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 Post subject: Beyond CAVCON 5
PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2010 7:29 pm 
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Location: Houston, Texas
This post is about the potential for Uru to succeed following the release of MagiQuest Online.

We've been so battered by past failures, we're forgetting just how good our current position is for a resurgence of this game.

As you all know, I spent $4 and 10 minutes and threw up some Facebook ads for my fansite (Urucontinues.com, which has gone through loads of revisions) and that generated some debate/controversy. :roll:

I can't recall the exact wording of the ads, but it had a little pic from Uru, and the text was something like:

Fantasy/adventure game Uru opens again for free
Visit this fansite for more information

The ad got 81 clicks. It was directed specifically at Facebook fans of "adventure games", "fantasy art" and "puzzles" - people I thought would actually like Uru if they knew about it.

Apparently some of the people who visited the site, maybe even most of them, ended up trying the game.

I know what I did was far from ideal. Companies like Cyan Worlds like to manage their public image; the ads I posted may not have been in line with the way Cyan wants Uru promoted.

I also recognize that asking a company to advertise a product (Uru) that currently has no reliable business model or means of recouping the promotional expenses - no subscription, no sale of content - just donations, and a poor past track record - sounds unrealistic.

I should've asked permission in advance to do this promotion of my fansite; and I didn't - for that I'm sorry. I screwed up pretty badly, which I always seem to do.

My intention with this and with some other things I did (sometimes misguided or wrong, as with certain articles) was mainly to promote the game and pull in players, and secondly to point out how easy it is to successfully promote Uru (especially when you're aiming your ad at the right niche groups).

I'll leave the promotional effort in Cyan's hands from now on and let them set the standards for how Uru should be promoted - but the reality is that I (and other fans) do love this game and want to see it become popular and successful.

We don't just want Uru to exist, we want it to grow and thrive, and it frustrates me (quite honestly) that there are so many adventure and puzzle gamers out there, who might love to play Uru, and who might become fans of the game - if only they knew it existed.

Truthfully, I think this game has never been adequately or competently promoted in past runs - not by Ubisoft, and not by Turner.

Cyan Worlds has the potential to do this correctly for the first time, because they *made* the game, they know what it is and who would be interested in it, and thankfully they are doing so (to some extent) but I think they can do more.

Since adventure games constitute 5.8% of the PC games market, according to the ESA, and that's a $1 billion market, so that's, what, $58 million in sales? There have been upwards of a million buyers on each of a long list of Myst titles - Myst, Riven, Myst 3, Myst IV...

If we had a million people with those, why is it that we don't have a million Uru players? Uru is realtime 3d, multiplayer, immersive, very large, and a very good game.

It seems to me that there are a few million adventure gamers out there, and many millions more who like puzzle games.

So I'd argue that we're setting our sights a bit too low here.

It looks to me like Cyan Worlds is within striking range on MQO - they may have it up now at any time - and if it's a hit, which I'm convinced it will be, they'll probably have a lot of cash on hand.

Why?

MagiQuest locations cost $500,000 - $4,000,000 to set up per location, and despite the cost of opening them, they're routinely profitable (despite) being tied to a specific place.

People pay in the $20 range for 90 minutes in a MagiQuest facility. It's expensive and yet the number of players is in the millions per year.

MQO has a built-in audience of millions who like MagiQuest already, and it's cheaper than the live-action version and can be played anywhere, unlike the live-action version.

These are decisive advantages which mean that MQO, whenever it's released, and if it is promoted well, could be a very strong seller, maybe even selling a million copies or more. Creative Kingdoms knows it's a good bet, which is why (despite severe delays in production) they're not giving up on the project.

It looks like, in summary, Cyan will come out of the deal with, at minimum, a few hundred thousand dollars, and quite possibly millions, in spare cash, and perhaps a steady flow of work on additional chapters of the game if it is a hit.

This is not even considering the prospects for an iPhone Riven, which allows Cyan Worlds another stream of work and a future stream of income.

The (potential) success of MQO could put them in a position to build on not one, but two MMO titles. Over 20% of people today in the United States play one or more MMOs, well above 5% just a few years ago. (Again, referring to ESA statistics)

Most people have broadband internet now, and MMOs have become a strong and growing chunk of the games market.

I think Cyan could (post-MQO) begin substantial development on Uru. Cyan could produce further open-source releases and integration of UCC, sale items, free items, and carefully placed ad campaigns, and build this into a hit.

I don't think Uru necessarily has to be a failure. With some advertising, word of mouth, and a flow of fresh fan content, we could see a strong growth in the number of players playing MO:ULagain, and that'd likely be enough to support sustained long-term development of the game on Cyan's part.

So, all of you - what do you think? Do you think this game could still be popular if it had more exposure?

Do you think after MQO is released, Cyan Worlds will be able to build Uru into a success?

How can Cyan build Uru into a successful property?


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2010 8:39 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 8:10 pm
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Location: CT, US
I think one way that we can subtly get the word out is signatures on other forums. I put the signature you see here on two other forums, and I know of at least one person who has signed up, and a few others who have asked about it.

It's subtle, simple, and not "advertising." I just happen to have a link pointing to mystonline.com on other forums ;)

By using a signature like this, you can get people's interest peaked (albeit minimally) and provide a form of contact in game with your KI number.

If anybody is interested in their own signature like mine, please send me a PM and I am totally willing to make some. If you'd like a specific image (for example your avatar), please send that as well.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 12:23 am 
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Awsome idea... :lol:

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 1:08 am 
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Ummm... is it just me or does some of the guis for magiquest look exactly the same as MOUL >_>"

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 2:40 am 
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pika, Magiquest uses the Myst Online Uru Live engine. It is essentially a reskin of MOUL with added animations/textures/geometry

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 4:56 am 
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Yeah, I kind of looked up Magiquest Online on wikipedia and found out that is was being developed Cyan Worlds right after I asked that question.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 11:08 am 
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We could arrange a "money bomb"...

...like, those are en vogue.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 1:06 pm 
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For me, the future of URU is in open source. I don't think I can handle them suddenly taking back the reins and reviving the DRC characters and Yeesha and the Bahro. That seems like looking backwards, trying to return to a glorious past instead of looking forward and dreaming of a glorious future. If they get enough money that they could make another MMO on top of making URU open source I would want them to create something new, not resuscitate something that had died. I would support a whole new MMO, but I don't think they can leave URU; their IP is bound to that game. How about though a whole new set of characters with a different back story and different motives, maybe even even a different base Age ( i.e. The Great King Returns, the Judges of Yahvo return, the Temple of the Great King is opened, an Age is found with a functioning society of D'ni exiles). In summary, if everything turns out as wonderful as Matt predicts it might, I'd rather see new life than resuscitated life.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 1:18 pm 
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Open source means we get the source for the engine and tools and we can mean our Ages. It doesn't exclude any Cyan story. Cyan has said so many times, they plan to release the source and they hope they can move the story further along, with or without help from fans.


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