Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pathfinder Online: Goblinwork's Development Strategy

In case you haven't heard, there's a Pathfinder MMORPG in the works. It's being developed by a company called Goblin Works, and today they just made their first blog post detailing the upcoming development of the game. The post focuses largely on business aspects and broad development strategies, rather than anything specific, but there's a lot here to be learned!

I like a lot of what I'm hearing. I'm not experienced as an analyst, but companies don't typically talk about how little money they're spending on a game, so I would guess that this is the truth. In fact the entire post reads like something you would never hear a game developer say. Goblinworks admits to spending a minimum amount of cash, to reducing the amount of time they're going to be developing the game, and even to expecting to lose 75% of their new players every month. While this may be discouraging to some, it has been my experience that those who work with the least resources, tend to become the most resourceful.

I find the idea of a cap on new players to be a really cool one. By limiting new players to 4,500 a month, Goblinworks basically ensures that they'll be able to avoid the launch-day issues which have plagued every halfway decent MMO release. And by slowly, but steadily expanding the game as the player base grows, it seems like there will consistently be new and polished content released at a good clip. But maybe I'm reading too much into things.

I'm still taking the "wait and see" approach, but Pathfinder Online is starting to look a little shinier than I first dared to hope.

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