How Rift can pull more subscribers away from other MMOs

How Rift can pull more subscribers away from other MMOs

How Rift can pull more subscribers away from other MMOs

Published on: Jan 28, 2012 at 16:00
Updated on: Feb 18, 2012 at 19:44
By TJSonntag | Get more infos about MMORPG Rift

When Rift launched in March 2011, World of Warcraft was boasting over 11 million subscribers. Over the course of the year, however, WoW has dropped nearly a million of those. Is it a coincidence that Rift’s subscriber base is pretty close to that same number? Probably not.

It’s not surprising that people may leave WoW to come try out Rift, just as they did for Age of Conan, Warhammer Online, Aion and now Star Wars: The Old Republic. When a game approaches 8 years of consistent online play, of course players will start to hunger for something new. With most newly released MMOs, however, the players leave WoW for a bit, check out the new title, and then eventually wander back when the new game doesn’t live up to the hype or becomes boring.

There are ways for Rift to keep taking subs away from WoW, if they’re only prepared to take some risks. While Blizzard Entertainment continues to ignore certain factions of their player base in WoW, those people are becoming more and more dissatisfied with the game. Role players struggle to find a niche in WoW, especially with the recent ham-fisted handling of a huge lore event. When the Cataclysm erupted, it all happened offline. Players logged in following a patch and found their world forever changed. Blizz could have catered to those players by making even an online cut scene depicting Deathwing’s destruction of Azeroth, but they didn’t.

Blizzard has also done several things to alienate the GLBT community within their player base. A recent video from supported music act Elite Tauren Chieftains caused quite an uproar with its homophobic message, and the community managers at Blizzard were forced to sheepishly apologize. On the flip side, Rift will soon be offering in-game marriages, and if the PTR is to be believed, same sex marriages will be possible. In contrast with WoW, where social interactions and community building are being discouraged by cross server groups, dungeons, and raids, the addition of in game marriages is quite highly anticipated.

What else could Rift do to pull in those players who have had it with WoW? One of the simplest answers to that question concerns player housing and guild halls. Give players a place to display trophies and armor sets, and give guilds a place to just hang out and chat while crafting, and you’ll go far toward creating a tighter community base.

Be sure to check back in here at often, and we’ll let you know as soon as any other big Rift developments happen. If you hear something first, drop us a line in the comments and let us know!

TJSonntag's gaming bio:
TJ Sonntag has owned various Nintendo, Sega, Sony, and Microsoft consoles, most of which were purchased for an exclusive survival horror game or RPG. She has been playing World of Warcraft since July of 2006, as well as dabbling in several other MMOs such as Guild Wars, Lord of the Rings: Online, Dungeons and Dragons Online and Warhammer: Age of Reckoning. TJ has participated in the closed and open betas for Aion, Rift, and several WoW expansions. She also participates in several FTP MMO betas, and has been leveling a member of each Secret Society in The Secret World.


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