So Final Fantasy VII First Soldier (a battle Royal game) is shutting down after just over a year. You have talked about how publishers/devs will rush into a new genre to see how large the potential market is. What is it like developing a game for a genre when it becomes clear mid development that the genre you are building a game for has reached the ceiling for the number of games/players there are for that niche?

This kind of question fits in with the greater metric known as morale. Morale is the word used to describe the general attitude of the overall team towards the project. When the team is in good spirits, trust each other and their leadership to do their jobs, and believes in what they are doing, morale is high. When the team is unhappy, distrust each other or their leadership, or don’t believe in what they are doing, morale is low. Morale acts as momentum - good morale can carry successes into further successes, while bad morale can keep a struggling team from stabilizing.

Marshall is sad while Barney is overjoyedALT

In most teams, people will fall into one of three major camps. The idealists will continue to believe in the project and work to improve things. The cynics will quietly begin looking for work elsewhere, disengage from the work, and generally put in the minimum effort. The realists will make an internal calculation - what the chances are of hitting their targets, and whether it is worth staying on like the idealists, or looking for an exit like the cynics. The team’s morale will have the heaviest influence on the overall distribution of the team between idealists, cynics, and realists. The higher the team’s morale, the more idealists there will be. Likewise, the lower the morale, the more people will slide into the realist and cynic camp.

A cheerleading team puts their hands togetherALT

Feeling like the future of the project is in question will pull morale in a negative direction. If too many people on the team pull toward the negative, it can cause a vicious cycle where the others on the team and team morale will sink even further, which disillusions even more members of the team, and so on. Similarly, success and positivity can cause a virtuous cycle, pulling team morale upward, which persuades more people to the idealist side of things, which begets more successes, which pulls morale even further upward, and so on.

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