I have always been quite optimistic about future releases, usually regardless of what they media thinks of them… I was optimistic about Simcity for instance yet over the year there has been a little cynicism creeping in, starting with a game far far away and slowly growing. I think its hard not to after becoming so heavily invested in them but I actually think it’s far healthier this way. Having that unbridled optimism for a product is not exactly healthy, it creates unrealistic expectations which lead to disappointment. Nothing can live up to that hype usually so now I try to remain a optimistic bat a little critical.
The marketing for Wildstar has been in overdrive lately and it is very hard not to be wrapped up in the whole affair. It is exciting to be apart of a new game release and listening to all the information unfold. I think gamers are naturally curious people and such things are remarkably appealing but right now my slightly cynical mind is getting a feeling of deja vu from all this. Somehow the marketing for Wildstar is reminding me of hearing about Guild Wars 2 for the first time.
Here we have 2 large-scale release that promised, and are promising an absolute glut of features… in fact in the case of Wildstar I actually think they are trying to do more.. really. They have a massive feature list planned already from housing, raiding, story content, two different pvp modes, dungeons, story stuff, a lot of fluff, and then many other things I’m forgetting to mention. Then there is 4 completely different styles of play transposed over the top of the regular questing experience, others have voiced a concern about this previously so I know I’m not the only one.
It’s times like these that I fully understand Scott Hartman’s recent comment about AAA style of development being fundamentally broken. Companies are trying to create games with a massive appeal and this comes at a huge expense in both time and money, it’s getting to the stage where even games that sell very very well, in the millions even are still considered a failure because they are unable to recoup these costs. MMO’s are no exception to this, in fact they should be even more cautious as the market share they have of gaming is rather small to other genres and the costs in terms of development and overhead can be much higher.
Wildstar does look like an interesting game, they have learned a lot from the mmo graveyard and of those still alive and many of these features seem designed to directly counter the a few of the main issues people have but their approach seems way to broad. They can’t possible develop and polish enough of this content for release and even if they do somehow complete all these features within a reasonable time frame it would be absolutely impossible to constantly update all these pieces appropriately to provide enough content for the many different playerbases’. They will have the same problem that I believe Arenanet are currently having with theirs… to many things to update, polish, improve, and expand that each part of the game will only every receive a minimal amount of attention. Not enough to satisfy the continuous urge of mmo gamer’s and keep them involved in the game, and once again, we have a another transient mmo experience.. a 3 monther at least in spirit.
I’m still excited, probably not as mush as many but it’s there… and I hope I’m wrong because from what I’m hearing they are doing a lot of things very right.