A year or so after killing the Marvel MMO — which transformed into Champions Online — it appears that the powers that be realized that superheroes are on the verge of being the new hot thang in MMORPGs and they were going to be left out in the cold. Ergo, a new studio signing on to make several Marvel titles, including one or more MMOs.
As I’ve said before, I think fantasy over-saturated the MMORPG market over the past decade, and it’s on the wane (but will never die, oh no), as players look for something a bit different on the palette than swords, shields and sorcery. Superheroes and scifi, thus far underrepresented as a whole in the genre, have several titles in the making and seem posed to be the next big wave in online gaming. Of course, then kid-centric MMOs will absolutely dominate and us sophisticated geeks will have to tuck our tails between our legs and head on home.
Despite my preference for Champions over DCUO, I have nothing against competition — as it’s been said repeatedly, consumers win when companies compete. We don’t need a handful of new lackluster games, we need hungry MMO companies who push themselves to their very best limits to make incredible, polished, accessible games. There’s a huge swell of interest for comic book/superhero games right now, following this latest surge of superhero films that started back with X-Men and Spider-Man. If they can’t find enough players to fill up three or four games, then they’re just being lazy — the tree is ripe for the plucking!