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Dec 15, 2003



Edward Castronova>Reports of the demise of Rubies of Eventide were premature.

Yes, they usually are.



While it's nice to hear that the game isn't being shut down - it's still not nearly as successful as was initially predicted.

Unfortunately, that's the position that virtually every MMO developed by a smaller company is in at the moment.

I think the majority of the MMOs presently in development will meet with the same fate. Until the genre becomes more appealing to either mainstream gamers or other niche demographics that have not traditionally been interested in MMOs, I don't see much growth in it's future.


I disagree with Michael's assertion that "virtually every MMO developed by a smaller company" falls into the "not nearly as successful as was initially predicted" category. DAoC is a good example of a small-scale company that made good. They had some big-time support, I'll grant you that, but they had no headline names, no massive license, no product recognition of any kind, plus they were making a game that focused on PvP as the driving force yet they were able to turn out a top-notch game that launched them into the upper ranks of the MMO world.

I think they stand as a good example of a smaller company that was significantly more successful than was initially predicted.


Shannon Sullivan wrote, "DAoC is a good example of a small-scale company that made good."

Hmm. There were a few factors that explained their behavior, though.

First, the developers at Mythic were VERY experienced. Mythic itself has only been around since 1995, but Mark Jacobs has been in the industry for longer; he may not be a "headline" name, but he's fairly well known in the industry. They created a series of games that took advantage of a particular financial situation to make some pretty good profits. Similar situations are not quite as forthcoming in current times for smaller game houses.

Further, they had great product recognition: they were drawing from Arthurian legend! The word "Camelot" in their title invokes all sorts of images in the typical game player. Of course, this is something that other smaller companies could take advantage of as well.

In the end, Mythic was hardly an unknown player enterig strange territory. They may have smartly stacked the deck in their favor, but don't think that the path they travelled is easily repeatable in this day and age.

My observations as one running a small company,


Yeah, Mythic was quite shrewd in just about every aspect of DAoC -- they licensed an engine, they relied on folklore and myths as their "license", they substituted PvP for high level content (which partially explains why they were able to develop so quickly and cheaply), and they got the game out before the market started getting crowded.

ROE just shows that it's hard to kill these games. If you can get a thousand people to pay you $13 a month, you can figure out a way to operate the game. People are still paying premium monthly fees for Gemstone.


"ROE just shows that it's hard to kill these games."

Hi, We're still alive! After some hush-hush patches the PHOENIX server has officially reopened for our hardcore community.

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