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February 02, 2009



Playing directly in the browser without any special downloads is pretty important. At least it was a couple of years ago.

Dr. Azrael Tod

I too think the important part is "you dont have to install it!", so even Daddy wont cry about the wasted space on his harddrive and there is no need for 2h installations.

BTW: i still think some of the best RPGs EVER are 2D... just think of Zelda3, Fallout 1/2 Bahamut Lagoon or my favourite: Chrono Trigger.
There is no direct need for good graphics in RPGs, much more important is a good Story and a nice Gameplay.


Runescape is as 3d as you can get - not sure where the 2.5d thing comes from? I'm not sure I'd class it as a kids game either. It's probably slightly more accessible than other mmo's such as WOW but that's only because of the delivery format. The actual game is quite deep and has a heck of a lot of content.

The earnings don't surprise me either. They are all good games with stacks of content and a very low barrier to entry.


Flash == installed base. Isn't it as simple as that?

Raph made a similar comment recently.


Having thought about the list now...

Where's webkinz? The biz model's different, but you could argue that half of the retail take is payment for a year's subscription on the mmo/vw.

Where's kart rider?


That's probably the biggest reason (being able to run in-browser is a big one, too). Last year I was working on a kid-targeted MMO, and our (Korean) parent company wanted it to be a 2D platformer, a la Maple Story. Even though it was completely inappropriate for the IP (and it was a big-name IP at that), they just wanted the game to be made cheaply. The cost of assets and technology for 3D games is quite a bit higher, the number of workers needed is higher and the overall complexity is higher. In addition, if you go 2D, Flash/Shockwave (and any number of other middleware options) are viable, and they drop costs too. (All the decent 3D MMO middleware is hugely expensive.)


I wonder if Cartoon Network's FusionFall will do well, since it's 3D.

Kevin Marks

Runescape runs in 3D fullscreen now too, and it's Java based, not Flash. Hence my son asking 'can I get Java on my iPod Touch?'


Part of Runescape's success has to be attributed to the in-browser access, and that it's web based vs client download. This makes it a good choice for kids that want to play via computers in the school lab or library where they aren't allowed to install software.

When I've dropped by the public library in Seattle or Portland over the past couple years, there are always at least 3-4 machines being used to play runescape.


Oops, what got left out of my response above is that because 2D is so much cheaper, most MMOs are 2D, and since developers really don't want to spend much money on online games aimed at kids, kid's games are even more likely to be 2D. (I can't think of more than a couple MMOs aimed at kids that are actually 3D.) Considering also that a game with a given budget can either be a feature-rich 2D game, or a not-so-feature-rich 3D game, the real question is: Why aren't 2D MMOs MORE popular than they are?


Pfft, this game fails to the newest Side Scroller RPG, http://dragonica.thqice.com/
and for a pic http://dragonica.thqice.com/custom/images/screenshots/Dragonica09040111084504.jpg

like i said, maple story fails so much.

Coach Outlet Stores Online

Oh Lance!

This was amazingly beautiful! When my step dad left my mom she took her anger out of my sisters and I. She would literally joke and say she was not the mama. That truly made us feel abandoned, but I've always had God and my sisters.

This was an excellent post!

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