Like a lot of “passionate” gamers I’m not fond of the WOW effect on the genre and I haven’t been into that game since the days of T-Mill vs S-Shore (you know what I’m talking about oldschoolers). Up until recently I didn’t care about WOW. I had given up on my dreams of open world PVP and player housing and moved on. It was entirely off my radar. Then I saw an article about how it’s declining. Again I brushed it off. A few days later a scary thought hit me like TBC expansion! If WOW dies, what does that do to the genre?
Over night it would be a lot harder for devs to convince boards to invest in a new MMO. Based on how the last few “big ones” have done (doing their best Titanic impressions before jumping the shark to FTP) I assume it’s already pretty tough. WOW declining makes that even harder. A few years ago you point at WOW, point at how easy it would be to copy WOW (so you think), point at $$$ WOW makes a month and get ready to duck as the moneys came flying at you.
Remove that and it becomes a much harder pitch to MMO Inc. In a post WOW genre we will see less and less “big timeerrific AAA” MMOs based on license to print money IPs...but is that a bad thing?
Looks into the past, sees several smallish studios grinding away to make worlds to live in...HECK NO! This is great! Sure it becomes a harder process but maybe the giant corporate studios will stop caring about the genre and stop overseeing the MMOs they do put some money into (well, pull back a bit at least). The result being more control in the hands of the developers which means more unique and interesting MMOs!
Look at the genre right now, it’s already began. Crowd funded, hardcore, old school, unique, risky, crazy concept, WORLDS TO LIVE IN GALORE!
It will be a harder road. It will be a rougher road. It will be a road that not everyone makes it to the end of. But by gawd I have faith that WOW’s decline will help revive the genre we all love! Maybe even WOW itself will be allowed more freedom (ok, maybe not). The voxel, crowd sourced, WOW declining, the time is nigh! Soon the money will leave this genre and it will fall back into the hands of those who love it so! It’s a good time to be an MMO fan. After so many years of oppression and sub-par games we are almost there. Stay with us just a little longer and this blogger feels MMORPGs will be going back to the future in a big way!
Just look at the names of developers trying to make new MMORPGs right now! Old shops, new shops, new shops with old shop owners and enough niche MMOs in development for just about everyone! I haven’t been this excited about MMORPGs since my friend told me I would be able to live out Star Wars in a game!
WOW’s decline is scary but in the long run I think it will end up helping WOW and the Genre itself far more than it will hurt. Who knows, a few “crazy” expansions, or at least an old school vanilla server and maybe it will be time to give Ole WOW another try! To be honest just the idea of an old school server, but with some PVP additions in the open world makes my MMO senses tingle. That would be a heck of a fun game wouldn’t it?