The Health of a Game
Jun 14, 2007 15:09:05

Welcome to my Lum-style single-sentence-plus-links-post.

Here's the background discussion if you haven't absorbed it yet - it is necessary reading to understand the verbosity to follow.

In Kendricke We Trust
Common Sense Darren
Zenke Nation

Ok, now that you have all of that buzzing around in your head:

1. The Madden NFL series of games has sold 56 million copies.
2. The Maddan franchise is clearly healthy and popular.
3. The Madden games suck and are no fun. I'd rather play Techmo Bowl.

If my point is not clear, hit yourself in the head with your Halberd of Desolation.

Submitted by Brent on Jun 14, 2007 15:09:05 CST (comments: 19)


'Hmmm' by Maess
Submitted on 2007-06-15 11:46:23 CST
Some people. me included, like the Madden NFL games.

'and?' by Brent
Submitted on 2007-06-15 11:52:41 CST
Excellent, only 55,999,999 to go. When we're done, we'll put all of the Madden players in a room with the WoW players and this will be solved once and for all. We'll truly know who has the better game then, right?

'Vocal Minority' by Maess
Submitted on 2007-06-15 12:02:50 CST
I think you are missing the point. You shouldn't bash a game just because you don't like the genre.

You haven't played a serious console sports game since techmo bowl in college and that was 14 years ago.

MMOs are a business. 8 mil subscribers world wide is pretty sucessful. Numbers talk, a very vocal minority of players who happen to post on the internet aren't a representative sample.

Am I sick of WOW? Hell yeah, but, to me, the numbers talk.

'From the Vocal Minority of Who Cares?' by Brent
Submitted on 2007-06-15 12:20:34 CST
Actually, I think you're missing my point.

By the "numbers talk" logic, you're saying that I should enjoy Madden. But I don't. Plenty of people put mustard on their food... billions. But i don't, because I think mustard sucks. The point is, who really cares if a game has 8 million players or 10 thousand, because the bottom line is: do you like playing it?

Additionally, I'm not bashing WoW. It's fine. Not my favorite game, but it's pretty good. I used Madden to amplify the point. VERY successful game that I couldn't care less about. Should those 56 million buyers heed my words and correct the error of their ways? Nope. They should go tackle more dudes and have fun.

Religious battles are uninteresting aside from the iconoclastic sensation I experience when I see unchecked fanaticism.

'It's all about the revenue' by Maess
Submitted on 2007-06-15 12:34:30 CST
Dude, the implication of the posts you linked to, as well as your post, is that numbers don't make a game sucessful.

If you view games as a business, of course paid subscriber numbers are the prime indicator of sucess.

This isn't a religious issue, it's basic business.

'Even so...' by Brent
Submitted on 2007-06-15 12:42:34 CST
Number of subscribers does not necessarily indicate the health of a game from a pure business standpoint. Increasing subscribers means increasing costs and risk. The only way to really tell how successful a game is from a business perspective is to look at the margins for that particular line of business.

None of us are privy to that level of detail, but if I had to guess: EQ and UO are probably pulling the largest profit percentage (in the western world). They're likely followed by other small to mid market titles that didn't spend 10 million on development and are not beholden to investors or a publisher (see Runescape.)

'Volume vs. Margin' by Maess
Submitted on 2007-06-15 12:50:26 CST
Point taken. However revenue is driven by a mixture of margin and volume.

If we look at WOW in particular, they have a pretty sweet deal going in Asia. It's pretty similar to a licesensed software agreement. They have farmed most of the risk out to their Asian partners. Lets be conservative and say 2,000,000 of those subs are in Asia, I would say the margin on those subs must be close to 50% of the margin of the rest of their subs combined.

'Doesn't matter...' by darrenl
Submitted on 2007-06-15 12:51:01 CST
...bottom line is that players look to subscription numbers as a measure of health of an MMO, much like a review score I would wager.

Perception is everything....

'NFL naff?' by scytale2
Submitted on 2007-06-15 14:40:34 CST
I'd always thought this should be called the NAFL, since it's nothing to do with football.

Frankly the Madden NFL game is largely irrelevant to the rest of the world. If only Americans care about it, does it really have any merit at all?

Polemic over:)

'American Market' by Maess
Submitted on 2007-06-15 14:44:52 CST
"If only Americans care about it, does it really have any merit at all?"

I would love to have a product that dominated the American market.

'56 million' by Brent
Submitted on 2007-06-15 14:50:03 CST
Right, I guess Lineage isn't a success either, since it only dominates the Asian market.


I wonder why there are no 'soccer' games on that top franchise list.

'Merit' by scytale2
Submitted on 2007-06-15 15:01:36 CST
Just a quick response/clarification...

You equate merit with success, which I don't.

Certain games are flatly rejected by the vast majority of people on this Earth - American football and Lineage are two of these such games.

If it's part of your culture to like something, don't presume it has merit to anyone else.

I think you will find that Football games are rather popular in anywhere other than the USA. Perhaps they never make it across the Atlantic...

'right!' by Brent
Submitted on 2007-06-15 15:06:27 CST
I hope when you said: YOU, you were not referring tome, because I've been dancing around the merit/success point since the original post. Thank you for coming right out and saying it. Finally, the football equation solved the issue. Seriously, I'm not being sarcastic this time.

'Cultural differences' by Maess
Submitted on 2007-06-15 15:09:44 CST
Silly Euros...

Of course sucess = merit, its all about the Benjamins after all ;)

'20% crossover' by scytale2
Submitted on 2007-06-15 15:19:22 CST
I would suggest that about 20% of successful products have a universal "merit" in the way we have been describing.

Sorry, Brett, I was in "goad mode". If we had nice forums, then I could have revised it a tad:)

Oh, and Maess, what are "Benjamins"?

'Benjamins' by Maess
Submitted on 2007-06-15 15:23:08 CST
It's American slang for $100 bills. They have a picture of Benjamin Franklin on the front of the bill, hence "Benjamins". If you haven't seen one here is a URL to a picture:

'proper forums' by Brent
Submitted on 2007-06-15 15:30:20 CST
I'm about half way through the "edit" feature... sorry for the delay.

'Code faster!' by Maess
Submitted on 2007-06-15 15:32:36 CST
Yeah get on that feature code monkey!

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