Readers’ Choice: Untapped MMO Genre

“The untapped genre of MMO with the highest potential, what is it?” - Sarymbo. Can I cop out and say that all genres have been tapped to some degree? No? Then I’ll give two answers instead. The first is the open world fantasy/sci-fi MMO. UO and SWG are both dated, and there are no mainstream titles of the same lineage out right now (EverQuest has WoW, UO never got a rightful heir). The second would be the MMOFPS. I believe there’s significant potential for the genre, and many FPSes are very close to MMO as it is. PlanetSide is dated, so it doesn’t fill this slot for me anymore.

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Readers’ Choice: Battle of the Business Models

“How will the ‘battle of the business models’ turn out? Free-to-play-with-item-shops wins the day or is it buy-the-game-pay-by-the-month?” - JuJutsu. The eternal battle between business models (real-money transactions vs. subscription) has already “turned out.” There will always be subscription-based games, and there will always be free-to-play games that get their money some other way. The models produce very different types of games and, just as importantly, they feel different to players. There will be more free-to-play games than subscription games, and subscription games will be of a higher average quality than free-to-play games.

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Readers’ Choice: The Death of Space Sims

“With Jumpgate evolution and Star Trek online about to come out (maybe… ) and Eve online seeing (or at least it was) steady growth – do these up and comers have a chance or is the market already saturated with these ‘niche’ titles?” - TickledBlue. I don’t think they are niche titles. I think space games have a ton of potential, and there’s a lot of space (wee, pun!) for more. Jumpgate Evolution seems to be taking a good approach by trying to be very different from EVE within the same basic genre. As for why we haven’t seen many Freelancers and the like, it boggles my mind and saddens me because I really love that type of game and think they’re very popular.

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Readers’ Choice: Big Publishers, Small Buyouts

“Your thoughts on when has a big developer/publisher buying up a small one been a good thing for the gamer in the medium/long term?” – Frawd. Generally, when a big publisher/developer buys out a small one instead of negotiates a publishing deal, it’s often because the small one has to be bought out. If there’s no buyout, the company is probably gone completely. So, I’d generally say in the medium and long term, things are better for the gamer because the small company gets to exist. Whether the bigger company is at fault when the small company’s game ends up below expectations is up for debate, but at least they get to put out any product at all.

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Readers’ Choice: Where Are Cyanbane’s Pants?

“Where are my pants?” - Cyanbane. Trick question. Knowing you, you don’t actually own any pants. It’s your upbringing, I suppose, to refuse to wear pants. That said, the world would appreciate it if you covered up your chicken legs. So, the answer to your question is, your pants are hanging on a rack at the clothing store.

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Readers’ Choice: PSP Go, Customer Unfriendly?

“Why do companies – like Sony with the new PSP GO – continue to try to pursue a business plan that is customer unfriendly and expect better results?” – Genda. Answer: They think they are being customer-friendly by offering their system in an all-digital format. It’s more convenient to the customer to not have to lug around hard copies of games. Unfortunately, they didn’t come up with a way to convert your existing games to digital format, so it turned out to be unintentionally unfriendly to customers.

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Nerfbat: Readers’ Choice!

If you come here frequently, you’ve certainly noticed a dearth of posts. But, you can help me remedy that! Reply to this post with a topic (or question), and I might run with it in a future post (note: Don’t ask about 38 Studios or Copernicus… I won’t/can’t talk about that stuff). Anything (else) goes, including things I’ve talked about in the past if you want to hear more of my thoughts on the subject.

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