Competing with WoW a Billion Dollar Hurdle: Activision

$1 billion investment needed to take on World of Warcraft on GamesIndustry.biz reports on comments made by Activision CEO Bobby Kotick at an investor meeting saying competing with the MMO juggernaut of World of Warcraft will be difficult even after an investment of a half-billion to a billion dollars. It was this line of thinking that lead Activision to merge with Vivendi to create Activision Blizzard, though Kotick takes a break from counting beans at the end to concede that budget notwithstanding, the game itself may have contributed to its own success: "They have a model that is very well-developed, they have a very keen understanding of their audiences, and they're just scratching the surface of opportunity in a lot of areas... These guys are among the best in the world of game development."
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37.
 
No subject
Mar 1, 2008, 16:35
37.
No subject Mar 1, 2008, 16:35
Mar 1, 2008, 16:35
 
Well said.
“Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.” -- Carl Sagan
36.
 
An MMO is not a Game
Feb 29, 2008, 18:46
36.
An MMO is not a Game Feb 29, 2008, 18:46
Feb 29, 2008, 18:46
 
MMOs are not games... they're places to go and be with friends. They have some game-like aspects, but they are primarily a place to have cooperative play with friends.

An MMO is far more like a bar. You go, meet new people, maybe have a few drinks. Maybe you dance. Maybe you listen to music. Perhaps have a conversation with a cute chick.

In an MMO, you go out and meet new guilds. Maybe run a few quests. Maybe you PvP. Maybe you gather materials for your new armor. Maybe joke on Ventrillo with your guildmates.

It's not a game, any more than dancing is a game, or chatting is a game, or drinking liquor is a game. It's an activity. It's a thing to do with others. An MMO is much more like a group activity than a game. it does have some game aspects, but those are not the primary purpose of an MMO.

Half of my guildmates are married. A third are women. A few kids. Hell, a full 20% of my guild are related to me in some way or another (counting marriage), heh. And we all pay $15 a month so that we can meet up several times a week in Blizzard's bar, kill a few mobs, get a few loots, and have a fun time.

MMOs are not games. They're group activities. Stop judging their worth by their game mechanics, because they will always fall short. Judge them by how effectively they enable people to have fun together. By that metric, WoW succeeds wildly. It's easy, so casual players can have fun. It allows soloing, so you aren't forced to play with people you don't like in order to level. It has a massive amount of variation in the difficulty of its content... from soloing, to easy 5 player quests, to easy 5 player instances, to hard 5 player instances, to hard 10 player instances, to hard 25 player instances, to grueling 25 player instances for the most devoted.

With such a wide variety of content, it caters to a wide variety of play styles. This allows a greater mix of players to enjoy the game, and that means that there's more people to enjoy the game WITH. Single moms, 10 year old children, my 58 year old mom, and of course the ever popular 20 something male.
Dreaming Demon, formerly Tikatt, formerly The Raven
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35.
 
No subject
Feb 29, 2008, 13:09
35.
No subject Feb 29, 2008, 13:09
Feb 29, 2008, 13:09
 
My advice to you Prez is don't ever buy a new house. You'd never see the outside world again!
“Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.” -- Carl Sagan
34.
 
Re: 1 Billion
Feb 29, 2008, 12:03
34.
Re: 1 Billion Feb 29, 2008, 12:03
Feb 29, 2008, 12:03
 
The thing about a monthly fee, it makes me feel obligated to spend time with a game I might otherwise not want to play just to ensure I get my money's worth. When I was paying $100 a month for cable, I found myself watching "The Poseidon Adventure" on TCM a few dozen times, out of fear that all that money was going to waste! Even when I knew nothing of interest was on, I'd sit there like a bump on a log, wearing out the remote.
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
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33.
 
Re: 1 Billion
Feb 29, 2008, 08:58
33.
Re: 1 Billion Feb 29, 2008, 08:58
Feb 29, 2008, 08:58
 
The big difference between WoW and those other games is that WoW charges a monthly fee. If I'm paying a monthly fee to play a game, it better be the best game Ever and keep things interesting for as long as I play. Unfortunately, MMOs are so fundamentally weak that I can't imagine paying a one-time fee, letalone a monthly fee, to play them.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, this complaint has no logical ground to stand on. The issue is, how much activity do you get out of your money. How many hours did you spend playing Bioshock, Half-Life 2, and Crysis? 40 hours each? $50/40 = $1.25 per hour of activity. So, at $15 a month, as long as you get 12 hours of use, the price is as good. Any more than 12 hours, and the price is better.

Edit: minor grammar correction (then spelling *ugh)

This comment was edited on Feb 29, 10:15.
“Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.” -- Carl Sagan
32.
 
Re: 1 Billion
Feb 29, 2008, 02:44
32.
Re: 1 Billion Feb 29, 2008, 02:44
Feb 29, 2008, 02:44
 
You don't have to justify to yourself your reasons for leaving the game.

Right. Explaining a games bad sides makes me justify myself?
Okay. Guess all critics out there are just justifying themselves all the time.
But ok... But next time just admit that youre a fanboy. Phrases like that dont make you look smarter.
Actually I could pick up your logic and claim youre trying to defend a bad game/developer by labeling every critic of this game/developer.
But Im not doing that.
I have given up on waiting for BIS to come back to their senses and do a real ArmA 2 successor.
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31.
 
Re: 1 Billion
Feb 28, 2008, 23:09
31.
Re: 1 Billion Feb 28, 2008, 23:09
Feb 28, 2008, 23:09
 
In my view, WOW is a cultural phenomenon that comes along once in a lifetime, and will never be repeated. So there's no point in trying.

Alas, the allure of ridiculous profits never dies.

I like how people talk about WoW becoming bland and boring after they've played it 500 hours. *or even 50-100 hours* *or 2000 hours*

I really liked Bioshock, Half-Life 2, Crysis, etc, but if I played them 500 hours I'm pretty sure it might start getting repetitive too. Even Crysis, which I probably played 20 hours but really enjoyed, was boring and repetitive by that time.

People need to be more realistic with their assessments.

The big difference between WoW and those other games is that WoW charges a monthly fee. If I'm paying a monthly fee to play a game, it better be the best game Ever and keep things interesting for as long as I play. Unfortunately, MMOs are so fundamentally weak that I can't imagine paying a one-time fee, letalone a monthly fee, to play them.

This comment was edited on Feb 28, 23:12.
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30.
 
Re: 1 Billion
Feb 28, 2008, 22:37
30.
Re: 1 Billion Feb 28, 2008, 22:37
Feb 28, 2008, 22:37
 
Never tried WoW, and almost certainly never will. I am vehemently against MMO RPGs because they run completely contrary to what I beleive is best about a good RPG. Nothing like having 20 thousand people running around the same server as you when just one could ruin the experience for you.

I am mostly a SP kind of gamer - I want a closed experience where I can stand out and be a hero, not a social gathering where I can gossip with a hundred other people who look exactly like me and are all too happy to tell me how each and every quest will go because they've done every one a dozen times. Guild Wars, which is hardly an MMO at all, is the only thing close to an MMO that I'll ever play.

Having said all that, it seems ridiculous that no other MMO can coexist with WOW. I suppose World of Starcraft could, but that's not what I'm talking about. Since when does every game have to pull in WOW-like numbers to be successful? Since when does every game have to have a WOW-like budget to compete in the MMO market? In my view, WOW is a cultural phenomenon that comes along once in a lifetime, and will never be repeated. So there's no point in trying.

The developers should just make the game they want to make, and as long as there is a market, things will be fine.
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
Avatar 17185
29.
 
Re: 1 Billion
Feb 28, 2008, 22:14
29.
Re: 1 Billion Feb 28, 2008, 22:14
Feb 28, 2008, 22:14
 
The game that will beat WoW?

Diablo online.

Hell, you could just reskin everything and wallah, could top it.

The forumla for WoW is the same as Diablo. I ground out a paladin in Diablo to lvl 92 (with a few mods to spice things up). Kill stuff hoping for better lewt, get an xp bar tantalising you with the next level, occasionally throw in a hard boss or mob but for the most part everything is middling easy to kill unless you get swamped.

This appeals to the masses. UO, SWG, Everquest etc were more hardcore in that there were chances of failure etc in the game. SWG crafting, you could spend millions on materials and still have a critical failure at the very last step of crafting. Can you imagine the hysterical crying if you introduced a chance of failure to WoW crafting??

The game appeals to the masses and so the masses flock to it. To beat it, a game has to be as accessible and soft/cuddly. Anything reasonably hard or realistic just won't be able to compete.

28.
 
Re: 1 Billion
Feb 28, 2008, 21:26
Kxmode
 
28.
Re: 1 Billion Feb 28, 2008, 21:26
Feb 28, 2008, 21:26
 Kxmode
 
the games a fuc*ing joke and always has been amongst real gamers I mean its a kids MMO, anyone who played Ultima Online from the start knows what I'm talking about. To many people WoW is their first MMO so they are like OMFG THIS ROCKS!! I don't see anything which WoW offers which previous MMO's haven't its very simple and easy but lacks depth seriousley.

I've played MMOGs since Ultima Online days. You know what separates WOW from all the others? How you level. It's that simple. That process is the bulk of the game. In practically every other MMOG I've played the process felt like a total grind fest. In WOW the process feels fun and doesn't feel like a damn job. Then once you hit 70, or 80, you can choose to go do PVP, raiding, casual play, help your guild mates, and pretty much whatever else you want. From my experience when you hit the level cap in other MMOGs -- IF you ever reach it -- variety is basically non-existent.

Of course if you re-roll alts it can feel this way. Yet I think it would be hard to find anyone that leveled a main all the way up to 70 and complained about how much grinding they had to do.

In a recent patch the quest XP was increased for the expansion. I went from 1-60 in about 4 weeks playing a couple hours a night, which is really fast.

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Game p/reviewer for http://www.gameindustry.com/
"The present is a veil between anticipation and horror. Lift the veil... and madness may follow." source
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27.
 
WoW...
Feb 28, 2008, 19:57
27.
WoW... Feb 28, 2008, 19:57
Feb 28, 2008, 19:57
 
I like how people talk about WoW becoming bland and boring after they've played it 500 hours. *or even 50-100 hours* *or 2000 hours*

I really liked Bioshock, Half-Life 2, Crysis, etc, but if I played them 500 hours I'm pretty sure it might start getting repetitive too. Even Crysis, which I probably played 20 hours but really enjoyed, was boring and repetitive by that time.

People need to be more realistic with their assessments.


26.
 
Re: 1 Billion
Feb 28, 2008, 18:11
26.
Re: 1 Billion Feb 28, 2008, 18:11
Feb 28, 2008, 18:11
 
the games a fuc*ing joke and always has been amongst real gamers I mean its a kids MMO, anyone who played Ultima Online from the start knows what I'm talking about. To many people WoW is their first MMO so they are like OMFG THIS ROCKS!! I don't see anything which WoW offers which previous MMO's haven't its very simple and easy but lacks depth seriousley.

Also the article is retarded 1 billion christ sakes this is all the hype talking, games these days cost more than ever yet they are shitter than ever, where is the innovation we saw in the 90s where games cost bugger all to make? Ive not seen innovation in a modern big budget game since I can remember someone please remind me and I'm talking PC games here not console.

25.
 
Re: 1 Billion
Feb 28, 2008, 17:42
Kxmode
 
25.
Re: 1 Billion Feb 28, 2008, 17:42
Feb 28, 2008, 17:42
 Kxmode
 
And I dont think WoW is an awesome game. It had awesome ideas to get players interested and addicted to it (its fucking easy and comic-like), but the overall game is a POS with extreme balance issues, boring and repeative gameplay (yes, more boring than the average MMORPG), has a childish community, and the support is horrible at best. Even MMORPGs with much less budget have far better support. Even though theirs isnt the best either, they at least fix serious bugs in a matter of days or hours. 1 week max. Blizzard has the budget of a fucking oil company and still it takes them months to figure out that this or that bug is serious enough to be fixed...
And then their idiotic ill-conceived designs all the time. I mean for example look at the battlegrounds. They are still a buggy and unbalanced POS, even after over 2 (or was it 3?) years. Hell, I knew from the beginning when they were released that they sucked because there were ALWAYS games that were like 5 vs 15. And STILL after all this time that issue hasnt even been touched but still causes frustration.

You don't have to justify to yourself your reasons for leaving the game.

-----
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Game p/reviewer for http://www.gameindustry.com/
"The present is a veil between anticipation and horror. Lift the veil... and madness may follow." source
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24.
 
Re: No subject
Feb 28, 2008, 17:40
Kxmode
 
24.
Re: No subject Feb 28, 2008, 17:40
Feb 28, 2008, 17:40
 Kxmode
 
"[WOW]'s just become bland and samey (surprise, fricking surprise)."

It was like that from the very, very, very beginning.

In YOUR humble opinion...

-----
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Game p/reviewer for http://www.gameindustry.com/
"The present is a veil between anticipation and horror. Lift the veil... and madness may follow." source
Avatar 18786
23.
 
Re: No subject
Feb 28, 2008, 17:40
Kxmode
 
23.
Re: No subject Feb 28, 2008, 17:40
Feb 28, 2008, 17:40
 Kxmode
 
Blizzard is in a good circle at the moment. They have such a strong revenue stream now that they can plow that kind of cash into risky projects like researching/creating new SW tech, or whatever they see a need for.

Or a nextgen MMO

-----
http://www.gamemusicjukebox.com/
Game p/reviewer for http://www.gameindustry.com/
"The present is a veil between anticipation and horror. Lift the veil... and madness may follow." source
Avatar 18786
22.
 
Re: 1 Billion
Feb 28, 2008, 17:36
Kxmode
 
22.
Re: 1 Billion Feb 28, 2008, 17:36
Feb 28, 2008, 17:36
 Kxmode
 
WoW is an addict's game.

I'll say. I have a coworker that started playing. Myself and other coworkers warned him away from the game for months then he bought it one day. Since then he's constantly called in "sick" to work. One of my coworkers -- who happens to play on the same server -- has screenshots showing he was up all-night playing WOW.

-----
http://www.gamemusicjukebox.com/
Game p/reviewer for http://www.gameindustry.com/
"The present is a veil between anticipation and horror. Lift the veil... and madness may follow." source
Avatar 18786
21.
 
Re: No subject
Feb 28, 2008, 17:28
Kxmode
 
21.
Re: No subject Feb 28, 2008, 17:28
Feb 28, 2008, 17:28
 Kxmode
 
Runescape has a LOT of players and it by no means costed a beeellion (cue Dr. Evil pinky finger gesture). For corporate companies it's all about money and shareholders. For small developers is all about making a game as fun as possible.


-----
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Game p/reviewer for http://www.gameindustry.com/
This comment was edited on Feb 28, 17:29.
"The present is a veil between anticipation and horror. Lift the veil... and madness may follow." source
Avatar 18786
20.
 
Re: No subject
Feb 28, 2008, 17:27
20.
Re: No subject Feb 28, 2008, 17:27
Feb 28, 2008, 17:27
 
"[WOW]'s just become bland and samey (surprise, fricking surprise)."

It was like that from the very, very, very beginning.

19.
 
Re: No subject
Feb 28, 2008, 17:25
19.
Re: No subject Feb 28, 2008, 17:25
Feb 28, 2008, 17:25
 
Are there ANY examples EVER of an indie game, or even a small developer team, taking on a game that's top in it's genre?

Sounds like to me typical anti-corporate everything.


Hrmm... Half-Life? Quake? Total Annihilation?


Portal was just a few guys playing around at a University who happened to have the good luck of being able to show off the game to Gabe.

18.
 
Re: 1 Billion
Feb 28, 2008, 16:49
18.
Re: 1 Billion Feb 28, 2008, 16:49
Feb 28, 2008, 16:49
 
Never happen.
That isn't a trait of addictive behavior.
WoW is an addict's game.

Ask anyone who quit playing.
Hell, ask anyone that does play.


Thats not a feature of WoW, its a feature of any MMORPG. WoW just has much more (and much younger) players than any MMORPG before.
People just need something else, better.

And I dont think WoW is an awesome game. It had awesome ideas to get players interested and addicted to it (its fucking easy and comic-like), but the overall game is a POS with extreme balance issues, boring and repeative gameplay (yes, more boring than the average MMORPG), has a childish community, and the support is horrible at best. Even MMORPGs with much less budget have far better support. Even though theirs isnt the best either, they at least fix serious bugs in a matter of days or hours. 1 week max. Blizzard has the budget of a fucking oil company and still it takes them months to figure out that this or that bug is serious enough to be fixed...
And then their idiotic ill-conceived designs all the time. I mean for example look at the battlegrounds. They are still a buggy and unbalanced POS, even after over 2 (or was it 3?) years. Hell, I knew from the beginning when they were released that they sucked because there were ALWAYS games that were like 5 vs 15. And STILL after all this time that issue hasnt even been touched but still causes frustration.
I have given up on waiting for BIS to come back to their senses and do a real ArmA 2 successor.
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