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It is due to the "Fonzie Syndrome"...Please let me explain.
For those not old enough to remember, there was a sitcom on TV back in the late 1970's called "Happy Days" which was based on a great movie called "American Graffiti" directed by George Lucas (Star Wars), both took place in the 1950's.
Well, there was a cool character in Happy Days named Fonzie played by Henry Winkler, who would only appear for brief moments in each episode if at all. He was so popular viewers could not get enough of him and whenever her appeared it was a big deal, same for another character named "Mork" played by Robin Williams.
So what does this all have to do with MMORPGs? Well, here it is....because people were going nuts of Fonzie he began to appear more and more, until he was in every episode and the series began to revolve around him as the main character. He was literally being shoved down the viewers throats and soon viewers became sick of him and Happy Days ratings began to slide.
Ever since then, every freaking marketing department for almost every product has adapted this same "Fonzie Syndrome" of shoving products down consumers throats even if they are tired of it, to the point where due to lack of choice the consumer "just settles" for it.
Some examples...because of the success of "Twilight" on HBO, other cable stations are adopting "Vampire" based series. When you go into Barnes and Noble books store, there are two entire rows of the Sci-Fi Fantasy section now dedicated to very tom, dick, and harry Vampire novel clone...same goes for Zombies...hey I love Zombies, but enough is enough....KEY WORD..."CLONE"...sound familiar?
How often do you hear in and out of MMOs the term "WoW Clone"?
Now I used to get angry when people used that term! I have heard it in regards to almost every
MMO I enjoy , i.e. WAR, AoC, LOTRO...and even ones I dont enjoy as much, i.e. AION, Darkfall, even unreleased MMOs such as RIFT and now even Sci-Fi MMOs such as Warhammer 40K Dark Millenium...DOH! How the heck can that be a WoW Clone?!?
But now I know why this term is used...it is used not because the game in question is trying to be like WoW, its because is it uses a large part of WoW as its model, or as a model for smaller parts of teh game.
Much to the chagrin of us players, we begin to realize that regardless of whether you like WoW or not, when you see elements of WoW to any degree in any other MMO, you moan and get upset because "geezuz....same old same old!!!
Can someone please use their imagination and do something WoW has not done? PLEASE...
Thus, if you look at the good MMOs out there it is saturated with "FANTASY" / "HACK AND SLASH" MMOs...aka WoW...
WHERE are all the Sci-Fi MMOs? There are not many..why? Because of "FONZIE SYNDROME"!!!!
You see...it takes money, it takes backing, it takes some zoot suit executive and marketing executives who know NOTHING about MMOs who end up financing most of these projects.....investors...investors...investors...
Investors in a MMO of any scale want to make money and just as the stock market they look at historical indicators...what do they see? WoW!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thus, regardless of teh great ideas Developers and Designers come up with the executives first look at historical and trends, and they look at Fonzie...they look at WoW...adn thus, without being some sort of WoW clone, they wont give their stamp of approval.
As result, we are saturated with hack and slash fantasy MMOs....its getting old.....where is the Sci-Fi, where is the innovation? No wonder Star Wars Galaxies is getting so much attention..YES its Star Wars, yes its Bioware, but OMG finally a triple AAA MMO thats Sci-Fi! and not hack and slash fantasy!
If I see one more Elf I will scream!
So next time you see the term "WoW Clone" or wonder why most MMOs still seem to based on the same old same old model...you can blame FONZIE.