The first part is about my personal consideration on the genre, in particular about the collision of commercial and design needs. This second part is just about an excerpt of an interview with Jeff Strain, producer of Guild Wars and Blizzard’s escapee:
Probably the reality is that we sat down and said “This game will not provide a subscription fee. Period.” That was statement number one. I would say that the design came out of that, rather than the pricing model came out of the design. What it comes down to is that we don’t have to try and find ways to keep you playing. It’s perfectly fun to have 70 hours of content which takes 70 hours to play through. If you buy the game, play it for 70 hours, have a rip-roaring time, put it down and then six months later when the next chapter comes out and you want to come back and experience that… well, that’s great. That’s fine for us.
It means you don’t have to feel guilty to be paying a subscription fee and be not actively playing the game. Another comparison is that Harry Potter books. They come out every two years, and it’s enjoyable when another one comes out, but it’s not as if you’ve been reading Harry Potter for the entire time between books. Here’s something I enjoy. I’m going to extract the fun out of it, and then I’ll do something else until the next one comes out… and I’ll have fun with that too.
I believe that it’s clear how this strongly ties to my considerations in the other article.
To underline the point I’ll add an exchange between me and Jeff Freeman on Terra Nova:
As opposed to pretending that we’re developing an MMO to last for a billion years, even though we know that’s not something that will happen, nor something that we even want to happen.
Why not? Tolkien has an expiration date?
We’re more like Sports Illustrated.
The title should change accordingly: “MMORPGs will die soon (if they ever existed)”.
Disposable worlds for the consumer society. We eat worlds.