I often wonder why we are bombarded with elves, fairies and minataurs in the MMO market, instead of laser beams, space ships, and robots? If you take a look at the MMORPG games currently on offer, you'll see that "fantasy" hands down is the most prolific of the bunch, with "science fiction" at the bottom of the offerings.
Personally, I think I'm ready for a new sci-fi MMO. If you read my blog regularly, you'll note that I am a long time veteran of SWG, and I think that the two primary reasons why I stuck it out in the game so long are: 1) It's Star Wars, I mean, c'mon! 2) It's laser beams, space ships, and robots! But it is no longer fun. I'll leave SWG alone now (please read my prior SWG-related blog entries for more on this), and not belabor the point. All who have played SWG for a long time know what I'm talking about.
I have played EvE Online for 3 months and just could not get into it. Don't get me wrong. It's a HUGE game with a lot of detail - but it's a bit TOO complicated for my liking. I'm also of the ilk that I like to have a physical avatar to run around the game world with...in EvE I am a bodiless pod. Also, I'm not a shrewd business man with a finger on the pulse of a fake stock market, and don't really have the patience to work at it. So personally the game is not for me.
Face of Mankind was a hell of a lot of fun. It's futuristic, but a believeable futuristic, that had laser beams, but not space ships or robots. The idea of the game was fantastic. You take up citizenship in a living breathing world - and you have a job - and a house. You could play a futuristic police officer who could actually aprehend other players and arrest them and put them in jail if they broke the law. You could also be in the military, taking the defensive approach to the world. Or you could just be a crafter for one of the many corporations. Great game, but alas it has been pulled from the shelves. Although I hear the devs are gonna try somehow in the future to bring it back. Look for it again.
Neocron 2 was Sci-Fi but egad it was boring. And the graphics were pretty dated. I understand that a lot of corruption on the inside (the devs and CS) has basically ruined the game and there is hardly a population anymore. I personally did not care for it, plus it was just plain expensive.
I late phase beta-tested Tabula Rasa and although it is sci-fi, I don't really care for FPS type games, as I'm not really that good at them. I think Lord British did a great job on the game, especially while trying to create a FPS-MMO type game, but it lacked the RP elements and exloration type activities (aside from discovering logos) that I look for in an MMO. So it just didn't fly with me personally.
So that leaves me with only limited options in the future - and even that looks bleak. Star Trek Online may or may not even exist. I hope that it actually comes to fruition but it sounds like Perpetual may have dropped the ball on this wonderful IP...only time will really tell on this one.
Stargate Worlds is another potential contender which seems to be heavy on both the science and the fiction. I personally am not a huge fan of the Stargate franchise but I have to admit that I'll probably give the game a try when it gets released, as it tickles my sci-fi fancy.
So in conclusion, it seems that the sci-fi genre is not very popular with the MMO devs, and I'm trying to understand why not? It has just as many potential elements as fantasy themed games, but it would appear that more people can relate to elves and bows and arrows more than they can to Klingons and phasers. Why do you think there is such slim pickings?
Thanks for reading my blog. If you enjoyed what you read here, please visit my MMORPG web portal / forum here.