I just looked at the latest MMOGCHART.com results...
It seems that the total population of all the MMO's combined has begun to drop since right before January of this year. Even with the increase in subscriptions of World of Warcraft the total number of MMO subscribers for all the games combined is dropping.
I went and looked at other games and practically every other game has lost subscribers. It's hard to find one that has gained any.
I'm going to try to use my analytical skills (as novice as they may be) and make an assumption. It seems that what has happened is this. People left other MMO's to go play WoW. People from other MMO's played WoW for a while, and then quit. People from other MMO's haven't really gone back to other MMO's. And not only that, but the numbers of people that were new to the MMO market playing WoW don't seem to be moving over to other MMO's after quitting WoW as veteran MMO players (such as myself) had hoped.
This brings up some possibilities to me...
- WoW is not your typical MMO. It's a "gamers" MMO. Why else would people who started WoW as their first MMORPG be quitting it and then not moving over to other MMO's enough to keep the total MMO population for all games increasing or level? I never felt like I was playing an MMO when I played WoW anyway. Sure it was an online game with other players in it, so I guess it literally fit the criteria, but the spirit wasn't there. Veteran MMO players know what I'm talking about. It didn't have that community feel that MMO's before it have had. That's what was so atypical about it.
- People who left other MMO's to play WoW are now leaving WoW and not liking what is out there. So they're just choosing not to play anything. In other words, everyone is trying to be the new WoW and veteran MMO players aren't looking for another WoW. So they're saying everything new stinks and waiting for something else. Hmmm... I wonder what that is?
- People are just bored. From all sides of the gaming world everyone is bored with the MMO genre. I get this feeling sometimes. If it weren't for my homebody nature and my hatred for television, I would probably have given up MMO's a long time ago actually. The whole time I'm playing I'm thinking to myself, "new game, but been there, done that, done that too, seen that already, oh yawn."
I'm just curious what you guys think. I also noticed that the quick rise of subscription numbers for WoW is tapering off. It will eventually someday level off and then fall. They'll try to revive it with expansions and updates just like the other games do, but even those will not breathe new life into it after a while. What is going to happen to our genre then? Or does WoW even matter to us anymore? Sometimes I think it was just an anomaly that created an insanity that sped up the demise of all the MMO companies. Are there really any of them out there doing anything different anymore?
Tell me your thoughts. I think it's an interesting thing to think about. At least from a behavioral aspect.