I noticed a lot of people quitting, and had the urge myself a couple times recently and it occurred to me that while RTS Devs may know how to make a game profitable in the short term, it is becoming apparent that they do not understand the absolute key to making a persistent world game like RTS profitable and successful in the long run.
So without further ado, the key to making a good game that makes money while making gamers happy is…
Making it fun!
So it seems like a no brainer but let me tell you, when players want to play but dont have enough food/gear/many of the things required for the core gameplay to matter or be fun, the game becomes a “grind”, or mindless slog to progress. Then you want to quit. Many get sucked into this due to the amount already invested in the game and is natural to not want to give up, but relying on this cycle of desperation eventually leads to disillusioned, disgruntled gamers flipping you the bird.
Making so much of the game, so far out of reach, of even power players that pay a monthly sub makes me wonder what I am wasting my time and money for. This was supposed to be fun. I dont want to be drip fed, I want stuff to do without investing a month of packratting just to get 1 piece of gear out of 10 I need to progress one effing tier.
So, next time you are going to add a " feature" to the game, you will ask yourself as always, “will this make money?”, but then immediately after you should ask if its fun. Because if its not, it will make you some money in the short term and earn you a lot of pissed off players in the long.
For instance, when you decided to make every character in the game obsolete and basically reset the progress of many players in a large way after they invested a lot of time, I’m sure you figured it would make money, all the people bum rushing to get new toons and gear. But did you ask, will this be fun? Will this make the game more entertaining? Will us wiping out most of our fans hard work be rewarding for them?