Lost Rambling

Lost has a lot of potential, but doesn’t apply himself.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Division by expansion

No this has nothing to do with “new math”. I have mentioned before that I have been playing Guild Wars some with mixed opinions on the game. This week the “Factions” expansion was shipped and gone live which I opted not to buy. Now I find that most of my guild mates are off exploring the new area and I’m left to struggle in missions by myself. I know that I could directly ask for help, I don’t want to take away from my friends fun/time by helping me in something they have done already. I had experienced this to a certain degree with UO from the other side, were I was the person that went out exploring and then had someone without the expansion ask for help.

So what is my point? While expansion help the company’s profits and maybe even draw in some new players, what does it do to those players that are on the fence? Also what impact does it have on drawing in new players when you consider how much they will have to spend so much to buy all the expansions just to get up to speed? I would be interested in finding out what type of numbers that a game like EverQuest II in truly new players, but I’m sure those numbers are well guarded and will not be released any time soon. This isn’t meant as attack on EverQuest II (I have never played it, I just know that they have had a large number of expansions over the years) or Guild Wars (given the lack of subscription fees, having to buy a expansion once in a while could be viewed as the fee).

In close I’m not going to say if expansions are good or bad. I just think that it’s worth remembering that they can create divides within the communities that occupy them and could have a long term impact on drawing in new players.

3 Comments:

  • At 11:47 AM, Blogger Andrew said…

    It's my impression that they actually bank on this separation of players in order to convince even more players to buy their product.

    It's also my understanding that the Guild Wars expansions each function as an individual game unto themselves, so that newbies can buy in on any given expansion. I actually think this is a fantastic idea, both economically (it means that older expansions don't necessarily become obsolete) and from the point of view of letting newer players catch up and have fun with the existing ones.

    Expansions do cost money, but one has to consider that that is the only way to support a live team dedicated to coming up with new content, which I at least appreciate as a way to keep playing my favorite MMO.

    You do raise a good point though, by referring those who are left behind, unfortunately, and this is especially true for guildwars. However, they have no real economic incentive to cater to anyone who isn't going to keep buying in, so it probably won't change any time soon.

     
  • At 11:48 AM, Blogger Andrew said…

    Sigh...

    The last paragraph should read:

    You do raise a good point though, by referring those who are left behind. Unfortunately, and this is especially true for guildwars, they have no real economic incentive to cater to anyone who isn't going to keep buying in, so it probably won't change any time soon.

     
  • At 7:24 AM, Blogger Lost said…

    You do have a good point in the fact that the division could be very intentional in order to "pressure" people to buy an expansion.

     

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