This is great, I found a website which lists lots of songs with months in the title and *looks outside* this one seemed appropriate. September marks the end of the convention season, more or less, and the start of the run up to the big winter release schedules. So if Summer is when the hype gets rolling, Autumn is the season for the heavy hitting spin and pre-release information.
The big story this year is going to be Battlefield 3 vs Modern Warfare 3. Sure, there are other big releases coming up such as Diablo 3 and SWTOR but the big console men-with-guns shooters are simply on a different scale. For example, analysts predict 11 million sales for BF3 vs 3 million for SWTOR.
Activision this week released the pricing for their MW Elite subscription, which will be $50 per year on top of the box price to receive the various map packs and extra features. It sounds like a hefty surcharge until you compare with either some of the high priced collectors editions we’ve seen lately ($150 for a plastic statue, a book, and a ‘making of’ DVD) or a subscription MMO like WoW.
Now I don’t have a sales prediction for MW3, but Activision claimed in a recent earnings call that Modern Warfare 2 sold over 23 million units and 18 million map packs in the first nine months. I bolded that just in case the numbers didn’t pop out enough on their own. 23 million copies. Now if you assume that the elite subscription is looking like a reasonable deal for fans of the series … oh yeah, the money will be rolling in.
It’s been an interesting trend this year that more MMOs are moving to the F2P model, while traditional console/ single player games are starting to experiment with subs or more regular DLC. Fallen Earth and City of Heroes are due to be the next up, with FE going F2P on October 12th and CoH has not yet announced a date but likely to be very soon.
Links and Things
I wrote this week about roleplaying in MMOs. This is an interesting article by a tabletop RPG designer talking about where that industry is going and what happens when you have to ditch the old fans to bring the new ones in (I’m sure WoW players in particular will be familiar with this mindset.)
Ratshag answers Ghostcrawler’s recent WoW blogs on the future of tanking. He wonders if the devs really understand what makes tanking fun, or whether they’re blinkered by mostly being involved in hardcore raid guilds themselves.
I see more and more posts on WoW at the moment from long time players trying to describe why they’re throwing in the towel. Klepsacovic notes simply that he doesn’t feel like the target audience any more, Borsk describes his raid groups’ last raid and why they made the decision to stop, The Grumpy Elf hopes he can hang on for the next swathe of content since troll instance are driving him nuts. Oestrus stops to think about how painful it can be to make the decision to quit.
Big Bear Butt Blogger is annoyed at the posters who are writing about why they’re not enjoying WoW any more. He says he’s having more fun than ever. I’m intrigued at his reaction actually, but it does fit into my model of consumer power (he’s in the loyal camp, who would rather people just left quietly).
Gazimoff has an awesome post about what components go into making a truly great MMO. I thought this was fascinating.
Jester’s Trek describes what life is like in a ‘fairly typical sov-holding null-sec alliance’ in EVE Online. If you thought your WoW raid was hardcore, go read this. I can see the excitement of being part of something as well drilled as this, but …
Insult Swordfighting asks whether game reviewers are bad at games. Ideally, I’d like the majority of game reviewers to be slightly better at games than I am (which is still bad, btw) because I want to know if /I/ will find the gameplay fun, not if an ultra hardcore gamer will. But actually, it’s quite possible that even a good gamer can gauge how a game will play for newbies. So it may be that one of the marks of an outstanding reviewer is that they can extrapolate this sort of information.
And as Rift holds its six month half-birthday, Tobold asks readers how they are enjoying it (and whether they are still playing it).