Daily Archives: August 16, 2011

Rift is Triple-A and Here to Stay!

David Reid, who previously said that he knew where World of Warcraft’s missing subscribers were hiding, came out this week with some comments on the state of the MMO industry, including some subscription numbers for Rift.

Not a dye nor a floor wax

I am not sure if he made the Dr. Evil face when he said it, but Rift apparently has ONE MILLION subscribers customers, making it the number two subscription based western MMO after World of Warcraft.

That is not only quite impressive, but it is a great indication to MMO fans that the genre isn’t dead or headed completely to the realm of Free to Play.

It also bears out the contention that many people have made, which is that MMOs are no longer rare birds, and merely offering a 3D world is no longer enough to assure success.  EverQuest could afford to make lots of mistakes.  There alternatives were pretty slim back then.

Now, though, MMOs are everywhere.   Go look at that chart again!

These days, an MMO needs to execute well and play an aggressive game.  Rift certainly came out of the gate more polished than most games and Trion has played the recruitment and retention game very hard from day one.

This aggressive posture has lead some to believe that Rift must not be doing well, and they might well be forgiven that point of view.  Certainly, in the past, game companies have waited until things have gone sour before trotting out the inducements that Trion has offered up, from free copies of the game to generous price breaks on subscription plans to free server merges (at least under specific circumstances).

But if Rift has a million subscribers customers, clearly they have been showing all the right moves.  This is a game that, I must admit, comes across as “yet another fantasy MMORPG” to me.  That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but the the fantasy segment of that chart is the most crowded segment, which makes it all that more difficult to succeed.

So to make it to the million subscriber customer mark is (still) a big freakin’ deal.

Of course, I said “if” they have a million subscribers customers.  I have no evidence to say that they do not, just that past experience with David Reid being a less than reliable source of information. (I know a former Massively Editor-in-Chief who is still spitting nails about that one.)

Let’s hope that at Trion Worlds he is on solid ground and that Rift is succeeding as well as he represents!

That would be good for the whole genre.

[Edit: As somebody pointed out in the comments, Mr. Reid said “customers” not “subscribers.”  They still may very well be in second place behind WoW, but the number of subscribers might not be a million.]

As Requested, World of Battleships

When Wargaming.net announced World of Warplanes to add to their World of Tanks offering, I wondered what else we would need.

A number of people said “Naval Warfare!”

And so you shall…

Wargaming.net Declares Naval Warfare

World of Battleships Weighs Anchor

London, UK, Paris, FR and San Francisco, CA (16th August, 2011) — Wargaming.net, the award-winning videogame publisher and developer, announces World of Battleships, a free-to-play naval action MMO based on epic sea battles of the 20th century that will complete the “World of” war trilogy.

Keeping with the best traditions of the series, World of Battleships will offer a straightforward interface, easy-to-use controls, and a common economic system that will allow players to distribute resources between the three games for the ultimate progress in each of them.

The large assortment of available warships will give various tactical opportunities, as all the machines have a unique combination of firepower, speed, armor, and endurance. Various naval maps with changing weather conditions will enrich the gameplay, and the realistic graphics will transport players into the epic battles that changed the course of human history.

Wargaming.net CEO Victor Kislyi states: “Humans always needed to conquer the elements — earth, water and air. With World of Tanks, World of Warplanes and World of Battleships we will offer players to conquer all, simultaneously.”

About Wargaming.net®

Wargaming.net® is an award-winning online game developer and publisher, incorporated in the UK. Its 270-strong development team is located in Minsk, Belarus. Since 1998, the company has shipped 13 titles, including acclaimed Massive Assault series, Order of War RTS published by Square Enix, and three add-ons for Blitzkrieg II. At the Russian Game Developers Conference (KRI) in 2009 and 2010, Wargaming.net® was named The Best Developer Company from ex-USSR. At KRI 2011 the company was awarded Industry Prize and World of Tanks® won the Best Game Award. The company’s headliner project, World of Tanks®, gained the Guinness World Record for the Most Players on One Server Simultaneously. Currently, Wargaming.net® is developing the next action MMO, World of Warplanes and a new unannounced project.

Official web site: www.wargaming.net

Is there anything left for them?

World of Napoleonic battles?