Smedbombs

John Smedley, the president of SOE, did a Reddit AMA a little while ago and dropped some bombs.

If you could relaunch a shutdown title which one would you pick and what would you do differently this time?

SWG. I would do everything differently.

SWG PLAYERS – OUR NEXT GAME (not announced yet) IS DEDICATED TO YOU. Once we launch it… you can come home now. (source)

Here are some more snippets:

His response to the closing of Free Realms was rather depressing:

1) Are you planning on adding more family-friendly options? First there was Toontown Online, then there was Free Realms, and CWA. Is there another youth-oriented game planned?

1) No. No more kids games. Kids don’t spend well and it’s very difficult to run a kids game. Turns out Kids do mean stuff to each other a lot. (source)

There was another question/answer that I felt was rather interesting, concerning card games:

Will Legends of Norrath also be sunsetted in the near future?

no. Actually after seeing what Blizzard did with Hearthstone it’s given us some other ideas…. LoN is an awesome card game. We can take that to the next level. (source)

The whole WoW-clone phenomenon is well established, but I still find it interesting seeing it take place in real-time.

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Posted on January 25, 2014, in Miscellany and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. “The whole WoW-clone phenomenon is well established, but I still find it interesting seeing it take place in real-time.”

    I can’t help but find it hilarious that SOE have had the whole LoN thing running for some time and, as usual, Blizzard comes along, takes elements from that idea and releases their own version which is (from the general hype levels) a huge success.

    Part of me wonders if Titan is being delayed until EQN comes out. I realise it sounds ridiculous, but honestly I can’t help but feel that Blizzard had Titan churning over in case something came along to unseat WoW, and since nothing came out that beat WoW nor displayed a radically new MMO design they felt no pressure to release. It might be a case of business as usual at Blizzard: let the other companies create a crude system and then allow Blizzard to come in and make it a work of genius.

    • I think there is every reason to believe that Blizzard nixed Titan because it was, at a minimum, not as good as WoW. If it were better, I doubt they’d have delayed it just because of other MMOs at the time. You’re right though, insofar as this scenario definitely helps them out a bit by having other companies essentially do the QA process for them.

      • I’m quite sure that Titan would be unlikely to have 5 million subscribers after 1 year. Only WoW can pull that off and the only thing that feeds it is memories of the current player. You just can’t recruit new MMO players like it was 2003 again, for various reasons.

        Blizzard realized that Titan would hurt WoW but wouldn’t be able to grow to WoW levels.

  2. No. No more kids games. Kids don’t spend well and it’s very difficult to run a kids game. Turns out Kids do mean stuff to each other a lot.

    It always shocks me at how people have no idea how mean kids really can be. Also funny to think of how much they spend on moderation and how limiting design choices are if that’s foremost in their minds.

    • It’s like, I know firsthand how terrible kids can be to one another – I experienced it nearly every day in middle/high school. But at the same time, I was able to take the bus home, drop off the backpack, and then go self-medicate with GoldenEye, FF7, and other videogames. The thought that kids could be trying to do the same thing with MMOs only to get further abused is quite sobering and profoundly sad.

      Also, as you mentioned, it sort of highlights the surprising design philosophy that kids games have to be built under. We all have WoW horror stories, but I doubt Blizzard’s top priority is “how can we get people to be nice to each other.” In fact, we know that is pretty much the furthest thing from their minds.

  3. Nice round up of the salient points made. I was looking forward to EQN, but that tribute to SWG definitely has me perked up a bit.