All the arguments about what the term "Massively Multiplayer" means when it comes to solo vs group play in regards to content should just be set aside. We can agree on one thing: there are a lot of people that love to be in a massive multiplayer world, but prefer to solo most of their career. There is no need to psychoanalyze this any more than there is a reason for casinos in Las Vegas to psychoanalyze why some people prefer slot machines alone over playing Texas Hold 'Em with other players.
It's what some people prefer; they prefer to solo and would enjoy it if the slot machine they play is capable of a payout equal to what they can earn by playing a card game with other players. And, they want to play their slot machines in the lounge of a big casino with lots of players around. There is a large market for a MSORPG. So, why isn't there one? In a market flush with dozens of MMORPGs, not a single MSORPG (Massive Solo-friendly Online Role Playing Game).
Here's another question for you; in a market where perhaps 10-25% of the customer base will ever see the top-end content because of time limitations or the preference to solo, why is it that every single game is still fundamentally constructed for that same 10-25% of the customer base? It only stands to reason that if you develop a game dedicated to the other 90-75%, so that they, with their time restriction and solo playstyle, could achieve the top content of the game, you could potentially take away most of the customer base of most games currently active - including WoW.
How odd is it then that no game is trying this obvious model out? Why is every single MMORPG that comes out still developed and marketed to that same 10-25% of the customer base? Why is there no MMOG whatseover that is aggressively making these marketing points:
OUR GAME IS DEVELOPED AROUND SOLO PLAY.
GROUPING CAN DO THINGS FASTER, BUT EVERYTHING CAN EVENTUALLY BE ACHIEVED BY THE SOLOER.
TIRED OF FALLING BEHIND EVERYONE ELSE BECAUSE YOU HAVE A LIFE? YOUR CHARACTER ADVANCES AS FAST AS EVERYONE ELSE'S.
YOU PAY FOR 24/7 PARTICIPATION, YOU GET 24/7 PARTICIPATION.
STOP SETTLING FOR BEING A 3RD CLASS CITIZEN IN A WORLD DOMINATED BY POWERGAMERS AND UBERGUILDS.
TIRED OF BEING FORCED TO PLAY LIKE THE GAME IS A 2ND JOB?
STOP HAVING TO CHOOSE BETWEEN SOCIALIZING, CRAFTING, OR ADVANCING YOUR CHARACTER. SPEND YOUR ONLINE TIME DOING WHAT YOU ENJOY, NOT WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO TO ADVANCE.
ROLE PLAY TO YOUR HEART'S DESIRE - YOUR CHARACTER IS STILL ADVANCING!
You don't think a marketing strategy like that would generate a huge amount of interest?
How is it that such a game, and such a marketing strategy, hasn't already been done?