MMORPGs in 2017: Driest Drought Ever
This year may go down as the driest MMORPG drought in history. There were barely any new MMORPGs released the entire year. Perhaps that makes it slightly better than past years when we saw nothing but one garbage MMORPG or shovelware MMORPG after another.
Most of what people will chime in about are expansions like ESO: Morrowind, Stormblood, and GW2: Path of Fire. If that’s your thing, great, but for the industry it’s pretty pathetic. The year of Expansions and failed indie launches really doesn’t speak highly to me.
For me personally, I dropped about 4 months into the Time-locked progression server for EverQuest. I had some fun. Playing with some friends is always a highlight for me. There’s a novelty factor there that most people will acknowledge. It wears off. Again, not really a shining beacon for the industry.
Looking for some hope, I visited a few of the MMO news sites to try and figure out what they could possibly have written about for the past 12 months. Wow (not WoW but woah…) it’s not pretty. In the month of December it’s PUBG, some random car themed racing game, Diablo 3, a handful of asian grinders that most in the west would avoid in fear of spyware, and lots of non-MMO related stuff. There’s even a sincere lack of theorycrafting or commentary. This isn’t harping on them at all — seriously, I feel their pain pain. I myself have always favored MMORPG commentary here on the blog but in 2017 it simply wasn’t possible. In fact, it always killed my desire to blog entirely until I bounced back with my challenge to blog every day.
This next year will probably flop just as hard, if not even harder. In my post looking toward 2018, I remarked that we may see ONE MMORPG launch (Camelot Unchained) and I fear that might even be really, really big stretch.
We saw that coming, didn’t we? We knew the industry crashed and burned pretty hard after the clone wars. Then the business model battle began and the industry cannibalized itself. Quality went down the drain. Investors lost confidence. Consumers moved on. In the archives of this blog many of us have had this discussion for years: MMORPGs were going to have to sink so low — to the point of being gone completely — before they can come back. 2017 certainly was a year of vacancy, but not a sign of any return.
I am sincerely hoping some random MMORPG drops from the sky and lands in my lap in 2018. I can’t say I have any hope or faith, but I’ll certainly welcome to opportunity. If you’ve had your eye on a MMORPG and believe it’s launching in 2018 — one that I somehow missed — please let me know. I’d love to jump back in head first to dissect mechanics, theorycraft about how things should or shouldn’t be designed, and dig my heels into an active community. That’s the stuff that gets my blood pumping, and I live for it