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MMO market is as big as it’s ever going to be, says Pachter

10 Jul 2012  by   John Robertson
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Speaking earlier today at the Evolve conference in Brighton, videogame analyst for Wedbush Securities, has stated his belief that the MMO market is as big as it’s ever going to get.

Pachter’s session at the conference was focused on the big events of the past ten years that have helped shape where the industry stands today, and where it’s going in the future. Part of the session focused on the rise of the MMO, and Pachter’s belief that it will not rise any further.

Using Star Wars: The Old Republic as an example, Pachter said:

“In the next couple of years [following 2008] MMOs peaked; we didn’t know that [it had peaked] until Star Wars launched. I, and many other likeminded people thought that Star Wars would expand the market place.

“Star Wars was supposed to bring in all of these new people that had never played an MMO before, just because they loved the brand. We know that Rift just took players from other existing MMOs, and the same with Conan and Lords of the Rings. Now the same thing has happened with Star Wars.

“It looks to me as though the MMO market is as big as it’s ever going to be – as far as subscription MMOs. People willing to play $15 a month.., there are six or seven million of them. Period. If Star Wars couldn’t expand it, when it’s made by BioWare, nothing can do it.

“That’s why Curt Schilling’s 38 Studios went out of business, because he couldn’t get financing [for his MMO].”

So, Funcom shouldn’t be getting their hopes too high with their recent launch of The Secret World, then…

Evolve 2012 morphs into the Develop conference tomorrow, which runs for two days in Brighton until Thursday 12 July.

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  1. Gda

    bs

    July 10, 2012 at 7:39 pm

  2. Christopher Veach

    “If Star Wars couldn’t expand it, when it’s made by BioWare, nothing can do it.”
    That’s a flaw in his reasoning right there. A brand all by itself isn’t enough, you still have to have a good game that’s different enough from what’s out there to attract people who are staying away because they don’t like the current mmo formula. Bioware might make good games, but they still had no experience making a mmo.

    July 10, 2012 at 8:39 pm

  3. psyounger

    Pachter misses the point. MMOs are failing to innovate for the demanding MMO playerbase. It’s as simple as that. SWTOR is too similar to what has come before, hence the drop-off in players.

    July 11, 2012 at 1:03 am

  4. Flying Buddha

    “If Star Wars couldn’t expand it, when it’s made by BioWare, nothing can do it.”
    “If the Neon couldn’t expand the sports car market, when it’s made by Dodge, then nothing can do it.”

    Please. SWTOR was an anemic little non-interactive game that copied WoW’s mechanics. Newsflash – WoW players love WoW. People who are sick of those mechanics aren’t going to stay subbed to WoW with a paint job. How many more subs were in existence the month of SWTOR’s release? Millions more. Where did they go? Well, the game sucked. It wasn’t a subscription quality MMO. People will only stay subbed to a game that is worthy of a sub. We can all recognize cash-ins at this point. People will sub to a fun game and you can’t trick someone into having fun.

    This guy is clueless. Stacks of console games and a Rockband guitar are his backdrop for “gamer cred.” I think the picture has been changed too because on another site I saw another pic of his office except on the left of the pic, where there’s a hat now, there was a stack of PC games…. with duplicates and triplicates of the boxes. I guess not only is he an ace analyst, but he has time to multibox too.

    So his backdrop is fake. Why would someone try to portray himself as a gamer, gaming in his office no less, while his job is to be an industry analyst? There are plenty of other analysts that just say “I’ve played these games.” He’s trying too hard to establish credibility, which means he has none. I suspect he’s a shill for PWI, WB (Turbine), or one of these other crap F2P companies trying to get by with nickle and diming us with pretty red dresses and XP boosts to combat intentional grind rather than releasing anything with real content and depth. I bet he doesn’t even recognize the term ‘grind’

    Most illuminating, however, are his own words. ” as far as subscription MMOs. People willing to play $15 a month.., there are six or seven million of them. Period.” WoW currently has 10.2 million. If he’s an expert then I’m the King of Siam.

    On another note – if you’re a MMO fan, do check out TSW (look it up Patcher) It is THE best MMO to come out in years.

    July 11, 2012 at 3:02 am

  5. Random internet guy

    You are all missing the point, try to actually read what was said instead of going on random rants.

    “Speaking earlier today at the Evolve conference in Brighton, videogame analyst for Wedbush Securities, has stated his belief that the MMO market is as big as it’s ever going to get.

    Pachter’s session as the conference was focused on the big events of the past ten years that have helped shape where the industry stands today, and where it’s going in the future. Part of the session focused on the rise of the MMO, and Pachter’s belief that it will not rise any further.”

    He is not discussing weather recent mmo’s were successful or their sub retain rate, he simply states that we are at the peak of mmo players and that finite number just shifts around playing upcoming mmo’s.

    Hes reference to SWtOR and Bioware was in regards of Star Wars IP bringing in more NEW SW and Bioware RPG fans to MMO market.

    Jeez reading comprehension these days…

    July 11, 2012 at 7:01 am

    1. Newzerok

      Probably the MMO-market is as big as it is ever going to get and probably it is not.
      I think that the era of theme-park game is past its apex because people are tired of the same old linear game play.

      As I have observed sandbox games are on the rise. Games with interesting concepts, that let players be creative and interact with their virtual environment on their own terms instead of following a prescribed path. Take Minecraft as example, it’s not an MMO but its concept is great. These sandbox games provide players with player generated content, which is a great basis for a game that is supposed to run over extensive periods of time. Also this games are rather “easy” to expand. Of course the developers can never fully know what impacts their changes on the world will have but such a dynamic world adapts itself.

      More player interaction, more creativity, less mud-flation – that’s the way to go. It doesn’t even matter if it is pay to play or free to play, people will spend money on good games that have entertaining value and won’t spend money on bad and boring games.

      Would you waste your time going to a concert where only music is played that you don’t like, just because it is free? And probably buy some overprices beverages there? (other than being invited by your friends)
      I surely wouldn’t.

      July 11, 2012 at 11:36 am

  6. Houy

    Weird how almost every comment on this post doesn’t engage with pachter’s quotes.

    Everyone is going off on this and that about mmos. He’s saying that mmos have reached the peak user numbers. It doesn’t matter how much they innovate, there are simply no more people that want to pay a subscription fee.

    July 11, 2012 at 11:41 am

    1. psyounger

      I disagree, I think people will pay it if the game is different from what we are used to seeing and offers something new.

      July 11, 2012 at 1:48 pm

      1. Houy

        What makes you think that? If people aren’t prepared to try the current MMOs because of the subscription fee, why would they try ones different from the current ones?

        Why do they want another monthly fee to their tv, phone, utility bills et etc when they can just pay one off fees for other games?

        July 11, 2012 at 6:40 pm

        1. Newzerok

          Because people actually do it, at least everyone that is sensible to some degree. Why do people pay on a monthly basis for their TV, internet and phone and not for every minute they spent using it? Why do people pay monthly for a gym and not every time they use the gym equipment?

          The answer is as simple as short: because it is convenient!

          People will pay for a quality game but not for the same old routine they had for almost a decade in another game. All you have to do is to offer them an experience that is worthwhile (yeah I know that this isn’t that easy to achieve :)).

          F2P is mostly interesting for very casual players. Once you want to play most of the F2P games more “seriously” you will have to spend a lot of time on repetitive and boring tasks like grinding or spend real cash in their item stores, which will often cost more than $15 a month.
          Up to today I can only name World of Tanks that does F2P in a proper way, but it’s not even a true MMORPG.

          July 11, 2012 at 11:51 pm

          1. Trea43

            This is part of the problem, though, isn’t it?

            MMO seems to mean MMORPG. That’s two massive barriers of entry for a lit of people that will always limit the size of the audience to these willing to pay monthly and thOse that like RPGs.

            More than any other genres RPG players gave this bizarre idea that alone their genre is worth anything, and therefore fail to understand the rest of the industry.

            Once someone truly figures out how to bring MMO (not MMORPG) elements to something like COD it will destroy the number of users experienced by the whole MMORPG market.

            July 12, 2012 at 10:39 am

  7. Zalis

    I hope MMOs die.

    Or, more accurately, I hope the trend of turning every conceivable IP into an MMO dies. If I wanted to run on a treadmill, I’d go to the gym.

    July 11, 2012 at 8:34 pm

  8. Jose

    absolutely right, if swtor couldnt do it, no one else can.. the barrier to entry to make a AAA mmo like swtor (which is needed to compete with wow) is too massive.

    July 11, 2012 at 11:35 pm
  9. Pingback: SWTOR-GUIDE – SWTOR : le chemin vers le F2P

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