7 days around the MMO world (May 10)

Well it’s that time of year, that time where the pre-E3 news begins to slow to a crawl and all of us covering the game industry begin to pull out our hair in frustration and anticipation. So to our dismay that does mean this week was a bit on the light side in the way of big news. But don’t fret a simple slow news week couldn’t shut us up!

We got news this week that the so-called WoW killer, Warhammer Online is maintaining its 300k subscriber rate. While compared to World of Warcraft and other big MMOGs, 300,000 subscribers steady is a pretty good number and a type of number we need to get used to. World of Warcraft did something interesting to the industry and broke down all conventional wisdom when it came to subscribers of MMORPGs. There was once a time where anything over a 100k subscription rate was considered to be a success, now a days people assume that millions are required to be successful. I disagree with this notion, and I’m here to defend the old wisdom.

World of Warcaft is a phenomenon, plain and simple. The only other MMORPGs out there than can compare to it are games that don’t require you to pay, like Maple Story and Runescape all of which more than likely have much lower active players numbers. For a game only released in US, Europe and Russia, 300k is a pretty solid number for Warhammer despite being short of the 500k Marc Jacobs from Mythic said it needed to be a success. I think that there is still room for growth in the Warhammer Online universe. The truth is World of Warcraft didn’t hit 12 million + subscribers overnight, it’s grown slowly and steadily since its release over four years ago. Mythic needs to stick it out and continue to address player feedback and grow into new markets.

For all the people who thought Warhammer Online would die, I’m here to tell you that it won’t. Right now, War looks to be doing better than Mythic’s other game, Dark Age of Camelot which already tells us that War is here to stay. With all that said, lets take a moment to consider that 300,000 active paying players is a good number, much better than a lot of other MMOs who have been around much longer. Don’t be quick to call a game who doesn’t breach the million subscriber number a failure because of one game who destroyed the old wisdom.

Switching gears and jumping back to some drama we covered earlier this week we have an update on the Eurogamer vs Darkfall scandal. To bring you in if you missed the original story, Eurogamer gave the MMORPG Darkfall a 2/10 score which incidentally is the lowest rating ever given out by Eurogamer. Darkfall’s developer, Adventurine, noticed some errors about the game in the review and looked into their server logs to make sure the game was actually played, according to them it wasn’t. Adventurine claims that out of the 13 sessions, the game was only played for 2 hours and of those 2 hours the play time was dominated by character creation.

Now Eurogamer has offered to do a re-review of the game by another one of their staffers to which Adventurine promptly declined. The decline of the re-review came as a result of Eurogamer leaving the original review up and thus defeating the purpose of a re-review in their mind. Adventurine also release some more of the details of those server logs and stacking the evidence even higher against Eurogamer.

“The evidence: The reviewer’s supervisor and MMO Editor for Eurogamer spent 2 minutes in the character creator but didn’t create a character. Ed Zitron spent 2 hours 33 minutes logged in the game and the character creator. In this time the reviewer tried 9 different characters. Much of the time was spent creating and deleting these characters. 14 minutes before the reviewer stopped playing Darkfall altogether he said in global chat: “how do I cast spells…..help”. During his entire time in the game he repeatedly asks: “what do I do?” in public chat. After less than an hour logged in the game he speaks in race chat and says “this game is awful” His entire chat log shows someone biased that spent very little time in game, didn’t understand even the very basics right before he stopped playing to write his review.” explains Tasos Flambouras of Adventurine.

So far neither side is budging on the issue and signs of either side wavering doesn’t seem likely. We’re not sure if Eurogamer plans to move ahead with the re-review despite Adventurine’s disapproval, we will keep an eye on this story and bring you any updates in the drama.

In other MMO news:

  • Eve Online to revamp their lore.
  • Lord British sues NCSoft.
  • Bioware shows us it’s Trooper class for Star Wars: The Old Republic
  • Huxley: The Dystopia begins taking beta sign ups.
  • Don’t call it a comeback, Mythos getting picked back up.
  • Champions Online takes a queue from Guild Wars and goes server-less.
  • Name a park, get a beta invite to Champions Online.
  • Blizzcon tickets available May 16th.

Check our E3 edition of 7 days around the MMO world next week where we’ll share our MMO hopes, dreams and predictions for this year’s E3.