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General: MMO Year in Review

SzarkSzark News ManagerMember Posts: 4,420

Gamasutra has posted their look at 2007 from an MMO point of view.  2007 wasn't exactly a shining year for the MMO industry, but it wasn't all bad.  2007 had it's fair share of ups and downs, to put it diplomatically.

This has been an unbelievable year for Massive games. Unfortunately, I don't mean that in a positive sense. When I made a few back-of-the-napkin prognostications about the coming year in December of 2006, I thought I was being a huge sourpuss.



It turns out I wasn't nearly sour enough. Closures, projects failing in their development phase, the departure of notable individuals from high-profile titles, weak launches, minor scandals, a number of games that were just plain delayed ... it's been a hell of year.



It wasn't all bad, of course. Specifically the mainstream acceptance of World of Warcraft and the successful launch of Lord of the Rings Online speak to future successes for the genre. There have also been several 'dark horse' contenders showing their heads, plenty of new companies throwing their hats in the ring, and (finally) some measure of success for foreign games imported to the states.

Read more here.

Comments

  • slannmageslannmage Member Posts: 540

    Sums it up really....



    Lots of news but no games.

  • TiiKiiTiiKii Member UncommonPosts: 163

    Excellent write up!

    "Huntress"

  • truenorthbgtruenorthbg Member Posts: 1,453

    WoW's success shows me how out of the mainstream I am when it comes to MMORPG

     

    I enjoy

    • Deep world immersion [what is that?  It feels like you are in a novel and the story is developing]
    • Character customization:  look different and are different. Unique character.
    • Deep Questing: brings you into the world, story, lore, history, and advances your character.
    • Varied content:  solo, small group, full group, some raiding.
    • Exploration:  give me a world to explore.  A dangerous world.  Different politics.  Wars. Societies.  Crime and criminals.  Let me feel a sense of time and distance in the world.

    oh, well, the WoW direction is make it 1) cheap and 2) addictive.

     

     

    -----
    WoW and fast food = commercial successes.
    I neither play WoW nor eat fast food.

  • SonofSethSonofSeth Member UncommonPosts: 1,884



    Originally posted by truenorthbg


    oh, well, the WoW direction is make it 1) cheap and 2) addictive.
     

    Cheap?

    image

  • SoldarithSoldarith Member Posts: 184

    WoW's direction is "lowest common denominator". Meaning: lowest skillset, lowest reasonable graphics, and lowest MMO experience. That is why WoW is a winner. Is this necessarily a bad thing? Absolutely not. WoW appeals to the masses. It is just a shame that of all of the new MMOs released/releasing, they "just don't get it". However, let's not turn this thread into a WoW-only thread.

    The year's good news (I think):

    I think that LOTRO launched very smoothly, earlier this year, and has been somewhat of a success story (one of the VERY few this year). While most of the gameplay is 'same ole', LOTRO has introduced some new/exciting aspects to their title: Monster play, player housing, content updates, etc. And while not all of these ideas are 'new' to the MMO industry, it is refreshing to see a company follow-through with their promises of features and content (as so many often do not these days).

    WoW's Burning Crusade expansion was an obvious hit, during the very early part of the year. The expansion was a huge gamble on Blizzard's part, because of the risk they were taking in moving the raid game from 40 to 25. With a majority of their playerbase migrating successfully over to TBC, I would say that the expansion was a success - Although some claim they left the game because of it - subscription numbers continue to climb.

    Lots of new MMO themes broke through the fantasy-only plate this year. While this is good news for the industry, accepting new MMO themes, it isn't all rosy. Unfortunately, in my own opinion, this is where the "good" ends for this item - because the new themed titles were flops.

     

    The year's bad news (I think):

    We all got to witness the ugliest side of the MMO industry, with dirty laundry being put out for public consumption, layoffs, canceled hopeful projects, over-hyped titles, nasty launches, and just plain flops. This year has been one of the worse I can remember in the MMO industry (from a player's perspective).

     

    While I do not want to go into specifics on which titles I think that were flops, simply because I do not want to turn the thread into a flame war, I will say that a lot of the newly launched titles this year were duds - Reasons vary from super over-hyped and deathly under-performing, to smoke & mirrors, to just nothing new but charging you money for it.

     

    All-in-all, I think the most exciting thing about 2007 was the game announcements for the year. Why? Because if the development companies, investors, and publishing companies would have stuck to building a title that they advertised and announced. previous to release, then it would have been a smashing successful year for the MMO industry.

     

    Anyways, here is looking forward to next year's promises!

  • FlummoxedFlummoxed Member Posts: 591

    Originally posted by truenorthbg


    WoW's success shows me how out of the mainstream I am when it comes to MMORPG
     I enjoy

    Deep world immersion [what is that?  It feels like you are in a novel and the story is developing]
    Character customization:  look different and are different. Unique character.
    Deep Questing: brings you into the world, story, lore, history, and advances your character.
    Varied content:  solo, small group, full group, some raiding.
    Exploration:  give me a world to explore.  A dangerous world.  Different politics.  Wars. Societies.  Crime and criminals.  Let me feel a sense of time and distance in the world.

    Alas that was when the world was young and devs were idealistic and full of wonderful ideas.  No more.

    I do wonder what Bioware's and Blizzard's mmos will be like.

    Interesting to see that Raph Koster has become just another money grubber advocating micro-transactions.  I seldom agreed with his rambling philosophies on game design but at least he HAD a philosophy.  Now it's just 'how can we suck another nickel out of em'. 

  • RaitsesmanRaitsesman Member UncommonPosts: 215

    WoW has a developing story. U can customize character in WoW  quite lot. There is a lot to explore to.

    Don't say things about game if u haven't played it for a while.

     

  • katriellkatriell Member UncommonPosts: 974


    Originally posted by Raitsesman
    WoW has a developing story. U can customize character in WoW quite lot. There is a lot to explore to.
    Don't say things about game if u haven't played it for a while.

    Character customisation in WoW is moderate.

    There are diverse regions to explore, some interesting locales, a few environmental details, and a degree of stylish prettiness.

    But, in regard to story, I'm not sure what you mean. If you mean quests, those are pitiful; they're nothing but static crap pretending to be epic. "THX SAVIOUR-OF-MY-DAUGHTER #41,304,278!" Are there live events in WoW that catalyse progress in an actual realm-wide storyline? If not, WoW does not have a developing story. As far as I know the only time WoW's storyline progresses is when expansions are released, but I'd be happy to be proven wrong.

    -----------
    image
    In memory of Laura "Taera" Genender. Passed away on August 13, 2008.

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