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Publishers and developers new to the MMO genre underestimate the difficulties of launching in the market, according to Blizzard's Mike Morhaime.
Following GOA's struggle to launch Warhammer Online, GamesIndustry.biz asked Blizzard's CEO if companies fail to anticipate the true logistics of launching a massively multiplayer online game.
"I think everyone who hasn't done it will probably underestimate the logistics behind it - we certainly did," he explained.
"You focus on the things you are used to but you don't necessarily realise how difficult it is to scale up quickly and with an MMO you have to factor in providing 24/7 customer service, multiple languages... and that's not just hiring all those people to do customer service because internally within the organisation you still have to support your employees and that's a whole lot of management infrastructure that doesn't exist before the launch."
Morhaime further revealed that the company still aims to release a World of Warcraft expansion annually but is currently on the "longer than a year plan" and following Wrath of the Lich King fans won't see another for more than a year.
Speaking at the Tokyo Game Show this morning, Turbine chief Jim Crowley revealed that Lord of the Rings Online is to get a full-featured social networking site late this year, reports our sister site Eurogamer.net.
Crowley showed a site that featured character profiles, friends lists and other data uploaded live from the MMO's game world, and YouTube-style video-sharing features.
He described it as "a version of Facebook or MySpace that sits directly on top of the gaming world. This is a fully-featured, rich, robust social network. It has every single feature that you would find in the major commercial social networks such as Facebook and MySpace."
The site will have live news feeds from the game world, with profile pages for all user characters. It will also feature friends lists, communication tools and the ability to upload and share screenshots and videos.
"A key element here is the face that the game engine needs to populate all of the game data directly into this social network, so you can share that across the world," Crowley said.
He said it would launch "at the end of Q4 this year".
He added that similar sites would launch for Turbine's o...
Ever need to get up and go to the bathroom to see if your eyes still work? Ever refer to yourself in public as the “blue bomber”? The signs are numerous for this phenomena, and in this list we will go through the top ten ways to know that you’ve played too many video games. This was a difficult list to make as there were numerous ways of knowing that you were knee deep in the video game world…and never coming back.
Are you, like us, one of these people who are never coming back to “reality”? Here’s how you can tell.
UK publisher Codemasters is to shut down the servers for the massively multiplayer online game RF Online in Europe and North America.
The company said that it was unable to reach a deal with Korean developers of the title CCR, and will not be renewing its contract.
Full article and news : http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/codemasters-pulls-plug-on-rf-online