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Why Do Some Multiplayer Games Work While Others Do Not?
Written By Sam Shipp

When I was recently playing Call of Duty: Black Ops, I started to think.  Why do some multiplayer games turn out to be really good while others just stink?  I mean, most multiplayer games rely on the same formula, pit two different teams against each other and let them kill everyone for a certain period of time.  It is a pretty simple concept.  But, why do games like MAG get brushed over while games like Call of Duty and Battlefield break under the strain of millions of people?  All of these games are relatively similar, with the biggest differences being game types and what you are allowed to do with the environment. 
I thought about this for a couple of days and finally came up with a list.

       New Concepts:
New concepts are one of the biggest problems for new multiplayer games coming into the market.  Why would I buy a game that is exactly like Call of Duty, but with less polish?  Either a new multiplayer game tries to be way to ambitious, like putting over 200 people on the map (MAG), or they just do not try.  Games that are way to ambitious never hit the pinnacle of what they wanted to do and they are unable to fully polish the other parts.  MAG wanted to put over 200 people on one match.  This worked, but the overall experience felt small and unpolished.  Other games, like Lead and Gold, just copied an established game. The entire time I was playing Led and Gold, I felt like I was playing Team Fortress 2.  There is nothing wrong with that, but I would much rather play the already established game than a mimic of an already established game. 

             Something Special:
Most of the new multiplayer games are coming out with the same stuff an established franchise was coming out with 3 years ago.  These developers try to make the game feel special, but they are just not able to.   They lack the necessary time and budget to improve on there game.   These developers might have started developing their game when Call of Duty 3 came out.  They would have thought of having the new concept of completely customizable character and the only way to do that was with in-game points. However, by the time they had finally finished developing and they set a release date, Call of Duty: Black Ops had come out, making their ideas old news.

     The Game Everyone Plays:
I, as a gamer, would like to play video games with my friends.  If all my friends own Call of Duty, I will spend my money on buying Call of Duty instead of buying a new franchise.  The main source of my multiplayer chooses rely on what my friends buy.  If they buy this game, I will buy this game, even if that game is a lot better.  In my opinion, that is the only reason why Call of Duty is able to sell so many copies.  When all my friends were talking about World at War, I could not talk to them about it because I did not own the game and it annoyed me.  So, by the time that Modern Warfare 2 came out, I really badly wanted a Call of Duty game, even if it was going to be a bad game, I would have bought it.

The multiplayer market is a very difficult area for new games.  Not all of the new games are able to get recognized and become popular.  But the games that are able to do this tend to be really good.  Maybe, that is why this unconscious system is in place.  Through this system, people are able to see what video games are good, and what games they should not waste their money on.

One Response so far.

  1. AK says:

    I think new concepts are great. They keep the gaming industry interesting, but I see your point. Any game that is made like a better, more well known game will do bad, but that really is not a new concept. A new concept is like the Assassin's Creed Brotherhood Multiplayer, my favorite multiplayer mode ever (I think I'll write a review on ACB). It introduced a whole new type of gameplay, and it doesn't build on or take away from an already established one.

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