MMOGs and the Videogame Industry

Mass multiplayer online role playing games (MMORPG) have affected the gaming industry in one. These games have virtually and literally stolen lives pretty much. This is a result of how addicting MMORPGs can be. One example would be "World of Warcraft" which is by far a very popular MMORPG title with over ten million players. The addiction and possible loss of social life is one of the things that pretty much deters me from wanting to play an MMORPG.


I was in Washington DC last year and my friend’s nephew and I were talking about all sorts of different videogames. From what he told me, playing a game like "Final Fantasy XI" would kill your social life. That is very true as many people have seemingly become addicted to playing Final Fantasy XI despite that there are far superior titles that provide something extremely important: player versus player combat. That is by far one of the most important components for just about any MMORPG title to possess.


MMORPGs very much shaped a large portion of the videogame industry within the last few years. X-Box Live online game service was created as a result of the rapidly growing videogame industry. At the same time, MMORPG titles have been extremely profitable for the gaming industry in general. Currently World of Warcraft is working on a second expansion.


"Guild Wars" is on its second game. Guild Wars and World of Warcraft are very popular MMORPG titles in their own right. With the second game and second expansion respectively, that’s going to rake in more new players along with original players staying on. "Maple Story" which is a popular Korean based RPG which is free to play is getting more commercial as a result due to the growing number of players.


When you take a look at the different MMORPG titles and the base of gamers, they have created their own industry within the gaming industry itself. A single MMORPG can bring in millions of dollars a month with a simple ten to fifteen dollar a month subscription. One could ask who would pay a subscription fee to play an MMORPG. It’s pretty simple: millions of people are willing to pay because the game is that, pretty good!


One major example would be the Korean-based MMORPG called "Ragnarok Online" which attracts players from all across the world. You can download the game and play online for about fifteen dollars a month. As a result, the company rakes in hundreds of million dollars a month. That is good residual income right there on the part of the gaming industry. Plus, Ragnarok Online is one of the most popular MMORPG titles as well.


The free type MMORPG eventually will go commercial if they’re that good. Main reason for that being that the more people that join, the more space it takes up on the server. The revenue coming from player subscriptions is to upkeep server fees and to buy more servers due to the growing number of players.


In terms of MMORPG titles gaining more popularity, the companies are constantly improving on them. The lag time is downsized making loading times far faster. There are new adventures, new monsters, new quests, new character classes, new items, new weapons, new environments, and new locations which expands on the MMORPG titles. Those new improvements tend to keep the current players hooked and new players drawn in.


When you think about it, you have the old players continuing with their subscriptions and new players getting subscriptions. Take a look at what’s been on the market eight to ten years ago and then take a look at stuff like "Lord of the Rings Online." You’re going to blink and have a "WTF" look. Any gamer can take a look at the transition these games have made over time.


MMORPG titles do have a chat capability. "Phantasy Star Online" had this interesting feature. If you’re living in Russia and playing with someone who is living in the Philippines, you could easily communicate with each other. You say something in Russian and it immediately gets translated into Tagalog for the person living in the Philippines. With the chat capability, you can kill a few hours. You can have a casual chat while working on some similar goal. Headsets with live voice chat had made MMORPG titles increasingly popular.


MMORPGs like other games are designed to be for fun. That aspect alone can attract both the casual and hardcore gamers. Either way, MMORPG titles are very addictive because it takes time to build up and level up your characters. I myself have become addicted to some classic RPG titles such as "Xenogears."


In terms of the gaming industry, it was a smart thing on their part to promote more MMORPG titles with a monthly or yearly subscription. Yearly subscriptions tend to save you about twenty to forty dollars at least. In terms of intelligence, it helps the gaming industry fight the same threat that all media on the internet faces: piracy. One can download the content, burn them on DVD, and distribute it.


From a marketing aspect, MMORPG titles that require a paid subscription is a great way for marketing strategy. With or without monthly subscriptions, they have become a great source of revenue for the gaming industry. There are revenues from the partnerships with advertising companies. The reason, MMORPG titles have enabled player versus player combat is because they cannot thrive on story and game play alone. There is the major social aspect associated with MMORPG titles that affected the gaming industry and made it more profitable on its part.


In term so affecting the game industry, it’s like a bunch of hard knocks on the door. One knock symbolizes the different aspects. MMORPG titles are a new way to socialize with each other. This is how MMORPG titles greatly affected the gaming industry.