Paper about MMORPG decline: Lineage versus WoW

What’s Wrong With the Mighty Lord?: Empirical Study on the Decline of Lineage 2 by JunSok, Huhh is an interesting paper about the decline of a specific MMORPG: Lineage (versus others).

The purpose of this article is to take empirical tests for presumed causes of Linege 2 ’s declining trend. Using time usage data of Lineage 2(L2), Kart Riders(Kart) and World of Worldcraft(WoW) collected from PC-bangs, we take statistical tests on the rivalry hypothesis among games. Results show that there is no consistent evidence that L2 ’s falling down is caused by the success of Kart or WoW. Instead, it is clearly identified that the trend of RMT had a respectable impacts on L2 in comparison to L1. All the test result implies that in-game factors such as RMT played a more decisive role in L2 ’s decline than external factors like tougher competition.

Why do I blog this? this is an important dimension: how MMORPG will do in the long run, what would be the features game designers will work out to sustain the enthusiasm? The paper brings some elements but there are still left issues (for instance how do you make people from different levels playing altogether?).