When Magic the Gathering came out it had changed games forever. Anyone who can remember gaming in 1994-95 remembers that those cards never stayed on the shelves. Wizards of the Coast was so successful in Magic that they purchased TSR and now remain one of the top paper & pen companies still around to this day. There are other, there are always other who have strived to create successful games. Some smaller companies have made better games, some have even been somewhat successful. But no one can match what happened.
Then after Magic's triumph a ton of card games hit the market. Most failed, some still exist today, but overall the card game industry remains.
Then came Pokemon.
Now, Wizards published Pokemon in the U.S. the game became insanely popular and continues to be to this day. Basically it brought a more kid friendly approach to card games and had fun anime artwork and gave kids a reason to spend endless money trying to collect cards.
Think about this event for a few minutes....1994-1996 we saw card games pulse. Then came Pokemon and the execs found that kids spend their parents money much better than the parents themselves did. The market shifted somehow...and games like Magic stopped being made.
Many will argue that I am wrong. Many will argue that Magic still flourishes today, and it does. I am not talking about one specific game or games, I am talking about an industry.
Ultima, Everquest, Dark Age of Camelot, and ultimately World of Warcraft brought in a wave of gaming that looked like it would never go away. By 2005 there were endless MMOs in development with subscription models that would make the execs billions...BILLIONS!! (Muwaahahahaha!).
Then came Free to Play games. (The came Pokemon.)
Now, classic MMOs may never be seen again.
I am not going to go through a laundry list of reasons why I think these two comparisons are valid. You may entirely disagree. However...I do think that it gives us something to think about.
It is 2010....do you know where your MMOs are?