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Thursday, February 9, 2006
 

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Neverwinter Nights Interview
7:47 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Bioware's Jay Watamaniuk was recently interviewed for a new Neverwinter Nights article in the most recent issue of The Escapist. The original interview and the resulting feature article are now available to read. Both focus on the importance of the player community in keeping games like NWN alive several years after their initial release.

From the interview:

Do you have any numbers you could give me about how many people who bought NWN are part of the "active" community or even ever played it online?

A very tough question to answer actually. The usual pattern for someone who bought and played Neverwinter Nights is that they were part of the community for a certain amount of time before moving on, while at the same time new people have purchased the game and have joined. This moving target of a population ensures the community stays thriving and active. I can note that everyone who bought the game AND signed up to be part of our community is about 2.7 million people (we display the exact number on our NWN site) but that is not an indicator of who is active right now. As far as who of that population is playing online I direct you to GameSpy's ranking of top online game servers where 3 and half years after it was released Neverwinter Nights is in the top 10 and is the only roleplaying game I can see on the list. That is mind-boggling.

From the Escapist article:
One avid Neverwinter Nights (NWN) player posted a request on the BioWare board. He was concerned because when a player logs out of NWN then logs back in again, their hit points reset. This feature has become a cheat on fan-created persistent worlds. Some BioWare employees that frequent the board happened to see the post and explained it's designed that way. After all, it's not a MMOG, it's a traditional RPG.

Soon, a minor feeding frenzy began, as several other persistent world makers complained that BioWare was ignoring them. They demanded better support! One poster claimed to have sold 10 copies of the game to his friends, and he felt this entitled him to some attention.

Now, as I do the math, even if we assume this poster sold NWN and both of its expansion packs to all of his friends - all at their maximum prices - it's unlikely BioWare received more than $200-400 of that money. I suspect the - count 'em - 18 patches (so far) BioWare has released for NWN (most of which were full of goodies that will never be used in the single player campaign) have already been more than a fair exchange for that money.

To read both the interview and article follow the links below.

Jay Watamaniuk Interview
The Escapist: NWN Article
BioWare
MacSoft
Neverwinter Nights
Buy Neverwinter Nights


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