The minimap views of the maps do not give much away other then to plan for tactics and location of other maps. This wouldn't "give away" what is coming out, but would allow awaiting people, that aren't in the beta to be an active participants in that game.
There are several reasons why.
While a top view map does not give away the specifics of the game, it does help individuals plan their strategies, especially those that play the board games or RTS. Commanders could potentionally spend the next month or two studying these maps to come up with effective strategies while not compromising the integretiy of the game itself. The benefit of this is two fold. The first is it gives people something to do, and debate over which fills the gap of time till it is released. The second is that it includes people that are not yet in the beta itself, therefore keeping interest in the game at a "high".
2. Game Interest:
To my understanding, this game specifically is catering to a crowd of gamers that are not just for first person or third person shooting, but also are heavily reliant on tactics itself. Allowing interactions of tactics will also increase interest in the game by not only the playerbase but anyone else searching the internet and finding tactical discussions. The more interest in the game, the more players, the more money, the more updates, and ultimately more discussion that creates devoted following and gaming culture.
3. Interactivity now:
My favorite of games that have not been released. The Secret War (TSW) had a mini game that was available on facebook that kept interest high, but also followed some of the best social networking advertising. I am imagining that these maps could be released on social networks, with follow questions for interactivity, or even better creates discussion that are publically available in these arenas. The interactivity between players and non-players is paramont for bringing more people into the game itself. In many cases, the level of complexity creates more interest that is far more long lasting then point and click. For example: Every FPS that gets replaced in regular intervals. On the opposite end, EVE Online, that is a bit too complex for most people (even though it has one of the most loyal fan bases in gaming imo). Beyond that, possibly working with making a "map pack" for the Battletech board game as well. This would increase the interest in both MWO and Battletech itself.
4. Owning the game:
As any developer or creator can tell you, its very important to "own" the game. However, recently its also be very effective for the player base as well, betas aside, people like to feel they contributed to the game and making what it is today. Releasing to the top view maps will allow players to point out / suggest / and plan tactics to see if there are exploits or problems with particular maps without giving away any graphics or mechanics of the game. As more interaction with the community and the developers progress, the players themselves feel like they own the game as well, and you will get the loyal fan-base any game strives for.
As you can clearly see. Its a very nice step to keep people involved and excited, as well as bringing new members that are interested in having something more immersive then a FPS. The possibilities of allowing only the limited top view of maps and having the players interact with this will also increase MWO developers understanding of how the tactics can be developed and to see if there are any holes that can be exploited tactically before the game is offically released.
Therefore I believe its in the best interest of the company as well as the players to be a part of development (which makes people "own" it), gives people something to do to keep interest high, and also allows interactivity between multiple games to increase interest in the entire MW universe, and in turn the best of which, which will be MWO.
Edited by FrozenWaltDisney, 07 July 2012 - 03:17 PM.