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Ease of Access - Case Studies in Accessibility and Popularity of MMOGs

Posted Mon, Oct 05, 2009 by Sardu

Ask just about anyone in the industry for one word to describe why World of Warcraft is so successful, and if they don't say "Blizzard," they'll likely say "accessibility." What does accessibility mean? Is it as simple as lowering the barriers to entry or offering casual players a shot at succeeding in the endgame? We'll attempt to define accessibility, then examine three case studies in an accessible MMO, an inaccessible MMO that by many accounts failed, and an inaccessible MMO that became a success story.

Assuming a game makes it into the home of thousands or even millions of customers, how fun is the game? This stage of accessibility can be viewed as the real meat of the product design, and may have a larger contribution to customer retention than the other two phases. The whole purpose of a game is entertainment, and that is, to have fun. What makes a game fun is largely subjective, but most will agree there are some key components here too.
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