Success has many fathers, while failure is an orphan.
— exactly the opposite of what we’re talking about here
We are reviewing contract bids at work, and we are having trouble convincing the official buyer that you can lose a quarter of the available points for each of a dozen or more problems. He thinks it is absurd that X could be worth 25% of the whole scoring total. I am at the opposite extreme: if you cut half a leg off a chair, it has only lost 1/8 of the leg content, but I’d say the entire chair just failed even if the seat and back are really good. A system can have many single points of failure, and doing badly at any of them means the entire thing fails. If your MMO does not have a network connection, it is worthless, even if the content is really good.
So I am not entirely in disagreement when you say that Game X failed because it did not have your particular hobbyhorse. It had PvP/no PvP/wrong PvP; it was/was not F2P; it’s combat or guilds or crafting or achievements were this, that or the other — all fine. It is entirely possible for a game to fail on many points, each of which could be worth unsubscribing, or perhaps any one of several combinations of them. We, the online ramblers, tend to ascribe it to the world’s agreeing with our personal preferences, so every other game that comes out should cater to my whims or you’ll be the next Dawn, but we are not even necessarily disagreeing when we say that Game X failed because of ten different reasons. Yes, any or all of them, shame on Game X.
Should we also stop calling games failed when they are still online, running, and profitable? NC Soft has certainly had (enforceable) opinions on what characterizes sufficient return on investment.