Why couldn't PotCOnline be a big hit?

I was fiddling around online this morning and ended up at the Pirates of the Caribbean Online site - if you’ve not heard of it, it’s a Disney MMORPG that is launching this fall. Other than that, I don’t think there’s a lot of info out about it. They have some videos on the website, and the graphics look tolerable, but nothing really impressive. There’s swordfighting, ship battles, voodoo magic, sailing a ship, poker playing in saloons, and all sort of pirate-y things to do.

I looked at the system requirements, and they were horribly low - something like a 800 MHz P3 and a 256k graphics card, and I thought: this game gets very little respect, if you will, in the gamer community, but what’s gonna keep it from being a big hit? Consider:

  • a well known, well-liked franchise
  • appealing subject matter
  • a backer with deep pockets
  • low system requirements

That’s what we have here. What other game had those same qualities? That’s right, World of Warcraft!

Now I’m not by any means saying PotCOnline will have 8 bajillion users, and for all we (I) know it could be Toontown with pirate skins, but I it seems that people are completely discounting it for games like Pirates of the Burning Sea or Warhammer Online - but the casual gamer, who doesn’t have an 8800GTX or a dual core processor - very well may look at PotCOnline, see pirates, swordfights, ship battles, and the chance to meet Jack Sparrow in the game and think “that game looks like fun. I think I’ll try it.”

I would say mostly because every PotC game they’ve released so far with the exception of Sea Dogs 2 (which was just rebranded to carry the PotC name and has almost nothing to do with PotC) has been pretty horrible.

…and even the the rebranded version of SD2 was pretty awful.

It’s a gaming franchise with a ruined brand that’ll have to compete with PotBS.

It’s a game based on a movie.

'nuff said.

It’s done by the same folks who did ToonTown Online, which had some quality design.

It will get lots of promotion on things like Radio Disney and other venues you don’t pay attention to unless you have small children.

It should do quite well, it just isn’t going to get a cover feature on an increasingly irrelevant PC games magazine.

Star Wars Galaxies.

That’s right, sit down.

Exactly. I’m sure it’ll do just fine for Disney, and have no impact on the folks who hang out here.

Casual, Wow, and the Wii are showing that there’s a great deal of value in finding new “mainstream” markets.

It’s like wondering who’s going to show up for a “cartoon movie” when you have all those other movies out there.

I mean, they may not, but it isn’t because the audience isn’t out there.