Question of the Day: Would you play an MMO if you knew it only had a year to live?

Wow, not sure I ever tried a title that long… let’s see what happens.

Anyway, all this idle speculation about the future of Warhammer Online (not to mention Champions, not to mention the early death of Tabula Rasa) has me wondering something.

Would you start playing an MMO if you knew it was only going to be around for 9-12 months?

I’m not going to do a formal poll but I’ll offer my own conflicted answers to the question, just to get you started.

On the one hand, I have an unhealthy level of curiosity about games, so knowing a title won’t be around too long might prompt me to sign up just so I could get a chance to check it out before it ‘dies.’

On the other hand, one of the aspects of MMOs I love is how open-ended and never-ending they are. If I knew one was going to have a limited lifespan, I’m not sure I’d want to bother putting the time into it to ‘establish’ myself.

I do know I quit Tabula Rasa very much intending to come back to it, then when I heard it was shutting down, it didn’t seem worth the effort of going back. Yet I found myself wishing I’d played it more when it launched.

Still I feel conflicted when it comes to answering this question. What about you?

14 thoughts on “Question of the Day: Would you play an MMO if you knew it only had a year to live?

  1. Sure! But especially if there was an incentive for players to stay for the whole year. I’d want to be nearer the start of that year though, if there’s only one month to go, it would be a bit stressed.

  2. I think Turbine did some studies that state that the average players stays 9 months playing LOTRO. OK, do not ask me how they do their numbers… it could mean somone plays two years and others are gone after 2-3 months.

    So MMOs are not that never-ending as we would like them to be, after a certain time we might get disenchanted even if the game is still running and healthy.

    Still, I would not start playing a MMO knowing that it shuts down in 12 months. This is also what makes me stop playing GW1 at the moment, nothing major to expect anymore now that GW2 has been announced, it is in maintenance mode.

    This makes me also a bit sad about Star Trek Online. Cryptic for sure has a talent to deliver stuff and fluff to love, but given that they have a lot of Failgate: London people onboard, I don’t have much hope for a bright future of either Champions Online or Star Trek Online.
    This is also the reason why I will not buy/preorder STO right away.

  3. Considering I rarely play any title for more then a few months at a time, I’d say sure, why not.

    I GUESS that KNOWING that the game would close up might be a different story. With my luck, I’d absolutely LOVE the game, and it would be everything that I had ever wanted, and more.

  4. If I knew an MMO only had a year to live, I’d avoid it like the plague. If I make it past the first month in an MMO, I’m in it for the long haul. If I know in 12 months it’s going away, I have no motivation to invest the time that an MMO needs. That’s hours and hours of my life that are well and truely gone.

    It’s an attachment issue. I don’t want to get attached to a game like that if I know it’s going to go away soon.

  5. I had the same feeling about Tabula Rasa and MxO, I wish I had played more too. But in this case if I knew a game had only a year left would I play it, I don’t really know. I guess it would depend on the game.

    I think the success of DDO going to a f2p type model could mean that some subscription based MMO’s might do the same instead of just being closed down for good. That’s my hope anyway.

  6. Probably not. It’s an extended rental, and I grew out of renting games in my teens, after my schedule made it a losing economic proposition.

    If I were one of those with lots of spare time to play, and I could reasonably anticipate blazing through the content in 8 months or so, sure, I’d jump on board. Big “if”, though.

  7. I play almost all MMOs once, looking for the one that’ll immerse me as well and deeply as my past beloveds, rarely with any success. So knowing in advance an MMO only had a year to live isn’t going to bother me and I generally lose interest long before then. Only 3 MMOs in the 10+ years I’ve been playing them have kept me hooked longer than 6 months. Those are pretty good odds in my favor.

    But of course, as Murphy would have it, my luck would be this is an MMO I could love long-term and its unfortunate demise before I was ready would be bittersweet.

    I think the bigger question though is… why would a company invest all that it takes to produce an MMO, and have it be so poor quality that a year life-span is all they could expect? That seems like bad business to me. I’d prefer to see producers either go back to writing good small-group campaign games like Dragon Age would be if it were multi-player, or really step up to where the bar has been raised on MMOG’s, expecting your game to grab the hearts of players like WoW and EQ/EQ2 have done. Or is that now too much to expect? No one can finance that kind of endeavor any longer except the known players (Blizzard/EA/Sony)?

  8. If I knew it had a full year? Sure! However, the game itself would have to be appealing to me.

    I hung around for the final day of Tabula Rasa and Hellgate: London and it was a good experience overall. I wish I’d stuck with Asheron’s Call 2 to see it through its trials and tribulations. I really did like the world and its feel they created, and reading the KTR article of its last day puts a twinge in my heart that I wasn’t there.

    Other games like MxO, etc. never appealed to me anyway, so even knowing it would get canceled (and I think everyone knew MxO was on borrowed time, Station Pass or no) wasn’t enough to get me in the game.

    I suspect WAR is now on borrowed time, simply because this is EA we’re talking about. They want big numbers or they don’t want anything. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Mythic shuttered after this, now that they’re owned, just like Microsoft killed off Ensemble.

    But yeah, I’d jump into an appealing MMO whose head was on the chopping block. Let’s be really, really honest with ourselves: too many of us bloggers get all self-righteous and say things like “ooooh, MMO’s require commitment on so many levels and I won’t play one that’s being canceled in a year because I’ll lose all my commitment.” Meanwhile these exact same bloggers are those MMO Tourists who can’t “commit” to any MMO for more than a month or three anyway.

  9. If I wanted to play an MMO, knowing it as only around for 12 months wouldn’t change my mind. I can’t think of any MMO that I’ve played for more then 9 months straight, although there are a few that I’ll play for 9 month, then take 2-3 off, then come back for 4-9 months again, repeat.

  10. Its an interesting concept… if there was a game launched with the purpose of only being around for a year, and it was priced in a fair way then I’d consider it.
    It makes me wonder what kind of neat ideas someone could approach with that in mind. Like preparing for an apocalypse or something.

  11. I initially read that title as, “Would you play an MMO if you knew you only had a year to live?”

    But a second reading game me the correct question. And my answer is the same as I’d give to the wrongly interpreted question. Yes.

    If the game is fun, then why not play it for as long as I can, despite the availability of it or myself in twelve months?

  12. Well if I only had a year left to live I do not think I would waste any of my time left playing a game……

    oh wait!

    you mean if the game has a year to live?

    Ok, nevemind, move along.

    Really though, this is one reason I am side stepping Star Trek Online. It seems rushed and from hints from beta testers (you beta people are testers not players!), I fear it is doomed for an early failure.

  13. The smart move would be to wait 6 months or even 9 months into the games release to let people know it only had a few months to live even it they KNEW from the outset it only had a life span of 1 yr.

    Why?

    Because that way you could get a lot of people back that you lost after the first couple of months, like in the case of TR, I mean, it is a business after all not just fun and games.

    But that wasn’t what you asked right, I will say that I would stay with the game if it was able
    to grab me, keep me entertained and not make me wish I wasted my time once it was over. I mean, I’ve paid more money for much less!

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