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Bill Murphy: Expanding Our Reach

Column By William Murphy on August 12, 2011

I’m not writing this to be controversial.  I just want all of you to understand where we’re coming from.  If you look at a game like Vindictus or Guild Wars, or even Dragon Nest… they’re online, they’re RPGs of a sort, and they have thousands of players.  But they’re not quite MMORPGs.  Yet they’re listed on this site.  The reasoning is simply this: They’re close enough that we know our readers care about them.  In the future, you’re probably going to see more and more MMO off-shoots added to this site.  It’s already happened with MOBAs like League of Legends.  Depending on yesterday’s poll, it may happen with Diablo 3.  It will continue to happen as more and more games blur the line between MMO and RPG, and genres continue to blend and merge and create new sub-genres. 

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Here’s how we’re going to make sure that MMORPG.com still primarily remains a site about the Everquests and WoWs of the world. 

  • Our Game List will have a field added for genre to include things like Action MMO, MMOFPS, MMORTS, MOBA, CORPG and so forth.  We’ll comb through and adjust titles like Guild Wars, Vindictus to reflect this change over time.
  • We will (as always) preface the news about any game with a link to that game’s listing, and it will be clearly stated on the Game Listing what sub genre it fits into.
  • Anything else you think we need to do, we’re always glad to hear, and we do take all suggestions seriously.

But the plain and honest truth is that the industry of the MMORPG has changed.  MMORPG means pretty much something different to everyone now, and our site must reflect that or cease to be relevant.  In short, we have to change when the industry changes. 

We won’t just start taking every game that’s ever been released and plop it in the Game List either.  We tackle them all on a case by case basis, and our staff weighs in on the decisions too.  The reason we’re taking a vote for Diablo 3 is pretty simple: it’s a tough one.  It’s from a venerably online action-RPG series.  But this edition is starting to shape up more and more like other titles we’ve already listed. Must I mention Guild Wars or Vindictus again?  Diablo 3 is essentially like either of those games.  Depending on how the results end up, we’ll make our decision in a week or so.  We won’t add it unless the vote is in favor of us doing so.  That doesn’t mean we won’t add a forum for you to chat about it, but we won’t cover it as we do with all news, we won’t add it to the Game List, and we won’t write regularly on it unless you all say we should with a majority vote.

Basically, in a nutshell, we're only going to do this if the majority of you say we should and even then we'll only be covering the big stories on games like this, not every little detail.  We're not suddenly going to be a Diablo 3 Fan-site. The vast majority of our coverage (from columns to reviews and previews) will always be about MMORPGs, and I do mean MMORPGs. 

And while I know there are plenty who will put on their scowls and say we’re “straying” from our roots, I prefer to think of it in a more progressive manner.  We’re stretching our roots out, we’re giving ourselves a wider base, and we’re bringing you more and more relevant and timely game coverage.  We’re still going to focus on the MMORPG, but that term has become so diluted that we’d be absolutely foolish to turn a blind eye and only focus on the 5-10 games that meet some criteria that’s now ten years or so outdated.  We have to be willing to face the fact that the entire industry of MMORPGs is changing.  And this site needs to be agile and prepared to change and grow with it.

William Murphy / Bill is the Managing Editor of MMORPG.com, RTSGuru.com, and lover of all things gaming. He''s been playing and writing about MMOs and geekery since 2002, and you can harass him and his views on Twitter @thebillmurphy.

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