I believe well see less and less big mmos, as its already trending this way and instead we will see the rise of the rental server.
1) Its cheaper for the players as only one person has to rent the server.
2) worlds can be more personalized in terms of rulesets
3) people are generally tired of people they dont know and mmo management in general. They want smaller better communities with some control over who is there.
4) allows the use of mods to personalize the worlds to players liking on a server basis
5) Is easier for developers as we go back to just making the games that can support a couple of hundred players at a time.
I can see a company like microsoft leading this providing top notch server technology at rental cost that can apply to multiple games. If they were smart it would be part of their windows store strategy. If they make all their games to leverage server rental they not only get to sell the games but also rent the server space. This will be the biggest incentive possible for online games sold by microsoft. Steam cannot compete with that directly.
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