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FleshEatingZipper

‘Defiance’ MMO Not Faring Well As Trion Worlds Unveils Low Gamer Turnout

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Oh, now, let's put things in perspective: The pilot of the updated "Battlestar Galactica" netted 2.1 million viewers, in spite of the fact that it was already a known IP. Under the circumstances, pulling 2.7 million viewers for the debut of a completely new IP, on the day of a major terrorist attack, was a ridiculously good showing, for SyFy. They are probably feeling pretty sanguine about it.

As for "Halo 4," AGAIN, it was an established IP. You're comparing apples and oranges. The original "Halo" took months to sell a million copies. Yeah, they had the disadvantage that there was no established install base of XBoxes yet, but it came out in time for Christmas, and it was THE game to buy, if you were picking up an XBox.

Anyway, this is why the videogame market is so saturated with remakes and sequels. When you have an established fan-base, it's a lot easier to move copies of your game. It's a huge risk to introduce new IP. It requires some word-of-mouth to be successful. You are ringing the doom bell, before that word-of-mouth has even had a chance to take hold. Give them a few months, before you start ripping their numbers to shreds, would ya?

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Oh, now, let's put things in perspective: The pilot of the updated "Battlestar Galactica" netted 2.1 million viewers, in spite of the fact that it was already a known IP. Under the circumstances, pulling 2.7 million viewers for the debut of a completely new IP, on the day of a major terrorist attack, was a ridiculously good showing, for SyFy. They are probably feeling pretty sanguine about it.

As noted in the article.

As for "Halo 4," AGAIN, it was an established IP. You're comparing apples and oranges. The original "Halo" took months to sell a million copies. Yeah, they had the disadvantage that there was no established install base of XBoxes yet, but it came out in time for Christmas, and it was THE game to buy, if you were picking up an XBox.

Defiance came out on three platforms, this was measured over a period twice as long as Halo 4, and featured a fifth the traffic. This is an MMO, not just a shooter, so if a million people only spent six hours (on average) playing the game over two weeks, that does not bode well for your game.

Anyway, this is why the videogame market is so saturated with remakes and sequels. When you have an established fan-base, it's a lot easier to move copies of your game. It's a huge risk to introduce new IP. It requires some word-of-mouth to be successful. You are ringing the doom bell, before that word-of-mouth has even had a chance to take hold. Give them a few months, before you start ripping their numbers to shreds, would ya?

Should we give games like SimCity "a few months"? No, this is the game people are able to purchase today and the response is that Defiance is rancid at best.

http://www.metacritic.com/game/xbox-360/defiance

If they want a good response, they need to provide a better product.

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Really......Really.....How is this even surprising, It's a game based on a show that is literally on one of the top 10 worst networks, known for producing a steady stream of constant garbage...The amount of things on SyFy are microscopic....And Defiance is actually a SyFy Original, which should tell people right there that the show is not gonna be good just like their movies....And if their show is awful it goes without saying they aren't going to pay someone to spend time on a game.

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Syfy seemed to have a massive change in content (at least over here) quite some years ago. It went from showing some credible shows/films to apparently showing utter garbage. I'm not sure if it was the same in the States but there was a definite shift over here. Couldn't really say when exactly, but it was a number of years ago now.

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Defiance came out on three platforms, this was measured over a period twice as long as Halo 4, and featured a fifth the traffic. This is an MMO, not just a shooter, so if a million people only spent six hours (on average) playing the game over two weeks, that does not bode well for your game.

Again, I don't think it's reasonable to compare it to Halo 4. It's like you're trying to compare the market success of a brand new soft drink launch to Coke.

Should we give games like SimCity "a few months"? No, this is the game people are able to purchase today and the response is that Defiance is rancid at best.

Hey, I would expect you to know that lot of respectable reviewers refuse to review an MMO this early.

Have you actually read those reviews? Even a lot of the yellow reviews admit that the game is fun.

I've actually played the game, on PC. My general impression has been that it is a flawed game (which it was pretty much guaranteed to be, given that they were a slave to the TV show's launch date, and they were trying to launch on more platforms and in more regions at once than anyone ever has, in the history of MMOs). However, I have to agree with a lot of the reviewers that say that in spite of its flaws, it's still a fun game. Hell, I don't even LIKE shooters, but I do actually find that I want to keep playing it.

I mean, right now, you're meta-meta-critiquing a game you have never even played, and a TV show you appear to have never watched. I know that some people were hating on this project, the moment it was announced. (Hell, I won't lie: I have my own bones to pick.) So, maybe you're trying to get your "I told you so's" in early, or something, but really, I think it's premature. The patient is a long way from dead.

If they want a good response, they need to provide a better product.

A lot of people report that they are having fun. At the end of the day, they don't need everyone on earth to like it.

Let me talk some business, here: Financially, if you run an MMO (and especially a FTP MMO), you don't actually WANT people logging tons of hours, because that's expensive. Those people are eating bandwidth and server resources. Your ideal player is not someone who plays 40 hours a week. Your ideal player is a really busy person, with a good job, who has more disposable income than time, and isn't going to consume all of your content in two weeks. You want something they can get into, and have some fun for an hour-and-a-half, after putting the kids to bed. Play time is not a good metric for MMO success, because play time costs you money.

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Defiance came out on three platforms, this was measured over a period twice as long as Halo 4, and featured a fifth the traffic. This is an MMO, not just a shooter, so if a million people only spent six hours (on average) playing the game over two weeks, that does not bode well for your game.

Again, I don't think it's reasonable to compare it to Halo 4. It's like you're trying to compare the market success of a brand new soft drink launch to Coke.

Again, I disagree, for reasons I stated above.

Should we give games like SimCity "a few months"? No, this is the game people are able to purchase today and the response is that Defiance is rancid at best.

Hey, I would expect you to know that lot of respectable reviewers refuse to review an MMO this early.

Have you actually read those reviews? Even a lot of the yellow reviews admit that the game is fun.

I've actually played the game, on PC. My general impression has been that it is a flawed game (which it was pretty much guaranteed to be, given that they were a slave to the TV show's launch date, and they were trying to launch on more platforms and in more regions at once than anyone ever has, in the history of MMOs). However, I have to agree with a lot of the reviewers that say that in spite of its flaws, it's still a fun game. Hell, I don't even LIKE shooters, but I do actually find that I want to keep playing it.

I mean, right now, you're meta-meta-critiquing a game you have never even played, and a TV show you appear to have never watched. I know that some people were hating on this project, the moment it was announced. (Hell, I won't lie: I have my own bones to pick.) So, maybe you're trying to get your "I told you so's" in early, or something, but really, I think it's premature. The patient is a long way from dead.

I never said the patient was dead, I said it wasn't doing well. If I thought it was dead in the water, I would've called it.

You're right, nothing about Defiance has sparked my interest, which is why I haven't written about it positively or negatively, well, ever. Rob did have some good words about it when he saw it at E3, but you can't judge such a complex game in that capacity at such a venue anyway.

If they want a good response, they need to provide a better product.

A lot of people report that they are having fun. At the end of the day, they don't need everyone on earth to like it.

Let me talk some business, here: Financially, if you run an MMO (and especially a FTP MMO), you don't actually WANT people logging tons of hours, because that's expensive. Those people are eating bandwidth and server resources. Your ideal player is not someone who plays 40 hours a week. Your ideal player is a really busy person, with a good job, who has more disposable income than time, and isn't going to consume all of your content in two weeks. You want something they can get into, and have some fun for an hour-and-a-half, after putting the kids to bed. Play time is not a good metric for MMO success, because play time costs you money.

Conjecture and then bizarre reasoning. What? Let's not forget that Bioware recently admitted that their players were ripping through their content, not on the issue of capacity, but because they hadn't designed enough. They designed it to work and then don't want people logging tons of hours? Wow.

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Conjecture and then bizarre reasoning.

I'm confused. What part of what I said was conjecture? Was it "A lot of people report that they are having fun"? I'm basing that on comment threads I've read. Do you really want citation links? Do you want me to count them, so I can quantify "a lot"? Because, that would kind of be a waste of time for both of us. No, I haven't been taking any scientific polls, here, but you haven't, either.

What? Let's not forget that Bioware recently admitted that their players were ripping through their content, not on the issue of capacity, but because they hadn't designed enough. They designed it to work and then don't want people logging tons of hours? Wow.

Bioware spent a breathtaking amount of money building a story game that didn't have enough story, in the end. And there really wasn't a whole lot to do when you ran out of it. I'll be honest: I like the game they made. There were just some really bad tactical errors in their production.

However, that's peripheral to the argument I was making. My central point was that play hours are not an indication of success, and I'll stand by that. Play hours don't necessarily translate to conversion rate, for hard currency purchases. (OK, yes, it depends on how you monetize it. Obviously, if you're running a crappy Facebook game with an energy bar, then play hours DO translate into hard currency sales, but I think we'll all agree that metered play time is a cynical and trashy way to monetize an online game.) It was a silly thing for them to brag about, really.

As a side-note, I was out looking for numbers, and I can't actually find the one million sales number that you're using in your math, anywhere. What was your source for that? I haven't been able to find any information that corroborates that number. I'm finding a lot of partial numbers, but they're not adding up to that.

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Conjecture and then bizarre reasoning.

I'm confused. What part of what I said was conjecture? Was it "A lot of people report that they are having fun"? I'm basing that on comment threads I've read. Do you really want citation links? Do you want me to count them, so I can quantify "a lot"? Because, that would kind of be a waste of time for both of us. No, I haven't been taking any scientific polls, here, but you haven't, either.

I have the word of professional reviewers whose jobs, in their entirety, is to get to the bottom of whether they like a game or not, then thoroughly document their findings on why.

What? Let's not forget that Bioware recently admitted that their players were ripping through their content, not on the issue of capacity, but because they hadn't designed enough. They designed it to work and then don't want people logging tons of hours? Wow.

Bioware spent a breathtaking amount of money building a story game that didn't have enough story, in the end. And there really wasn't a whole lot to do when you ran out of it. I'll be honest: I like the game they made. There were just some really bad tactical errors in their production.

However, that's peripheral to the argument I was making. My central point was that play hours are not an indication of success, and I'll stand by that. Play hours don't necessarily translate to conversion rate, for hard currency purchases. (OK, yes, it depends on how you monetize it. Obviously, if you're running a crappy Facebook game with an energy bar, then play hours DO translate into hard currency sales, but I think we'll all agree that metered play time is a cynical and trashy way to monetize an online game.) It was a silly thing for them to brag about, really.

As a side-note, I was out looking for numbers, and I can't actually find the one million sales number that you're using in your math, anywhere. What was your source for that? I haven't been able to find any information that corroborates that number. I'm finding a lot of partial numbers, but they're not adding up to that.

The one million sales number is just a simple variable for math, as stated in the article. If a million people were only playing an MMO for six hours over the course of two weeks - a million sold in two weeks is not a fantastic number anymore, btw - then that's really low. Halve those sales and you get a more realistic payout on how long someone would pay an MMO shooter for that period of time, but then you're only selling 500,000 units. Split it further and the time becomes more realistic and the sales numbers become even more dire. That was my point.

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I have the word of professional reviewers whose jobs, in their entirety, is to get to the bottom of whether they like a game or not, then thoroughly document their findings on why.

Yet, somehow, Michael Bay keeps selling movie tickets. *sigh*

I've worked on a game that was in the 50s on Metacritic. It was... wow. Look, Defiance just plain isn't as bad as that. Maybe reviews have become harsher over the last decade? I don't know.

The one million sales number is just a simple variable for math, as stated in the article.

Ah, sorry. I appreciate the clarification. I think I reread those two sentences, like, three times, and hadn't quite put together the point you were making in the second sentence until just now. Mea culpa!

If a million people were only playing an MMO for six hours over the course of two weeks - a million sold in two weeks is not a fantastic number anymore, btw - then that's really low. Halve those sales and you get a more realistic payout on how long someone would pay an MMO shooter for that period of time, but then you're only selling 500,000 units. Split it further and the time becomes more realistic and the sales numbers become even more dire. That was my point.

Yes, now that I see what you're saying, this makes a heck of a lot more sense! (Never let it be said that I won't concede an argument!)

My estimate is that they need to sell between 1 million and 2 million to make back their development costs (not counting hard currency transactions), and they appear to be well below that, as of yet. However, they could still see a slow ramp-up with interest of the TV show -- especially if they get around to doing something buzz-worthy with the transmedia stuff, along the line. We know, from Rift, that Trion has the tech to roll out epic world events easily, and they could do something really cool with that.

Also, development costs are sunk cost. It's money already spent. It's worth continuing to run a game, even if you can't pay down the development cost, as long as you're making more money than your maintenance is costing you.

So, still a lot of questions, and not a lot of answers. But, at least I see where you're coming from, now, and I think we're much closer to being on the same page.

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Wait, that's not how you internet debate! You have your start position and should refuse to move from it no matter what overwhelming evidence to the contrary is thrown at you. That's how you internet properly... I'm dealing with goddamn amateurs here.

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What is with the sudden rush of uber negativity trolls with single digit post counts?

It means more people are reading the site ;)

If we had this large a discourse in every article, I'd say FEZ is well on its way! Long way to go, still...

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What is with the sudden rush of uber negativity trolls with single digit post counts?

Oh dear. I hope you don't mean me...

I'm not here to troll, if that's what you're worried about. Though, I should apologize for any dreadfully boring conversations I start about business crap. Can't help it. All work and no play makes Kate a dull girl.

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What is with the sudden rush of uber negativity trolls with single digit post counts?

Oh dear. I hope you don't mean me...

I'm not here to troll, if that's what you're worried about. Though, I should apologize for any dreadfully boring conversations I start about business crap. Can't help it. All work and no play makes Kate a dull girl.

Dawwww, we don't mind you chattin' 'bout business!

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