This evening I was browsing Yahoo! and saw an article on the front page featured section boldly declaring “The Next World of Warcraft – 10 games that could conquer the universe.” My curiosity got the better of me, as I usually never give what Yahoo! has to say on gaming the time of day. Which 10 games would Yahoo! pick that might overtake World of Warcraft? Most of us can recite this list with our eyes closed while half asleep because are there honestly 10 games out there with enough publicity to even come close? Here’s the list from Yahoo!: Age of Conan, Gods and Heroes, Pirates of the Burning Sea, Pirates of the Caribbean, Tabula Rasa, Warhammer Online, Huxley, Sun, Star Trek Online, and some Unnamed Bioware project.
Let’s be realistic here. NONE of these games will be the next World of Warcraft and NONE of them will dethrone the behemoth. It just simply will not happen this generation. Maybe in 3-4 years we’ll see something that might come close and it will probably be from Blizzard again! So which of these games will come close? I would really like to give me thoughts on each of these games very, very briefly, and state whether or not I think it will come close to being the next WoW or even a big success.
Age of Conan – It will be a success. The PvP and the gameplay will be interesting enough to draw a great crowd. The next WoW? No chance. It will see moderate boosts to it’s draw through a console release and this could be a great saving grace for AoC. MMO’s could be well received in today’s market.
Gods and Heroes – I think it will see a small launch and sustain a small population. It will be far from a failure but will never surpass WoW or some of the other blockbuster titles coming in 2008.
Pirates of the Burning Sea – This one is probably on the top of my “I sure hope it does well” list. PotBS is really unique and it’s aspiring to be the next total experience for soloer’s, socializer’s, and those looking for something completely different than the normal MMO experience. Being completely honest it will not see the success of WoW or maybe some of the other major MMO’s coming out but it will do very well. I am watching this one with much anticipation and I wish the best to FLS.
Pirates of the Caribbean – I don’t know where to begin. It’s just not going to happen. It’s aimed at a much smaller audience and it doesn’t have the appeal that any of the others on this list currently have. I don’t see it doing too well.
Tabula Rasa – I think this will see numbers somewhere between Gods and Heroes and Age of Conan. It’s another one of those MMOs trying to move in a direction different than the normal hack and slash. Some great ideas and hopefully after I’m done playing this trial off File Planet I’ll be able to give more input on it. It won’t see WoW success but it won’t be a failure either.
Huxley and SUN – I lumped these two together because I don’t have the knowledge to comment on them properly. They are both Korean MMO’s and SUN is even already available in Korea. SUN is free to play, sustaining itself through in-game item sales. That’s something to think about.
Unnamed Bioware Project and Star Trek Online – Can’t even comment. Bioware has great ‘potential’ and the Star Trek license has “awesome MMO” written all over it.
Warhammer Online – Last but not at all least. Warhammer Online has the greatest chance of dethroning WoW and honestly will see the greatest success out of all the games listed here. With the backing of an entire DAOC community, Mythic at the wheel, EA’s marketing resources, the Warhammer IP, and from everything we have seen so far a “Blockbuster” in the making, Warhammer Online could very well be the next BIG MMO out there. I anticipate that Warhammer Online will have an enormous launch with an even bigger following in latter months. It will most likely outlast all of the other MMOs on this list as well.
Those are my predictions. None of these games will flop but none of them will dethrone WoW. Is that necessarily a bad thing? I think it’s fine that WoW enjoys the numbers and success. Right now we’re looking for something new to launch us into the next generation of MMO gaming. I would be looking towards the generation after the one listed above as possibly being the “WoW Killer”.