Another week, another post over on the Playable Worlds website. This time it’s about “engagement” and “retention”: those words which can be boogeymen for those concerned about the business practices of game publishers, but which are also crucial to long-term enjoyment of a game.
The first virtual world I worked on was LegendMUD. It is still running after a quarter-century. My second was Ultima Online. When I go to a UO player gathering, I see three whole generations of families who have played that game for 23 years now: grandparents, parents, and kids. Why?
Because running a game like this, a world like this, a service like this – this is a long-term emotional relationship with the player.