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5-06-2010 @ 12:09PM
Sure, they definitely design the game to be fun. And they go into it trying to make a fun game, too. I'm not arguing that the game is or isn't fun. But if the choice is between "making the game fun" and "making the game maintain its subscriber base," they're going to err on the side of the latter. And it's true that a lot of the time that the two dovetail together.However, they do also use things like psychological studies on randomized rewards, slot machine payout schemes, and the like to make the game "fun" in a way that's similar to the way that pulling on the one-armed bandit is to a gambler. I used to work in the gaming industry, and I still have friends who work there, including on MMOs, and they'll readily admit this. They try to make the "game" portion of the game fun, too, because they're gamers at heart; that's why WoW is WoW and not Farmville, where there's not really much of a game. However, they acknowledge that that's not really enough to keep a subscriber base. So, back to loading up food pellets and oiling the lever.As I said before, I play the game. I enjoy it. I'll almost certainly be playing Cataclysm. It's a good game. But it's also designed to make you keep paying up, and not simply because it's fun.
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