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Thoughts on a MMO RTS

10-13-2009, 08:44 AM
#1
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 7
Thoughts on a MMO RTS

Hi all..

Been a lurker for awhile. I have come to respect a lot of the varying opinions on these forums, and I would like your input.

Due to the game not being officially announced, I need to keep the specifics for the game play quiet for the time being. As we get closer to a beta I will be sure to post more specifics looking for testers.

My friends and I have been working on a large scale MMORTS. It is built supporting multiple game worlds (as many as we require). There can be upwards of 30,000 people in a single world at any given time. Although for the initial release we plan to keep the game worlds smaller for management and testing purposes, probably in the 1,500 range. There will be multiple world servers for people to play in, so while any single game world will allow 1500 players, there will be as many worlds as we require to support whatever amount of players there are.

Games are finite. Meaning that this is a strategy game with specific winning outcomes. We have slated a game to run 2 months. So every 2 months the world will reset and declare a winner, either by who has the highest acquisition score, or if someone actually achieved an end game scenario (there are different ways to end the game).

Now here comes the question.. In the case of a MMORTS (it works well over 3G, or WiFi) since we have infrastructure to support to manage a large scale world, or several hundred worlds what should be be considering for a price?

We obviously can't price point the game at 0.99c it would hardly be cost effective. While the game doesn't require huge volumes of bandwidth, the maintenance of the servers will come in to play.

Our network is designed so we can create many future MMO style games for the iPhone/iTouch.

What are your thoughts on the subject of MMO games. I am talking about real MMO, not stuff like Mafia Wars, or those types of games.

Thanks for your input on the topic.

Best regards,

Veri
10-13-2009, 09:44 AM
#2
Quote:
Originally Posted by Verisutha View Post
Hi all..
Your biggest problem is that your MMO will be a ghost town at first. So I wouldn't discount the 99-cent price point to begin with. You want to reward early adopters, and an introductory special might be a good approach. Make it clear up front that it's a limited time offer, then reprice after the introductory period is over and you've got some market feedback to guide you.

On the other hand, if your game has solid single-player value then you might be able to sustain a slower growth rate without getting a lot of negative reviews over the lack of competition. In that case a higher price may work out better for you.

10-13-2009, 12:17 PM
#3
Joined: Nov 2008
Location: Baltimore
Posts: 205
You want something like a .99 entry point and sustainable business model.
The one that works the best of MMOs actually seems to be micro payments.

This allows the CHEAP players to play free and the ones with less time but more $ to pay.

Look up how the puzzle pirates economies work etc

or even all these fake web based MMOs on the iphone now.

Mafia wars etc I believe are all micro payment based.
10-13-2009, 02:14 PM
#4
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 7
Thanks for your thoughts.

We have been thinking about an ad, or some kind of a micro payment option. Since it will be tough to get people playing right off..

The game is designed to scale, so game worlds game be run with varying sizes of player base. If game servers need to be created to support 200 people we can easily do it.

We have thought about having 2 versions, one with the micro type payments / ad ware kind of stuff, and another one with no ads.

We have actually designed a micro payment system that would work across all games we develop. So if you were to buy something in one game, what ever "credits" you acquired could be used in any of our games. So you aren't committed to spending everything in one game.

Figuring out the business model seems to be more difficult than the game design itself.

Any other thoughts would be appreciated.

Thanks for the input.

Regards,

Veri.
10-13-2009, 03:40 PM
#5
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: UK / Toronto
Posts: 602
If you're planning for this to be a 'big' game on the iPhone platform, and you're looking at it as a kind of mobile World of Warcraft… I'd suggest you making it free for the first year, to gather up momentum and players, but making it fully clear that after that cut-off point you'll start charging a monthly fee of, say, $5? I don't think that's too much considering how much most MMO games charge per month. Maybe you can charge less if you think you can handle it at a lower fee.

Good luck! I'm interested in seeing the game.
10-13-2009, 04:05 PM
#6
Joined: May 2009
Location: Palmerston North, New Zealand
Posts: 464
Quote:
Originally Posted by EssentialParadox View Post
If you're planning for this to be a 'big' game on the iPhone platform, and you're looking at it as a kind of mobile World of Warcraft… I'd suggest you making it free for the first year, to gather up momentum and players, but making it fully clear that after that cut-off point you'll start charging a monthly fee of, say, $5? I don't think that's too much considering how much most MMO games charge per month. Maybe you can charge less if you think you can handle it at a lower fee.

Good luck! I'm interested in seeing the game.
Does Apple allow for a subscription scheme? I'm sure you could have some sort of quazi-subscription scheme based on in-game payments but I'm not sure a "renew or don't play" subscription such as that used for WoW would be allowed.

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10-13-2009, 04:39 PM
#7
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by PixelthisMike View Post
Does Apple allow for a subscription scheme? I'm sure you could have some sort of quazi-subscription scheme based on in-game payments but I'm not sure a "renew or don't play" subscription such as that used for WoW would be allowed.
Yes, a subscription payment scheme is supported by Apple although I'm not sure if there are any games that support this business model yet. Somebody's bound to do it sooner or later and it will be interesting to see if players are willing to shell out a monthly fee when most games are bought, played, and forgotten in less than a month. I guess if your game is unique enough and has long lasting appeal it may be able to stand out against the constant stream of new games that keep coming out but it certainly won't be easy. In other words, you need to ask why a player would pay for another month of playing your game instead of buying a new game altogether.

Anyways, best of luck to you. Maybe you will be the company that figures out how to make the subscription model work.
10-13-2009, 11:28 PM
#8
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 114
I really like this idea! If you want a beta tester, let me know!
10-14-2009, 01:22 AM
#9
Joined: Nov 2008
Location: Baltimore
Posts: 205
Apple allows for subscription

But its been proven many times in real world MMOs that
micro payments make a lot more money.

Any how Im not sure how you handle jailbreakers with subscriptions
or worse stand alone apps.

As all these users will eat out your bandwidth costs.
10-14-2009, 01:25 AM
#10
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Singapore
Posts: 1,770
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Hey Verisutha,
I love your idea about an MMORTS. I would happily cough up the $0.99 for it, as thanks for all your help.