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Dwindling 'Warhammer Online' Subscribers Results in Layoffs
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Old 13 Feb 2009, 08:14   #1 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Dwindling 'Warhammer Online' Subscribers Results in Layoffs

http://www.worthplaying.com/article.php?sid=59507

My take.

It comes down to timing. You may have the greatest product on the internet and if you miss your window of opportunity, you are not going to be that successful.

Did the people in this sector of the entertainment industry really thought Warhammer online was going to go anywhere during this time period?

Apparently, some people did.

Now this game, which is not a bad game overall, HAS to compete with the dwindling demand of customers (because of the global recession) that play these kinds of games.

People are going to play WarCraft over this game, which is seen by the continual growth of their product.

Additional information is here about the additional layoffs at Mythic Entertainment.

http://www.joystiq.com/2009/02/04/ru...ners-affected/

It's the usual politically correct "1984ish" answer that you get from EA.

I know EA pretty well.
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Old 13 Feb 2009, 11:20   #2 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: Dwindling 'Warhammer Online' Subscribers Results in Layoffs

I hardly think that you can blame EA for releasing it when they did. The actual release date was continually pushed back, and it was released a good year or so later than it was expected. A lot of people signed up at launch to play the game, and the population was pretty good. The problem wasn't the economy, or WoW, it was the game itself. It didn't live up to a lot of people's expectations, and I think it was different enough from other MMORPG's that it took people a while to get used to, and some never did.
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Old 13 Feb 2009, 12:10   #3 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: Dwindling 'Warhammer Online' Subscribers Results in Layoffs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeebus
I hardly think that you can blame EA for releasing it when they did. The actual release date was continually pushed back, and it was released a good year or so later than it was expected. A lot of people signed up at launch to play the game, and the population was pretty good. The problem wasn't the economy, or WoW, it was the game itself. It didn't live up to a lot of people's expectations, and I think it was different enough from other MMORPG's that it took people a while to get used to, and some never did.
I have to agree with that. I think that MMORPGs are quite resistant to global economy. Reason being: THey are - comparatively - cheap to play, and you can atually get a lot of enjoyment out of your 15 bucks per month (which translates into hours and hours of gaming time). Think about it - its about the cost of one visit to the cinema, which entertains you only for a single evening.

Quite the opposite, actually - "small helpers" (chocolate, pudding, games and so on) are even more successful in times of crisis - anything that let's you escape reality has a high demand. There's a REASON WoW-servers are crammed full every day around the clock - quite a lot of players are actually unemployed (or students, but neither group has much income. Or who else could be online monday morning at 10am?).

Cheers,
-Bone
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Old 13 Feb 2009, 12:42   #4 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: Dwindling 'Warhammer Online' Subscribers Results in Layoffs

Quote:
Originally Posted by CmdrBonesaw
and you can atually get a lot of enjoyment out of your 15 bucks per month (which translates into hours and hours of gaming time). Think about it - its about the cost of one visit to the cinema, which entertains you only for a single evening.
That's the thing right there, though. Assuming that you are targeting a certain segment of the gaming community, those who would be willing to fork over a monthly fee after paying the high retail price for the base product... how many similar games would the target audience be expected to "take on" at once? $15 might not seem like much, but multiply that by how many similar games someone could have and it adds up quickly.

Personally, I stay away for that very reason. I'll be the first to say that I have greatly enjoyed every product Blizzard has ever produced for PC back to the original Warcraft: Orcs vs. Humans, but I have not spent a single minute with WoW simply because I can't justify the monthly expense. If you pay for a year and add in the initial cost of the game, you've spent over $200 on one game! (I will also say for the record, that I am an "old fart" by most comparisons, and it may also just be my diminished amount of free time and general lack of willingness to "change" and accept the fee-based MMORPG as a worthwhile expense.)

Given that, the video game market should still be able to weather the storm, so to speak, because as was previously stated, it is a good bargain for the amount of entertainment you get. Part of the problem though, is that people are, indeed, cutting back on what they spend. While they are still buying games, they may not be buying as many, looking for quality over quantity. My brother-in-law works in marketing for EA Sports, their biggest product being Madden Football, and he was telling me that because of the draw-down, they are competing more heavily for those purchases with programs like Guitar Hero. Instead of possibly buying both, people are choosing one over the other.
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Old 13 Feb 2009, 13:00   #5 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: Dwindling 'Warhammer Online' Subscribers Results in Layoffs

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarthIbis
Assuming that you are targeting a certain segment of the gaming community, those who would be willing to fork over a monthly fee after paying the high retail price for the base product... how many similar games would the target audience be expected to "take on" at once? $15 might not seem like much, but multiply that by how many similar games someone could have and it adds up quickly.
Well, yeah. But still, overall, it IS cheap. While I played WoW, I didn't buy any other game - and I played for about 2 years, and it never really got boring. On the other hand, I quit last year, and I've been buying games ever since. I bought a new Spore, and got bored with it after one month of playing time. I bought Stalker: Shadow of Chernobyl in the bargain bin for about 10, and I've finished the game after one week.
While it is true that the monthly fees add up, it is also true that buying another game every other week adds up, and, ultimatively, a MMORPG might be a "better" deal (that is, if you ignore the "addiction" and the "nerd" factor).

And, to be perfectly honest, the only thing that really hurts is the initial purchase - the rest is a quite cheap fee, which you shouldn't really notice (especially if it is an automated money transfer). And all you have to do to "get your money back" is not going to the cinema once - which should be easy as soon as you're addicted :P

The reason I'm not playing WHO is manifold: I'm a PvE-player, and that means the focus of WHO is not to my liking. Furthermore, I dislike the character classes. Surely, not EVERY human around is either a Knight, a Witchhunter, a priest of Sigmar or a Firemage? What about, I don't know, the "normal" line soldier, and so on? This feel rather limited. Don't get me wrong, I DO like race-specific classes, but there also should be some "general" classes (fighter, thief, and so on).

Cheers,
-Bone
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Old 13 Feb 2009, 13:21   #6 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: Dwindling 'Warhammer Online' Subscribers Results in Layoffs

Bottom line is that they tried to take Wow striaght on at their own game. The difference are extremely minor and the visual look is just way to similar. Why would a WoW player drop everything they have worked towards to play a look like WoW. WAR Online just entered the markert with a look like product and that is not going to be enough to take down the monster known as WoW.
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Old 13 Feb 2009, 16:19   #7 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
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Default Re: Dwindling 'Warhammer Online' Subscribers Results in Layoffs

I've never played WoW, but fro m what I've seen and heard WAR is a totally different game-style than WoW? The loot, economy, and general focus on warfare are probally the biggest examples? I may be very wrong. Yo uare right that it isn't a niche market they've entered like other MMOs have, but that's going to be a problem with any Warhammer game, considering Warcraft's... inspiritations... :

Anyway, I haven't noticed any lack of players. Just last night I was participating in a huge sprawling combat over Dragonwake; 60ish players on each side. It was massive.

I'd also like to point out that one of my favorite MMOs ever, City of Heroes/Villians, hasn't been above 300,000 like... ever, or at least not since launch, and it was extremely active, very healthy, and recieves frequent, large updates since it was launched. Warhammer Online is still doing better than CoH, and, given that CoH was a healthy game like I mentioned above, then it's doing well. We can't go comparing all MMOs only WoW to judge their popularity, but to all MMOs; WoW is a freak of nature. :P

The game might be revived a bit with the first free expansion coming in March or May. Slayers? Yay!
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Old 13 Feb 2009, 16:29   #8 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: Dwindling 'Warhammer Online' Subscribers Results in Layoffs

Having played both games, they are night and day. No sense going over the details but they really are vastly different games that cater to different audiences. WoW caters to a larger audience with its heavy PvE focus where WAR draw the PvP crowd. Different strokes for different folks.
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Old 13 Feb 2009, 17:05   #9 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: Dwindling 'Warhammer Online' Subscribers Results in Layoffs

My bad, I stand correctted though. I have play SWG, The Matrix Online, WoW and Conan. I have thought about picking up WAR but to me all MMOs are the same just different settings. Sure some focus on different things but they all are plagued by the missions/level system...its all the same. I cannot find it in my heart dispite loving MMOs to start another due to this problem.
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Old 13 Feb 2009, 19:41   #10 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Re: Dwindling 'Warhammer Online' Subscribers Results in Layoffs

Those are the facts. You can not deny the facts of the situation.

You can not deny the 63% drop in subscriptions.
And the layoffs.

As pointed out these are two different games (WHFB and WoW).

I am not hammering the game about its playability. It is a nice game as far as I have seen.

But I will point out that those hardcore people who will GW fantasy will continue to do so. The rest will vote with their money, which they are doing. This is a Economic problem, not a playability problem.

WarCraft is still continuing their increase in their subscription base, which EA and the rest of video game industry has taken notice.

The greatest failure of this project is timing. The Yahoo who decided to launch this MMORG during the greatest global recession since the 1930's should be fired on the spot. What angers me is that I know how EA works. The actual people who worked on this project will get fired, not the higher up management.

Whether you agree or disagree on what was posted, the facts are clear.

A 63% drop in players in 5 months is not a successful product.
And yes the peanut counters in EA are looking at this project carefully.

The only hope for this game, which I personally want to see is that they game can weather the economic storm and survive to 2010. If this is possible (I think that they can if they are stable in the 250,000 range of subscribers) then I see the game lasting for years.

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