15 December, 2006

Jiminy jillikers!

You know that World of Warcraft is an increadibly large project, right? It cost 40-50 million dollars to make. According to Paul Sams it is in the top three of the most expensive games ever made. Basically Blizzard bet their entire company on it, and it certainly paid off because they're by far the largest MMOG out there right now.

Anyways, Interplay Entertainment which is under some financial problems, is doing the same, and hope that a massive online Fallout game form will save their company. What is their expected budget? 75 million dollars.

I know you have to adjust for inflation. But wow...Seventy five. Arguably it will be the most expensive game ever made. I know the Fallout games were popular, but does it really have the brand recognition that they think it has? Even if they make the game and ship it in time, will it be good enough? Do they realize that 93% of the market are fantasy games?

Seems to me that we're just beginning to scratch the surface. And even if their game is going to compete with World of Warcraft, I wish them the best on it. Hate to see a company go down in flames when they bet everything on such a massive project.


Blogger Askander said...

I'll buy it, heck I'd be tempted to buy 2. I've been a fan of Fallout before it was called Fallout. I need an I <3 Wasteland T-shirt.

2:07 PM  
Anonymous Stropp said...

Yes Radioactive Man!

I'm not sure Interplay is in financial difficulty anymore. From what I have read, it appears they were bought out lock stock and barrel by a French company some time back.

But you're right, it's a huge financial investment/risk they are taking. I expect that it will pay off. Fallout almost has a cult following. It's certainly as well loved as the Warcraft games, maybe not as heavily played, but even now, the Fallout games have a lot of followers.

I'm with you. I really hope they get it going, and make a huge success. I reckon there is a lot of room in the MMORPG market still.

2:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Take it with a grain of salt guys. Interplay didn't have financial troubles, the company was in ruins.

A good recap was written by an employee here:


The Fallout MMO has been a rumored project for a long time, but if this Herve guy is still running the show I suspect we won't see a very good game come out the other side.

2:56 PM  
Blogger Lord Vir said...

And even if their game is going to compete with World of Warcraft

Fallout online is projected to be released in July 2010. Although World of Warcraft's popularity is unprecedented in the mmo market, I think it won't be much of a market factor by 2010 even if Blizzard keeps their promise of shipping one expansion pack every year.

The 'name' value of fallout might sell some copies, but Star Wars Galaxies proved you need more than a good name to sell a MMO and to keep people sending in those monthly fees. What will really make or break fallout online will be gameplay.

I guess a question we should think about is why is World of Warcraft so successful compared to other MMO's? Was it the name brand, or the gameplay? Or did the stars finally line up that there was enough broadband penetration to make MMO's more accessible?

If it was just the gameplay...what aspect of the gameplay was it?

4:49 PM  
Anonymous Ephor said...

Why WoW succeeded beyond all expectations is the same reason all major Blizzard releases before it hit big:

1. Spitshine and Elbowgrease: Blizzard just has a much greater commitment to quality than other companies, canning multi-million dollar projects (SC:Ghost, Diablo 3) if they fail to meet expectations. Their games are always stable and playable at release, but they don't stop there, they will patch a game until its perfect (ex: D2, SC).

2. Focus on the entire consumer experience, rather than just core gameplay. All blizzard games make a point of starting simple and painlessly acclimating you to the world (this is where EVE online needs to take notes), easy to learn, tough to master is the mantra.

3. Artistic fidelity. Blizz has some of the best story tellers and artists in the biz and it shows. Their ability to bring the art to life without focusing on how 'future-proof' their engine is gives all blizzard games a timeless quality (even though none of them have looked amazing even in the time they were released).

All that said, WoW has a lot that needs work: the static world (to the extent of crushing player-created world events), the lack of story (a little voice recording and canned animations go a long way to fleshing out a quest), and the endgame (okay, this is almost in shape, I won't lie) all need work.

Luckily, they seem to have their priorities straight. Endgame is the focus of this expansion with Arenas to grant the most skilled, but semihardcore players top-shelf gear and lots of 5-mans with a few 25-mans to keep PvE players from spending so much of their time organizing their raid party instead of playing. Player-influence on the world is their next big concern and fleshing out the deadzone of leveling (40-55) should follow that.

Ultimately though, the fact that WoW has the gameplay of a very large blizzard game rather than a standard MMO is the secret. Blizzard never tries to revolutionize, but they always take care to collect the best a genre has to offer and dispense with everything else.

5:16 PM  
Anonymous jade said...

"Blizzard never tries to revolutionize..."

I wholeheartedly disagree with this statement.

Warcraft was the first game where resource management was crucial to winning, weather single player or multiplayer. Before this concept there was no reason to ever fight anywhere on any RTS map except at your base or your opponents base. Because of this there is a lot more strategy today in real time strategy games. Maybe not huge but a good start for your first game.

Warcraft 2 was the first game to streamline an RTS (mainly through giving every possible command a hotkey) to the point that multiplayer could become truly competitve.

Diablo was completely revolutionary at the time in that the levels were randomly generated.

Starcraft's balancing act of completely different races was only preceeded by command and conquer's ability to pick sides that had a couple different units. That is nowhere near the scale of what starcraft accomplished.

Diablo 2's skill system that made you focus in one area instead of being able to get everything was incredibly revolutionary and one of the main draws of the game.

Warcraft 3 is the only game I know of to put an RPG style leveling up system into an RTS. While not completely revolutionary it certainly was new to the genre.

World of Warcraft is probably the least revolutionary game on it's own as it draws largely from the innovations of Diablo 2 (even moreso in the expansion with socketed items) and games with good idea's not not good implementation (like anarchy online's instance system) but in ways no other game has even tried to duplicate yet, but taking blizzard's example and running with it other companies are trying.

Not to mention Blizzard is the only company to host a free game server as large and robust as Battle.net

Blizzards games are all innovative to some degree. And because of it a lot of other games come out that make use of the idea's in blizzards games. Blizzard has never been the first game into any genre but with every game they have put into the genre they have revolutionized it to some degree.

4:02 AM  
Blogger Samownall said...

Love it lol!
Samownall WoW

1:14 AM  
Anonymous Stropp said...

Actually Jade, Warcraft was not the first RTS to use resource gathering in the game-play. Dune II from Westwood Studios was released in 1992 and incorporated a lot of elements still seen in modern RTS'. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dune_II

I don't see Blizzard as being truly innovative in their games, innovative being defined as creating something never seen before. They are however exceptional at taking game-play concepts and making them fun to play. And they do something a lot of companies don't. They cut out features that aren't all that fun, during testing. Well, except for grinding Furbolg.

2:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I absolutely love the fallout series and am really pulling for this one to be a success. Interplay deserves it, they've been struggling but they make great games...

1:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If it was just the gameplay...what aspect of the gameplay was it?"

It was the fact that you could easily solo your way to the level cap.

1:14 AM  
Anonymous zaboga said...

What were the other 2 games in the top 3?

1:36 AM  
Blogger Mastgrr said...

Didn't say, but I highly suspect one of them is Shenmue.

6:51 AM  

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