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[Column] General: The MMO Isn't Over - It's Evolving

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,619MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

Recently, I read a piece proclaiming the MMO "era" to be over. While the genre has undergone some shifts through the years as both technology and gamers change, the genre isn’t on life support. While certain trends have held and others faded, MMOS are still being made, played, and planned. The genre is evolving, just as it evolved after 2004, and continues today. We seem to be on the verge of a new chapter right now, in fact.

Read more of Christina Gonzalez's The Social Hub: The MMO Isn't "Over" - It's Evolving.

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Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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Comments

  • orbitxoorbitxo fort lauderdale, FLPosts: 1,408Member Uncommon
    love the headline! 110% agree!
  • LudwikLudwik Rochester, NYPosts: 401Member Uncommon
    MMOs are like baseball.

    They will be around forever but over the course of the next decade they will be surpassed both in revenue and popularity by newer, fresher genres.

    MOBAs have already surpassed MMOs and once Hearthstone finds it's way to mobile devices it too will pass.

    We live in a world where free time is divided into short, little increments. 15 minutes here, 30 minutes there, maybe an hour if we're lucky. Asking people to sit in queues, organize raids, grind away on mobs just isn't feasible anymore.

    If MMOs want to remain popular, they have to get faster. You login, you hit a button, and you go. No queues, no organization, no research required, no downtime.
  • DamonVileDamonVile Vancouver, BCPosts: 4,818Member
    The gamers who call the genre dead are the dinosaurs of the population.  Their time has come and gone and their refusal to adapt has made their opinions irrelevant.
  • sakersaker harrisburg, PAPosts: 993Member Uncommon
    ....hasn't evolved. Just more of the same throwing prettier (sometimes) graphics out. Maybe sometime soon someone will actually making a living changing world (there's been talk) but hasn't happened. moba's are not MMO's stop calling them MMO's. Trying to turn MMO's into twitch arcade games is not evolution.
  • DarwaDarwa CambridgePosts: 2,184Member Uncommon

    The title and premise is wrong; MMOs haven't evolved, but they have changed.

    If you swap the word 'evolved' with 'changed' throughout the article, then it makes a good read.

  • danwest58danwest58 Cincinnati, OHPosts: 984Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Ludwik
    MMOs are like baseball.

    They will be around forever but over the course of the next decade they will be surpassed both in revenue and popularity by newer, fresher genres.

    MOBAs have already surpassed MMOs and once Hearthstone finds it's way to mobile devices it too will pass.

    We live in a world where free time is divided into short, little increments. 15 minutes here, 30 minutes there, maybe an hour if we're lucky. Asking people to sit in queues, organize raids, grind away on mobs just isn't feasible anymore.

    If MMOs want to remain popular, they have to get faster. You login, you hit a button, and you go. No queues, no organization, no research required, no downtime.

    No its not that sitting and waiting is not feasible anymore.  Its MMOs are trying to pander to NON MMO players.  How is it that I have 3 kids, a 50 to 60 hour a week career and take classes to keep up my certifications and I still have 4 to 10 hours a week depending on the time of year for MMOs?  Thats because I schedule my life based around priorities and I do not load myself up to the point I expect MMOs to change for my 30 minute a week life.  Its like asking the NFL to cut out the 3rd and 4th Quarters of a football game to fit my life.  No a football game is 4 quarters not 2.  Why do MMOs suck today?  Because they pander to people like you that think they need to become nothing more than a throw a way commodity.  If you dont have time to dedicate to an MMO you dont belong and never will.  People can say MMOs are changing well yes they are and publishers are learning that people who want a hour a week MMO is a waste of money.  You cannot spend $100+ million on developing a game where people will play 2 or 3 months and move on.  

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  • Nickhead420Nickhead420 Schenectady, NYPosts: 132Member Uncommon
    I gotta agree with saker.  The problem is that they aren't evolving.  Companies just keep throwing out the same basic game play with a little twist here or there.  More and more developers want to put out their own thing, creating an abundance of MMOs and thinning out the community among all the ~generic MMO~ clones.  Everyone wants a piece of that 10 year old pie but no one is brave enough to come up with a new recipe.
  • DamonVileDamonVile Vancouver, BCPosts: 4,818Member
    Originally posted by saker
    Trying to turn MMO's into twitch arcade games is not evolution.

    Was making them graphical non- turn based an evolution from PnP ?

  • ZeGermanZeGerman Andover, MAPosts: 196Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Ludwik
    MMOs are like baseball.

    They will be around forever but over the course of the next decade they will be surpassed both in revenue and popularity by newer, fresher genres.

    MOBAs have already surpassed MMOs and once Hearthstone finds it's way to mobile devices it too will pass.

    We live in a world where free time is divided into short, little increments. 15 minutes here, 30 minutes there, maybe an hour if we're lucky. Asking people to sit in queues, organize raids, grind away on mobs just isn't feasible anymore.

    If MMOs want to remain popular, they have to get faster. You login, you hit a button, and you go. No queues, no organization, no research required, no downtime.

    I don't entirely agree with your point.  Baseball will always be Baseball and can't magicaly become football.  MMO's can look at games like destiny its about as different from WoW and Rift as you can be.  I think the biggest thing that has hurt recent MMO's is the death of clans for the mythical casual player.  There needs to be more of a focus back on the community and making games that require people to form active and inspired communities.

    Whether I play a game for 3 weeks or 6-12 months is almost entirely based upon whether I find my way into a good active community during those three weeks where people are active and participating in the game.  When games make these easy buttons all it does it get you tens of thousands of casual players who quit one month in when the next game comes along. 

    Gaming companies are too focused on the pre-order and initial sales numbers, that is not how games like World of Warcraft, Everquest, Gallaxies, Aion or any other successful MMO did it.  They did it by getting a committed community that through their passion for the game caused it to grow to millions over the first few years.

    How many of us have been to a game that sold too many copies too quickly to people who quit 3 weeks later?  Its demoralizing you meet people you join them and 3 weeks later they are gone, making your feel less drive to get on and play everyday after your friends have moved on.  It also gives the game the appearance of being dead as zones that were packed early are now sparsly populated. 

    Hopefully more medium sized studios can start producing games without the preassure of big development budgets and venture capitalist preasuring for initial sales numbers, because that model clearly does not work for creating the best games.

  • VorthanionVorthanion Laguna Vista, TXPosts: 2,119Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by DamonVile
    The gamers who call the genre dead are the dinosaurs of the population.  Their time has come and gone and their refusal to adapt has made their opinions irrelevant.

    Don't be so quick to judge.  The genre is in flux and tomorrow, your preferences may fall to the wayside and the echoes of your complaints will be drowned out by the new favored gamers.  I don't see why there isn't enough room or business for all play styles to be catered to in today's and future MMOs.

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  • WizardryWizardry Ontario, CanadaPosts: 8,449Member Uncommon

    Evolving is making lower end technical games,so basically taking the same old and cheaping them to support a smaller budget.

    That is not evolving,not even in the lowest denominator.

    Developers quit trying to compete versus each other so now they all use the FAKE/MISLEADING free to play moniker and to support that they are making cheaper games.

    There are VERY few that go the more expensive route and try to reclaim some added profit through sub fees,by few i mean like 1 every 2-3 years if lucky.

    What further makes me laugh is that now we seem satisfied using ONLY part of the genre the MMO part,i guess just adding internet allows that to be true.However when a player immerses themselves into a character they are role playing not just chasing yellow markers around and calling fetch me a QUEST.

    The other lol new wave talk is something we NEVER mentioned when gaming in the old days,we NEVER mentioned our rpg as a themepark.This is the new term i guess to label what games are doing,which is  chasing yellow markers,running errands known as quests and doing nothing that resembles role playing.

    I guess this also pertains to NOT wanting to compete with high level game design anymore,everyone is just making the same old same old and finding new ways to market it.


    Samoan Diamond

  • apocolusterapocoluster newport news, VAPosts: 1,321Member Uncommon
    DamonVile I love you man. No truer words have ever been spoken

    No matter how cynical you become, its never enough to keep up - Lily Tomlin

  • DamonVileDamonVile Vancouver, BCPosts: 4,818Member
    Originally posted by Vorthanion
    Originally posted by DamonVile
    The gamers who call the genre dead are the dinosaurs of the population.  Their time has come and gone and their refusal to adapt has made their opinions irrelevant.

    Don't be so quick to judge.  The genre is in flux and tomorrow, your preferences may fall to the wayside and the echoes of your complaints will be drowned out by the new favored gamers.  I don't see why there isn't enough room or business for all play styles to be catered to in today's and future MMOs.

    I've been gaming for 40 years. If I stuck to what I wanted and never adapted to the changes in the industry, I would have become that dinosaur a long time ago.

    Sitting and waiting for a bus that may never come isn't my style. If it does happen to show up, I'll be happy to get on.

  • ComanComan Hattem, AKPosts: 2,034Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by danwest58
    We live in a world where free time is divided into short, little increments. 15 minutes here, 30 minutes there, maybe an hour if we're lucky. Asking people to sit in queues, organize raids, grind away on mobs just isn't feasible anymore.

    I really believe this is not true. How did that happen? We work less and have more vacation time they we did 20-30 years ago. It might be people split up there free time into short increments, but this has nothing to do with luck at all! This is a choice that people make. Most people could make the times, maybe not to sit into a 8 hour rate or be there on set hours, but that alone does not make a MMO a MMO. A lot of people might not want to, that is fine, but it is by choice not by change/luck.

  • CrazKanukCrazKanuk Elmira, ONPosts: 2,499Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by DamonVile
    Originally posted by saker
    Trying to turn MMO's into twitch arcade games is not evolution.

    Was making them graphical non- turn based an evolution from PnP ?

    Whoa, are you a philosopher or something? Totally +1

    Crazkanuk

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  • FoomerangFoomerang Portland, ORPosts: 5,565Member Uncommon

    I went through a "genre is dead" phase. Gamers evolve too :)

  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,211Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by DamonVile
    Originally posted by Vorthanion
    Originally posted by DamonVile
    The gamers who call the genre dead are the dinosaurs of the population.  Their time has come and gone and their refusal to adapt has made their opinions irrelevant.

    Don't be so quick to judge.  The genre is in flux and tomorrow, your preferences may fall to the wayside and the echoes of your complaints will be drowned out by the new favored gamers.  I don't see why there isn't enough room or business for all play styles to be catered to in today's and future MMOs.

    I've been gaming for 40 years. If I stuck to what I wanted and never adapted to the changes in the industry, I would have become that dinosaur a long time ago.

    Sitting and waiting for a bus that may never come isn't my style. If it does happen to show up, I'll be happy to get on.

    Same. It's like the Stones said,

    "You can't always get what you want

    But if you try sometimes you just might find

    You get what you need"

  • Cramit845Cramit845 Port Ewen, NYPosts: 343Member Uncommon

    MMO's are definitely evolving, changing or any other word you want to use.  Sometimes, for the sake of evolution, I THINK, they lose something for the sake of speed.  The loss of social interaction is a huge black mark on the MMO genre. 

     

    Having players even state that they don't want to socialize or believe that that's not something a MMO should provide even show how much this genre has moved away from it's roots to basically satisfy console/mobile gamers.  If people don't want to socialize, that's fine, go back to Candy Crush, but if your talking about MMORPGS (MASSIVELY MULTIPLAYER ONLINE ROLEPLAYING GAMES) than socializing is half of the damn experience.  Removing it basically creates a climate like we have today, no socialization, players are in and out quick unless they get into an actual community.

     

    I think the genre needs a half step back, but I don't think it will happen till the WOW generation of players realize that these solo games that are put out now just aren't fun.  I am part of that older generation and when I see more people going back to paper and pen in my circles, it's obvious that the genre has lost something that made the genre big in the first place.

     

    Personally I think this site is a good example of the WOW generation of gamers, for 6 months to release of the newest games, its all praise, then 1 1/2 - 3 months later, it's all negative on the same game.  Eventually the devs and publishers will find this not worth it and things will change.  However the kickstart/indie companies are still putting in good showings, especially with different types of games they are creating, so a lot of changing still to come and it will be interesting to watch. 

     

    The question I wonder is, will the genre eveutally solo it's way to single player games or make a change back to actually MULTIPLAYER game play.... time will tell.

     

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  • HarikenHariken Brighton, MAPosts: 981Member Uncommon
    Evolving into what is the question. Does anyone remember what the idea of an mmo was. Right on this board some of you call any game with multiplayer mmo's. I don't buy into that evolving thing. If that makes me a dinosaur so be it.  Mmo's used to need thought to play. Now its all about action combat to appeal to the younger generation console gamers. Everyone want mmo's to play like console or singleplayer games. They have useless acheivements in them now. That came over from console gamers wanting it in mmo.  So if they are evolving then its into something that is not what an mmo is. More like a multiplayer action combat console games. I'm not bying thats what an mmo is. Call me a dinosaur if you want. I will stick to the older games that feel like mmo's to me. Whenever i look at Wildstar gameplay video's, I shake my head. All that flashing and spinning combat comes right from console games. Nothing organized in gameplay no thought needed. If that is what you mean by evolving then it makes me sad. I'll where the dinosaur label proudly.
  • FoomerangFoomerang Portland, ORPosts: 5,565Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by Hariken
    Evolving into what is the question. Does anyone remember what the idea of an mmo was. Right on this board some of you call any game with multiplayer mmo's. I don't buy into that evolving thing. If that makes me a dinosaur so be it.  Mmo's used to need thought to play. Now its all about action combat to appeal to the younger generation console gamers. Everyone want mmo's to play like console or singleplayer games. They have useless acheivements in them now. That came over from console gamers wanting it in mmo.  So if they are evolving then its into something that is not what an mmo is. More like a multiplayer action combat console games. I'm not bying thats what an mmo is. Call me a dinosaur if you want. I will stick to the older games that feel like mmo's to me. Whenever i look at Wildstar gameplay video's, I shake my head. All that flashing and spinning combat comes right from console games. Nothing organized in gameplay no thought needed. If that is what you mean by evolving then it makes me sad. I'll where the dinosaur label proudly.
    You're not a dinosaur, just ignorant. Labeling something you have never experienced as thoughtless. Nothing old school about judging a book by its cover.
  • WightyWighty Westbury, NYPosts: 665Member Uncommon

    While it is true that the games are evolving the sad truth of it is the gamers are devolving.

     

    Game communities used to work together. Unfortunately now gamers are primarily solo players and just "use" one another to overcome a hurdle... Players will use a LFG/R tool to join group, consume content, not say a word to one another, drop group before the end boss even hits the floor.

    Worse is when groupmates drop when a particular achievement becomes unattainable such as time running out or to many deaths.

    It really is sad as players play MMO's independently as opposed to socially, and it has come to the point that the developers are starting to design games around this flawed system...

    What are your other Hobbies?

    Gaming is Dirt Cheap compared to this...

  • observerobserver Houston, TXPosts: 3,006Member Uncommon
    I disagree.  It's stagnant.  The genre is producing clones.  Just look at the latest hyped release, Wildstar.  How is that evolving?  It's actually devolving.  Quest Hubs are still there.  Dungeons are still there.  Instancing still there.  I could go on, but any veteran MMO player can see it.  If there were 2 things i could name that is evolving the genre, it's the "events" system (warhammer online's Public Quests, and GW2's Dynamic Events), and User Generated Content (such as Neverwinter's Foundry), and to a lesser degree the "Action Combat".
  • observerobserver Houston, TXPosts: 3,006Member Uncommon
    sorry, i quoted my above post by accident. lol.

     

     
  • AeonbladesAeonblades Home, GAPosts: 2,083Member
    No, it's not evolving. It's devolving into some awful F2P Cash grab steal your wallet single player lobby multiplayer first person shooter action garbage.

    Currently Playing: ESO and FFXIV
    Have played: You name it
    If you mention rose tinted glasses, you better be referring to Mitch Hedberg.

  • FelixMajorFelixMajor London, ONPosts: 576Member
    Well said Dan West.

    Originally posted by Arskaaa
    "when players learned tacticks in dungeon/raids, its bread".

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