Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Game Dev Tycoon - Burning Crusade

 
 This is something I didn't get around to posting until now. The ending to my Game Dev Tycoon game where I made World of Warcraft.
 
After the Thrall and Jaina's Painting Adventure for the Nintendo DS fiasco, subscriptions of World of Warcraft MMO were at an all time low (1.5 million subscribers, nearly half the number at launch).
 
After Painting Adventure was released, the team were given some training then rest. Once back from vacation work started on an expansion for World of Warcraft called Burning Crusade. After a year the game was finished and it was released. The staff assignments for making the expansion were identical to the settings used during classic WoW.
 
 
Burning Crusade got a 9.0, not a 10, but that would do. It boosted subscribers up to an all time high of 3.8 Million.
 
The team were given vacations and training over the next year. The next expansion would be Wrath of the Lich King and it had to be better. After the team was back from their vacation and training, work began on Wrath.
 
Then I went bankrupt.
 
 
Then Zynga purchased my company and IPs. Now that is just rubbing salt into the wound!
 
So what when wrong? Costs of keeping WoW online and costs making the expansions exceeded the income I was making from subscriptions.
 
Subscriptions were down because I think the two year development cycle seemed too long and the fans grew disinterested with the game.
 
 
 Unlike real-world WoW, you can't have two teams, one doing patches during an expansion and the other team developing the next expansion. You got one team with no patches to add content, only expansions  So that means I need to release expansions at a much quicker rate.
 
The first year of the cycle was just training with a vacation at the start and the end. The training was so that Wrath of the Lich King would be an improvement over Burning Crusade. The vacation was to give the team a rest after making Burning Crusade then a rest to be ready to make Wrath.

The second year was supposed to be 50% Development. 50% QA.  That is the game would be made in the first six months then the bugs would be fixed in the other six months. Then the game would launch bug free.
 
I went bankrupt during QA. Active subscribers were down to 1.57 million people at that time.
 
So what did I learn?
1- Cut back on training and QA so the development cycle is only a year. So maybe 2.5% Vacation, 50% Development, 40% QA, and 7.5% Training.
 
2 - Don't make a Warcraft Themed Painting Adventure game for the Nintendo DS.
 
1 - Be willing to pull the plug on an unprofitable game haemorrhaging money, killing a company that used to have a billion dollars.
 
 Complete Simulated History:
 
Simulated World of Warcraft Started = Y50 M11 W4
E3 - 2,47 million visitors
Simulated World of Warcraft Released = Y51 M11 W3
Average Score = 10/10 
 
WoW Year 1: Game Year 52
Simulated Q1: 2.76 Million Subscribers
Simulated Q2: 2.10 Million Subscribers

Painting Adventure Started = Y52 M6 W4
Simulated Q3: 2.67 Million Subscribers
Simulated Q4: 2.27 Million Subscribers
Painting Adventure Released = Y52 M11 W4
Average Score: 4/10
 
WoW Year 2: Game Year 53
Simulated Q1: 1.50 Million Subscribers
Simulated Q2: 1.47 Million Subscribers
Simulated Q3: 2.33 Million Subscribers
Simulated Burning Crusade Started = Y53 M9 W4
Simulated Q4: 2.27 Million Subscribers
 
WoW Year 3: Game Year 54
Simulated Q1: 2.03 Million Subscribers
Simulated Q2: 1.47 Million Subscribers
Simulated Q3: 1.17 Million Subscribers
Simulated Burning Crusade Release = Y54 M9 W3
Average Score = 9/10 
Simulated Q4: 2.80 Million Subscribers
 
WoW Year 4: Game Year 55
Simulated Q1: 3.80 Million Subscribers
Simulated Q2: 2.97 Million Subscribers
Simulated Q3: 2.90 Million Subscribers
Simulated Q4: 2.47 Million Subscribers
Simulated Wrath of the Lich King Started = Y55 M12 W1
 
WoW Year 5: Game Year 56
Simulated Q1: 1.53 Million Subscribers
Simulated Q2: 1.57 Million Subscribers
BANKRUPT - Y56 M8 W1
Scheduled Wrath of the Lich King Release = Y54 M11 W4
 
In real WoW's 5th year (2009) in Q2 they had 12 million subscribers.
 
Winner: Real World version of World of Warcraft.
Loser: Simulated version of World of Warcraft.

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