Thursday, July 23, 2009

MMO Crash on the Horizon?

It is a great time to be a MMO gamer. We have a lot of games to choose from and many more on the way. Just look at September, three major releases in that month alone (Champions Online, Fallen Earth and Aion).

In the coming year we will see a large number of new games and expansions. Can the MMO market handle all of these competing products? The development of many of them dates back years when WoW's numbers attracted all kinds of attention. Investors saw that there was money to be made and now we have a ton of MMO's (present and future).

One reason for this is that many thought they could grab a piece of WoW's playerbase. This does not seem to be how things work unfortunately. A significant amount of people like playing WoW and may not be swayed to these other games. There is a portion that will leave, but is it enough to go around?

The market will soon be saturated with MMO's and not enough players to go around. Once investors expectations are not met, we will see shrinkage (Do women know about shrinkage?) as MMO's close down, change payment models or shed employees. This will lead to investors being less willing to fund MMO's in the future.

As much as I like MMO's, I see the bubble bursting at some point down the line. Some games will be fine (i.e. WoW, TOR, Eve and others with a built in fan base). I think it will lead to more focused and efficient MMO's as they truly embrace their niche nature.


I agree with you Werit. I think all the smaller ones or too "freaky" MMOGs (like the superhero stuff) will have a hard time. And Developers/Publishers will have to work way harder to actually HOLD a playerbase.

I can only speak for myself, but the time I keep playing no matter how the game sucks are gone. I don't care if I have a character at maxlevel or not. If the game does not provide FUN anymore I will not hesitate to cancel my subscription and play another one.

This is the link to WAR. I'm not even 40, but t4 bores me to death already. It just sucks for me as a "hardcore casual" (=playing almost every evening but without core group) . Will still play until 40 to finish it and maybe the upcomming patch will change something in the balance but I doubt it.
Not much bad blood anyway, I had a great time until lvl30 and it was lot of fun.

Hmm... that certainly is a grim way of looking at things. What I'm hoping for is that established MMOs will retain a strong playerbase while also slowly removing the less enjoyable ones from the market. In the end, this will result in good MMOs coming from established companies that players know they can rely on.

That's not to say I don't want new and upcoming MMOs to have their shot though. An excellent example of that is Global Agenda, I think that game has some serious potential.

I don't think a "crash" per-se will happen exactly but considering the economy they sure are being gutsy all launching at the same time. I certainly will only be getting one (Champions Online) of the three mentioned.

I think that we will indeed see some of these games that do NOT cut it when launched (like as in not polished or ready for prime time) fail miserably and get nuked early.

I am pretty sure the gamer populace is getting sick of it, and Fallen Earth may be the first casualty. Not because it stinks or is bad, but I think that based on what some have said to me and what I saw at Gencon last year (VERY ROUGH) it will not last long

I totally agree with you werit, there is a level of saturation that the mmo market is reaching. And it's approaching faster than we think. As any busines, the status quo catches on and everyone tries to jump on the proverbial "gravy train".

You will see more uninspirational IP's coming to market by indie startups looking to "make it big" in the mmo market.

This was a fire started by UO, caught fire with EQ and exploded with WoW. Now we need to wait and see who will be left standing when the dust settles.

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