It’s the end of the world as we know it. The MMO genre is dead.
Have you heard this argument before?
Over the last week or so, a massive wave of pessimism has swept the blogosphere carrying everyone in its wake.
The recent crop of bad news has been jumped on by skeptics as final proof that the end is nigh. Even firm believers fear for the worst.
However when I survey the plethora of titles simultaneously coexisting in the MMO market today, as viewable in Syp’s excellent MMO timeline, it’s clear that a game doesn’t need 1 million subscribers to continue. People are still playing Ultima Online, Everquest and Lineage today.
When I reflect on SWTOR’s 6 months since launch, I see 2.3 million sales to an enthusiastic audience that enjoys multiplayer online games and was hoping for the next big thing. If we take a read through the complaints on the official forums and other places, you find that most of them focus on quality of life issues – PvP balance, the ability to move servers, the ability to easily group up etc.
This doesn’t tell me that story is a lost cause in multiplayer games or that themeparks are on their last legs.
Of course there have been bumps on the road.
Not every MMO has the right business model, or can differentiate itself sufficiently to get traction with an audience.
Many will have to evolve to meets the demands of the market.
Some will fail.
But as long as there are players willing to pay for these games, there will be developers eager to make them and investors willing to finance them.