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December 19, 2007

Comments

Chris

I'd characterize it as WOW being the genre king and several other AAA titles in strong competition with each other at around 150-300k subscribers. You are right that new MMOs have a ton of competition for long term subscribers from a wide variety of well-established games...

FF XI -- 500k
LOTRO -- 300k
EQ II -- 200k
Eve -- 200k
COH/V -- 150k

http://mmogdata.voig.com/

Saylah

Wow, there are that many people on LOTRO or are some of those numbers the life time subscribers where we can't tell if they are actively playing? Nice numbers for FF XI. How come no one talks about that game in the regular MMORPG blogs, news, etc? Is it PC MMO version? I know there is one for the console.

Guess I'll peak at the FF XI official site. I know it has rabid fans in Asia but don't see much press on it in the NA MMORPG gaming sites.

Mythokia

I'd agree that WoW is the genre kind overall. But for most other MMOs, if you break the statistics down you'll see contrasting numbers depending on the region of the world.

Take L2 for example, it's not doing very well in the NA markets, but in the Asian markets, it's somewhere at the top. They're lots of blogs, cosplay conventions and etc for it in China and Korea. They even have video webcasts of events going on over there.

Most new MMOs have left me with a certain disappointment, not because they're genuinely badly developed in most cases, but simply that they offer nothing new at all compared to what has already been established in the market a long time ago.

Romagoth

@Saylah - I checked out the Final Fantasy XI website about 2 months ago. A friend of mine from WOW stopped quit and went to play it, he seems to love it. I, however, am not a big fan of the final fantasy series and the Japanese anima doesn't really do it for me. I know that the console and PC is available for players, and they both interact with each other, so you may play the game with someone who is on a console but you would probably never know it.

I think you are correct with the LOTRO numbers, I find it hard to believe that they have over half a million "active" subscribers. I would guess that about a third of those never play anymore (I would be one of them).

@Mythokia - I agree with you. I have tried Guild Wars and LOTRO in the past 6 months or so after becoming bored with WOW, but they didn't do much for me. I found Guild Wars to be uninspired and the graphics aren't as good as advertised. I debated signing up for the POBS Beta, but I just don't have a good feeling about the game as a whole. I forsee people being ganked at sea constantly and losing their ships all the time...no thanks.

Romagoth

So you didn't like POBS eh? I had some doubts about it myself, that is why I decided against joining the beta.

Saylah

Not so much I didnt like it, as much as compared to other games, I found some areas disappointing - heavily instanced, subpar graphics for a new game, clunky movements, ZERO land exploration, subpar UI, etc. So in the face of existing games the didnt bring the quaility or sophistication I would have expected.

I'll be posting a more detailed review. It grows on me day by day, but I do find myself saying, "why didn't they" or "if only they'd".

Romagoth

Interesting. I have been invited to the Beta about 3-4 times now but have declined. The premise of sea battles and stuff is cool, but in reality is probably a lot harder to pull off than it sounds. In addition, I have found that as boring as WOW is for me now (haven't played it since October), it is still the best MMO out there. I have been really disappointed in the others so far....

I am looking forward to your review of POBS.

Romagoth

Interesting. I have been invited to the Beta about 3-4 times now but have declined. The premise of sea battles and stuff is cool, but in reality is probably a lot harder to pull off than it sounds. In addition, I have found that as boring as WOW is for me now (haven't played it since October), it is still the best MMO out there. I have been really disappointed in the others so far....

I am looking forward to your review of POBS.

Yeebo

Chris beat me to it. You have some good points, but the basic premise of the post is a bit off.

Saylah

@Yeebo...Let me defend my premise a bit. I didn't mean by subscriber numbers. I was speaking to the yard-stick by which the genre would be measured in NA & EA players.

If you think fantasy most players will conjure WOW in their minds and the apex of broad appealing gaming experience. If you think fantasy with more depth and a bit more hardcore, I think the average player conjures EQ/EQ2 in their minds.

I think it's very unlikely for Western games to be compared against Asian market games when players are deciding if it's good or if they want to buy a game. Why would we? And LOTRO is new to the space and targeted a bit more to players who simply love that lore. Again, I don't see game quality and mechanics being compared up against LOTRO as the commonly used examples.

The one I might be off on is Eve for Scifi. Certainly if you become a gamer in the past 6 or 7 years or less, you might have heard of AO or SB but you might not have played either of them - I know I haven't. I think the average person would conjure the more recently and highly acclaimed, Eve. SWG I think gets discounted because its target audience was outraged at its implementation and changes so, it can't be considered a shining example.

So my point was when building a fantasy game - casual or hardcore, the mostly likely comparisons will be made with WOW or EQ/EQ2. If you make a sci-fi game, especially out of body experience combat, then your game will get compared to Eve.

Therefore, I consider those games the holy trinity against which new games are being compared. If you do something out of the box, then not so much.

Tesh

I know, I'm late to this party, too, but I wanted to toss something out there. I tend to agree wholly with the original post on this topic. Even so, I keep my eye out for niche titles, to see what else is being done.

NeoSteam caught my attention recently. It's one of those *gasp* "free MMOs" which may turn out to be a bad thing, and it's still being translated into English, which leaves a few things to be desired. Still, it's a steampunk world, which is pretty unique (OK, the WoW Gnomes lean that way a bit, but this is a whole game world based on it), with realm vs. realm contests based on a universally usable (but scarce) liquid that powers steam technology.

Time will tell whether or not it's actually any fun to play, but the premise is interesting. Have any of you heard of it, or another steampunk game that has any real reason to play it?

Tesh

Ah, for crying out loud. Sorry about the triple post. My network connection is really flaky today. :(

saylah

@Tesh - No worries it happens. A steampunk world would be interesting if they can pull it off well. I'm going to Google it myself to see what it's about.

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