Developers need to start turning on their creativity switches and start to move away from the generic fantasy MMO theme. There’s nothing wrong with fantasy games, but that particular market is so incredibly saturated now. As an avid MMORPG gamer I want to see new games that aren’t fantasy themed. Believe me; I’ve slain enough Orcs for two lifetimes. Games like Neosteam and Age of Armor are both breaths of fresh air in the realm of MMORPGs. I’m not claiming that Neosteam and Age of Armor are great games, but they’re at least something different.
Neosteam is a “steampunk” themed MMORPG. Steampunk may be a genre you haven’t heard of before, but in simple terms, it means a mix of sci-fi and fantasy, usually featuring large steam powered buildings / robots. Neosteam isn’t exactly a unique concept, as it plays like every other MMORPG, but the game does change the environment around, and that’s definitely a welcomed change. Another interesting game that I’ve recently played was RF Online. The game marketed itself as a sci-fi game, but for all intensive purposes it played just like every other fantasy MMORPG, but with a few distinctions; most notably, the game’s environment. The sci-fi environment and sci-fi weaponry was a welcomed change, even if the game’s core mechanics were almost identical to every other MMORPG.
Another non fantasy mmorpg game which I found to be interesting is Age of Armor. The game actually looks and feels like a drastic change from your average fantasy MMORPG. You actually get to kill space aliens with guns and huge robots. Unlike RF Online, all the environments and weaponry in Age of Armor are sci-fi themed. Once again, Age of Armor doesn’t reinvent MMORPG genre, but the environments are different than your average MMORPG game. The reason I actually went out and downloaded Age of Armor was because the game was sci-fi themed. I simply wanted to try a genre other than fantasy.
Unfortunately, with the massive success of World of Warcraft, developers will continue to churn out fantasy titles, as they want to stick with a model that has worked in the past, and the fantasy genre has been the most successful. I would however, like to see developers get a bit more creative, as nearly every fantasy environment looks identical these days. I’m not claiming that fantasy games aren’t good, but I would like to see some new non-fantasy games released.