Thursday, September 13, 2018

A Few Reasons Why The MMO Genre Has Been Struggling

If you were to hop into a time machine and zoom back in time to the gaming scene in 2004, things would be radically different. It was the same year that Blizzard’s World of Warcraft first hit the MMORPG genre, and there are few other trends that had quite the same impact. Although WoW wasn’t an immediate success, it wouldn’t be long before it clocked the record of 12 million active subscribers – something that no other game has been able to boast.

But that was 14 years ago, and we’re now living in a world where MMOs come and go like the weather. With constant controversies, countless untrustworthy developers, and a genre that seems to be taking endless amounts of flak, it’s hard to believe that MMOs have any sort of real future. Change is inevitable, but the recent changes in the industry have been hard to swallow, and sometimes it makes sense why people turn to other hobbies like online pokies.

Let’s look at why the MMO has been suffering so much in the last few years.

1. No AAA Titles
When once an AAA title was the next blockbuster that had any gamer buzzing with excitement, it’s now become a soured topic that has split the gaming world down the middle. The last true AAA MMORPG that made headlines was Wildstar, a game that was met with both negative reviews and minimal commercial success. There’s a void in the gaming world for a new, gaming-changing MMO title.

2. Mobile Gaming
This is a big one, and the MMO genre isn’t the only that’s suffering. With smartphones and tablets more prolific than ever, more and more gamers are turning to their mobile platforms for their gaming needs. While it’s more than possible to have a good MMO on a smartphone, the payment models for these types of games have all but destroyed any real chances.

3. The Lack of Innovation
When the first MMOs hit the scene, they quickly created the Holy Trinity of classes, and it’s been like that for a long time, even with the newer titles that claim they are different. What we’re left with then is a huge range of very samey fantasy-based MMOs that have tried their very best to emulate WoW’s success, often with no luck. The genre, in other words, has become boring.

4. The Lifespans of Studios
This is something that can be directly connected to EA, the studio-devouring entity that has been systematically closing down each one of its well-known studios. But that behaviour hasn’t stopped with EA, and can be felt in just about every facet of the industry. More and more studios have been closed, more and more projects shut down forever or stuck in limbo. It’s a sad scene, and it’s left us without many MMOs that had such potential, such as World of Darkness or Everquest Next.

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