Massively Opinionated: What is the biggest PR mistake an MMO’s ever made?

    
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The Electronic Entertainment Expo presented a lot of opportunities for public relations mistakes, which led me to wonder about the biggest mistakes an MMO’s ever made, the topic of today’s Massively Opinionated debate vidcast! We also have multiple questions from the Patreon backers, and an interesting question about changing MMO systems mid-stream.

This week’s panelists hail from all over the internet: Mike Byrne is the Editor-in-Chief at MMO Bomb, Cosmic Engine can be found on YouTube doing video game reviews, and Tina Lauro can be found right here on MassivelyOP and the Predestination game website.

Topics

What is the biggest MMO PR mistake made within the last five years? (4:34)

Submitted by Patreon backer Matthew: What is the worst thing to have in the cash shop of a subscription game? (24:11)

Submitted by Patreon backer Duane Kinney: Which non-western MMO publisher is responsible for the best MMOs in the west? (43:40)

Do drastic changes in an MMO’s core — mechanics, narrative, environment, etc. — ever work? (1:08:00)

This week’s panelists

Mike Byrne
Site: MMO Bomb
Twitter: Magickmann1

Tina Lauro
Site: Predestination
Twitter: PurpleTinaBeans

Cosmic Engine
YouTube: The Cosmic Engine
Twitter: CosmicEngine99

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Tina Lauro
Guest
Tina Lauro

Xvim bossrprouse  Aye, my point was hard to argue because it was pretty hypothetical. The question was what would be the worst, so I talked about possibility rather than what actually is the worst implemented P2W thing in sub MMOs.

Bango
Guest
Bango

Dreema Bango No it was one of several factors that has caused the concurrent player population to dwindle. But of course that’s a sign of a game’s healthy success no doubt.

Dreema
Guest
Dreema

Bango Dreema And you can prove that the servers are being consolidated because of no new raids, I take it? Or is that just pure speculation on your part presented as fact?

Bango
Guest
Bango

Dreema Bango I’m pretty sure that for Virgin Airways, the % of their customers who travel first class is a minority, but do you see Virgin or indeed any other company telling a % of their customer base that they don’t matter? The point being that “raiders” and indeed those who enjoy end-game are often those who put in significant time and sometimes monetary investments into the game – they create the guilds / kins / alliances and their achievements are what others read about on forums, watch on youtube etc. They are also the source for much of the theorycrafting and tactics for encounters. 

Anyhow, those MMOs that prosper are those that understand their broader demographic and work to deliver content that supports that., What Turbine did with LOTRO back in 2010 to 2014 was try and turn what was a decent enough MMO into a tolkien version of The Sims – all the focus on cosmetics, poorly implemented systems and downright shoddy content (fetching and carrying barrels & washing dishes in HD anyone?). At least now they’ve got a new producer who has set out a roadmap to try and repair the damage – but you wouldn’t know that given you don’t play the game.

Still, no doubt Sapience will be happy to hear from you on the Extra Life forums!!

salidar
Guest
salidar

DugFromTheEarth Craw I assume you meant Star Wars The Old Republic, since EA had nothing to do with SWG.

sray155
Guest
sray155

Without even listening I can say that the biggest PR mistake that any MMO has made… well, ever… is allowing John Smedley to interact fans and gaming press: he’s got  severe cases of both foot-in-mouth disease, and douche-bagitis.

Xvim
Guest
Xvim

bossrprouse The argument of raid locks is kind of odd to me…considering you don’t buy a bypass for it, so everyone is equally limited. The expansion thing was even an exception to the aguement it seemed.

bossrprouse
Guest
bossrprouse

Oh man, for question two, Mike’s argument is null once you subscribe, and the question was for specifically for subscription games. I think Tina’s argument was the best because gating content encompasses selling power, which was Cosmic’s argument. Not only are you out the items from that content, but you are out of the areas, and the mechanics and events, etc. All while being a subscriber.
I remember back playing EQ where I was subscribing, but I didn’t have the Planes of Power expansion, and so, I couldn’t teleport around and do the planes content, and was out from getting any of that stuff. Although, I did have a friend that ported to the Bazaar (also didn’t have that expansion either) and was able to buy me some stuff I needed. So there was a bit of a work around. Still wasn’t fun until I was able to get the expansion.

mysecretid
Guest
mysecretid

Aywren 
I’d never seen this trailer before.
 

This is incredibly silly … and not in the good way.

And for those who want to say I’m just not “Metal” enough? I was big into Metal in high school (believe it or not). This isn’t #supermetal, unless we’re talking Spinal Tap. :-)

BryanCo
Guest
BryanCo

I have to go with the pre-announcement teaser for Crowfall that made it’s developers sound like pompous jerks.  It didn’t take them too long to ‘clarify’ what they really meant, but it was the first official statement of any kind from the studio and it was not a promising start.