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Confirmed: No New MMORPGs for 2018

As you may recall, we're in a bit of a MMORPG drought. In my 2018 will be the year of... post I was hoping for the MMORPG drought to end with the late-year release of Camelot Unchained, but all hopes of that have been completely illiminated by today's (good?) news for CU. 

Camelot Unchained has received $7.5M in a financing round that will accelerate development of the upcoming MMORPG. When they say "accelerate" development, it's also meant to say "catch up" because the game is years behind schedule.

More...

Click here to read the full press release for Camelot Unchained's $7.5M Funding

Backers have been waiting many (we can officially say "many" now) years for the game to enter even a beta state of development.

I myself am a backer in the $100+ range, and I have several friends who are in the $100, $200, and even $500+ range. Suffice it to say, the members of our community are invested in the game's future.

That's why we're all very happy to see the game has received much needed funding. A lot of really, really talented people work at CSE. Mark is an outstanding guy who has set out to make a game and stay true to his word. That team needed more capital to hire and get the game done -- and get it right -- so power to them.

Yet, sadly, this announcement does bear the bittersweet news that the game stands pretty much zero chance of releasing this year, and I'd be lying if I said I believed that even a large beta phase will hit before early 2019. 

Camelot Unchained is not a game they want to mess up. Screwing things up by releasing before the game is -- dare I say it -- perfect is a death sentence. 

For those of us who were around in the Warhammer Online days, this is more than a little terrifying. Remember the EA acquisition that wouldn't ruin anything? Mmmhmm. Mark appears to have learned his lesson, assuring folks that he remains in control of the company and has the promise (hopefully in writing) of all those important decisions... but investment capital and equity shareholders tend to have a voice.

With that said, let's be optimistic and amend our MMORPG forecast.

2013: Final Fantasy XIV, Archeage
2014: Wildstar, Elder Scrolls Online
2015: None released
2016: Black Desert Online
2017: ​Albion Online
2018: Camelot Unchained
2019: Camelot Unchained (Here's hoping)

Summary: Good news, Camelot Unchained can hire more people to finish the game faster! But beware the Ides of March.

  • Bhagpuss says:

    When was the last time you can remember, in or out of gaming, when the arrival of an investment partner on this scale did not material affect the direction of the company in question or significantly impact the nature of the products or services it produces? Which doesn’t mean the game, when it releases (and I’m sure something will release mat some point) won’t be good or even great. It just won’t be the same as it would have been.

    As for more MMORPGs, as I wrote recently I really don’t believe we need any. We have more – really far more – than enough already. As players we’d as likely be better served by fewer MMORPGs receiving better development and holding their audiences than by a stream – or even a trickle – of new ones drawing people to the new shiny.

    Also is that list really accurate or is it just MMORPGs that specifically appeal to you? I have to go to work in two minutes or i’d check but I seem to remember a whole slew of MMOs releasing over the last three years, some of which were rather successful.

    • Caldazar says:

      It is the list of MMORPGs he likes. Or there was no research. I initially thought Keen excluded Asian-ish mmorpgs but FFXIV is included so that is not it.

      Just googling 2 minutes gives me
      Archeage 2013
      Black Desert Online 2014
      as 2 massive ones, and plenty smaller/wildstar levels like Firefall 2014, Darkfall 2 2013, Skyforge 2015.

      There is a bunch more I never even heard of. That said, his premise of less mmorpgs releasing is valid, although I find it wrong not to count expansions, as they also draw people, just like a new game does.

      • Drathmar says:

        I personally find it wrong not to include expansions because expansions to existing games are almost more important than new ones for judging the health of the genre. The genre itself is actually in a fairly good place right now with a decent selection of moderately successful games that get continuous updates.

        It just seems like Keen doesn’t like any of the current selection himself which is biasing his opinion.

      • Keen says:

        The list is meant to be entirely unbiased. If you find a new MMORPG released in 2013-2017 that I do not have on that list please let me know. Caldazar pointed out Archeage and Black Desert Online which have both been added to the list.

        I’m trying to paint a realistic picture of all new MMORPGs released.

      • Drathmar says:

        Albion Online in 2017, Western release of Blade & Soul in 2016, Riders of Icarus 2016

      • Keen says:

        I added Albion Online. Blade and Soul originally released in 2012 but received an update adaptation in 2016. Riders of Icarus won’t be counted since it’s borderline not an MMORPG and within that eastern market.

    • Keen says:

      That list is from MMORPG.com’s MMORPG list minus the eastern market grinders that saw no real western market appeal.

      And no, it’s not a list of games I like. In fact, I detested Wildstar, thought ESO was a let down (though over the years come back), and FFXIV was just ‘ok’ for me personally.

      Caldazar is correct that I missed Archeage, thank you. that has been added to the list.

      Looks like Black Desert was released in 2016, I also missed that one and have added it to the list.

      Firefall was not a MMORPG, Darkfall 2 was just a patch of a released game, and Skyforge is in a grey area of whether or not it counts as an MMO — and if it does, it’s in the eastern market I excluded.

      Expansions aren’t counted here as this is a “new MMORPGs released” list I’m keeping.

      • Keen says:

        Bartillo from Discord points out Albion Online. We’ll add that to the list as well.

      • Caldazar says:

        Destiny 2 is an mmorpg too. Why doesn’t Firefall apply? (I did play only during beta, so maybe the game changed direction but…)

        Both Firefall and Destiny 2 have classes, leveling, skills you need to decide between, massive areas that have large amount of players in it, small group content, raids (for destiny, no clue in firefall).
        True, they are first person, but so is ESO. True, they have guns, but so does wildstar. True, both are shitty, but that doesn’t make em non mmorpgs.

        Does ARK count as an mmo? I am not as familiar with this game so can’t really say. You can debate the persistent world part.

      • Keen says:

        Destiny 2 is definitely not a MMORPG. It’s a first-person shooter with some RPG elements. It’s a lobby system with friend lists and instanced/truncated areas. The game is officially labeled “multiplayer” by the publisher.

        ARK is not a MMORPG since it is private server based.

      • Caldazar says:

        What do you mean with lobby system?

        The areas are as instanced as the SWTOR planets were. Not even sure they are smaller than the SWTOR areas even, although there are less. (Again, not claiming quality in destiny).
        Amount of people on one map (Even doing 1 world quest) is certainly not less than a current WoW phase.
        Not sure how the friendslist is related, that exists in many games and the friendslist has no impact on who you are on a shard with. I’ve been in same location but diff shard as friends many times, works the same as Guild Wars 2.

      • Keen says:

        Seeing other random players in a phased area socially doesn’t make a game a MMORPG. As the developers said, it’s a “shared-world shooter”.

      • Caldazar says:

        What the devs say does not matter, that is marketing. If what the devs said defined the game, a lot of games would suddenly be mmorpgs that certainly do not apply. In Destiny 2s case it is marketed as a game that can be finished till the next micro exp pack is released. That would clash with the common concept of mmorpg as a never ending game. PS: If Destiny 2 is no mmorpg because it can be finished, that would be a valid irrefutable reason.

        Seeing other random players in a phase area socially indeed does not make an mmorpg, but it certainly is an important part of it. Without that part I would even say a game would not qualify at all as mmorpg. The biggest counter to the game being an mmorpg is their clan system being shite (no non voice chat is added in the game, reason being console port) If text chat makes a game an mmorpg, destiny also does not apply.

        You do run in a large area and come across other players. In this area you usually solo quest or solo farm but you can make a party with friends which certainly makes the group quests easier. At the start after picking a class you grind quests and dungeons for experience, and once you are max level you grind higher itemlevel gear in dungeons with friends. Special weekly quests give extra rewards. You do dungeons and raids with friends, guild members or pugs. Pvp is a valid side activity that also give decent rewards. You change your skill dependant on the content you do. You hope you get lucky and RNG gives you the correct legendary for your class.

        The above can be a description of WoW and Destiny 2 and is equally applicable. Again, I am not saying Destiny 2 is a particularly good version of an mmorpg but I do not see why it does not apply. Yes, it is a shooter and that is uncommon, but if uncommon disqualifies a game, and it can only be an mmorpg if it is basically a fantasy game and semi clone of wow/eq the genre gets massively stifled and it is only natural there is no evolution or change, as the evolved or improved versions suddenly don’t count as the genre anymore.

      • Syncaine says:

        Um, Darkfall 2 was a completely new game from DF1. Not counting it as an MMO release would be like not counting EQ2 since that’s just a patch of EQ1.

    • Simon says:

      We definitely need a new RvR MMORPG. GW2 WvW is great pickup fun, but a seriously competitive RvR game is needed for those who want to dedicate themselves to it.

      You are right though on PvE MMORPGs, far more than needed.

  • evang says:

    Even if you superficially follow CU you had to know 2018. release was a long shot.
    I mean they are saying that they will have classic beta before release,that means that the game should be pretty much done at that point,and that will take like 6ish months at least.

    Don’t want to sound like one of those rabid fanbois but i do have some high hopes for this game,i like the transparency (sometimes they overdo it) and since MJ has experience making mmorpgs i believe that they will keep on track,he seems genuinely committed to making solid game.
    In general i think this is a good news,although everyone was expecting beta :P.

    They announced more payment options this month so i think ill back them up,i’m curious whats happening on the official forums.

    • Keen says:

      I follow it quite closely, and had some hopes for a late 2018 launch, but as stated in that previous post it was a long shot, so we’re in complete agreement.

  • Jim says:

    Mmorpg’s are no longer a genre, just a game called WoW.

    p.s. there is no way Camelot will be feature rich enough to entice people to pay a monthly sub…if they ever actually launch. Gawd what EA did to W:AoR still makes me angry.

    • Keen says:

      Re: WoW / Mmorpgs: Feels that way, doesn’t it?

      Camelot unchained will have to pull out some impressive design to not feel like a mess of GW2 and battlegrounds. A big part of RvR is all of the game outside the battlefield.

  • Jay P says:

    Keen, what have you heard about the release of Crowfall ?

    • Keen says:

      This year would be a stretch based on everything I’ve seen/heard from people playing. It’ll be an epic fail if it does. Last I heard they were still neck deep in fixing the issues that made people feel like it was more MOBA than MMO.

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