Richard Garriott: Blizzard Will Have to Contend with the 'Zyngas of the World'

November 2, 2011 -

Richard Garriott, the man behind Ultima Online and the Ultima series, says that Blizzard Entertainment (and other big publishers like EA) face new challenges from the "Zyngas of the world."

Garriott is saying these kinds of things because he considers his new company Portalarium to fit within that category. IndustryGamers recently asked him if that means he considers himself "a new challenger to Blizzard," he responded by saying, "I hope that's exactly right." While Portalarium has worked on casual casino style games, Garriott tells IndustryGamers that one of his upcoming projects will target the core gaming audience, and will provide an experience "much more like Ultima Online than people might expect."

"Right now, where those worlds seem very distinct, and very separate, and very noncompetitive, they’re targeting completely different users - I think within a few years, you’ll see that’s not really the case. I think you’ll see that the quality level that comes up through the casual games will rival the quality of traditional massively multiplayer games and then, because it’s not something you have to subscribe to, because it’s something that virally spreads, and especially because, as people churn out of a big MMO they’ve got to go somewhere. And if you’re a company that does only one big MMO, odds are they’re churning out for somebody else," Garriott asserted.

According to Garriott's view of the industry, it is going through what he calls a major upheaval right now, similar to how single player RPGs evolved and companies formed to populate the MMORPG space.

"The only reason I left EA is because EA didn’t want to make MMOs. I started again with a company called Destination Games, and we sold it to NCsoft. The only reason I left NCsoft - or, more complexly, the only reason a whole group of us left NCsoft- was because we started a casual gaming portal called PlayNC. We had built a whole suite of products for it and NCsoft said, 'You know. We’re making so much money on MMOs, we don’t really believe in this casual stuff.' So we all split off to form Portalarium. That’s the only reason that I’ve switched, and more importantly, the people who are at the big companies of a previous era very commonly miss these shifts. The only reason NCSoft exists is because the big solo player gaming companies failed to fill the gap once MMOs were discovered. None of them had the faith enough to continue it and allow new players to step in."

Garriott goes on to say that the only reason Zynga exists is because the big companies failed to step in and fill the space.

"The only reason Zynga exists is because people like EA, people like Blizzard, failed to step in. And so each of these major upheavals allows new, major corporations to come in and fill that space, which I think is to the great detriment, and then leaves the big companies of the previous iteration actually trying to catch up. And so I think that the challenge for Blizzard, when you are that good, when you’re making that much money, when you’re that much on top of your game, in the current era, it’s actually fairly difficult to spend money towards things that seem to not be as profitable, that people don’t understand as well and that you don’t imagine could possibly beat how well you’re doing at the top of your game in the current era. And so that I think is a risk for anyone, including Blizzard, that they will elect not to tackle that one, because they don’t see that it’s important and relevant."

Source: IndustryGamers


Comments

Re: Richard Garriott: Blizzard Will Have to Contend with the ...

Well, the difference is Blizzard is an actually game Developer, and we aren't forced to make fake friends to play it.

Re: Richard Garriott: Blizzard Will Have to Contend with the ...

He is entirely correct. @lomdr: Zygna has always been a hack company ripping off other people's work, in my opinion at least. There are other guys out there in the same market putting out much better games that will keep the users Zynga is losing.

Re: Richard Garriott: Blizzard Will Have to Contend with the ...

Thing is though, Lord British, Zynga is hemorraging users now.  Just wanted to say

 
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E. Zachary KnightHere is some food for thought for gamergaters who want politics out of games journalism. https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20141026/06425828942/journalists-need-point-view-if-they-want-to-stay-relevant.shtml10/30/2014 - 7:18am
quiknkoldI didnt say all games are like that, Conster. Princess Peach was....different. though I had fun with it.10/30/2014 - 7:00am
james_fudgehttp://www.somethingawful.com/news/gamergate-with-cats/10/30/2014 - 5:20am
MechaTama31AE: Japan's doujin scene illustrates an interesting potential solution to that problem. Let people play around with the characters, and keep an eye on things to see what people are buying.10/30/2014 - 12:07am
ConsterI bought, played and liked the game (unlike Smash Basketball *shakes fist*), but that felt iffy to me.10/29/2014 - 10:52pm
Consterquiknkold: if Super Princess Peach had been Super Prince Peach instead, do you think emotions would've been a mechanic?10/29/2014 - 10:51pm
quiknkoldcore meaning Colossus, Storm, Wolverine, and Nightcrawler10/29/2014 - 8:51pm
quiknkoldMatthew, those core x-men were together for almost 2 decades, until one would always be dead so they couldnt have them all together.10/29/2014 - 8:51pm
quiknkoldmore of an unknown. background characters mostly, who had a book but it was mostly a waste. they bring in this powderkeg of diversity and boom. now they could do the same thing and with the right artist and writer and mystique to it...10/29/2014 - 8:50pm
Matthew Wilsondoes it though? they always seem to return to the original cast in a year or two.10/29/2014 - 8:49pm
quiknkoldWhen I think of the perfect catalyst of a melting pot hero team, I think of the All New All Different X-Men. A Russian, A African goddess, A Canadian Berzerker, a German elf, and Cyclops. and all have withstood the test of time mostly cause the x-men were10/29/2014 - 8:49pm
Andrew EisenOne reason is because the money people are often afraid it won't sell. "A new IP AND the protagonist is gay?! That'll never work!" Showing that diverse characters can work in popular IP is simply a place to start. The indie scene is another.10/29/2014 - 8:47pm
Matthew Wilsonisnt that the point? why not just make new heroes that are different races, sexual orientations, and genders to start with?10/29/2014 - 8:46pm
Andrew EisenYep, progress is a lot slower than it should be (especially for something that shouldn't have been a problem in the first place).10/29/2014 - 8:45pm
quiknkoldrelevent. Hazmat and X-23. while Reptile, Mettle, Rockslide, Anole, Hellion, Dust, Mercury are all relegated to background characters with zero character enhancement. or they are dead10/29/2014 - 8:45pm
quiknkoldThat has a chance of happening. But its a cosmic scale gamble. They cant all end up like Captain Marvel, once a sidekick and now queen badass. but with Marvel? Look at New X-Men and Avengers Academy. a plethora of new characters, and only 2 are still10/29/2014 - 8:44pm
Andrew EisenIt is a gimmick, albeit one with some good intentions. Plus, it can potentially lead the way to the things you want to see such as new characters.10/29/2014 - 8:41pm
quiknkoldcomes in as a gimmick.10/29/2014 - 8:38pm
quiknkoldI really dont care that Thor is a woman now because they way theyve written it is that Thor will regain his hammer, and the female thor will either fade away or get a new name and eventually writers are going to forget about her like everybody else that10/29/2014 - 8:38pm
quiknkoldother things are a target. Comics are another big one. Genderswapping and race swapping and sexual pref swap characters is happening alot. I'd rather just have all new characters that are female and whatever.10/29/2014 - 8:37pm
 

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