Approval Ratings: Readers Like the RPG, but Hold the MMO

Illustration for article titled Approval Ratings: Readers Like the RPG, but Hold the MMO

Our third installment of Approval Ratings covered a dozen questions regarding role-playing games, a staple genre of video games going back to their earliest days. And like an RPG, you have to dig a little deeper to get the real story.

1. Do you want to play Fallout 3? (any platform)

Yes: 72 percent (12,052 total responses)
No: 20 percent (3,393)
Not sure: 7 percent (1,207)
16,652 total responses.

2. Do you want to play The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion? (any platform)

Yes: 55 percent (8,756 total responses)
No: 36 percent (5,822)
Not sure: 9 percent (1,456)
16,034 total responses.

3. Do you want to play Fable II? (Xbox 360)

Yes: 51 percent (8,218 total responses)
No: 39 percent (6,243)
Not sure: 10 percent (1,565)
16,026 total responses.


Right out of the box we can see Kotaku readers are not hostile to role-playing games. All three here earned majorities with low not-sures, meaning respondents have heard of, considered and reacted to these games, and most like them. It helps, granted, that these are three of the biggest RPG names in console gaming, and that they were western produced. But had any of these come back with a No we'd know there's a serious disposition against this genre.

4. When it is released, do you want to play Final Fantasy XIII? (any platform)

Yes: 64 percent (10,584 total responses)
No: 23 percent (3,772)
Not sure: 13 percent (2,105)
16,461 total responses.

5. Do you want to play Dissidia: Final Fantasy? [PSP]

Yes: 35 percent (5,656 total responses)
No: 51 percent (8,208)
Not sure: 14 percent (2,276)
16,140 total responses.

6. Do you want to play Persona 4? (Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4, for PS2)

Yes: 37 percent (5,986 total responses)
No: 47 percent (7,498)
Not sure: 16 percent (2,585)
16,069 total responses.

Final Fantasy XII's strong positive is likewise a no-brainer. And while most do not want to play Dissidia or Persona 4, I think their numbers are actually pretty damn strong considering what they have to overcome. Dissidia's a quasi fighter/RPG, and it's on the PSP, which a minority own and barely nobody claimed as their favorite platform. Persona 4 is on a previous-gen console only, and the franchise is fairly representative of the esoteric qualities of a JRPG. And a good third of the readership still wants to play both.

7. Do you want to play EVE Online? (PC)

Yes: 13 percent (2,109 total responses)
No: 73 percent (11,776)
Not sure: 14 percent (2,242)
16,127 total responses.

8. Do you want to play a console MMO?

Yes: 35 percent (5,717 total responses).
No: 46 percent (7,406)
Not sure: 19 percent (3,414)
16,257 total responses.

9. Do you want to play World of Warcraft? (PC)

Yes: 28 percent (4,550 total responses)
No: 65 percent (10,517)
Not sure: 8 percent (1,233)
16,300 total responses.

10. Do you want to play City of Heroes/City of Villains? (PC)

Yes: 15 percent (2,410 total responses)
No: 71 percent (11,400)
Not sure: 14 percent (2,245)
16,055 total responses.

Here's where it gets ugly (and where Mike Fahey silently weeps). Warcraft is a big no, 2-to-1. City of Heroes fares worse, and maybe I should have asked about Champions Online. But with a plurality not diggin' the console MMO concept, I doubt its numbers would have been much different. Finally, for whatever reasons - maybe it's griefing, maybe it's bank runs, maybe it's bank heists, maybe it's the fact the thing is such a huge time suck it has an IRL governing council - practically nobody is interested in EVE Online.

11. What is the biggest barrier to your enjoyment of an RPG?

Boredom associated with mundane tasks: 40 percent (6,369 total responses)
Time commitment: 25 percent (3,907)
Some other reason: 19 percent (3,000)
Unfamiliarity with the game's continuity: 7 percent (1,043)
Singleplayer-only: 5 percent (811)
Lack of action: 5 percent (725)
15,855 total responses.

12. What is the greatest quality of an RPG?

The game's storytelling and plot: 51 percent (9,173 total responses)
Development of your character: 27 percent (4,856)
Focus on choices, rather than reflexes or action: 12 percent (2,201)
Deep replay value: 6 percent (1,138)
Some other reason: 4 percent (674)
18,042 total responses.


Put simply, RPGs are a meaty game experience but the size can be a little intimidating. Mundane tasks and time commitment are your biggest turnoffs, but it can be argued that they're fundamental to a genre that is more about choices and inhabiting a character's life than it is nonstop action. In the strengths, everyone seems to agree the RPG delivers on its storyline promises, and the customization/creation/progression of a character is usually a satisfying experience.

Look for more questions this Saturday, as we continue to flesh out the habits, preferences and trends among the Kotaku Gamer.


Yeah, I expected Dissidia and Persona 4 to get hate, while all of the Bethesda-clones get huge amounts of love. Predictable readers, so predictable.

I still think it's ironic that plot and storytelling are held in such high esteem, and then the highest-ranked game is Fallout 3, which essentially emphasizes NEITHER. Moral choices are not plot, people.