Free MMORPG & Free MMOs

We Need More Indy MMORPGs

Posted on: September 7, 2010

I think independent game developers can be very successful if they make free to play MMORPGs. Forget developing regular PC games or console games – MMOs are the way to go. Why? Because one successful game can bring in a steady stream of revenue. Just look at Eternal Lands – the 3D fantasy MMORPG that looks a lot like RuneScape from Jagex – the game is very popular. It has some 400+ users online at all times. That’s more than ACTUAL MMORPGs like Robo Smasher from KRU Interactive and Outer Galaxies – a sci-fi themed browser based game. So how is it that an indy game like Eternal Lands can have so many players while commercial games can’t? Well – it’s simple. Indy developers tend to pay more attention to what their community actually wants. Companies like Aeria Games, Uforia and gPotato can’t always do this – especially since they publish more than one game. Just look at gPotato – they publish Luna Online, Aika Online, Allods Online, Fly For Fun, Iris Online and numerous other free to play games. They can’t just focus on one game – they’re always looking to launch new games and try to make more money, so it’s hard to focus on just one thing.

So where are all the indy game developers? They’re off making games for the Xbox-live arcade or launching flash games on sites like Newgrounds. I think they can be much more successful if they focus on free to play games. There are quite a bit of Indy browser based games like Fallen Sword and Dragon Fable, but there are very few client based indy MMOs. Earth Eternal is like the only one. Dreamlords and Saga are two others, but that’s it. All the major games, such as Battlefield Heroes, Rappelz, Metin 2 and Wizard101 are all developed and published by major companies. Games by big companies aren’t bad, but indy games tend to bring more innovation – as major game studios have been releasing the same old wow clones over and over again.

I think the future for indy free to play MMOs is with the Unity Web Player. The Unity Web Player is capable of rendering gorgeous 3D graphics on web browsers and game developers can use the Unity Web Development platform to design their games for free. That’s right, game developers can develop full 3D games entirely for free on the Unity Web player. This isn’t some cheap game development software like RPG Maker either. This is the real deal. It’s the same platform Captains of Darktide and Fusionfall use – two major browser based MMOs. Both with top notch graphics too.

Anyway. Indy game developers… you guys need to start embracing the free to play MMO model.

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September 2010
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