MMO clones are everywhere. In reality, most MMO's use some variation of the old Dungeons & Dragons system, using virtual dice rolls and true character customization. However, who is at fault for these clones? Who is at fault for the same, repetitive combat system, the same repetitive quest system, the same repetitive tradeskilling system? Is it the producer and developer, or the consumer that has caused this mass production of MMO's?
Game Developers & Producers
Game developers are very scared. I don't blame them. They're tasked to make an excellent game with an assigned release date, and this game must be centered around a certain concept. How they make the game is up to them, and at that point (especially if it's part of a well-known series) all they really do is create a new storyline and fix the issues that buyers pointed out. There is no real creativity behind the scenes. While the finished product may have excelllent graphics and have every single non-porous surface all shiny, there is no real creativity as far as gameplay goes. It's the same old system that had been used for a decade or so.
So, why not create a game that uses a completely new system and different gameplay than what gamers are used to?
Well, as I said before, the game developers are scared. They've seen the games that work and the game that don't work, and they think that by "recreating" the system that works, they might please the fans of the series, or anybody whomight be passing by the game in EB Games.
However, could it also be the buyer's fault too?
The gamers that buy these MMO's are afraid, but for a completely different reason. They don't want to waste their money on a bad game, and will only buy the games that have been advertised and have been approved by multiple sources (probably including MMORPG.com as well). Also, they do not like venturing outside of a series very often, as they think that they might waste their money on these games as well.
So, is it the game developers fault for producing games with a traditional World-of-Warcraft-type system, or the consumer for not taking risks and buying games that may be just as good (or even better) than the traditional games?
I would put the blame on both parties, as both are very afraid of the possible downfalls of creating a game that might be rejected. The way I see it, if people want a game that will bring abut the destruction of World of Warcraft, they can't look for a game that looks just like it. They must broaden their horizons and demand a game that is different.
Because do you really want to see people raving over World of Warcraft for another decade?