The Daily Grind: Which MMO studio’s finances worry you the most right now?

During this week’s MOP podcast, Justin and I remarked on Funcom’s spectacular 2017 financial showing, particularly in light of the fact that its numbers were so poor back in 2015 that it was asking creditors to defer its debts. Most of us didn’t really think the company would make it through way back then, but here we are — it came up with some hits just in time.

That got me thinking about other MMO companies and how they’ve fared. Trion, for example, just faced down a seemingly malicious and misleading rumor that it was in financial trouble. Daybreak was once in such dire straits that it was sold to an investment company and downsized considerably in terms of staffing and new game production, though now it seems H1Z1 is keeping it all afloat.

Consider the whole field of studios we watch around here: Which MMO studio’s finances worry you the most right now?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Code of Conduct | Edit Your Profile | Commenting FAQ | Badge Reclamation | Badge Key

LEAVE A COMMENT

91 Comments on "The Daily Grind: Which MMO studio’s finances worry you the most right now?"

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
Reader
Wakkander

I’d be curious as to the health of Standing Stone Games. Lotro and DDO are long in the tooth, and in as far as I am aware they have no new projects in the hopper.

What kind of longevity can the new company have if it exists entirely off the waning days of two mmos, which while both good in their own ways, have their glory days long past them. I mean I suppose they could exist for a long time if they handle things wisely, but carefully managing a descent isn’t exactly a winning formula in the long run.

I suppose to a degree it doesn’t matter, the talent that made DDO, and AC are likely long gone in their entirety from the studio. Still, at the very least a DDO2 would be nice, refine some of the best parts of that game, namely the quest/dungeon design (Add in some better randomization, make the quests more repeatable. Branching paths, random trap placement, alternate puzzles, etc.) Clean up the honestly patchwork class system that has elements of 3.5 and 4e along with their own liberties. Maybe add some more player choice into the storylines, and put it in an open world.

I could also add in countless other wishlist items, like an AI director that could mix and match story pieces, and randomly generated dungeons to create unique experiences. Tools for player created modules with a level of curation that actually works, and actually offers powerful enough tools to make it worthwhile for long time DM’s like myself to actually want to use them.

Man, now I’m bummed none of that will never happen, and now I’ve managed to go way off topic with this tangent, so per the original question… SSG, maybe?

Reader
Sally Bowls

“they could exist for a long time if they handle things wisely, but carefully managing a descent isn’t exactly a winning formula in the long run.”

But carefully managing a descent is really about the best they can do. They – like DBG EQx – aren’t generating the profits to do anything dramatic/large nor do they have the resources to do something new. And, like Funcom/DBg if they did scrape up some resources, they would be spent on a Conan Exiles/H1Z1, not an MMO.

A long and smooth glide path is about the best we can hope for. Sic transit gloria mundi

Reader
DrSteinman

Daybreak. They’re going to die because they seem to be the most mismanaged publisher/dev in the business outside of WB. Questionable business decisions and a seeming determination to run their IP’s into the dirt on top of competition overtaking them (cough)PUBG(cough) and I see them in real trouble this time in 2018.

Reader
enamel

The idea that DBG is doing anything other than rolling in the pile of cash that comes with cancelling an expensive project (EQN/Landmark) and at the same time selling 7mil copies of a game on Steam is hilarious.

Reader
Isarii

I think this is going to be an unusual answer, but I’m a little worried about how Guild Wars 2 is doing. Even though the game has been getting better and better and the new expansion looks awesome (and will be sure to provide a short term boost to earnings), it’s been on a bit of a downward trend for awhile now that I find worrisome.

Now obviously I don’t think this is like, say, Carbine, where your worry is of the “they could shutter the doors any day now” variety, but I am worried that they’re going to start to push the bounds of acceptable monetization and that the game could suffer as a result. Black Lion Chests have been fairly inoffensive until recently, as they’ve now added two non-tradeable lockbox exclusive skins to them. Not the end of the world by any means, but it could be a sign that they’re feeling the pressure to ease into more insidious monetization practices.

Possibly a lot of worry over nothing though.

Reader
Sally Bowls

For me, my GW2 concern is NCSoft related. GW2 won’t be getting fewer resources because it is performing worse than WoW. GW2 will get fewer resources because it is performing worse than mobile and B&S. Nothing fatal; I would prefer if it weren’t Western MMOs that had to go on a diet.

Reader
Owen Wells

Also remember NCsoft has a proven history of canning western focused RPGs, such as City of Heroes, to support its eastern market projects.

Nathaniel Downes
Reader
Nathaniel Downes

Idea Fabrik, who recently switched from a game engine maker to MMO studio with the purchase of The Repopulation. They’ve been in poor shape for years, with Hero Engine never really catching on to the same level as other game engines like Unity, Lumberyard or Unreal have. Now they’ve taken on the costs of running an MMO, with release still looking to be awhile out. It’s an awful risk for them.

Reader
Hirku

aen.jpg
Reader
Sray

This is how a free market is supposed to work:

1viyw0.jpg
Reader
starbuck1771

The Meme would have been better if it was Ali instead of a B-list actor (Yes I know that’s from Rocky IV) that is still alive that keeps on going and going like the Energizer Bunny. :P

Reader
Wakkander

Except then the Rocky IV reference of “If he dies, he dies” wouldn’t make sense.

Richard de Leon III
Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Richard de Leon III

For me it’s cryptic, I dont know how much longer they can ride on STO and NW success. I really do wish they had some extra funds to help CO a little at least. There simply isnt enough superhero mmos out there for my tastes.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Louie

I’m sure they’ll see a nice boost whenever their Magic MMO comes out.

Reader
Dug From The Earth

Funcom… for like the last 10 years in a row.

A close second would be Carbine Studios (wildstar)

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

Worries me? Probably none, I don’t think any of the studios I’m really invested in are in a rough spot right now, thankfully.

But should be worried about? It’s too early on a Friday to go through a list of developers and try to remember where they all appear to stand financially right now, I need more coffee for that -_-