By Dylan Collins April 01, 2011
I’m sceptical about an entire range of sectors but top of my list would be online music start-ups and Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) games. Triple-A MMO titles (which can compete with World of Warcraft) need vast amounts of capital and time to become a reality. And even after reaching that milestone, the chances of market success are almost exactly the same as when they started. The online graveyard is littered with the likes of Age of Conan, The Matrix Online, APB and quite a few others. You could probably bail out a small country with the money spent in their collective development.
Rift seems to be different.
Announced very bullishly by Trion World Network, I thought it was going to be another epic-capital disaster (at least $100MM raised). But I then I started hearing a few positive rumours from people playing the beta. Then there was the 1M+ pre-orders. Naturally I completely ignored both of these things and assumed it would die at launch.
28 days later the average player is clocking 89mins per day in game time. While this doesn’t beat the average daily time spent by an average World of Warcraft player (126 mins), it is nonetheless a very good sign. It is proof (albeit early and I could yet be wrong, again) that given enough capital, a great team and (most importantly) time, it is possible to create an MMO experience which is commercially viable.
At one point, people thought that Everquest was the absolute pinnacle of MMO achievement. At some point, Warcraft will get overtaken. Keep an eye on Rift. It could go somewhere extremely interesting.