Monday, September 20, 2021

The Business: When You Need Normies To Succeed, Don't Alienate Them

Josh Stryfe Hayes just released a new video. Folks at Amazon's MMO haven't gotten the memo about Normies and MMOs.

TLDR: Not only did they screw up the on-boarding process for Normies, but by allowing Gamers to extensively document the entire game before it launched they guaranteed that this game will never gain the critical mass of Normies any MMORPG has to have now to be commercially viable both in the short and the long term.

I swear that most developers in the gaming business--tabletop and video alike--do not understand the difference between Normies and Gamers.

I swear that most developers in the gaming business--tabletop and video alike--do not understand that different genres and media have massive difference in requirements for commercial viability and therefore their designs must account for these differences if they want to survive and thrive in those difference spaces.

Amazon Studios has demonstrated that they fail to understand both of these things.

New World will be dominated by Gamers speedrunning to endgame and either dipping out because there is nothing to do, only logging in to do the little there is to do (known commonly as "raid-logging"), or deciding to make their own fun by actively hunting and killing the others that haven't done as they did because New World has open world PVP.

Those players lagging behind will be Normies. Normies, in MMOs, aren't big on PVP for the same reason that they generally don't do top-end PVE content: too much like work. They regard hostile players attacking them as bad game design due to it being, by design, an unexpected difficulty jump. It also feels like being bullied at school or work, as there are only two options for Normies: report to authorities (which is useless since they don't actually do what is required), or quit. Since New World allows open world PVP, they do allow predatory behavior and thus reports will be useless. Normies, faced with this, will quit instead of adapt and overcome.

Why? For the same reason they quit MMOs that have sudden and insurmountable violations of their entertainment expectations: they don't see the bother to be worth it, because that means putting in work and Normies do not work for their entertainment.

Amazon done fucked up. Expect New World to fail to meet Amazon's expectations, fail to fix the problems that they should have fixed already, and be depreciated prior to a quiet shutdown in a year or so.

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