WildStar Dev Describes the MMO “Arms Race”

WildStar is being built with fast and consistent updates in mind.WildStar Warcry 3x3

There are a lot of MMOs and every single one of them is, to an extent, vying for the same audience. Sure you can split things off into folks who like different genres and styles and such, but at the end of the day there is a limited pool of people willing to put in the time and dedication that an online game can demand. The competition for player’s attention has, in turn, led to what some in the MMO industry would term an “arms race” as developers fight for players’ play time.

According to Jeremy Gaffney of Carbine Studios, the studio behind the MMO WildStar, updates and content drops lie at the center of the competition. “In China they went for the sort of normal three-month patch cycle for most of their games…Then some bright group was there who said, ‘We’re going to do it in two months’, and they got more users, then someone else was like, ‘We’ll do a big update in a month.'” According to Gaffney, releases escalated until “weekly or bi-weekly” updates became a norm. “It’s like this arms race for how much new stuff can you add in the game, because it turns out people crave it.”

Unfortunately, this rapid pace can be “very hard” for some developers. Keeping the difficulties of speedy updates in mind, Carbine has “tooled from an early stage to try and have that rapid update cycle” with WildStar. To do this the studio has developed the game to be easily modifiable giving the developers easy-to-use tools to aid in the creation of dynamic events and gameplay additions. “We’ve been believers for quite a long while that frequency of quality updates is something that players really reward,” said Gaffney, and if Carbine has its way, WildStar will be a game geared to deliver those updates often and on a regular basis.

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