April 25, 2006



I figured WoW would have been a 250,000 game, tops. I thought the MMO market was essentially working on replacement growth rather than new growth.

Based on my stellar track record, I'd say that LOTRO might hit a million world-wide if they've signed the correct distribution and have good marketing and promotion. I haven't heard about LOTRO recruiting "thought leaders" (guildmasters, columnists, bloggers, personalities) for the beta. Despite having excellent IP from which to develop a game, they can still fall down based on:

(1) releasing more than three years after the successful movie franchise,

(2) real Tolkien afficionados are likely to be disappointed with the interpretation of Eriador, especially in the time period of the game (it would have been a lot more interesting around 1409 or 1640, which is when ICE set their licensed Middle Earth materials), while people who never cared about Tolkien before the movies will want to know why they can't visit all the scenes from the movies on release day, and

(3) it will probably be released in the midst of other MMO or game releases. I think a significant part of DAOC's success was that it capitalized on EQ burnout and was released on a date without major competition.

Turbine's design history aside (which wouldn't have meant anything to most people before DDO), I don't think the game is *doooomed* but I'm willing to bet it'll be considered "not successful" because it won't hit the new bar set by WoW.

Luke Jones

My thoughts are that while a LOTR MMO is a good idea it is going to suffer. Yes...they're going to build a loyal fanbase because of the content, but the state of the gaming world is such that hey would have to do something radically different to attract the attention they'll need to become a "benchmark" of anything.

WoW is different and it isn't different. The concept of raise character level - fight baddies - earn loot - is an RPG staple...of any genre of RPG. So that isn't the key. What is WoW's secret to success? What is its wow-factor (if you'll allow the pun)?

For me its the constant change the game seems to be going through. I dont get to level 60 and say... "Ok...thats it. Ive beat the game." Blizzard has a history of promising its players content and delivering that content and then some. So while it may take time for them to release that content, players know that at least the hype that is generated about that content isn't all dead air.

Turbine is not Blizzard. Turbine is a company that seems to be a little too stretched. Their games can be hyped and while they certainly aren't bad, they aren't anything special either. They dont exceed expectations (though at times they do come close to meeting them) ...they dont captivate with fresh a fresh artistic feeling...

That said... they're right in saying that if anything can bring players to their game it will be devotion to the content.

The question is, will the company cripple that content with bland gameplay and bland art or will they rise to the occasion?

I will be watching, but as I said... I dont expect them to outdo whatever hype is generated around LOTR.


I think WoW was just the right game at just the right time honestly. It's not like it's worlds away from any other MMO. It's the "most played" genre, and MMOs were - for lack of a better phrase - coming of age just then. It was the latest of what a lot of people were just discovering as a new form of entertainment.

I've been playing "MMOs" since they were called "Online RPGs", until Mr. McQuaid coined that term. From about 1992-2003/2004 it was a fairly small market. I remember going to gatherings just to be able to talk to someone about "the game" because anyone who didn't play it would think I was speaking some martian language and get a glazed look in their eye as soon as they realized what I was talking about. That happens still, there's just more of us... and WoW hit at just the right time.

Now if this game is GOOD, it doesn't matter what brand it is really. That's just a label, and if the game sucks, well it's not going to help alot in the long-term. If it's a good game, I'm sure I'll play it. I've always wanted to be Leg0laz_05416 and frollok with my elven breathren! (shea, right!)

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