Real Life Scenario Report

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Real Life Scenario Report

Real Life Scenario Report


Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPGs) are modern games that provide a persistent 3D virtual world to support thousands of people playing together on the Internet (Ducheneaut, Yee, Nickell, & Moore, 2006). According to a marketing research report by DFC-Intelligence, the online game industry has created a big market share in today's entertainment industry (DFC-Intelligence, 2006). This genre of games, such as World of Warcraft, Lineage and EverQuest, has spawned a multi-billion dollar market and has attracted over 16 million subscribers worldwide (Woodcock, 2008). Therefore, the MMORPG industry is no longer a youth-oriented business but creates a digital entertainment lifestyle popular among youth and adults alike.

However, although the MMORPG industry is growing rapidly, many game companies struggle to become profitable because there are so many new games introduced to the market each year. Researchers have stated that only a few games can survive in the competitive game market (Hsu, Lee, & Wu, 2005). Therefore, game companies cannot delay in finding a good product design strategy for increasing their competitive advantage and enabling them to survive in the game market (Fitzsimmons, Kouvelis, & Mallick, 1991).

MMORPGs are developed by groups of specialists in the fields of art, programming and design. These teams design various different systems such as animation, sound and music, story, databases and servers and programming (Kelly, 2004). In addition, each of these systems has several design features, including several implementation levels as well as different costs (Hsu, Lee, & Wu, 2006). In general, game developers do not perfectly implement all of the features of the games, due to the constraints of development resources (e.g., human resources and money) and the time-to-market pressure of the product.

Based on this research background, the game developers do not consider the importance of these design features on an equal footing. They must identify the relative importance of the various game design features in order to allocate the resources of product development. However, the game developers cannot rank the importance of these design features only according to their previous experience and personal expectations, as earlier research on the development of MMORPGs has indicated that the perceived importance of game features differed significantly between the developers and the users (Choi, Kim, & Kim, 1999). Some design features that the game developers consider to be important may not be considered important by the users. Therefore, according to the philosophy of product development, designers should follow a user-oriented approach. This is, designers must understand the users' basic needs as well as their initial expectations of the product (Norman, 2002).

Studies have investigated the topic of game design from a user-oriented approach ([Choi et al., 1999], [Malone, 1981] and [Yee, 2006]). In MMORPGs, Choi et al. (1999) classified the game design factors into users' perceived fun and cognitive fun. They proposed a hierarchical structure to model users' overall experiences of fun and then suggested several design features to implement the concept of fun into the games. Another study was conducted by Yee (2006), who classified the motivational ...
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