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My Thoughts on MMORPG

Sep 1,2011  02:09 by
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It is perhaps a little radical if we say that the doomsday of MMORPGs is imminent. But this game genre that once brought an immense amount of honor and wealth to the online game industry has exhausted all its tricks to the extent that the capital market fails to see its potentials and prospects.

MMORPGs are nearing its desperate impasse as a result of outdated product concepts, obsolete operation patterns, aesthetic fatigue of players and overflow of homogeneous products. Meanwhile, their leading status is being challenged by other forms of online games, such as social games and browser games etc. The trend where MMORPGs reign in the market is now fading away. The downfall of MMORPGs is merely a matter of time.

But how can game companies let MMORPGs wane in the face of enormous accumulated market capitals? Even though they can not prevent MMORRGs’ doomed prospect, they are determined to squeeze the last drop of profits out of the remains of erstwhile glory. If they can’t fulfill their wishes in normal ways, then they will resort to other kinds of extreme means, thus bringing inevitable catastrophe to this game type.

According to the insiders, the abnormal methods adopted by game companies on MMORPGs can be categorized into the following frauds:

1. Consumption Traps

Game developers take full advantage of the weakness of humanity and set up all kinds of traps in their MMOs. For example, they exaggerate the importance of advanced equipments and avatars’ appearances, luring players to spend unnecessary money. To my mind, this kind of practice totally abandons the equality among players as well as the Play-for-Fun ideology. It is safe to say that every action of game companies is now aimed at making the largest profits. In detail, they spare no efforts to induce players to pay some money in each game sector. As a result, MMORPGs are no longer games intended for entertainment; on the contrary, the value of a role totally depends on how much one spends. Gamers are besieged by inordinate vanity to overshadow their peers, leaving no fun at all.

The money-mad game environment has blurred the distinction between right and wrong. In this abnormal game atmosphere, money equals power of your role. If you want to be the paramount ruler of the virtual world, you have to invest in a large amount of money. And to satisfy the “ambition” of players, game companies offer all sorts of ways, or the so-called consumption traps. Perhaps, before long, the traps will give way to thorough consumption “abduction”, which forces you to spend money despite your own desire.

In the present industry, the expenses of players are mainly made up of purchasing power-ups, decorations etc. Only with a rational consumption can the market develop soundly and steadily. Otherwise, there is no future. And the market brimming with malignant yet frequent traps is like killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. In other word, when companies earn buckets of gold via all sorts of traps, the normal marketing channels will be blocked, making the situation deteriorate with each passing day.

2. Black-box Operation

To further stimulate players to spend money in games, game companies make up a variety of activities among which lucky draws are the most eye-catching events. The jackpots are usually the most advanced equipments in the games. Most players are seduced to try their luck, but of course, everything eventually ends up in vain.

According to some statistics, a player’ consumption in a game will directly influence the prizes he or she earns during a lucky draw. This kind of black-box operation undoubtedly brings staggering fortune to companies. And the existence of all such operations is concealed by their last statement: “The right of final explanation belongs to XX Company.”

The black-box operation is reflected not only in lucky draws, but also in all kinds of selecting or ranking activities. With these kinds of marketing frauds, they make gigantic profits from their products. We can summarize it in one sentence: Shady deals are ubiquitous, and nothing is impossible.

3. Vulgar Hype

The traditional and standard marketing for online games fails to meet the increasing demand of current market. However, some vulgar events can evoke strong reactions among the Netizen. Consequently, game advertisements are now filled with vulgar hype so as to catch players’ attention.

For sure, the current competition is quite fierce, but it shouldn’t be dealt with reckless and impulsive attitude. Though negative hype can sustain the temporary glory and prosperity of MMORPGs, however, if the companies are looking for a long-term development, the top priority should still be paid to the quality of their products. Instead of injecting fresh blood into the genre, vulgar hype will stir up a sense of aversion among gamers. How can a market suffused in deceptions, slanders and vulgarness win over the favor of the masses?

4. “Majestic” Duplicates

What’s really going on in online game industry in recent years? Let’s look back: The universal popularity of Legend swept the market with a multitude of 2D-PK sequels. And with the coming WOW, we witnessed all kinds of epic titles being churned out. And FPS awakened players’ passion for wielding guns and weapons, and thus endless duplicates were made.

Copycat is a malignant tumor that perplexes the development of MMORPGs. Although these kinds of brazen clones are deeply abhorred by all developers, this kind of replicas continues to be made and brought to the market.

To sum up, it is an undisputable fact that MMORPGs have almost come to a dead end, heralding a new era to online games. When players think of the games they have played, can they still remember the quintessence of casual entertainment? Currently, casual games are emerging with a great momentum, conquering the online game market step by step. Compared with MMORPGS, this kind of games are much more genuine. It is illogical to say that this genre can easily overthrow the dominance of MMORPGs, but it has certainly ushered in a brand-new development mode, providing players with more relaxing and delightful gaming environment. MMORPGs can no longer contend against the rising forces because no sober-minded players are willing to pay the bill.

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