... the ugly truth is self-evident: The Secret World has failed to garner the following that it frankly deserved.Tobold has this to say:
I'm baffled. How exactly does a game "deserve" a following?The same way a high quality, but poorly performing television show "deserves" a larger following, Meneer Stoutfoot. Shows like Firefly, Fringe, and even Star Trek never garnered the following they deserved (note these are all Sci-Fi shows) and were canceled. (OK, Fringe is on for another 13 episodes, so it can have a 100-ep. syndication package.) Is that a reflection on their quality? I say no, it is a reflection on their marketability. Shows like Survivor, American Idol, and Keeping Up With the Kardashians are not better simply because they have huge ratings. Why make the same assumption about video games based on sales figures?
My good friend, Victor Stillwater, chimes in on Tobold's comments with my actual Quote of the Day:
I like vacuums, they suck, kind of like the argument that GW2 is better than TSW simply because it sold more... because that argument assumes that all of mankind lives in some kind of non-complex vacuum of ignorance and disconnect about a variety of issues...Tobold's unwavering faith in Homo economicus is sadly misplaced, I fear. As much as I love Economics, not every model in the Dismal Science is equally valid. Sure, in theory, everyone acts rationally given the information available to them. However, in practice, people are not necessarily given all the information required to make a good choice. And especially in relation to art and entertainment, personal preference is highly subjective, as are the choices people make. For instance, you see far more people flocking to a rock concert than to an opera or symphony, despite similar costs. But you'd be hard pressed to say that rock and roll is better than classical music, and frankly, the converse is true, as well.
There is, of course, a certain hauteur in claiming that one's own preference is superior because it is the road less traveled. Opera goers can pat themselves on the back at their refined tastes, while the rabble attend that rock concert; both groups forgetting all the while that at its inception, opera was the rock concert—the popular music of the time. And like classic rock from our youth vs. the "noise" of today, we only remember the good songs, having forgotten the forgettable.
Is GW2 better than TSW? They're different in many ways, but alike in some key ones. TSW is definitely more niche (not a four-letter word), just as the horror and sci-fi genres are of limited appeal to readers and TV watchers. I like them both. I like that TSW doesn't treat me like a child. Ragnar Tornquist and his dev team expect more of me as a player. That creates an extra investment in some but is a turn-off for others.
GW2 is more relaxing. I jump in and find something to do. I can explore, do a DE or a heart quest, toss a keg in PvP, whatever. I don't log in to a laundry list of quests driving me to achieve. I like that, too. And it's bright and cheery.
I like playing both GW2 and TSW. They are my current main games. Economics could be termed Choice-ology, since it is the study of the choices we make in the face of scarcity. Given my scarcity of time and resources, I am choosing to forgo Mists of Pandaria.
So let me end with one last quote, this one from Tim, another commenter on Tobold's post:
There are enough gamers out there with different tastes that we ought to be applauding the development of niche games, not reinforcing the fallacious notion that There Can Be Only One MMO.