Casual vs HC MMOs


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Presentation discuss about casual MMOs - aspects differentiating from "HC" MMOs (mainly MMORPGs).

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Casual vs HC MMOs

  1. Making Sense of Casual MMOs Feb. 09
  2. About me Sonja Kangas Game Director of GuppyLife Researcher (Youth Research Network & Souplala) Finland / Denmark
  3. This presentation Focus on casual MMOs Discuss differences between Hard Core vs. Casual MMOs Foresee the rise of niché MMOs and hybridization of social virtual worlds and online multiplayer communities
  4. Define: Casual Hard Core and Casual often used as common terms even though: Casual player (quests instead of raids, less time and money spent in games, no or short history in gaming) Casual gameplay (simple mechanics in easy to learn puzzle, word trivia and arcade games) Casual game (Any type of gameplay, any genre, simple rules, easy to play (genre), lower budget compared with HC games) Carrying different meanings and values E.g. casual gamer can play hard core games casually Casual is not equal to easy or simple
  5. MMO - Persistent online worlds MMO – Massively Multiplayer Online POW – Persistent Online World SNS – Social Networking Service VW – Virtual World A synchronous, persistent network of people, represented by avatars, facilitated by computers [1]. To play, socialize, network, hangout, create and share ideas, things, events or objects. [1] Robbins-Bell 2008
  6. Online gaming categories MMORPGs Virtual worlds Alpha World World of Warcraft Second Life Everquest Lineage Habbo Emerald Island Muxlim Stardoll Carzz Cartrider GuppyLife Cyworld Casual MMOs Playful SNS Partial source: Forrester Research (2007)
  7. History put short MMO genre started from the evolution of text-based virtual worlds: MUDs and existing genres of digital games Virtual (graphical) worlds started from graphical chat rooms such as The Palace and Alpha World Multiplayer online games focused on role playing games at first which soon added RPG extension to MMO MMORPGs (and other MMOs) started within current game genres The starting points of casual MMOs were more social, introducing novel type of gameplay and new genres
  8. Development trends SNSs MMORPG MUD Casual Visual Online online chat gaming MMO Playful Niché edugames Chat MMO online Virtual worlds -1990 2000 2007-
  9. Casual MMO Casual MMOs different development branch of multiplayer online games than MMORPGs MMOs, VWs and SNSs are merging into hybrid products Besides casual and social gaming, another trend is MMOs for niché user groups (e.g.,, Gem island (casino), Emerald Island, MMOs supporting existing brands (e.g. line of Disney MMOs, BarbieGirls etc.) In this presentation Hard Core MMOs are all multiplayer online games that do not fit into the definition of casual MMO
  10. Typical misconception It is often claimed that players spend less time and money playing Casual MMOs than Hard Core MMOs Casual MMOs catch idle gamers where as HC MMOs attract and immerse players on a different level WRONG! Both Casual and HC MMOs have potentially high stickiness and efficient business models There are number of other issues differentiating Casual MMOs from Hard Core MMOs
  11. Casual MMO vs. Hard core MMO Social activity: chatting and hangout Social activity: co-op playing, raids, chatting Free-to-play up to certain point Monthly fees Player retention shorter Player retention longer Focus and key factor of immersion: players Focus and key factors of immersion: quests, tasks Motivational factors: social, liking, enjoyment Motivational factors: competition, achievement, social Goal: social interaction and activities Goal: gameplay and achievement Interaction in game: discussion Interaction in game: functional Main business model: Micropayment Main business model: Game box + subscription Easy to start playing Suppose some game literacy Invited by friends Joined in with friends Typical game types: puzzle, card, action Typical game types: RPG, FPS, action Around 10% active players out of registered Around 80% active players out of registered users (after 6 months) users (after 6 months) New game genres Existing game genres
  12. Casual and HC MMO lifecycles Hard core MMO Entry Practise Mastery Burnout Recovery [2] Casual MMO Entry Explore Socialize Burnout Recovery [2] Wu-chang Feng et. al: MMORPG study 2007. Nick Yee: Daedalus project 2008.
  13. Player retention (% / month) 120 100 80 60 hc casual 40 20 [3] 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 [3] Data from public sources (e.g.Whirled, SL and WoW). Based on averages & estimations!
  14. Motivational factors in MMOs 12 10 8 6 Hard Core Casual 4 2 [4] 0 Social Enjoyment Competence Relaxation Appearance Recognition Liking Achievent (reputation) (advancement) [4] Partially based on Frederick Herzberg’s model of Motivational Theory (1959). Estimation!
  15. Click. Front page image from: Sarah Robbins-Bell: 33873024 Nick Yee: Wu-chang Feng et. al.: Forrester Research: Frederick Herzberg: The Motivation to Work (1959) Virtual goods summit presentations: