Over at New World Notes Hamlet has an article up titled: The MMO is Dead; Long Live the MMO. He points us to an article over at Paste Magazine (site about entertainment). It has an article titled: The Moment of the MMO has Passed.
The author is writing about how the age of MMO’s (Massive Multiplayer Online) has passed. He feels that much of their popularity was from socialization. If you have read the study Longevity by n-Yuen Teng and Lada A. Adamic, that I often refer to, you’ll see how the two support each other. It seems social interaction is more the key to player retention than any other single factor in a game. So, I see the study as supporting the author’s thinking.
The author, Ian Williams, feels that while MMO’s once filled this niche for social interaction in our lives they now have competition and thus are not going to be as popular as they once were. He may have a point.
As we think about the coming new world by Linden Lab™ Ian’s point on the profitability of MMO’s has implications. His thinking is that the profit margin has deceased as competition has increased. Well, that is basic economics. Competition drives prices down, which is why the free market is so good for people over the single provider controlled economies.
I am sure that this aspect of MMO’s has not been over looked by Ebbe Altberg, the CEO of Linden Lab. It suggests that we can expect lower tier in the new world, which while mentioning has said little about. I suspect that costs will decrease to be made up in volume. We’ll have to wait to see how that works out.