Character-Based Online Games — What Are They?

Most people probably aren’t aware of this

I recently mentioned an idea that people may or may not know. An idea I dub “Character-based Online Game”. Specifically, I’m referring to the feature where a multiplayer online game has an ever-growing selection of playable characters to choose from.

In contrast, a familiar feature in many MMORPGs is the character creator, where you design your own character with a bunch of features given to you by the game. Now, CBOGs are scarce, and some that I can think of are: League of Legends and, by extension, all the MOBAs that have existed to date, Overwatch, Paladins, Dead by Daylight, Warframe, Apex Legends, and some others with varying degrees of notability. But there aren’t a lot of them, as most games would prefer to have a character creator instead of constantly inventing new playable characters.

What’s cool about CBOGs is that there are always new characters to discover, each with their personality and powers and all the other things that make it a character. I personally think that there should be more of these, but first… why isn’t this popular? I should examine that first.

A culture that people are just used to

Character-based Online Games do not stand out from the Internet crowd because the very notion of CBOGs is redundant to many. It’s not that it’s not a cool idea — because it is — but most people will already settle for a basic character creator because, frankly, it’s just easier, and that’s how investors like it.

A game with a plethora of characters to choose from requires constant maintenance, as opposed to just a character creator, which is just one thing that’s easy to maintain, making it cost-effective because investors wouldn’t be too afraid to pump money into something that’s even remotely risky. Let’s face it, today’s culture just doesn’t like taking risks… at least. That’s how I see it.

It’s not just investors that might have a say in the scarcity of CBOGs. Still, video game developers probably never crossed their minds that there could be an alternative to a basic character creator. I suppose that contemporary game developers aren’t concerned with creative elements in their design methodology.

If I had the money, I would gladly take the risk of developing a CBOG, whatever the genre of it. I don’t care as long as there could be more entries in this obscure genre, if you can call it that.

How to make CBOGs more interesting for everyone

As nobody seems too keen to create a new genre, I take it on myself to come up with some ideas to make it more interesting — interesting enough to catch investors’ interest enough for them to take a chance on your project.

First, I’d realise all the games in the genre that do it and notable examples, such as those mentioned previously. All those games were created without realising they were using a character-based format. However, when you create the closest real-world analogy with the idea you want to get across, you should do that with those game character patterns in mind.

Once you have your real-world analogies, you should also sell the idea that CBOGs are a suitable format for microtransactions because there will always be a ton of characters to pick from and play instead of having just skins and emotes. I get that it’s more expensive and time-consuming, but they’re still worth more. I suppose I should come up with a solution to make them cheaper, but I probably won’t succeed.

Maybe you have a better understanding of this?

Assuming you have a greater understanding of funding (or banking), you’d probably know more than me. If you have any idea how to make CBOGs more attractive so that they can happen more, tell me.

In Conclusion…

I still have a lot to explain on CBOGs, as the idea is not entirely concrete and evident as I want it to be. I’ll be sure to explore more on CBOGs in the following article.

Next article, I want to do some kind of writing experiment, and that is to see if I can invent a new genre within the time of writing an article, proving that there can be more original ideas than what is offered today. For me, it’s just another brainstorm.

Frankly, I can’t wait to start on it…

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