Category Archives: MMORPG

Sony Online’s SOEmote software provides you with your Everquest II character’s expressions and voice

Sony Online’s SOEmote software provides you with your Everquest II character’s expressions and voice

This really is going to be a bigger deal than it seems right now, yep.

As a collaborative concoction between Sony, Image Metrics, and Vivox, SOEmote captures your voice and facial expressions and pastes them onto your in-game character. It also modulates your words into the pitch appropriate for your race such as the deep baritone of an ogre or the gnome’s tinny squeak. We at GamesBeat recommend turning off this feature when spilling large, expletive-inducing cups of coffee.


In the below video, David Georgeson, Everquest II director of development, demonstrates SOEmote’s capabilities with his mighty Froglok warrior, proving anthropomorphic amphibians look terrifyingly creepy when grinning.


Age of Conan and Fun Things To Do With Your Horse

No, it’s not what you thought I meant.

Check it out:

As the l33tsp33k comment says:

pwnage ^^

Opinion: MMOs Need a Wii

Here’s the Wired blog post:
Opinion: MMOs Need a Wii

Here’s my answer, posted also there as a comment:

Of course you’re right.

AoC rocks, but will be limited by how narrowly focused it is on adult guys. And I don’t think they’ve left themselves enough room to change that over time.

Hardcore gamers don’t want a Wii, and don’t want non-hardcore gamers to exist.

The problem of a Wii-style game is half a game design problem, and half a content problem.

The game design problem means the game has to actually contain within it multiple different ways to play the game, which variously appeal to the range of players. This primarily means the gameplay needs to make room for true casual gamers (note that’s different from “casual players” of current MMOs). Current MMOers call that “dumbing down” – but the point is the game needs to attract and interest and hook true casual gamers. If you think of this demographically, the game might abandon the attempt to hold hardcore MMOers, to better focus on casual gamers. There are way more than 10x as many casual games as hardcore, so this does not have to be a bad business decisions. Note this also has implications for the business model – casual players aren’t going to pay $15 a month as easily as hardcore MMOers do now.

And the content has to be content that appeals to the full range as well – this probably means the content needs to move toward or into the “real” world, because that’s the content humans have the most common interest in. Maybe a known brand could do it. Most everyone here (readers and commentors at the Wired blog) will piffle this, but here’s the answer, if they design it right:

Harry Potter

Earnings call transcript from Chinese gaming giant

Here’s a link to the transcript:

And here are a few highlights – note that these are Chinese-only numbers:

First, I would like to present a quick overview of the key financial highlights for Q4 and FY 2006. Net revenues for Q4 2006 were $36.2 million, representing 21% QoverQ growth. Net income was $13.5 million for earnings of $0.54 per ADS for Q4 2006. For FY 2006, net revenues were $126.3 million, representing 112% YoverY growth. Net income for FY 2006 was $14.0 million, or earnings of $1.63 per ADS.

Stunning growth rates, even when compared with the global growth rates I have posted previously

For Q4 2006, WoW’s peak concurrent users was over 680,000 and the average concurrent users was 340,000. As of December 31, 2006, approximately 6.8 million accounts had been registered and activated for the WoW game in mainland China.

Last I heard, WoW was at 7 million globally.  Now they’re approaching that in China alone.  Yowsa.

As you may know, Blizzard Entertainment launched the highly anticipated expansion pack for WoW, The Burning Crusade, on January 16, 2007 and has broken day one sales records in North America and Europe. We are very encouraged to see the strong DPO[?] of the Burning Crusade in overseas markets and we are very excited to bring this expansion pack to mainland China.

We have started to prepare for the launch of the Burning Crusade in Mainland China, including content localizations, server arrangements and so on. We currently estimate that the Burning Crusade will be launched in Mainland China by the end of Q2 2007.

Oh, I’m sure they’re making that expansion pack available there as fast as they possibly can.

For Guild Wars, we started limited open beta testing January 19, 2007 and so far the demand is high. We plan to commence full scale open beta testing for Guild Wars by the end of Q1 2007, after the Chinese New Year holiday.

Pepsi Cola is our co-marketing partner for the Guild Wars games. During the limited open beta testing, we distributed Guild Wars game account through Pepsi’s nationwide internet testing channels and we will hold Pepsi-sponsored Guild Wars tournaments and other marketing campaigns in the coming months.

Partnering with domestic or international famous brands to conduct marketing and promotion efforts has been proven to be one of our most important marketing methods to promote online games. Many renowned brands of different industries have shown interest in our strong game pack line, and we are currently in discussions with them to explore potential cooperation opportunities.

Very interesting, and a marketing approach I will look into more.  Think about the implications of “Pepsi’s nationwide internet testing channels” in China.  I think I’m gonna buy some Pepsi stock.  No joke.

Now let me update you on our proprietary in-house developed games. Joyful Journey West is generating small but stable revenue streams since we launched the shopping mall function for the game in September 2006. Fantastic Melody Online, also known as FM Online, a 3D zone action-based MMORPG that we developed through outsourcing arrangements, is estimated to launch in the second half of 2007. In addition, we have another two MMORPG titles that are currently under development.

Note that they are generating revenue from a “shopping mall” in the game.  Like it or not as a gamer, it’s something that’ll be ubiquitous before long.  Also consider that with a proven online market this large in China (see the numbers above), funding and developing top shelf games in and for that market first is a no-brainer.