The Daily Grind: Which studio should be running your MMO?

    
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That is definitely a thing.

It continues to sadden my heart to see RIFT — and the rest of the Trion Worlds library — limp on under the supervision of Gamigo. In my opinion, this company doesn’t really know what to do with these titles and isn’t best suited to oversee their future development. If I could take these MMOs away from Gamigo and hand them to another studio, I’d do it in a heartbeat. But the question is, which one?

Often we have concerns that the company currently developing or operating a particular MMO isn’t the best steward of that property. I remember the sad saga of Codemasters’ reign over Lord of the Rings Online and how we all rejoiced the day that contract ended. Of course, now Daybreak has its fingers in that pie, so we’re probably not better off.

Do you think a different studio should be running your MMO? If so, which game and which studio would make the best pairing? Let’s get the ball rolling on this discussion in the comments!

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!
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Anton Mochalin

Digital Extremes. There are many things one could criticize in how they run Warframe but overall the game just gets better all the time. They know how to retain players, they know how to monetize without making a game pay to win, they know how to listen to the playerbase and not only to the vocal “hardcore”/”veteran” minority.

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Anstalt

I would settle for the same team that developed the game, whichever game it is. I’ve always felt that most MMOs release with their most coherant vision. Systems work together, there is a clear theme and target audience in mind. Sure, content is sometimes lacking at launch but unless the game is a complete mess, I usually find the game at release is at it’s best.

After release, the teams always change, until over time hardly any of the original developers are left on the game, even if it is the same company in charge. Expansions tend to blur that original vision as new ideas come into play. Whilst some of those new ideas are good, I find that most take the game away from it’s original glory. Systems stop working together in harmony, some systems get abandoned altogether. The original target audience is driven away by the changes and so the community suffers. The devs then start focusing on their new players until eventually, the people that loved the game at launch cannot recognise the game anymore.

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NeoWolf

Until recently I would have said Bioware or Bethesda as they were the two that made most of the games I loved… but in light of recent debacles..sheesh.. I just don’t know anymore.

Vaeris
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Vaeris

Would love to have the pre-2004 Turbine team that ran Asheron’s Call.

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Matthew Martinez

I’m particularly fond of the Ragnarok series and even more so when they began coming out with 3D titles, I am a big anime nerd so those cutesy graphics really appeal to me, to be honest. But aside from that I’d like what Gravity has done with the game, I’m not to familiar with their other titles but I think, if they put the same amount of attention into them, they could take a few of these MMOs that just need a good polish and some bug fixes and push them in the right direction.

I’d also like to see Square Enix take over some of these ARPG MMO games, I think in general SE has been very innovative with whatever they have done, i could see them making a more fluid battle system for games like TERA where, in my opinion, the action-combat system feels a little to easy, most combos involve button mashing that even a five year old with no gaming experience could do.

laelgon
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laelgon

I wouldn’t be sad to see Amazon Game Studio take over Daybreaks’ few remaining titles. They have the money and server tech to make something great. Whatever gameplay design issues I have with New World, it ran smooth as hell for an alpha title. Take that tech and talent, apply it to a new Everquest or Planetside, and ::chef’s kiss:: that’s a recipe for a great game. The decision to take New World down and rework things speaks to the willingness and ability to take things back to the drawing board instead of just barreling forward.

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Ben Stone

Daybreak Games. Said no one ever.

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Bhagpuss Bhagpuss

Apart from me.

SOE was my preferred MMO studio from 1999 until it closed and Daybreak is even better. Between them they created and/or published my three favorite MMORPGs of all time, two of which they continue to operate at an exceptionally high standard. While they’re not large enough to handle any more titles right now, I’d absolutely love to see several other MMORPGs I play adopt DBG’s standards for content production and custodianship.

xpsync
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xpsync

SOE was operatic if i had to use one word. Smed always stirring the pot just right, yea same i didn’t have an All Access pass for nothing, it was your ticket to mmorpg shangri-la, top of head i know there was more but for 15 bones you got EQ, EQ2, SWG, Vangaurd… best deal ever really, so much mmorpg goodness.

In many ways games went the way of music; from pioneering, to awesome, to forgettable.

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Ben Stone

Glad you still find enjoyment in their games. My experience was one of ever growing disappointment. Jumping back into EQ2 or DCUO at this point just makes me sad about all the mismanagement of once great titles.

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Utakata

Square Enix. They are far from perfect, but wouldn’t be as reckless and short sighted as some of the devs running the games I play.

…and SE replacing ActVision in the Blzz brand would have a nice ring to it. As in, “Don’t let that door hit your in the ass on the way out, Bobby,” ring to it.

xpsync
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xpsync

I didn’t like it at first but i’ve really grown on the latest Lara Croft movie Tomb Raider a Square Enix film, for me its become stylishly re-watchable, have it on a loop for background noise to kill quiet at night while i play.

I guess at first it felt like a movie that’s just all about “Alicia Vikander” (look at me, but that’s Lara u know) which was surprising as she is outstanding in The Danish Girl and Ex Machina, Jason Bourne lets forget she was in that lol. Upon re-watch’s, i admit she nailed Lara, so hoping for more. In fact “I’ll take two!” :)

Seems no matter what SE gets involved in, quality comes first.

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Witches

Ankama, Rockstar, Square, whoever runs BDO, it changes so often i have no idea who is running it anymore.

As long as studios are run by people who want that one game to be as good as possible everything goes smoothly (sometimes…), the problems start when the economics C students come on board with their 90/10 ratio of ambition vs competence.

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mysecretid

This is a good question. Nice one, Justin!

I don’t have any serious problems with Perfect World publishing Star Trek Online. Sure, they’re a bit too “lockbox-y” for my tastes, but I realize that a “free-to-pay” (sic) game has to make its profits somehow.

As hokey as the phrasing may sound, I do wish EA loved Star Wars: The Old Republic more than it evidently does.

The latest dev team seems to care about the game (i.e. it’s fun for me again, now that we’re past the Zakuul fiasco), but it’s fairly obvious that the current dev team is down to something like eight people, a dog, and a budget of fourteen bucks, plus some subway tokens.

I can’t help but wonder what kind of content we’d be enjoying if EA started treating SWTOR like a welcome part of their games lineup again.

On a somewhat-related note, if Blizzard actually offered some indication that it actually gave a defecation about the storytelling and fun-game experience in World of Warcraft, I’d probably still be subbed to that one.

I’m kind of at a loss to suggest “fantasy publisher” choices for the latter two games. Who’s still happily publishing MMORPGs during these “down cycle” years for the genre? Who still cares about quality storytelling and genuine fun in their MMORPGs? Who still enjoys making their non-insane fans generally happy? Those would be the candidates, I suppose.

Cheers,