We'll See a More Successful MMO Than WoW One Day, Says WildStar Dev

"There’s a market out there that’s definitely interested in repeating the positive experience they’ve had with games in the past," says Carbine's Jeremy Gaffney.

World of Warcraft's upcoming expansion, Warlords of Draenor

Numerous MMORPGs have come along and attempted to compete with World of Warcraft, but none have managed to attract as many players--or get them to stick around for as long--as Blizzard's nearly 10-year-old game. Despite this track record, Jeremy Gaffney, executive producer at WildStar developer Carbine Studios, thinks we will eventually see an MMO more successful than WoW.

"There will be something bigger [than World of Warcraft] in our lifetimes," he told Develop. Gaffney didn't suggest WildStar, launching June 3, would be the game to manage this. He did however note that, at least player-wise, such games may already exist.

"Depending how you count all the various markets there are games that are arguably bigger now globally, in terms of players," he said. "In terms of revenues, it's tricky to catch up with because you have to be that big and you have to be subscription. You don't usually average $15 a month off your free-to-play game per user."

Many MMOs have been positioned--whether officially or unofficially--as World of Warcraft competitors. Everything from Age of Conan to Warhammer Online to Star Wars: The Old Republic has come onto the market hoping to recreate at least a portion of WoW's success as a subscription-based MMO, and many have gone on to either be shut down or turned into free-to-play games.

Gaffney went on to say that even the biggest MMOs shed subscribers--including WoW, which sits at 7.6 million after topping out at 12 million--and the key then is to not only be able to make up for those losses, but also add new players.

"There's a market out there that's definitely interested in repeating the positive experience they've had with games in the past," he said. "But no one's had the stickiness to really truly hook them in and keep them in any sorts of large numbers since then, so somebody will be able to duplicate that formula."

Outside of World of Warcraft, many of the MMOs that have been able to survive with a subscription fee are those like EVE Online, which set themselves apart from WoW in some way. Carbine is made up of developers who worked on World of Warcarft (among other MMOs), and while it set out to do WoW "right this time," it's also been sure to point out the game is not "just another sci-fi MMO with pretty colors."

Early access to WildStar will be available beginning tomorrow, May 31, for those who preorder. GameSpot will be streaming action from the game in the coming days, so be sure to check out the schedule for when you can tune in to watch.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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93 comments
amanda_kramer
amanda_kramer

The next game that will either be equal to or dethrone WoW will be one with a similar business model (and frequent content updates) but with the depth of Archeage (without the labor restrictions) and Eve, with Gw2's combat system.  If there is a cash shop; nothing in that cash shop can offer any advantage to players.


The problem is though, it seems no company today can get their heads around the idea that players won't spend money unless they have some sort of advantage.  To me, this is why WoW worked; no player was above any other unless they put in a lot of time.


I honestly don't think we'll see any type game anytime soon until developers decided to stick to a game instead of letting it die off in a year or 2.

klepp0906
klepp0906

I hope not. If we do it means it sucks. From a statistical standpoint only about 10% of wow players are real Mmorpg players. Unfortunately this also ties in with IQ, compassion, and manners among other things for the majority. Not to mention determination, selflessness, skill, willpower.

Now their are exceptions to every rule but if your a gambling man id urge you to take that bet. This is due to a ton of reasons I won't get into here. To be brief - bell curve. If your competent enough to understand what I'm talking about then you already know where you fall.

For those that don't, let me make it simple. If a game meets or exceeds wows success I expect it will suck and be the last game a real Mmorpg fan wants to touch with someone else's stick let alone their own.

True to form - thanks again blizzard. You ruined the genre. Points to you guys for Atleast admitting it. Still the damage is already done with all the "bros" and instancing and group finder tools and cross server garbage and foolish auction houses and instant travel and no contestation and welfare epics flying about.

Heck you even let the kids make your design choices for you these days. It's priceless. What's worse is other devs try to emulate you in order to mimic your success (read: subscriber numbers) which perpetuates the issue.

You should all be ashamed. Brad mcquaid for president!

blvst7890
blvst7890

Well, Wildstar actually came out fine; sure it's not destroying WoW, but it sure is making a name enough for itself. Compared to a whole slew of shovelware MMOs (especially from Korea and China) and some triple-A disappointments (ESO for example), I'd say Wildstar did great relatively.

Tabarnaque
Tabarnaque

"There's a market out there that's definitely interested in repeating the positive experience they've had with games in the past,"

You are too positive Jeremy, you mistake that market, they've had positive experience in the past and they wish it to remain in the past because they still remember the addiction that came with it and do not wish to make their life plummet another time, there will never be another success like WoW for sub based mmo in the west, maybe in China/India, but no more here.

And "repeating" is the crucial word, they do not want to repeat, they lived it 4 or 5 times over in WoW already and now they are done, no more repeat, now they want to play completely different games like Dark Souls, something where no one in the dev team has ever played WoW. Jeremy does not understand the WoW 2004-2008 audience.

oflow
oflow

One day.... but not today.

Seriously, the problem is all these other MMOs designers are basically trying to 'Out WoW WoW' and thats not going to happen.

Instead of making wow clones with new gimmicks they need to think outside the bun and make a game with a  totally different playstyle and mechanics.  Not purple blues greens and gear progression with themepark raids.

RomanKingNYC
RomanKingNYC

WoW has been around for a long time and people just moved on. All the so called WoW killers have failed miserably because they tried copying the formula instead of being inniovative, Yeah, WoW was very Everlast like, but they developed their own identity in the process. WoW is the only MMO that I would go back to. Every other MMO out there is no way near as polished.

johnw1104
johnw1104

"There will be something bigger [than World of Warcraft] in our lifetimes," 

Wow, way to go out on a limb there guy! :p


At this point I suspect the only true "WoW Killer" will be whichever MMO Blizzard releases next.

Chernnunos
Chernnunos

Wildstar certainly isn't going to be anything close to WoW in success. Wildstar has been one of the most hyped up games I have been looking forward to in a very, very long time, and here it is. And it's mediocre. Really bland, really mediocre, and clunky. I know it just came out, but issues with the game, with graphics peformance issues even on extremely high end machines, remain and nothing you do can fix it. It's all coding and client based on their end. Carbine better step it up before Wildstar becomes F2P.

Nepti
Nepti

Someday, there will be a strong and robust economy, somewhere in the universe.

morderwrath
morderwrath

The whole problem " MMO " is simple-massive multiplayer means forced or expected to play with others.And no you have it wrong, there wont be another mmo to reach WoW hieghts again cause its a saturated market now and it wont be free to play either.Which moreso means pay to win.or spend to loot-sad.


it will be when they make a game you can solo in all the way through end game or group and raid only as an option with different built in balence scales for each.A Fantasy Online game in other words a EPVE eqaul player versus envirnment game. until then all games released will clone each other or feel the same.I WANTED TO LOVE NEVERWINTER BUT its hard combat, no followers or henchmen to help in solo play and it uses its own RPG system cause 4E is that bad, aside from its pay to win model and walaa i hate it.No weapon or armour swaps for class's et cetera makes it a dull offering.KOTOR online was WoW cloned in syfy.Im going to stick to the point-MMO's are a dying breed and until they do as i mentioned above ill say screw off every time, ive played Everquest, 1 and 2, DAOC w all expansions, ultima online, AC 1 and 2, Perfect world, Eve online, DDO unlimited, Rift, aside from mentioned above and really cudnt get into Gw 1 or 2.And for the record i dont like WoW.

MAXAM999
MAXAM999

Yes , and its not your game .. Its called BLACK DESERT ONLINE

cratecruncher
cratecruncher

Look everyone!  It's another naïve developer with dollar signs in his eyes. 

ganondorf77
ganondorf77

OF course we will, and it will be another Blizz MMO, and that is going to suck.

omar_q
omar_q

The only MMO that I can see topping WoW would have to be some sort of VR based MMO. 

niedermayer
niedermayer

My response to his comments are 'No sh*t Sherlock.' Gamers are always moving on from games that were once widely played. One day there'll definitely be something to replace the thing that was popular back in it's day. Nothing last forever.

commando1992
commando1992

Hope this guy realizes that even if he's right, it sure ain't gonna be Wildstar. Besides, WoW can always rely on at least a third of its subs being from the Asian market where the other major MMOs aren't even touching.

drybones41
drybones41

Well, it'd be nice if devs didn't think of trying to recreate wows success. They're so focused on trying to do that they end up making seomthing so similar, not only wow but other mmos.

byzantine_chant
byzantine_chant

I'd like to see the next big MMO. Who knows where it will come from? Probably WoW 2... LOL

Swaghard
Swaghard

He just wants more companies to duplicate the formula and assume that one will recreate the WoW phenomenon... Boardroom suits need to learn to use their imaginations...

alpha_unit97
alpha_unit97

If such a game was to exist, it would have to be completely different from WoW in just about every aspect, no one wants to play that game again, especially considering how dated it is. But most importantly, mmo devs need to remember what games are meant to be- fun and entertaining- not a chore to play like most mmo's are nowadays. 

Sefrix
Sefrix moderator moderator

Personally I'm just glad it's not a theme park MMO like they all seem to be now. It's great to have an actual road to the next location.

AzatiS
AzatiS

the only games im eager to try as far as MMORPGs go are


1) BLADE and SOUL


2) LINEAGE ETERNAL


Everything else seems boring and one of the same crap... sorry i had to say it

GenTaylor84
GenTaylor84

As penny arcade has said the mmo genre has gotten saturated. we have been so rigorously trained in how to play massively multiplayer games, in precisely the way we train lab rats that we have fallen into optimization sickness. and the new mmos coming out is the same ol thing. There just needs to be a mmo that does something drastically new that no one has seen before and it captures the explorer spirit and venturing the unknown that most gamers enjoy. I believe Dark Souls is a good example of a game that kinda did this and was successful. That being said I enjoyed the wildstar beta and i will be playing it a launch but still waiting for that NEW mmo that no one has ever seen before.

Stiler
Stiler

The thing that made WoW so successful wasn't.....WoW itself, but Blizzard. 


Blizzard is a unique studio in the fact that they have both a huge western market foothold/fans, but also a huge eastern market foothold and fans. This is something that many AAA publishers and developers could only DREAM of and would love to have. 


Blizzard could literally crap in a box, slap their name on it, and sell a million copies (see Diablo 3). 


WoW was nothing new in the mmo world, it largely took the framework of Everquest, with it's themepark design, quest and loot focused gameplay, it then cherry picked from other mmo's (IE daoc for some pvp elements) but then they did what Blizzard does best, polish polish polish, they didn't rush it out the door. 


So they had an already gigantic fan base, in not only the western market but eastern, and they built up an mmo using elements from many other mmo's while maintaining their quality/dev time. 


There isn't really any studio, at least that I know of, that can compete with that. 


There's a reason why before WoW the "successful" mmo's, like EQ, UO, Asheron's Call, etc didn't get nearly that big of a subscription base. I wish developers/publishers would stop trying to "chase" WoW's numbers, It's just most likely not going to happen and mmo's should stop thinking that players want to play WoW type mmo's over and over. 


WoW was fun for a time, but if you have played mmo's, the entire genre has gotten STALE. There's no innovation, nothing new. Every single mmo feels largely the "same."


I remember when I started, with UO, then EQ/AC, every single one of these mmo's were VASTLY different. 


UO was a giant sandbox world, free for all pvp with looting, a great non-instanced world withplayer housing, it was the most "social" mmo I ever played, even to this day (closest one after it was SWG).


Everquest was.....well EQ, much harder then WoW with a lot more to "discover," you felt like you were actually exploring a world vs newer mmo's where the maps and everything are all marked out for you with a waypoint telling you exactly where to dgo and what to do, there's no sense of exploration in new mmo's and it sucks. 


AC had something unique that to this day I haven't seen another mmo evne come close to, MONTHlY updates, updates that actually affect the world, that can be story updates the VISUALLY change things in the game world to reflect the storyline that you read about. The world felt so "dynamic" and alive because of this. Most m mo's would simply take these things and put them in an "expansion" and charge you for it, even though you paid a subscription. 


That's the one reason why I don't believe in having a "subscription" anymore. 


Why on earth do you pay 15 bucks a month to play an mmo, when they will take YOUR money, put it all toward an "expansion" (which you are paying for through your subscription fee) and then they have the balls to CHARGE you for it again. 


If you play an mmo and it has a subscription fee, you should get ALL new content without having to pay another red cent. 



nurnberg
nurnberg

By the time WOW dies, the mmo genre might not even exist anymore and be replaced by something else.

Lambchopzin
Lambchopzin

Seems like an obvious conclusion to me, the question is when not if.


For starters in order for this to happen WoW needs to die first, which isn't going to happen anytime soon and when it does it'll likely be because of Blizzard (either as a result of deliberately trying to replace it or alienating their players too much) as opposed to outside competition.


And the game that does it needs to be lucky in the same way that WoW was. Not to take anything away from Blizzard or WoW, but a big part of it's success was basically a matter of timing.


So yeah I think it'll probably happen some day, but not for a long, long time.

tr4newreck
tr4newreck

hopefully


not likely...


whatever it is....


it will need vision... 


not comity...


which is all that games are atm


Vexov
Vexov

World of Diablo.

But made from a team that believe D2 was far superior to D3.

Gazdakka
Gazdakka

It's an inevitability that we'll eventually see a more successful MMO than WoW. The only question that's still up in the air and really is the million-dollar one is: How soon?

morderwrath
morderwrath

@Nepti Another reason MMo games wont ever be as big as WoW ever again-who can afford to a)make it, b)subscribe to it month to month c)waste their life playing it...


morderwrath
morderwrath

Iive played basically every mmo down the line and to say the least nothing holds a candle to a good DnD 3.5 tabletop session using lmao-a scripted adventure,.put that in your pipe and smoke it you evil DEVS.....BTW Skyrim stinks..

yhumar
yhumar

@omar_q Funny you'd say that because personally I have officially left the mmo genre until a VR mmo is made. 

morderwrath
morderwrath

@niedermayer Nothing last forever just like dying game markets wont produce the next big thing either...

ganondorf77
ganondorf77

@byzantine_chant If you think a bit about it, Cata was kinda WoW 2.0. already. A complete Redo of entire world and almost 90% of game rewritten, and a little of recoding also.

ganondorf77
ganondorf77

@cerealzateu NEVER. Popularity is not equal to success. Yes it is in a marketing point of view, but for me games are Art, WoW is one hell of a good example of it, or at least it was. Success is developing games that look and feel special and new, nowadays, most of them are indie games (From Journey to Don't Starve, for instance), no matter the money they make.

lilflipp
lilflipp

@cerealzateu Nope. I think that's why he specifically used the word, successful. Guild Wars 2 is far superior to WoW. GW2 elevated MMOs. It killed the trend that they had to be monthly subs, made the combat dynamic. Sure the game isn't perfect but, superior to WoW.

Kooken58
Kooken58

@Sefrix Wildstar not a themepark MMO? Actually it is exactly a Themepark MMO. A static world, where you just grind quest after quest to level...and they all direct you exactly where to go.  There is no sandbox features at all in the game.

hitomo
hitomo

@AzatiS  Blade and Soul is out for 4 years now, willnot come to US or EU ... its a inferior tera clone ... the next big thing is swordsman online

Darkmoone1
Darkmoone1

@Stiler That's because they can make something they started out as crap to something great. Proof is the opening of both WoW and D3. Their strength is the way they are able to stick to their guns and keep expanding the game regardless of how it might hurt them. They go all in.

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

@Stiler Exactly.  So, so many didn't buy WoW because it was an MMO, they bought it because it was the next Blizzard game after Warcraft 3 Frozen Throne.


And then they realized that hey - MMORPGs are fun.


THAT was how WoW managed to expand the MMO market by an order of magnitude - they turned people INTO MMO genre fans.  It's similar to how the Wii was such an unexpected success - it tricked people who thought they weren't gamers into buying a video game console.


And that's why it won't happen again in the MMO genre.  There aren't many companies left who have a fanbase large enough to even attempt to do what Blizzard did.  TOR was the last great attempt - Bioware tried to leverage their own large fanbase with the massive fanbase of Star Wars.


Problem is Bioware had already been bought by EA and Dragon Age 2 already existed, so Bioware's fanbase had been poisoned.  And the Star Wars fans had likely already played an MMO at that point, so even Star Wars was not enough to pull all of them in since they knew what to expect and if they didn't want another MMO in their lives they didn't sign up.  WoW worked because the majority of purchasers had never played an MMO before so it was their first experience.

Now most gamers have played some MMO or another, so you'll never recapture that magic with a large a segment of the population you need to eclipse WoW.

synolbaka
synolbaka

@Kooken58 @Sefrix Exactly and if you don't think dodging vs every single mob in the game is "engaging" gameplay then you're out of luck because Carbine sure does.

synolbaka
synolbaka

@Thanatos2k @Stiler Not to mention they didn't fix the bugs (gamebreaking bugs) in TOR until everyone had cancelled their subs and decided they were never coming back to that game. Then they adopted the worst free to play model in existence.