Tobold has an interesting post up mostly about Star Wars: The Old Republic fortune telling. I must say I did laugh at his response to the financial analyst not understanding the MMO genre because “MMORPG’s release date is independent of their state of readiness.” Tobold had another thought buried at the end, more about Rift:
Anecdotal evidence suggests that Rift is doing well, but not quite as spectacularly as the initial hype suggested. Bloggers like syncaine pulled a Keen and now post mostly critical things about Rift, or have just silently dropped the game.
I think that this is a two-part problem. First, the only reason Tobold seems to expect some announcement is because Rift, like many other MMOs, is a subscription game. It has an end point where a gamer can definitively say “I am no longer playing this game because I am not subscribed.” Compare that to any other game, which a gamer can have installed, and the line gets much more hazy. I have not played Guild Wars for a few weeks, but I feel I am still active with the game’s community and ready to jump back on anytime. I am definitely not going to write a good-bye post on a game I have played actively for 6 years!
Second, even though subscription games have this definitive line, I do not think it is a blogger’s duty to announce un-subscribing. I did not announce my unsubscription to Rift (as opposed to when I did for Warhammer Online) because I unsubscribed as a happy customer. I got what I came for. Now I have other games to play. It isn’t like Rift failed; it’s just not what I subjectively need right now. I am happy right now with Trackmania and Team Fortress 2, while I still dabble in some other MMOs.
Is it some evidence of MMO success when a blogger goes to other pastures? By all means if the crystal ball is already out, might as well go the distance. Rift, objectively, seems to be chugging along quite nicely even if it’s press honeymoon is now over.