I miss anticipating big MMOs

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While I would argue vigorously against those who would say that MMOs are dead or dying, I won’t deny that the industry is in a different place right now than it was even three years ago.

I mean, it really wasn’t that long ago that we had some big budget power-hitters heading our way — games like WildStar, SWTOR, GW2, ESO, and the like. There have always been smaller games in the works, but those big, full-featured, mostly traditional (if with a twist) MMOs had our attention.

And now that they’ve come out, there’s been little changing of the guard. There simply aren’t many major traditional MMOs coming. Instead, the industry’s shifted to the crowdfunded titles, the sandbox MMOs, and the quasi-MMOs (like Star Citizen). It’s not bad in the least that these games are being made — I for one am celebrating that we seem to be past the era of the WoW clone and are seeing developers free to make the games they want to instead of trying to ape a very specific formula.

I think there’s a lot of excitement to be found in the promise of games like Crowfall, Shroud of the Avatar, and Camelot Unchained. I’m bowled over that extremely small development teams are able to pull off ridiculously full-featured indie titles like Ascent and Project Gorgon. And it’s not as if the existing crop of MMOs are all going to suddenly stop coming out with updates, expansions, and events.

But still… it would be cool if tomorrow there were two or three really big projects announced. I don’t know where from — only Cryptic and Daybreak have unannounced projects that I know about. There’s EverQuest Next, but saying that you’re looking forward to that game is like claiming a deep belief in the chocolatey power of the Easter Bunny. I deeply hope that game is being made and will be released but… yeah, I’ll believe it when I see it.

Any of you miss the big upcoming games, the big hype, the big press, and the big anticipation? What would you love to wake up and find out is being made? For me, I wouldn’t mind a Fallout Online, although that’ll probably never happen.

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7 thoughts on “I miss anticipating big MMOs

  1. Grant October 13, 2015 / 9:43 am

    Honestly, I don’t have enough time to play all of the MMOs I want to right now.Between most of those games you mentioned being super accessible by being F2P, and expansions for all of them, I have years worth of content to play through before I can even think about new games.

  2. ZombiePirate October 13, 2015 / 10:07 am

    Considering how much of a time sink an MMO can be, combined with the increasingly defunct subscription model there aren’t going to be many studios that will put the money behind a AAA release game with no guarantee of revenue outside of a micro-transaction in game store. While there are many games that do have successful cash shops, most of these are F2P conversions or Buy 2 Play. Especially if we consider that I’d imagine a lot of studios will want to tie in mobile platforms for an additional revenue stream. Perhaps they are still looking at the MMO space with a view of how to unlock these other add-in markets?

  3. jameshateswordpress October 13, 2015 / 1:48 pm

    The big subscription-based MMOs have gone the way of the flip phone.

    I loved flip phones, they would fold up nicely and fit into any pocket. Now the big phones are like sticking a taco on your face. Sure they are fancier and play better games, but flip phones were small and easy to use. My new Samsung is so big it falls out of my pocket whenever i sit down.

    So, yeah, um….I agree…Fallout Online would be super sweet.

  4. bhagpuss October 13, 2015 / 3:01 pm

    I suspect we might have to wait for the first successful iteration of “Virtual Reality” before there’s another wave of major MMO releases. Virtual worlds would certainly be a potential Killer App for the hardware but first of all they have to come up with some hardware that anyone other than an early-adopter hardcore techie gamer feels comfortable using. That might take a while.

  5. Hagu October 14, 2015 / 9:59 am

    Dying, idk? But the money invested in developing new MMOs seems to be in decline.

    IMO it is not appropriate to use “really big projects” and Daybreak together. ATM, they just don’t have the resources to do that and may have some tough choices in their future.

    I don’t expect any but Mass Effect, Dragon Age and Fallout seem like the most likely guesses where a studio could let hope overcome experience and try a AAA Western MMO.

  6. talismanAU October 14, 2015 / 11:31 pm

    As others have mentioned I dont have time to play all my current MMOs let alone new ones. But I do only sub to one MMO at a time. Currently that is SWTOR (which was supposed to be dead a year after release) and current server populations seem quite healthy at peak times with new content on the way.

    I think one new player in the MMO scene (that interests me) is enough for me to add to my rotation. Next year it will be The Division as it is a different genre from the other fanatasy or sci-fi based ones. I was glad it was delayed. They get it right at launch and gives me more time on my current MMOs.

  7. j3w3l October 15, 2015 / 7:40 am

    I think once those smaller experiences start getting closer to an actual release we’ll see a lot of hightewned anticipation. Watching development is ok but actually getting to experience a new world an mmo gets your blood pumping, no matter how much smaller it might be than the bigger releases

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