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BadSpock's Logical Conclusions.

My random thoughts about MMORPGs. A bit of critique, suggestion, debate, and insanity. Enjoy.

Author: BadSpock

ZOMG the genre is dying?!?!

Posted by BadSpock Friday January 11 2008 at 11:40AM
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I always LOL at these threads where people question whether or not the MMO genre/era is dying. That we are somehow in "low" times and is there no hope omg etc. etc.

Are you serious? Why?

1. More people play MMOs then ever before- Fact

2. More games are being released all the time - Fact

3. More variety and competition in the market - Fact (Yes, 95% are Fantasy, but at least Sci-Fi games, super hero games, and Pirate games exist now)

4. More games in development - Fact

5. More money spent on creating titles - Fact

6. More AAA devs/publishers creating MMOs - Fact


It's the BEST and GOLDEN time for the MMO era in my opinion.

You people just think that the genre is dying because you don't like the games that are out/coming out because you, personally, don't think they are good as the "old school" games we cut our teeth on.

Your opinion is your opinion, but the genre isn't dying. Fact. It's more alive now then ever before, and will only get better and better (hopefully.)

Just because you don't like the games doesn't mean the genre is dying.

Yes, there aren't any sandbox titles in development (yes I know about DF and I'm not getting into it) but does this mean that the genre is dying?

No. If you look at it from an economic perspective, MMOs are making more money, more are being made, and more people are playing them now then ever. Does this mean the genre is on it's way out? That it's dying? Only if you are a crazy person.

It's like saying "McDonalds is making 1,345% more profit per year then they did 10 years ago" and then coming back and saying "this must mean the era of McDonalds is coming to an end."

It's just crazy.

I just don't understand the logic behind these postings.

If you FEEL that the games aren't as good as they used to be, that is your opinion and you are entitled to it. But saying the genre is dying is just plain wrong. It's bigger and move alive then ever before.

Hexxeity writes:

As with most arguments, it's all semantics.

If you define "the genre" as "any game describing itself as an MMOG," then the genre is doing better than ever.

If you define "the genre" as something more personal, something involving roleplaying or teamwork or any positive association a player might have with pen-and-paper RPGs, then the genre is most definitely dying.

Actually, "dying" is probably the wrong word for the second case ... more like "evolving into something the original fans of the genre can no longer appreciate."

Are their feelings of betrayal justified?  Absolutely.  Not only was their dream-genre warped beyond recognition, but every game they ever loved has been mutated to fit the mass-market mold.

Should they get over it and either make peace with the new genre or leave it behind and get on with their lives?  Yes, because this is the way the world works, and MMOGs will probably never go back to the old model.

Fri Jan 11 2008 2:04PM Report
BadSpock writes:

Oh Hexxeity, why are you so clever?


Fri Jan 11 2008 2:06PM Report
Twohededboy writes:

What Hex says it true but that being said I can see the genre becoming stagnant with look alike games unless there is constant evolution. The problem with MMOs is that they cannot rest on what has been done before, the players are to savvy for that. Unfortunately, at least in my opinion, the market is stagnating.

Fri Jan 11 2008 2:19PM Report
BadSpock writes:

It's part of a cycle

The original innovaters create their game, hurray! eveyone loves it

then what happens is everyone else tries to emulate it, and no one really comes close to matching the original.

Then later on, something new and innovative comes out again! and the cycle starts over again...

This has been true of probably every genre in video games.

We are just currently in a emulaion period.

It DOESN'T mean the genre is dying, it means we're just kind of waiting for the next big thing.

So, I guess stagnating would be a good way to put it.

Fri Jan 11 2008 3:35PM Report
Tri_Edge writes:

i agree with the other comments, just to add an example tp heerobyas

WoW and some others titles are big and orignal, and ive heard the term WoW clone many times

I think we should wait, like it was said.

Fri Jan 11 2008 6:46PM Report
Sornin writes:

People often throw out the "MMORPGs are dying" comment because they feel there is a lack of innovation in current titles. However, I find this funny because no other game genre suffers this same problem.

About a bazillion FPSs come out each year, at least, and they are all virtually the same game with different stories/settings. FPSs have barely evolved since the mid-1990s and the original [i]Doom[/i]. They now just have cinematics, destructible environments, voiceovers, better physics, etc. However, the fundamental gameplay, which involves walking through a 3-D map and killing enemies with guns, has not changed. There have been some notable moments, but nothing revolutionary. Still, few people moan about this.

MMORPGs have evolved to the point where we are not going to see revolutions like we did with EverQuest. People need to stop expecting monumental breakthroughs because it is simply not feasible. There is only so much one can do and still create something resembling an MMORPG. I would like to hear some of these original concepts people are looking to see that would stop them from saying the genre is dying.

Anyway, in short, the genre is healthy, growing, and doing better than ever. It has just matured and innovation is going to be slow, just like every single other genre. Either accept it and enjoy the games for what they are, or pack up and play FPS #7540274 - now with better graphics and more bad voice acting.

Fri Jan 11 2008 7:02PM Report
fiskbulle writes:

"People often throw out the "MMORPGs are dying" comment because they feel there is a lack of innovation in current titles. However, I find this funny because no other game genre suffers this same problem."

I find your comment funny because as you later point out all the other genres, like FPS, suffer the EXACT same situation.

What you meant though I guess, could be that it's only a problem in the mmorpg genre.

Either way, as long as there are open betas at least I'll get to try the crap before I DONT buy it. Because not much today is buyable. It's just crap.

So I guess, open betas will be the next logical thing to eliminate to make sure that people at least pay the release money for a couple of "collectors of dust" AKA CD's so that they can recoup some money.


The genre is stagnant, "growing" (as in more people play world of warcraft every day), and more cloned than ever.

Fri Jan 11 2008 11:20PM Report
Alienovrlord writes:

Actually, "dying" is probably the wrong word for the second case ... more like "evolving into something the original fans of the genre can no longer appreciate."

Should they get over it and either make peace with the new genre or leave it behind and get on with their lives?  Yes, because this is the way the world works, and MMOGs will probably never go back to the old model.

This deserved quoting.  Well said.

But  I think that mainstream gamers were the ones who have been betrayed for last decade as the original MMORPG players kept the entire genre crippled by convincing developers to produce garbage for a niche market.

Good games sell themselves.    Good games like Myst, Civilization & Diablo.   For some reason MMORPGs didn't think this rule applied to them and people were okay with it.    That's a betrayl of simple common sense as well as the gaming market. 

Change always brings out those who scream against it.  Change is never more IMPORTANT when there are those who scream against it.    

Fri Jan 11 2008 11:27PM Report
Amen-Ra writes: I don't know what's dying and what's not, all I know is that they mus take out the letters "R" and "P" from the abreviation, it must be Massively Multiplayer Online Playing Game... the words ROLEP LAYING have nothing to do there any more... shame... but true Sat Jan 12 2008 2:59AM Report
Amen-Ra writes: edited :) I don't know what's dying and what's not, all I know is that they mus take out the letters "R" and "P" from the abreviation, it must be Massively Multiplayer Online Game... the words ROLE PLAYING have nothing to do there any more... shame... but true Sat Jan 12 2008 3:27AM Report
Sornin writes:

"I find your comment funny because as you later point out all the other genres, like FPS, suffer the EXACT same situation."

I meant that no other genre suffers people saying the genre is dying, even though no other genre has had any innovation in years. MMORPGs are the only games that constantly need to fight off people saying things like "WoW clone" and all that. I never hear "Doom clone" thrown around for FPSs.

Sat Jan 12 2008 4:23AM Report
JB47394 writes:

Sornin: "About a bazillion FPSs come out each year, at least, and they are all virtually the same game with different stories/settings."

FPSs don't claim to be anything other than FPSs.  Players are told that they can go in, shoot stuff and it falls over and dies or blows up and burns.  That's what they expect and that's what they get.  I recognize Crysis as you do - it's just another shooter.  Same as Duke Nuke'em.  In truth, Crysis is a problem for me because I don't want realistic people to shoot.  They've taken the genre too far in that direction.

MMOs have always been positioning themselves as virtual worlds of fantasy or science fiction where you can do anything you want.  They promise rich histories, power, heroic quests and much more besides.  Unfortunately, MMOs are games with lots of regular people in them.  They have fallen well short of all the claims.  Players are building ever grander visions of what these games can be, while the industry has been delivering primarily on the graphics.  So not only is the industry promising richness of experience, they're showing richness of experience.  Without the experience.  The lack of the experience is what players are moaning about.

I wrote about why MMOs are not virtual worlds and I was jumped on.  People really want them to be virtual worlds where they can fulfill their dreams and fantasies.  It's a very different beast than a shooter.  Shooters are much more like card games.  They're just card games.

For far too many people, MMOs are not just games.


Sat Jan 12 2008 9:15AM Report
Keogh writes:

The OP makes 6 points and claims that the are factual without providing any referances upon which he makes his claims.

Please provide factual referances and documented examples when you cliam something is a "fact".


Sat Jan 12 2008 10:49AM Report
Avsok writes:

Can you elaborate on:

"They're just card games"


"For far too many people, MMO's are not just games"



Sat Jan 12 2008 1:05PM Report
JB47394 writes:

Avsok: "Can you elaborate"

The phrase "just a game" reflects the fact that people didn't always place such a high priority on their entertainment.  Games were trivial things, while life was about our jobs, our families and our community.  That was real.  That was important.  Today, our entertainment has taken on that level of importance, which is pretty much insane.  Consider:

People who miss work to play games.

People who don't eat properly because they're playing games.

People who don't get enough sleep because they're playing games.

I'm not talking about addicts.  I'm talking about a huge number of players who place a great significance on the experience that they get out of their games.  MMOs rank way up there in being assigned inordinate importance.

I used the example of card games because for the longest time, a card game was a trivial passtime.  Yet even there, the triviality is fading away as more and more people bring money into the experience.  So before much longer I may not even be able to use the example of "just card games".

Sat Jan 12 2008 2:24PM Report
BadSpock writes:

LOL Keogh seriously?

Everyone with any common sense can see all 6 points are true and factual.

1. Were there millions of EQ and UO players? No.

2. 2,3,and 4 can all be answered by looking at the forum list on this site

5. You really think it cost 40-60million or more to make UO? EQ?

6. UO and EQ made their devs AAA studios. Now, nearly every AAA studio is making or has made a MMO.

How can you honestly argue against this? Oh, that's right, you're just trolling.

Sat Jan 12 2008 2:54PM Report
siftified writes:

I agree.


I also believe that it has something to do with the first gen games that many of us started out on.


Since the idea of MMO's were new and exciting to us, we stuck with games such as UO, AC and EQ through huge numbers of glitches, flaws and not to mention massive nerfs and changes to game mechanics. Why did we stick with these games? Because we didn't really have anything else to compare them to. Having little or no expectations heading into these games we gave them a chance, and learned to love them for what they were.


These days it's far to easy to grab a 14 day trial, play for a couple of days and say "nah, this game sucks". I myself am very guilty of this, and I tend to lurk around looking for a game that will give me the same feeling or buzz that AC1 gave me, rather than allowing myself to adapt to something new and different.


The genre is certainly not dying, instead it may be us oldschool MMO gamers that are unable to adapt to the new wave of MMO's who will become extinct.

Sat Jan 12 2008 7:27PM Report
Yamota writes:

It is dying in the sense that the genre has moved in a very different direction that from where it was originally. It has become mainstream and with that it has killed the original concept of a virtual dynamic world where your actions has consequences.

Sun Jan 13 2008 4:10AM Report
Xandramas writes:

I personally think that the reason people complain that mmogs r dying is because when you log onto most new mmorpgs except for wow the player base is below 5000 on the server. The 2 newest ones worth playing that came our recently are the sci-fi ones and the player base is so low on it it makes people think that they are dying. I was thinking that too.


The fact of the matter is, is most of the players are playing and stuck on one game for instance wow, once that game goes away the huge player base in that will migrate to the next new, and amazing mmorpg. It might be blizzards next mmorpg; who knows.

Sun Jan 13 2008 4:16AM Report
Flerondin writes:

this is the most important fact:

MMOs are no longer what they used to be...

With comming of World of Warcraft, MMO industry has changed...

if you just look at ultima online, and WOW, you will see a huge difference... older games were created for more mature, patient and serious people... Now the video game industry (including MMOs) is nothing more then a simple kid's toy industry... Few are those who are still what they used to be...

MMO genre died long ago... this is a new MMO genre and we all have to accept it... or hope for another change...

Sun Jan 13 2008 9:51AM Report
Kartuhn writes:

Of all the comments and complaints about why MMORPGs are turning stagnant and failing to deliver "richness" and "innovation" there are few that suggest or even hint at what is missing in them that generates such moaning from those who take the time to post. Imho, what is missing is fulfillment, satisfaction and reason

1. Fulfillment~ of the games hype and promises...

2. Richness~ of experience that allows the exploration of a world that affects the player and not just his onscreen persona...

3. Reason~ to care about that onscreen persona beyond the value of how many mindbending hours are spent collecting items, cash and experience points just so you can have a character constructed that looks, behaves and functions just like every other with few variations...

 I'm an old gamer. I've been playing since Pong was an eye-popping, mind-boggling innovation for the television set and I've loved every minute of it... even the disappointments. What I see in MMOs that has changed is the falling away of the importance of being a member of the game's community as nearly every game out there has us competing against each other even within the same faction. The word "community" now only refers to those who participate in the chats and no longer refers to the closeness of friendly neighbors who take an intrest in watching and helping each others "children" grow and improve that community. We're now all soloists grinding away at levels, possessions, power and each other. Guilds, Orgs, Corps are now mostly tribes of individuals without goals as a "family" as they used to be considered.

For me, the genre of MMOs in general, despite it's many improvements and innovations, has turned into just another place to go to look for a job. I find an interesting game and inevitably it becomes a place where I spend some time doing what I HAVE to do to satisfy the requirements of someone else for little or no gratification other than paying the bills and aquiring an item so I can keep up/catch up to everyone else who is doing exactly the same thing and who wouldn't miss me if I logged off and never returned since there is no reason to notice anyone else who isn't superior to you so you have a model upon which to base your character so that one day you can become the all powerful, all knowing game guru who can't be beaten in PVP and who has finally gotten every last 600 million credit item stashed in your personal warehouse that you get to wave in the N00Bs faces and laugh with haughty, grinning criticism while massaging your ego to the point of climax etc. etc.etc... ad infinitum! (I meant to ramble there... so please don't waste time flaming me for lack of punctuation or proper grammar)

It all just begins to look like burnout anymore... scratching and grinding to be better than someone else with no real goal in mind, no sense of purpose, no gratification that you are a part of something grander... The story never ends or significantly evolves by your actions and choices. You affect nothing in the game when it's all said and done save for those you can humiliate or irritate in the PK zones and nobody cares about you.

To close my little comment I can only say that, for those of you looking for all that is missing from MMOs these days (or any days for that matter!) is to find another job. It's the nature of MMO's to be "neverending grindfests" that have no parades for the victors... or victors for that matter! There will never be a final solution or the crowning of a king and all they truly are, as any GAME truly is, is to be a way to pass SOME time and not ALL of our time! Enjoy them until you don't anymore and then move on... they make no real difference to life at all and if they do for you... it may be time to spend more time improving REAL LIFE and stop working so hard at fiction.

Dying, dead, stagnant, growing, improving, innovative? It is, will be, has been doing all of that and will continue to do so according to each of our own opinions and we will continue searching for that one game we will love and hold dear only to watch it fade away as all games do. The genre is maturing every day and being refined and redefined by those who play and by those who make the money developing and marketing them. So hope for the best and look for something better than what has you disappointed at the moment. It will come sooner or later... just don't expect it to be paradise.

Sun Jan 13 2008 10:19AM Report
rokhazulu writes:

I like where MMO's are going. More people are getting into the MMO industry as it's the only safe way to get a PC game out that won't get hacked in the first 5 minutes of release.

Hopefully more MMO's means more ideas to improve on and maybe new ones that will blow our minds. Right now the games coming out are looking great and I have very high hopes for all of them. I can't wait to see Age of Conan's RTS like PvP, or Huxley's take on FPSMMO. Finally, MMO's are getting "good" and I'm sorry if that takes down some of the past games you have all played but to be honest most of those were very boring and repetitive and that's why no one ever wanted to play them.


Sun Jan 13 2008 11:08AM Report
Xandramas writes:

In regards to kartuhn's response. I agree with the whole fulfillment factor in regards to games being nothing more than grinding your way to the top and then being happy with pure pvp and most new games are exactly that. Really easy to level, Really easy toacquire things and when u get to the end what do u have to show for it.  A pretty character with no fulfillment. The only last true mmorpg that required some time and effort that had a rich environment, rich plot, and had a sense of fulfillment in doing anything that you do died off because it was too high end for most computers and wasnt a kill 5 enemies and level to 48 type of game. Its too bad that it died off too it was a good game except for the unpolishedness. (Talking about Vanguard obviously).

Unfortunately, after wow, and lotro, speedy leveling is a new prerequesite it seems for the huge mmorpg player market that exists and the day of feeling a sense of community and fulfillment factor of actually TRYING to complete something and feeling an achievement of successfully killing that dragon or creating that item or traveling that continent might be in days past.

Sun Jan 13 2008 12:57PM Report
Camoeb writes:

I would agree with you that the genra has never been more popular. I wouldnt refer to the era we are in though in MMO's as the golden era however. I hope that it is still to come. It may just be me but I personally am displeased with the vast majority of MMO's out there right now. But I am very optamistic about Warhammer. =)

Sun Jan 13 2008 6:02PM Report
BadSpock writes:


What's funny is, I started playing UO when I was an immature kid (like 14-15 years old) and started WoW as a 21 year old adult.

I'd say I have 10x the patience I had then.

And overall, throughout 3 years+ of on/off WoW gaming, I'd have to say that despite UO popping my cherry, I've enjoyed WoW 10x as much as I enjoyed UO.


Mon Jan 14 2008 8:40AM Report
Hexxeity writes:

Thinking back to how much UO frustrated me waaaaay back then, I'm surprised that I was willing to try another MMOG after that.  Well, not really.  My main frustration was the ganking, and EQ promised no ganking, so of course I signed up.

But if I'd known that the whole thing was becoming a genre, and that each new game would offer a few things I like and a multitude of things I despise, I might just have decided to stick with console games.

But my inner optimist never dies, so I keep my eye open for something that might finally satisfy my (admittedly) very particular taste.

Tue Jan 15 2008 1:51PM Report
BadSpock writes:

word Hexxeity... word

Wed Jan 16 2008 10:37AM Report writes:
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