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|Doc 03.23.2015 11:20|
Am I willing to risk losing the supposed 100,000 later to get some in now? Yes. We need the players in now. The fantastical alienation of 100,000 non-players will never materialize if players do not subscribe and play now. GW is working on a model that requires current cash flow to fund further development.
You're making the assumption that in either scenario, that at least one marketing route leads to long term success. However, it is entirely possible that GW will fail whether we rush marketing now or hold off till later when the game is more polished and has more features.
That's the tough part about trying to build ambitious things on a shoe-string budget (by MMO standards). Even if you have a fantastic design concept, if you can't execute you still might not succeed.
I think Ryan's recent Q/A and responses on MMORPG.com were great. There needs to be more of that with him, and having him set the tone of the conversation and guide the discussion. He's the marketing guru, so hopefully there will be more of that kind of thing.
I don't think fanboys (sorry don't mean to be overly derogatory with that) can't really accomplish the same effect, and sometimes may actually do the opposite. It's just that a lot of people out there are jaded by botched launches and cash-grabs, so it will take a very nuanced and official approach to sway some folks. Heck with Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues, the devs are actually asking their "loyal" supporters to post over-hyped reviews on steam to counter-act the bad reviews. That is an example of why cynicism is so sharp surrounding games and their most rabid fans.
What would probably really help is to find out why some players or backers of PFO have become so publically vitriolic with respect to the game, and if there is a way to balance that. Squelching will just up the angst, but if Ryan D. can be more vocal and present than the haters, then maybe his message will be the one which gets heard more.
Anyway, just some parting thoughts. I can't tell you guys what to do or not to do, obviously, but hopefully we've all got more context now.
|Fanndis Goldbraid 03.23.2015 11:23|
I do not think they are "running out of money". But the pace would be much slower with zero income stream. Have you read up on what these large companies are spending on MMO development before they get their first paying customer? Hundreds of millions of dollars! And sometimes the end product is unplayable garbage. Even when they meet their goals the games can't make it (SWTOR is a good example) and have to completely rewrite their business plan. I don't know everything Ryan put into his business plan, but he seems to have thought through the stickier issues and understands the limitations a small shop has to suffer through to reach the desired end point.
I am not saying development would stop (I have no insider info) but if you listened to the Fireside Chats the staff is up front in saying more income means faster production. Lee said they have four programmers. Four. One more increases programming by 25%. That is a significant amount of increased productivity. Say a programmer is getting paid 50k per year. That means 334 annual subs pay that guy's base pay and programming goes up by 25%. I am just working on getting the subscribers and I'll let GW interview the new help.
|Quijenoth Starkiller 03.23.2015 12:27|
GW is not a large company and never will be - this is both a good and bad thing.
The bad is funding must come from the game or their own pocket.
The good is the development path is not constrained by large company investors. It is 90% what causes the death of larger projects and its not exclusive to just MMOs. deadlines, unrealistic requirements such as age restrictions and such mean corners must be cut and these cuts generally come from people who have no clue about their target audience.
GW are free to develop the game as they see fit. They also have clearly defined their market before release AND they are listening to their target audience via Crowdforging - This is the proverbial golden apple that we need to promote. However there are currently limitations that will (and have) turned away prospective players - this is why we must tread carefully while leading people to the apple before they take a bite.