In the years of 2000 and 2010, MMOs have come a long way. Yet over the better part of that decade we have seen World of Warcraft dominate the industry and continue to grow. Though WoW has changed throughout the six years of its reign as top MMO on the market, the game play has essentially remained the same. Guild Wars 2 has come forward this season with some serious story and world improvements on the basic MMO concept. The way players impact the world is being taken very seriously by the team and looks to launch a new way of thinking in gaming for the next decade. Will we see Guild Wars 2 become the dominant game of the years 2010 to 2020?
After a long time, WoW just released its sales numbers. The game is now showing up to twelve million subscribers. That is larger than some countries here on this planet, and even some states in the U.S. ArenaNet has seen similar success which may be flying under the radar. Guild Wars has sold up to six million copies since its launch and remains one of the most successful MMOs over the last few years. These numbers are no joke and they go largely unnoticed since Guild Wars did not charge a monthly fee and had set instancing as part of its design. Some people felt it played on the borders of being a true solid MMO. Regardless, the design of Guild Wars set the tone for a great game and through its paid expansions the game has done incredibly well. There are many MMOs that would love to have Guild Wars numbers.
So in looking at Guild Wars 2 observers have a very solid foundation to build upon. As we look at the player base across the globe for MMOs, we see a continued pattern of growth. Gamers from every culture have now picked up and played a game online and remain passionate about their favorites. A passionate player base is all that is needed to sustain a company that will keep delivering to that audience. MMOs have expanded to even non-gamers at this rate. With the computer age continuing to take over more of our daily lives, being and staying online has become easier and something more people are doing. Children are now growing up in the age of the Internet, whereas some generations of players still remember those pencil and paper days.
So Guild Wars 2 has a solid format from its predecessor, a growing audience and market, but what is left to truly capture this title? Well I think the rest falls onto them. The world they are building is critical to the game’s success. The idea that players’ actions impact the ever-changing world around them and that those results are seen by everyone is something that could change games forever. Sure, you can make the argument that this theory goes back to the very early days of MMOs. Yet Guild Wars2 is creating a world that is ever-changing. While you have your everyday life to deal with, you also have your Guild Wars life and cannot wait to see what has changed from the night before. This is something that World of Warcraft has not been able to fully accomplish. As many times as the Lich King is killed, he will still be there next week for another visit. Will this fully formed world truly give players an even greater canvas on which to paint their lives?
So far the formula we have seen being used in Guild Wars 2 has a massive scope. It should, it’s an MMO. The way the events of the game and the interaction between PvE and even PvP seem to have a strong purpose for the server you choose to play on. You are part of a team and continue to grow as a server to compete against other servers. Will this bring back huge player pride and conventions for server meet ups? It sounds like the ingredients are there to build a very strong community. So in closing, Guild Wars 2 continues to shine this convention season as a game for the 2010 decade. While some industry people say that MMOs are going away, it seems like with Guild Wars 2 they are just beginning.