WonderCon MMORPG industry panel explores key topics of the day

At last month's WonderCon in San Francisco, three MMO industry experts sat down to do a panel on many of the pressing questions and issues that players have these days. The lively panel, moderated by PC Gamer's Josh Augustine, consisted of Dirk Metzger (Zentia), Scott Hartsman (RIFT) and Nick Huggett (Runes of Magic), each taking turns to address some of the questions that are commonly asked about these games and the industry at large.

These topics included player retention, free-to-play vs. subscription business models, the endless comparisons to World of Warcraft, why MMOs tend to be fantasy-based, some of the biggest mistakes in the genre, how to appeal to both hardcore and casual players, the differences between the Asian and North American market, and the struggle to provide player-created content.

The rise of social media also has a significant effect on MMO development, according to Hartsman. "What that kind of forces us to do, bluntly, is make better games right off the bat, because people will tell you if your game sucks."

You can watch the video highlights of the panel after the jump.