Follow that link, look at that chart.
Yes I know this is pre-LOTRO, pre-RGTR, and pre-Vanguard, but seriously, can anyone look me in the eye and tell me that one of those games had over 3 million subscribers? What does this have to do with copying WoW? Simple, you will not get WoW’s marketshare. I don’t care if you’re EA, if your Sony, or if your Microfreakingbucks themselves, you WILL NOT get WoW’s numbers!
I’ve seen alot of discussion back and forth, as to wether a game should build around a focus on the PvP and player politics or make something nice and tidy for the so called “carebears”. The hugh and cry seems to be “build for the carebears they get you the money!” Look at the chart and shed a tear for how completely and utterly wrong you are. WoW is the only MMOG to break five million subs, and honestly if people want to play WoW, they will play WoW. Who is next on the list? Lineage. I realize there is alot of Asian influence to this, but still, 3 mil subscribers. Let me repeat that, three million subscribers. Where all other non-WoW games fight their asses off for 500k, Lineage which is built around grinding and pvp got it’s 3 mil.
Eve with very little chinese influence has managed to pull in a constant increase in numbers. EQ with very little chinese influence has managed to hold on for a long time but still fights constant decline.
So what is my point in all this? The market share for good creative games, with world effecting pvp is there. It may not be WoWs millions, but it exists in the first place. The market for pve games is not there. The only thing that will pull in pve gamers is an already strong IP like Lord of the Rings, and even then we’re still talking 500k max, if you are really drop dead lucky and have leprechauns on your marketing staff. Designers, you can’t steal WoW’s share of the pie so when it comes right down to it, if you’re looking at a feature and have a choice, be inventive out there and new, or play it safe and copy WoW, choose inventive. And producers, don’t get pissed at your design staff for choosing it, ? ROI is better than 0 ROI.