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2012 is looking to be an interesting year for the genre with all the new titles coming out in the following months yet its interesting to see how the genre is changing, or how there are plans for it to change, although they are only baby steps at the moment.
It seems game developers are looking to provide alternatives to MMO fans who do not wish to play on an expensive gaming rig.
DCUO is perhaps the most memorable one as it was only released at the start of the year and that was considered to be innovative due to its release on PS3 as well as the PC, with controls and UI that was aimed more at the convenience of console users. Although it was considered innovative its not even the first MMO to really come out on console as FFXI released on both PS2 and Xbox 360 and then theres Everquest on the PS2.
It has also been considered by other companies like Funcom who originally intended to have a console version released after the PC version, which obviously never happened. Games in development like Final Fantasy XIV are definately getting a PS3 version with Square Enix saying the PS3 version will release "at all costs" and SOE have hinted that Everquest Next may see a PS3 launch as well.
Moving away from home console, some companies are moving, or thinking of moving games to the mobile platform. Square Enix have said they have thought about Final Fantasy XI on the Vita at some point and Blizzard, although unrealistically had talked about the ipad, if the controls had been possible. MMO's are available on the ipad however, with Conquer 2.0 releasing in the app store after its successful Mac client launch several months ago. An exclusive MMO to the mobile platform for anybody curious is a game called 'Order and Chaos' which is a very blatent WoW clone with much less features, but what is important is its available to play on the iphone, ipad, ipod touch and Android devices and up until recently, facebook.
So it seems companies are starting to begin moving MMO's on to other platforms to introduce their games to a wider audience. Multi platform MMO's with potentially, shared servers may be the future of the genre. Depending on the success of current console MMO projects it may well encourage more developers to move their titles to more mainstream platforms. Who knows, you may see MMO titles that we know today eventually on Xbox live or the PSN, or even mobile devices. The main hurdle is managing controls, a console controller obviously does no provide the freedom and depth of a mouse and keyboard.
What do you all think? Do you believe the genre would benefit from moving to cross platform, or do you believe that it will simply dilute the genre to cater to casual, mainstream gamers?