[MUD-Dev] MMORPG: where to start for making and running a game

Lee Sheldon lsheldo2 at tampabay.rr.com
Thu Nov 20 10:48:16 CET 2003

Oliver Smith wrote:

>>> As the launch and flounder of SWG shows, you can't simply cobble
>>> together a bunch of single-player game-developers and make an
>>> MMO - even if you have a little MMO experience behind it.

>> This statement has already sparked a couple of replies. It sure
>> sounds like it is simply re-stating acknowledged fact, but there
>> is no evidence of that.  I too would be curious to know real
>> figures, but it won't be easy to get them. The only thing players
>> have to go on is anecdotal, messages on the boards like
>> "Everybody on my friends list is offline" and "All my guild left
>> and went back to EQ" or the fact that servers that were once
>> marked before the character creation screen as "heavy" are now
>> "medium" or "light."

> I don't mean to infer SWG has flopped.

Neither do I.

  Flop: 1) To fall down heavily. 2) To move about in a clumsy or
  relaxed way.  3) (Informal) To fail utterly.

> The evidence is still only annecdotal, but there seemed to be a
> distinct ... lack ... of evidence for glowing success.

That was what my reply meant to convey. I gave several anecdotal

> In a still expanding market, the StarWars MMO ought likely to be
> king, especially caught, as we are, between episodes.

I suspect that while the crossover from lovers of the license was
quite a high percentage of the playerbase, there must be several
people at SOE and LucasArts surprised that the number was not
higher. While we might conclude that -if- significant numbers of
players familiar with MMORPGs have left SWG for greener pastures it
might have something to do with the design, I don't think we can
conclude the design had anything whatsover to do with the lower than
expected crossover numbers. That sounds like sloppy or wishful
marketing research to me. I'm just ruminating of course.

> The 300,000 figure is impressive for an MMO, but is it impressive
> for a StarWars branded product?

I think it is safe to say it isn't as impressive as they might have
liked.  Playing the Jedi card (speeding up the ability of players to
become Jedi) is certainly a move signifying something. That said, it
looks like we both agree with Dave Rickey that 300,000 is nothing to
be sneezed at.

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