at least subscribing to my "main" game of the time and then playing one or two games on the side that are not subscription based.




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