Has The Time of MMORPGs Passed?

Did you know that, since its launch in 2004, World of Warcraft hs had over 10 million active players and earned record figures?

MMORPGs/MMOs (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) is a relatively new phenomenon that has recently undergone incredible expansion. But it also seems to have gone out of fashion just as quickly. It all happened too fast — the rise, the popularity and the hype and, suddenly, it seems like MMO games spent all their tokens and landed in oblivion. What really happened?

Every passionate player remembers the MMO boom and millions of infected people at that time. Flawlessly rendered 3D games, the world of fantasy, fairy warriors, gemstones, and lots of guns — real gamers’ paradise. And, by the time this genre manifested the potential to surpass all the previous ones, it had already been hard to find a quality MMO game online.

Where Did MMORPGs Vanish?

Looking back in the past years, we can see that the majority of the excellent online role-playing games are long gone. Some tried to reclaim faded glory, like Star Wars: The Old Republic and Final Fantasy. Still, it seems like there’s nothing good enough to keep players online.

In 2019, nothing promising happened to fans. You can meet them in forums, asking the same questions all over again, followed by pretty nostalgic posters that mourn the WoW and attempts to survive the last tragedy, shutting of NCSOFT’s WildStar.

Why Are New MMOs so Different?

New content carries hardly any excitement for old players. There is no uncertainty or surprises. You can turn off your brain and play automatically. Just follow the instructions, and you can get to an end. 

We remember games like Everquest, Ultima Online and even Word of WarCraft. Those MMO games used to hide unimaginably exciting traps and twists. It was an actual war of the titans, back in days.

In another sense, MMOs have evolved through many aspects, like collective solidarity, for example. They have become timely and convenient for all players. Many have overcome ridiculously difficult obstructions such as traveling across the Horde territory to reach the gates of the Monastery or navigating trough the Azeroth. 

Is There a Next Chapter for MMORPGs?

Those nostalgic for generic old-fashioned trappings in MMOs do not see change as part of evolution, but more as a result of aging. They would rather believe that all the fun is gone with the sale of the WoW servers and keep remembering the golden period. Yet, as much as they resist, each former MMOGOR player will always come back to check out what’s new, and to test, compare, and make their expert judgment.

So, maybe this genre is not really extinct; it’s just alternating and becoming more rational. It may experience a renaissance and revive good old traditions. Several guerrillas are working on similar projects, like the Pantheon. Still, the MMOs are more likely to turn towards creating a more accessible environment and avoiding any bad reputation.

There is a rule that no golden age could be repeated twice. At least those who lived it can tell you it was magical.