Paul Barnett, Mythic’s Creative Director, is front-lining a round of some very interesting interviews. MMOGamer has a brutally honest interview where the interviewer explains exactly why he stopped playing Warhammer Online. The piece seems very real and far away from any marketing agenda. There is also a video interview at Able Gamers, which is quite good. I love how Barnett explains things. He should have been in What the #$*! Do We Know!? or Life After People to also give his thoughts on quantum spirituality and mass extinction.
Anyway, in a follow up to the post on a highly-focused Chipotle MMO, I wanted to present an idea that Barnett gears toward in both interviews: asset-light games. Two snips from the interviews:
We’re getting more casual players, and wider audiences who are less obsessed with the old-school. You’ve got people who want to have their gaming time defined. “I’ve got half an hour before I’m going out. I know playing this game will only take half an hour,” or “I’ve got to put the kids to bed. I know that if I let them play this game, I can say ‘you’ve got one more level’,” knowing that one more level means 30 minutes and you can get them to bed. (from MMOGamer, emphasis mine)
So I think in the modern era you’re going to see more and more asset-light online games. You’re not going to see as many asset-heavy online games, purely because they cost too much money and I think that that’s how the market is going to diverge. So you’re going to have people who do things like . . they want to play Fishing online, asset-light. They throw the rod with their iphone. They really knock in buy using their little finger and they catch fish and they feel very happy, and it’s a sort of very shallow, very quick game and it doesn’t really take much effort. You play it maybe for a total of maybe 5-hours in your life but you play it in 2-minute chunks. There are going to be more games like that . . . fun, interesting. (from Able Gamers, emphasis mine)
I completely agree with Barnett. More and more online games are going to be designed for specific activities for a specific amount of time. I can only imagine what would happen if Popcap (you know, the other game company that prints their own currency) decided to make an MMO, but I would bet my bank account it would be a Chipotle MMO.
I’ll just ask the first sand creature I run into
Hat Tip: Sanya Weathers at MMORPG Examiner