“Look guys, there’s this great new MMO coming out! Its gonna be the one to end WoW this time!”
It feels as though this is said everytime a MMO gets announced or enters development. Everyone hypes this up as the next big thing, we all go to it for a week, and then we very quickly forget about it. Maybe mention it a couple of times in some random news article about how the developers severely overestimated the potential to enter a market which has already set it’s big players in stone.
This repeats, and repeats, and repeats, and repeats, and repeats, and repeats, Korega requiem da, etc.
Here’s why there is never going to be another new big MMO.
- The world has fundamentally changed since MMO’s first became a thing. Part of what made MMO’s so popular back in the early 2000’s and 2010’s is that they were also a social network, a place where you could hang out. Now, that element is gone and the gaming landscape has moved on from that. What many new MMO’s do though, much to their mistake, is attempt to foster those social interactions not realizing that that element is no longer in play. In small scales it works, but its basically only in RP communities.
- Developers severely underestimating the undertaking of an MMO. Trying to create an open world MMO to rival WoW or FFXIV is not easy, and it requires a lot of time, effort, and money. What many developers fail to understand though is that you can’t just put in an open field with a couple of boars running around and expect the playerbase to care enough to play the game. They also don’t seem to understand what difficulties are faced when you also have to work on balancing, side systems, and more, when compared to other genres. MMO’s are big, and developers have yet to fully learn from the mistakes of overambitious MMO’s which flopped.
- Lack of individuality and style. Modern MMO’s suffer from this the most, where they go for the photo-realistic imagery that has become common in other games. What they fail to understand however is that just making the game look “pretty” doesn’t give it style, as evident by FFXIV which was able to strike that balance in it’s visuals. Afterall, who would want to play a game that looks just like any other game, or something which was used as an unreal engine demo a few years ago.
- Modern MMO’s fill most niches. Simply put, thisi s the real problem. With the wave of MMO’s that were made, the ones that stuck around are highly varied in gameplay, artistic direction, and story-wise. SWTOR fills the story niche, FFXIV fills the anime niche, WoW fills the fantasy niche, there is something for everyone in the genre already.
- As a continuation of the fourth point, they also fail to advertise to communities outside of the already established MMO communities. Established MMO players are always going to be looking at the next game, sure, but those players do not bring longevity to a game. Modern MMO’s being created have simply failed to advertise and appeal themselves to wider audiences. Why should a regular consumer who has no idea what a WoW is care about the game which advertises itself and promotes itself as a WoW killer?
I feel this sums up all the problems nicely. There is just never going to be a new big MMO, and I can’t wait to say “I told you so” to the next MMO to be released.