Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Bad Year For New MMOs

EVE Online is getting a lot of press recently for its massive battles and player wars.  But I can't help but wonder what the coverage would look like on the gaming sites if the game publishers were coming out with massive AAA titles this year.  From what I can tell, the biggest so far this year is Neverwinter, which is based on Dungeons and Dragons.  Last year, August brought Guild Wars 2.  This year?  According to Amazon we'll see the rebirth of Final Fantasy XIV although we'll probably not find out officially until 8 August.

We may not even see a AAA game released during the Christmas season.  The Elder Scrolls Online isn't scheduled for release until Q2 next year.  After watching the Wildstar show on Gamebreaker I doubt we'll see Carbine launch the game this year.  And I really doubt that John Smedley is going to announce that EverQuest Next will launch this year at SOE Live tomorrow.

Of course, that just gives CCP and its players even more time to influence the future of the genre.  EVE influencing other companies?  Smedley apparently has bought into the whole "emergent gameplay" theory and we see EVE's influence on Planetside 2.  This year the buzzword among developers is "sandbox".  I keep reading about how all these new games will have sandbox elements.  At last year's SOE Live Smedley even stated that EverQuest Next would be the "largest sandbox MMO" ever created.

But until these other games launch and we can see if they live up to expectations, the gaming press will need content to fill up their web pages for those all so precious hits.  And if the gaming press actually winds up covering the actions of gamers instead of game companies, is it surprising that the mainstream media follows?

1 comment:

  1. I think what has emerged is the longevity of player driven content. Stuff Eve players did 10 years ago, MOO, the ascendancy of Bob, Guiding Hand Social Club heist is still interesting and relevant. Fortunes made then still mean you're rich.

    In WoW no one now cares who did AQ40 first except for historical interest. None of that hard-won gear is usable.

    Actions taken in Eve grow the game where actions taken in most MMOs shrink the game.