Why doesn't MA have competition?

True Juan

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Hi guys,

Does anyone have better knowledge of why Mindark does not have competition in the RCE field?
Is it because its hard, not very profitable or do they have some very strong patents that protect them?

Because for me its rather interesting that no one stepped up to compete.

Regards,
True :bandit:
 

mastermesh

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In a short time, not too long ago Diablo 3 had a real money auction... but it did not last for many reasons.

Monster Hunter Tri on the Wii also had an online mode at one point in time that allowed some level of trading I believe, but they shut the blasted server down...

There's probably a few other examples out there too. It's not that other's aren't trying. It's more that the game industry itself doesn't seem to like the idea of pay to win instantly if you have enough cash, etc., and even if it does, the laws are getting tighter on stuff like loot boxes, considering games of chance as gambling or addiction creating stuff created for those too young, etc.

Also doesn't help that some are now considering too much gaming a disorder...

https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/gaming-disorder-code-icd-11-not-so-fast
 
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slartybartfass

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I do not know about patents, but with some investigation it should be possible to dig this out, I think at least it is public available if a company has some patents.

I think the main reason is the advantage developing an MMORPG with real cash economy since 2004(?). Thats at least 15 years of experience in successful developing (laugh or not).
 

Gollum_42

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There are a lot of issues to deal with, you can't just give people a running credit, that wold involve holding peoples money in trust and you'd need various credit licences for that in each country.

If you sell, and offer to buy back, you have to deal with anti-money-laundering rules in various countries which is equally as stringent as a credit licence.

If you facilitate trading between different players, you end up becoming somewhat responsible for fraud, eg playerA buys something from playerB then has the bank reverse the transaction, clearly you can ban playerA but who is going to compensate playerB.

While it's a very desirable model for in general older players, we are a small market, and while the subscription and micro-transaction models prove both popular and profitable why risk the RCE model?
 

True Juan

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I do not know about patents, but with some investigation it should be possible to dig this out, I think at least it is public available if a company has some patents.

I think the main reason is the advantage developing an MMORPG with real cash economy since 2004(?). Thats at least 15 years of experience in successful developing (laugh or not).
There is this thread regarding the patents:
https://www.planetcalypsoforum.com/forums/showthread.php?138917-Mindark-patents

There are a lot of issues to deal with, you can't just give people a running credit, that wold involve holding peoples money in trust and you'd need various credit licences for that in each country.

If you sell, and offer to buy back, you have to deal with anti-money-laundering rules in various countries which is equally as stringent as a credit licence.

If you facilitate trading between different players, you end up becoming somewhat responsible for fraud, eg playerA buys something from playerB then has the bank reverse the transaction, clearly you can ban playerA but who is going to compensate playerB.

While it's a very desirable model for in general older players, we are a small market, and while the subscription and micro-transaction models prove both popular and profitable why risk the RCE model?
Yeah, what you state could very well be the case of why. Good thoughts.
But if MA could do it, Im pretty sure there is someone out there that could do it better. And since MA would be the only competition I would think it would be easier to enter the market. (I have a company and have 25 competitors, makes it very hard to stand-out, having only 1 competitor would make my life so much easier :) )
 

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  1. Making an RCE MMO is 5-6x harder than normal MMOs, especially in balancing, payouts, returns, etc.
  2. Nobody invests in MMOs anymore since it's a high-risk investment. See those new crowdfunded MMOs nowadays
  3. Needs higher security, licenses for holding money (e.g. Stock brokers, gambling sites), and more regulations than normal MMOs
  4. Cost of playing RCE MMOs is considerably higher than even the most expensive subscription-based MMO.
  5. Significantly more scammers/hackers/beggars in RCE MMOs = See pt. 3
  6. You can rule out Asian countries as audience for RCE MMOs (basically half of the world). Even sub-based MMOs aren't known to have a lot of players from Asian countries (except probably WoW), but this is the same thing that happens to EU. The problem is, you are now competing with EU for an already niche audience.
  7. Let's face it, middle class is disappearing. Ppl below middle class would prefer free or at least B2P MMOs. The "poor is getting poorer, riches are getting richer"

Edit: Added more starting from the 6th
 
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True Juan

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  1. Making an RCE MMO is 5-6x harder than normal MMOs, especially in balancing, payouts, returns, etc.
  2. Nobody invests in MMOs anymore since it's a high-risk investment. See those new crowdfunded MMOs nowadays
  3. Needs higher security, licenses for holding money (e.g. Stock brokers, gambling sites), and more regulations than normal MMOs
  4. Cost of playing RCE MMOs is considerably higher than even the most expensive subscription-based MMO.
  5. Significantly more scammers/hackers/beggars in RCE MMOs = See pt. 3
Thanks for contributing with interesting thoughts, If I may, I would add my thoughts to each of your points:

1. When MA started MMOs were not as easy to make as today. Today there are more programmers, designers etc I guess the most time would be spend on balancing, but in terms of game systems, not as much or maybe even less.

2. This I would agree with, but there are so many high-risk investments today... (nearly in any field - and there are people that do have loads of money to play around)

3. Nothing to add to this point

4. Just because PE/EU/MA made it that way, doesnt necessarly mean the competitor has to do the same. It just requires good ideas on how it should work. (EU is already EU and it would be hard to change, but a new competitor could set new rules and ways of systems to work).

5. There are always cheaters, beggars, in every field(business), so thats not something that I would consider a hurdle
 

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Pretty sure EVE online is rce!? and i vaguely recalling Project Ion was ment to be a RCE game.
 

ihazbackup

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When MA started MMOs were not as easy to make as today. Today there are more programmers, designers etc I guess the most time would be spend on balancing, but in terms of game systems, not as much or maybe even less.
In normal MMOs, a mistake in coding of accidentally giving higher loots than they are intended to is a small problem, cuz it's virtual money not backed by real life money. That mistake in RCE MMOs will cost the company a whole lot more. That's why devs in EU are very quick to resolve bugs/errors that may potentially cost them money. Game systems are a lot easier to develop, I agree.

This I would agree with, but there are so many high-risk investments today... (nearly in any field - and there are people that do have loads of money to play around)
The returns of investing in MMOs are not comparable to the cost, unlike, let's say high-risk stocks. If you buy a high-risk stock, you can either win big or lose big. Investing in MMOs cost probably the same, but you cannot win big. U either lose or gain normal return.

Just because PE/EU/MA made it that way, doesnt necessarly mean the competitor has to do the same. It just requires good ideas on how it should work. (EU is already EU and it would be hard to change, but a new competitor could set new rules and ways of systems to work).
There needs to be a fine line between the cost of play and the company actually making enough profit for them to keep running. I can agree with this, in that new competitor might get to a finer line (i.e. cheaper and more cost-effective), but again, Pt. 1, 2, and 3 are already enough to turn off most companies

There are always cheaters, beggars, in every field(business), so thats not something that I would consider a hurdle
The effect is magnified several times greater in RCE MMOs.
 

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First obstacle is the license to operate a RCE platform. Second are the startup funds for it because it is way more than a subscription game and cash are needed for cover up. I think there is an article about that somewhere, but can't find it in my archive right now, if I find it I will link it.
Finally the market, is so different now than 16 years back and I believe neither MA will attempt it nowdays.

edit: RCE are only two as far as I know and I'm active participant in both (and that's the reason Im in actually)! Second Life and Entropia.
EVE online IT IS NOT RCE! It is a subscription game with PLEX (unlock one month of play and is an item ingame market) trading sometimes outside of the game illegally. But players can buy PLEX from webshop and trade it in game for ISK (ingame currency) and that's legit.
 
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Detritus

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It's pretty simple, the core issue is that it's a lose-lose business model from the start.


It's very easy for any other type of multiplayer game to provide a high level of reward feedback and keep players interested and happy. If loot/items have no value, you can fill the players with good loot, items, skins, gold, whatever, and players feel successful even without being able to withdraw that success.

With an RCE you have a serious problem in this regard, since everything has a real value. Rewarding players costs money. MA tries to get around this a little bit with player-bound items and things like UA, but ultimately they can't provide too much of a path of success for players or they will be losing money. People here are always complaining "MA bring back MU, MA fix the economy", but you have to understand that profit for players = loss for MA.

Bottom line:

Successful players = MA losing
Successful MA = players losing


Hard to make a success story out of that. MA as a company seems to have a long history of diving head first into things without fully analyzing or understanding them, so my guess is they didn't think this through, but found enough of a niche market to stay alive. Most companies will have enough brains to take one look at this business model and nope the fuck out.
 

ihazbackup

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It's pretty simple, the core issue is that it's a lose-lose business model from the start.


It's very easy for any other type of multiplayer game to provide a high level of reward feedback and keep players interested and happy. If loot/items have no value, you can fill the players with good loot, items, skins, gold, whatever, and players feel successful even without being able to withdraw that success.

With an RCE you have a serious problem in this regard, since everything has a real value. Rewarding players costs money. MA tries to get around this a little bit with player-bound items and things like UA, but ultimately they can't provide too much of a path of success for players or they will be losing money. People here are always complaining "MA bring back MU, MA fix the economy", but you have to understand that profit for players = loss for MA.

Bottom line:

Successful players = MA losing
Successful MA = players losing


Hard to make a success story out of that. MA as a company seems to have a long history of diving head first into things without fully analyzing or understanding them, so my guess is they didn't think this through, but found enough of a niche market to stay alive. Most companies will have enough brains to take one look at this business model and nope the fuck out.
The point of playing MMO (or games in general) is to provide fun in expense of your money, so by paying money, you get the fun. The company makes money, the players get the complete in-game package. It becomes a problem when you can also gain money, in addition to fun.

So, from the equation

Money spent = Fun + Fee

it becomes

Money spent = Money return + Fun + Fee

In the first equation, we have no problems on how equal the "Fun" and the money spent, since the money you spend into the game nets you a relatively equal amount of in-game items + fun factor . The "Fee" itself is negligible, because it is hidden behind the "Fun" factor.

This "Fun" in the 2nd equation is arguably the one variable that justify the less-than-100% return. Obviously, there are some ppl, in which the equation proved in favor on the right side, and another group of people that lose more than what they gain. In total, the "Money Spent" - "Fee" is the averaged "90% return". This "Fee" cannot be easily hidden like the 1st equation, since now we have "Money Return" as the gain, so we view "Fee" also as losses.

Just my 2pecs
 

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Pretty sure EVE online is rce!? and i vaguely recalling Project Ion was ment to be a RCE game.
Its definately NOT RCE !

Some trade ISK in EVE outside of game, but thats a risky thing as it is against EULA for EVE and your account can be banned.

Sidenote:
They are very strickly checking for that things and do ban, own experience. The account I sold, got banned less than one week later, but it was due to stupidity of the buyer. Telling everyone ingame that he has bought that account, is fairly stupid as it got reported to support, and they checked and found out how the deal was set up.
 

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Hi guys,

Does anyone have better knowledge of why Mindark does not have competition in the RCE field?
Is it because its hard, not very profitable or do they have some very strong patents that protect them?

Because for me its rather interesting that no one stepped up to compete.

Regards,
True :bandit:
Because there's only a limited of number of idiots like us to join such a game.
And since we're already "taken" there wouldnt be enough idiots left to fill another game :wise:
 

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AfterWorld was an RCE , though it was only in beta and died there.

It hung on for a few years and many from here played it.
 

Svarog

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AfterWorld was an RCE , though it was only in beta and died there.

It hung on for a few years and many from here played it.
It never had withdrawals, only a promise of it in future, so never was an RCE.
 

Fiona Simmons

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Why should a company deal with all the regulations for money laundry prevention, risk their ruin because people might withdraw more than they deposit and make horrible design decesions to make people spend and lose money when you can make a fun game instead and sell loot boxes ?
 

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Aftertime Diaries was supposed to be RCE but project died
 

Detritus

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it becomes

Money spent = Money return + Fun + Fee

This "Fun" in the 2nd equation is arguably the one variable that justify the less-than-100% return. Obviously, there are some ppl, in which the equation proved in favor on the right side, and another group of people that lose more than what they gain. In total, the "Money Spent" - "Fee" is the averaged "90% return". This "Fee" cannot be easily hidden like the 1st equation, since now we have "Money Return" as the gain, so we view "Fee" also as losses.
Yea, totally agree.

Problem is Fun is usually created by the things I commented on (reward factor), which must be necessarily less than the player's input in an RCE.

Therefore, to maintain players, the Money Return part of your equation must be greater than the Money Spent, to make up for the lack of Fun. Ofc MA can't give back more than what is put in, so the end result is something that mimics real life, where a small handful of people with a lot of resources have worked out how to profit off the majority. In that regard, MA has done a standup job of simulating a real economy experience.
 

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It never had withdrawals, only a promise of it in future, so never was an RCE.
true true .. have to admit it was enjoyable though , wished it would have worked out
 

wizz

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Yea, totally agree.

Problem is Fun is usually created by the things I commented on (reward factor), which must be necessarily less than the player's input in an RCE.

Therefore, to maintain players, the Money Return part of your equation must be greater than the Money Spent, to make up for the lack of Fun. Ofc MA can't give back more than what is put in, so the end result is something that mimics real life, where a small handful of people with a lot of resources have worked out how to profit off the majority. In that regard, MA has done a standup job of simulating a real economy experience.
why are -for example- casino's doing so well?
Are they all giving out more cash than they get in?

:scratch2:
 

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Pretty sure EVE online is rce!? and i vaguely recalling Project Ion was ment to be a RCE game.

I Know P-Ion is Depo in but no Withdraw out , Eve may be the same , and other than that , Blackmarket would be only form of Withdraw out
 
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Hi guys,

Does anyone have better knowledge of why Mindark does not have competition in the RCE field?
Is it because its hard, not very profitable or do they have some very strong patents that protect them?

Because for me its rather interesting that no one stepped up to compete.

Regards,
True :bandit:
Because in ~14 years it got 5k active players?
Because it's not very profitable - only few swedish (maybe only 1) owner(s) living above average is not something big companies are looking for.
Because it's probably not doable on large scale, all the server side traffic - MA can't even properly handle few k players online.
Because it's an online casino and the fact that MA gets away with creative accounting, does not mean others would.

Because, because, because...
 

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Does anyone have better knowledge of why Mindark does not have competition in the RCE field?

It's because the creators of this game are Gods :king:
 

Detritus

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why are -for example- casino's doing so well?
Are they all giving out more cash than they get in?
A valid question. I think a lot of it has to do with transparency and audience.

Casinos don't offer any illusion about what's happening. You are going there to gamble money. Unless you are retarded you already know ahead of time that you will lose it in the end, in spite of momentary successes. The thrill of playing your game of choice and being on the verge of win or loss is exactly what people go there for. The free drinks, music, hospitality, and overall experience is also a huge factor. It's the "fun" that is missing from EU.

EU offers the promise of being able to make money playing a game. I've watched some of their old ads where they talk about people making vast amounts of money and running a successful in-game business and so on. Sure, those success stories are there, but most players will end up feeling somewhat scammed by the whole thing. You end up with players that are chasing the dream and too naive to realize what's required to get there, or casual players that don't buy the illusion but just enjoy hopping in and shooting up some shit over their morning coffee.



I also think it's a huge mistake for MA to not be utilizing other revenue streams, which would allow them to give back a little more. In particular their web shop is so woefully under-utilized it should be shown in Ted Talks as an example of how badly an online game can be managed.
 

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EU is a very small, niche market game and it always will be. The appeal is limited to certain types of people who like the RCE enough that games without it are not fulfilling. It's the difference between playing poker for play money, and playing poker for real money. When there is real money stakes (of any size), decisions matter in a way that is fundamentally different from just 'playing' a game.

We have all seen what a small percentage of the EU player pool actually sticks around - the few who do connect with it. Why would any developer choose to chase such a super narrow market with such a well-established competitor when they can more easily develop a 'normal' game and have shot at massive markets? EU is successful, to the degree that it is, because it is unique. The degree to which it remains successful has to do with its ability to focus on what sets it apart.

I remember when Afterworld was around, and the gang of believers that said was was going to replace EU, and I remember thinking at the time; Do you really want to put your RC into a RCE based in Russia? I didn't then I wouldn't now, but the point is bigger - fall all their faults, MA has a very long record of paying out withdrawals, and is based in a county known for respecting the rule of law. Much of the trust that we do have in MA is based on that long history. Sure, it could all go belly up tomorrow, but that would be far more likely to happen to a new game trying to launch and then reach the critical mass needed to sustain itself. The people who throw big money at flighty projects will pull out or move on just as quickly.

In the end, MA has focused on a unique project and made it work, but it is such an unlikely (and limited) success that it's hard to see how or why anyone would try to replicate it.

Peace, Miles
 

ihazbackup

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Yea, totally agree.

Problem is Fun is usually created by the things I commented on (reward factor), which must be necessarily less than the player's input in an RCE.

Therefore, to maintain players, the Money Return part of your equation must be greater than the Money Spent, to make up for the lack of Fun. Ofc MA can't give back more than what is put in, so the end result is something that mimics real life, where a small handful of people with a lot of resources have worked out how to profit off the majority. In that regard, MA has done a standup job of simulating a real economy experience.
Correct. ;)

MA should make the game so good to justify the % amount of fun so the equation can be equal. Say, if someone got 85% tt return (let's take 5% as MA's fee and 4% from MU), then is that 6% loss is worth the fun they have?

Some may say yes, but I believe more ppl will say they aren't. In RCE, the money gained heavily correlates with the amount of fun you got. i.e. it's always fun if you profit.
 
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