Dofus: 18 years later, why is Ankama’s MMO still going strong? – DOFUS Temporis 7

If there is one game whose future was uncertain at the time of its conception, it is Dofus, the French MMO from Ankama. And yet we are here 18 years after launch and the game continues to gather thousands of players on its servers. Recently, Dofus even launched Osatopia Temporis 7, its Pokémon-like temporary server. But what, then, is Ankama’s recipe for continuing to make his MMO a classic in the genre?

Summary

  • Dofus, an MMO reference in France
  • Temporis, Retro… New products you want some here
  • Dofus cinematic universe
  • Dofus Osatopia Temporis 7: we take stock of Ankama’s Pokémon-like

Dofus, an MMO reference in France

If the world of MMORPGs knows World of Warcraft and RuneScape in particular, we admire Dofus on the side of the French-speaking public. It must be said that it is in France, more precisely in Roubaix, that the Ankama MMO was born. Not surprisingly, therefore, in France and other French-speaking countries (⅔ of players in 2011), word of mouth has mainly had its effect in bringing Dofus to the rank of reference. An unlikely story that would definitely be worth a look. But what interests us today is the current and current state of the Dofus servers.

If the number of players surveying World of Twelve today is no longer in the millions, they are still very numerous to find themselves there regularly. In September 2019, Ankama had between 600,000 and 700,000 active players at its stake. For a game that has always struggled to break through internationally, the numbers are impressive. Admittedly, they are not good enough to allow Ankama to maintain all of its servers (shutting down Heroic mode last September), but they still allow the studio to continue to bring its game to life and maintain a solid community, who does not. does not seem ready to wither. But how is this done?

Dofus: 18 years later, why is Ankama's MMO still going strong?  - DOFUS Temporis 7
Dofus: 18 years later, why is Ankama's MMO still going strong?  - DOFUS Temporis 7

As we said, Dofus is for many a classic MMO. If you have never taken a Zaap portal to the Astrubs plains and elsewhere, the phenomenon may seem incomprehensible to you. And yet, many French-speaking gamers have discovered MMOs through Dofus. If this is your case, you probably have a wealth of memories related to the game, ranging from discussions in the playground, scams to avoid, meetings you’ve made there, or anecdotes from dungeons to share. Thanks to all these milestones in life, Dofus has created an aura that pushes old players to immerse themselves in it as much as new ones to give in to curiosity.

Dofus: 18 years later, why is Ankama's MMO still going strong?  - DOFUS Temporis 7

Another important point: Dofus manages to stand out with its unusual combat system for an MMORPG. Unlike WoW, Everquest, EVE Online, Guild Wars or even FF XIV Online, Dofus offers turn-based combat. Few successful and famous MMORPGs offer such a combat system. Of course, fans of the genre therefore have few games to turn to if they want to mix these two types of games. Dofus is therefore facing a whole panel of players with no real competitors to fall back on.

But aura and originality are not sufficient criteria to revive an 18-year-old online game. While many are still exploring the lands created by Ankama, it is also that in terms of content and new features, the study has understood to continue.

Dofus: 18 years later, why is Ankama's MMO still going strong?  - DOFUS Temporis 7

Temporis, Retro… New products you want some here

When developing such a game, it is important to offer new content on an ongoing basis in order to maintain the players’ interest at the highest level. And Ankama has understood that. From the beginning, the developers have been trying to improve their game with updates and new versions. 2.0, released in December 2009, also had significant success, allowing the MMO to record a record number of concurrent players, more than five years after its release. Updates are still regular (the latest at the time of writing was released on June 28) and version 3.0 (also called Dofus 2 Unity) is also underway. Suffice it to say that Ankama is not done developing his game.

Especially since the studio has had the intelligence to expand its offering over the years to live up to the expectations of all types of players. When you launch Dofus today, it is thus possible to choose the current version, but also another more retro. The goal is clear: focus on nostalgia for old players. And it seems to work pretty well. In fact, what was to be a server to celebrate Dofus’ 15th anniversary quickly found itself a victim of its own success. Hence Ankama’s decision to make it a separate mode offering multiple servers afterwards.

Dofus: 18 years later, why is Ankama's MMO still going strong?  - DOFUS Temporis 7

This nostalgia is also found among some players of Dofus Touch, the mobile version of Dofus. The latter allows you to take a small leap in time by watching the various updates being implemented a few years too late. But the real advantage of Dofus Touch is of course its free subscription, which allows you to roam freely on the plains of the World of Twelve without areas reserved for subscribers (although in-game purchases are available). Enough to cure the frustrations of the past and present with the most grumpy players and thus appeal to a wider audience. Another point that enabled Dofus to expand the players: Temporis servers.

Dofus: 18 years later, why is Ankama's MMO still going strong?  - DOFUS Temporis 7

These servers started in 2018 and as the name suggests, they are only available for a limited period of time. At the end of the latter, the players who have rushed the server the most will be rewarded. In addition to the challenge aspect, which speaks to a certain number of players, these servers are also an opportunity to discover a new way of playing. Thus, if the first Temporis paid homage to single-account servers, the fifth featured Ecaflip cards, while the latest, Dofus Osatopia Temporis 7, captures the capture and breeding system that makes Pokémon license DNA. Enough to keep the interest of current players and even arouse the curiosity of those who have left the Ankama MMO.

As you have probably understood, Dofus is constantly evolving and caters to an ever wider audience. As a result, it’s a live MMO where it’s been hard to get bored for a long time. With this strategy, Ankama ensures a solid player base and can even hope to expand it or at least absorb the losses. This leadership, though far from perfect, allows Dofus to sustain itself over the years and make it a game that is still valued more than 18 years later. To this you can add one last point: the extended Dofus universe.

Dofus: 18 years later, why is Ankama's MMO still going strong?  - DOFUS Temporis 7

Dofus cinematic universe

As we have said, Dofus is a true juggernaut, the central work of a studio founded in 2001 more than twenty years ago. If the studio today is known for other projects (especially in publishing with Mutafukaz and Brilliant), the bulk of his award list still revolves around his beloved MMO. Between the various Dofus manga, the series Dofus: The treasures of the cherubim and the film Dofus, book 1: Juliththe least we can say is that the name of MMORPG comes up very often. And if we look at the side of the universe, it’s even more impressive.

Dofus: 18 years later, why is Ankama's MMO still going strong?  - DOFUS Temporis 7

The whole franchise wakfu (games, animated series, etc.) is only a derivative of Dofus, like the upcoming tactical RPG Waven. Through these various projects, Ankama feeds the universe of its MMO, giving it greater legitimacy and above all a greater aura. The very good animated series Wakfu, for example (which quickly managed to get fans to fund its long-awaited fourth season), made the name Dofus known to non-gamers who might be tempted by the experience. Admittedly, there is a game dedicated to Wakfu that also bears the same name, but curious little ones who are eager for a richer and more complete experience are likely to move on to the introductory MMO.

According to the Wakfu players themselves, the game is more of an alternative or even a showcase for Dofus than a really complete experience in itself. If it has its own qualities, the title released in 2012 makes you want to finally immerse yourself in Dofus’ wide world. This is why most Wakfu players on forums also call themselves Dofus players: the first is difficult without the second.

Wakfu is a game in a situation of identity search and not development of this (identity), as is the case on Dofus. It would be a lie to say that Wakfu would not somehow be a crash test site for Dofus, hence this impression of “following” his big brother at times more than standing out from it.

Aestien

Add to that many derived products and a community eager to bring the game to life beyond its original prism (fan fiction, PR, very active forums, dedicated content creators, etc.) and you get a Dofus that has lost momentum despite the passage of time. Dofus has become a video game ecosystem in itself, beginning with the release of the MMO and expanding over time. So much so that in France there are few who have never heard of the game and it is very difficult to disappear when one is an MMO with such a good reputation.

Despite numbers that do not match its previous greatness, Dofus is still moving forward. While other reasons can certainly be added to those mentioned so far, they undoubtedly have an important role to play in the life of Ankama’s title. Its aura, its atypical angle, its special value for nostalgic gamers, but also its expanded universe and its exemplary roadmap encourage players to continue to be interested in it for more than 18 years after its release. A great performance that we hope to see continue with the new features planned by Ankama for their French MMO. Anyway, with the advent of new titles (Waven, One More Gate A Wakfu Legend) and series (Wakfu Season 4), the Dofus universe is certainly not ready to disappear into the depths of Krosmoz.



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