Turbine could market DDO2 better, you say? There's no evidence they know what the word marketing means. I've not seen evidence of a decent branding person inside of Turbine yet. They're at best, average at pushing their own product, so the idea that a new product from them would create a crashing wave of new customers is a tsunami of imaginative proportions.
But, for kicks, let's look at the things they would have to do:
1. Build new backend infrastructue.
2. Build new client.
3. Transition plan for existing players.
4. Increase, almost double, staffing to support existing DDO, while staffing to build new.
Now, look at the economy (as opposed to when DDO was released):
1. Sucks for most people.
2. Casual people are transitioning to mobile devices (tablets/smartphones), where the market is exploding, and mobile gaming.
3. Personal computers as a must have household item is fading as an idea.
4. People have nearly infinite entertainment choices at their fignertips that would be easier to consume than DDO2, so the idea they would engage in one that requires a large degree of thinking is massively misreading public tastes.
I appreciate your enthusiasm, but I've run businesses, capitalized software and physical projects, and lead teams in software projects that ran from millions to hundreds of millions of dollars. There's no way I'd green light DDO2 at this point unless you had absolutely rock solid accounting evidence that you would ROI both the capital required and increase the long term revenue stream more than you could just with DDO upgrades. Even worse for you, I can compare any statement to the reality of DDO and a real market share that exists not on a marketing powerpoint.
No way a greenfield DDO2 gets green lit. You might as well set the large pile of capital needed on fire, the ROI will be about the same. Turbine will milk DDO as long as it produces and there's no set economic model that says they need a DDO2 in the near term. There's also a risk in upgrading DDO to the point that people's, constrained by budgets, machine's don't keep up, and your market share gets smaller.
Plus, you're way over-thinking licensing. Licenses aren't special, and there's no way customers should be privy to the details of the agreement. That's just bad business protocol all around. They're simply an IP contractual arrangement and they generally get renewed without fanfare, so long as the parties are happy with the financial outcome. Inferring much otherwise is reading some serious tea leaves.
Last edited by myliftkk_v2; 09-17-2013 at 12:58 PM.
This is one of those questions that always leaves industry outsiders guess. The only real answer is we don't know.
It's unlikely that DDO is unprofitable or will be in the foreseeable future. It seems that the number of players for true unprofitably of an ongoing MMO is in fact very small. Apparently the Matrix Online was down to 500 active players before it was deemed unprofitable.
There are other reasons games get shut down though: Draw from other games owned by the company, desire to use human resources elsewhere, system failure with high replacement costs, mediocre returns combined with corporate disinterest, etc. None of those seem particularly pertinent, and the fact that it supports a floundering but valuable IP (D&D) means it might even be run if slightly unprofitable.
Neverwinter's launch and massive flop probably means there won't be another shot at a D&D MMO for at least another 8 years if ever. It also reinvigorates Hasboro's interest in DDO as the D&D brand's presence in online gaming.
Gildus, Sabathiel, Einion, Yhvain
And on top of that well written post is the fact that even success and profit are not enough to keep a development company alive if the company they under the umbrella of decides to pull out as NC Soft did to Paragon Studios over City Of Heroes. The game in its last year had some of its best profits, highest subscriber numbers since launch, and an active player base of several hundred thousand people. Thinking just because an MMO is even mildly stable will keep it alive is no longer the absolute icon of the industry we had back when games like EQ1 where the standard.
as for the subs, that was something CoH was legendary for, the very open info we had. You see each server had load points, if a server was one green dot, it was 10,000 or less people on that server. 2 yellow mean between 10-20 k players where on that server, and 3 red dots meant the 30k was being pushed, many more and the server would deny others logging in.
CoHs 2 top servers rarely didnt have 3 red dots, and most other servers would stay a stable 2 yellow most of the time, with only a few backwater servers staying at green all year long. This meant when most servers where always hitting at least 2 yellow that the game pop was very active and healthy.
Then one day in 2012 Paragon Studios got a call out of the blue that surprised them no less then the player base. They told the playerbase the next day, and waht followed was probably the most amazing player fueled save an MMO attempt ever made. Sadly it was all for nothing.
The ANTI-Realms FANBOI NUKE THE REALMS ITS THE ONLY REAL WAY TO BE SURE
Want to play a mage who uses summons? Too bad. Wait for them to make a "summoner mage" (if ever). But then you'll be 100% committed to summons, you won't be able to nuke, buff, etc. They made cookie-cutter one-dimensional classes who are only good at one thing. And that's ridiculous.
It feels like I'm playing Gauntlet with updated graphics.
Will there be a DDO 2? I doubt it. Aren't they working on their new AC2?
Anyway, I'd love to play a DDO 2, but with tons of changes:
1. No instances (Other than raids or group dungeons)
2. I want to make my own quests (NWN has it, I want it too)
3. Open world. Not EQ, WoW or NWN open world, more what it sounds like ESO will be like.
4. I want real crafting, the ability to have a trade crafting character, and to be able to go to mountains and mine. (Think UO + SWG)
5. Housing, instancing is fine. (Not LoTR housing, AO housing)
6. I want a real reason to group. I want to get ticked that I can't solo.
7. I want to play an evil character, make a fallen pally and do sick who-ha in my quests.
8. I'd even like pvp. Cool pvp like DAoC had.
I think DDO could use a massive overhaul and a new mmo could do that. There's no reason for them not to, people are still playing AC.
“Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment, full effort is full victory.” - Gandhi
Wow great replies, even by some I don't normally agree with. I'll try to get to these tonight after work (darn here comes the boss!)
I don't think there would be a DDO2 but this is what I'd love about it:
1. If they did it like CounterStrike did: Everything is basically the same except the old content has nicer graphics and some new UI changes. That virtually free game has outlived many many contenders.
If all of the quests they have now existed in DDO2 but with refreshed AI and graphics... I'd be in heaven.
2. Keeping most of the same game mechanics' TRing, multi-classing, etc.(after all, isn't that why we are still here? The gameplay and mechanics are superior to a lot of the stuff out there.)
3. More combat animations and customization of character looks. Fore example: SnB animation is the fruitiest thing ever and should have been update a long time ago. Also, as one advances, so should their attack animation(there is a slight change with BAB but it's hardly noticeable.)
4. It would smooth out all of the hobbled code that existed from previous developers and be more seamless.
5. With great graphics, I don't see why it wouldn't attract new people.
6. If we were able to transfer a character or two to DDO2 that would be amazing. EQ2 saw a huge exodus, I think for the lack of this.
Vorpals that actually see a head fly off instead of turning blue? Limbchopper having a real effect? The gear you put on like gloves, boots, etc... actually changing your appearance?
Not gonna happen, but dreams are free!
Half-elfs getting a facelift? All good things.
I pimped my Commodore 64 (kicked Radio Shack Color computer A$$!) out with an Indus GT disk drive and played all the SSI Gold Box games... Pool of Radiance, Dark Queen of Krynn, Curse of Asure Bonds... then upgraded to a Commodore Amiga (coolest kid on the block... come on now... nothing beat an Amiga - with Newtek video toaster - in 1988!)
Any well designed mmo with depth and re-playability has a shot in this economy - none the less one with as legendary, and marketable IP such as Dungeons & Dragons. If someone builds a "new shiny" D&D mmo that allows impressive, authentic customization it would draw successfully from many in the mmo market. DDO1 as you call it is the most authentic D&D product on the market in my opinion (sure, its still a stretch but any mmo will be a strectch - after all the rulesets are designed to be played on top of a table, not on the PC) Still, I truly believe Turbine proved they could build an authentic D&D based mmo built around an already established set of rules. Perfect World/Cryptic proved that NWO - without a doubt pulled in many non-D&D pnpers, disqualifying your argument.
I know what you are saying, but it does not hold true with an IP that is a household name such as Dungeons & Dragons. Sure, they'll milk DDO for all it's worth... but some, somewhere WILL jump on the next official D&D mmo project, if they haven't already.
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