Where are they coming from?

Julie put up an excellent article over at VW today regarding her impressions of Project Entropia. She’s a brave woman…I wouldn’t touch it with at 10ft cattle prod. Something she said kind of got my writing juices going:

Less then 3 months ago, on May 30 of this year, Mind Ark announced that it had been chosen by the Beijing People’s Government to create a virtual economy for China. The company that already holds the Guinness Book of World’s record for largest ever sale of virtual real estate has literally aimed for the stars. Their aim is to attract over 150 million users from all over the world and to generate one billion U.S. Dollars annually. If they are able to carry it, it is, as they say, “Big time.”

Numbers like that would make even Blizzard Entertainment seem like small potatoes.

Richard Garriott has been saying the MMO market seems to be bigger than people think it is. The fact that the World of Warcraft is up to 9 million subscribers while other companies still make a living seems to prove him right.

It was that last bit about what Garriott said about the MMO market seeming bigger than people think it is. This couldn’t be more wrong. The reason why the MMO market is this big right now is because of non-MMO players and heck, even non-gamers. I really don’t consider these people as part of the MMO market, but as part of the gamer market….and there is a big difference. WoW players are gamers first, MMO players a very distant second. Don’t think for a minute that they are going to go play EQ2, or CoH or Ryzom just because they play WoW or Project Entropia. Here is something that’s going to get my ass burned, or perhaps handed to me….the MMO market has not grown by the amount that WoW or these other massive market MMOs. What we’re seeing here is a gaming market that has discovered a good game in an MMO.

I think we’re all getting confused here about what these numbers really mean. We’re not seeing an increase in the MMO market, we’re seeing a shift of gamers over to the MMO market and making it look like there is a demand for MMOs where there is none. The demand, my good readers; is in good, solid, and fun games. If these games happen to be MMOs, then that’s where the players will go. The bubble is coming, I can see it now. Big question is when is it going to pop and who will fall the most when it does. I have my guess…how about you?…and no, it won’t be WoW…

D out.

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