I don’t know if you realize this, but this weekend marks a sad anniversary for some of us in the MMORPG community — it’s the third anniversary since WildStar was shut down by NCsoft. This happened back on November 28, 2018, and a lot of us are still feeling the aftershocks of this even three years later.
Again, boilerplate disclaimer applies whenever we talk about WildStar: This wasn’t a perfect game. I know that. Carbine was a bit of a mess. I know that too. But it was a game that I loved dearly and miss quite a lot.
While I suppose there are only so many of these “boo hoo I’m sad my game is gone” posts that can be written before there’s nothing else to say on the subject and my readers are annoyed that I keep bringing it up, I want to go beyond a residual regret to lay out a quick case for why it’s actually a great time to bring back this MMO.
1. It’s a solid product that’s generating zero revenue for NCsoft. Even if you’re not going to commit to forming a development team to continue expanding a game, it’s not too difficult to hire a few people to maintain some servers and keep it in maintenance mode while you rake in some extra cash.
2. NCsoft would generate a nice amount of publicity and goodwill by bringing the game back — or handing it off to the community or another developer to handle. Again, WildStar is doing nothing for the company right now. A free shot of PR isn’t a bad thing.
3. MMO players are starving for good releases. Just look at how popular New World’s proven to be this year as the first really big launch we’ve had on the level of WildStar and Guild Wars 2. And with so many disaffected WoW and Blizzard players out there, WildStar’s colorful world and ex-Blizzard developer design might hit the spot.
4. WildStar’s built up some solid word-of-mouth recommendations in the past few years, creating more interest in a potential future community of players. Sometimes games — like TV shows or movies — need some time to find their footing and audience.
5. People can’t stop talking about WildStar. It’s weird, because it HAS been three years. There’s been no peep from NCsoft on this property. But as one observer noted on Twitter:
6. In 2021, we certainly see that MMO players are very open to titles being brought back from the dead as official games (Fallen Earth), emulators (City of Heroes), or legacy versions (WoW Classic). Players aren’t just looking forward for their entertainment — they’re looking back in time as well.
So what do you think? Is it high time that WildStar defies its own death and emerges back into the MMO space?