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Independency: Hoping for Something More Esoteric

Column By Cassandra Khaw on January 02, 2013

Hey guys,

With any luck, the New Year would have been kind for you. Me, I spent most of the night observing that 28 is verging on the edge of a 'little too old.' (Parties? Thing of the past, whippersnapper.) A sip of Bailey's, a Long Island Iced Tea. That was all she wrote. The next day was spent with a friend on Guild Wars 2, as I attempted to convince him that Fractals of the Mist was best done smashed. (Needless to say, it wasn't. Especially when you're serving as the nominal tank)

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While the rest of the website seems to be alit with complaints about how Pirate 101 took the People's Choice Awards and nostalgic discussions about old favorites, I'm going to keep it slightly more whimsical: what are you hoping for the next year? What do you think will happen in 2013?

If you've spent any time monitoring the changes in the industry, it's likely you would have stumbled across a Kickstarter project detailing what might feel like the next-best thing for MMOs. From the NASA-endorsed Astronaut: Moon, Mars & Beyond to more recent additions like Topia Online, we've seen a whole gamut of Kickstarter projects make themselves known before, more often than not, fading into obscurity.

Personally, I imagine this is going to continue. With the increasing number of successfully-funded Kickstarter projects, it's likely that more and more eyes are going to turn their eye towards the crowdsourcing platform. It doesn't help that it looks like people can be made amenable to considerable funding goals as well. Once upon a time, a project that asked for more than $50, 000 would have raised incredulous brows sky-high. These days, few would bat an eyelash.

What would the repercussions of this Kickstarter-dependence be? Right now, it's hard to say. On one hand, we might find ourselves drowned under a tide of carefully-written pitches, well-doctored screenshots and articulate liars. With so much potential present, it wouldn't be surprise if the number of false projects slowly increases over the next year. Nonetheless, this might also be what indie MMOs needed – a means to acquire extensive funding and someone more important than venture capitalists to be held accountable to. Because, let's face it, the audience is king.

Having seen so many projects successfully funded, I'm hoping 2013 will entail a rise of new indie MMOs. Though I have my doubts in regards to an indie MMO taking the throne from, say, Guild Wars 2 or whatever we have coming up next, I'm eager to see the results of what we've pledged to. Will Pathfinder Online draw the crowd we've been hoping for? What about that new Shadowrun game, eh? How many games will, y'know, make themselves known to their public and how many will prove to be nothing more than a pipe dream?

As politically incorrect as this may sound to some, I'm hoping 2013 will yield a better crop of mobile-based MMOS. There have simply not been enough. With hardware growing ever more potent by the day, it's hard to imagine why we shouldn't be able to take our MMO habits to the road.

More than that, however, I have my fingers crossed that 2013 will yield something even more esoteric. I want games that do more than improve on the formula. I want games that make you question social order like Die2Nite, games that challenge your understanding of the genre, games that do strange things with what we know of MMOs. I don't necessarily want the next-best-thing but I do want an MMO that I'll fondly remember decades to come.

But, enough about me. What about you? With 2013 newly arrived, what do you want from your favorite video game genre?


Read more of Cass's unique take on the indie MMO industry in some of her latest "Independency" columns:

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