Saturday, September 1, 2007

Do we want sequels?

DM Osbon sent me a mail about a Blizzard developer saying that they might be working on another MMO, and the possibility of WoW2. = # # = sent me a mail about EQ3, work on which should be starting now if they want to space releases of sequels evenly. While I really can't say about the timing, I think there is a greater than even chance that one day we will see sequels of the most successful MMORPGs around. But what's so special about sequels?

When WoW came out it was accused of being an EQ clone. And a lot of future games will be called WoW clones. Fact is that fantasy MMORPGs already strongly resemble each other. Strip away the lore, and you can call them anything you like. If by some twist of fate all the Blizzard developers had worked for SOE instead, and the SOE developers for Blizzard, EQ2 would now have the gameplay of WoW, and WoW the gameplay of EQ2. Just the names of the cities would have been inversed. There is nothing specific to the gameplay of EQ2 that makes it, and only it, the only valid sequel for the original Everquest.

Warhammer Online : Age of Reckoning for practical purposes is a sequel of Dark Age of Camelot. Calling it WAR instead of DAoC is a marketing decision. Sure, the Warhammer universe inspires a lot of ideas on how the different races should look and act, but you could have gotten away with pretty much the same races in a game with a different name. The reason why one day we will get a WoW2 is that it is easy marketing. Making exactly the same game and calling it something else, would be a more difficult sell. But with WoW being so successful, people will automatically assume that WoW2 is as good, while a differently named game wouldn't have that advantage.

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