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Garrett Fuller: Does Fallout 76 Herald in a New Era of MMOs?

By Garrett Fuller on October 11, 2018 | Columns | Comments

Does Fallout 76 Herald in a New Era of MMOs?

The model has been proven over time. MMOs have been around now for over twenty years. In that time the genre has influenced countless game play models and designs. You can say that MMOs really did grow up with the Internet itself. Since the dawn of the Internet people had started in MUDs, and moved into worlds like Ultima and Everquest. In the 2000s we saw a batch of MMOs hit success as World of Warcraft grew into a world power. Now in the 2010s games have morphed and the ideas of MMOs have changed, but more are coming and they begin with Fallout 76.

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Bethesda has seen massive success with Elder Scrolls Online. The game launched on PC and then followed up by building a huge audience across consoles and PC alike. The hardcore community continues playing and the game maintains a strong economic model which does not tax players. These elements have made ESO such a success will be embedded into the DNA of Fallout 76.

Fallout is all about exploration, crafting, and adventure, each of them one of three parts to the overall open world RPG puzzle. Now for the first time, you’ll be able to play the game with friends. You’ll also be able to take part in PVP. Keep in mind this is still the wasteland so you won’t see huge numbers of people running around. However, Fallout adopts an approach to online games which combines what is best in Destiny with classic MMOs like Warcraft.

Studios and publishers alike continue to find value in ongoing titles which can be launched digitally. The best example of this is Grand Theft Auto Online. The game’s audience has grown and more content is pushed out every few months. It builds a world that you will always go back to similar to MMO expansions. More games are coming out that follow this design. Ashes of Creation will recapture classic MMO styles with a much more modern take. Also, Crowfall looks to bring in PvP element of MMOs to a new level and by following many of the guidelines set down by Shadowbane and Dark Age of Camelot, two titles which had some of the best PvP ever.

This new age of MMOs will come in the 2020s and it all begins here with Fallout 76. As large studios see the value in online products, more games than ever before will adopt an open world and provide an ongoing content stream.

The endless success of Fortnite has taught us a few lessons. The one that really counts is that a new generation of gamers is coming up and they are probably the most comfortable with features such as perma-death and are used to functioning in a competitive environment. These mid-teen players are going to shape virtual worlds in the next decade and the games they play will have to follow an open world format. That is what they know and they are the new market.

What will be interesting to see is if this audience will break into the genre with a game like Fallout. Will we see players leaving the island of Fortnite to get into the wasteland of Fallout. If there is an influx of new players flooding into the new world. You will get most likely the highest level of players overall with a huge background in game play concepts.

The new MMOs are coming and the new players are being trained in some very strong environments already. It shapes what could be the best decade of MMOs yet. We have yet to see the full landscape of games coming in ten years, but the development and production value of games continues to grow in time.

Garrett Fuller Garrett Fuller Editorials
Garrett Fuller has been playing MMOs since 1997. He originally joined MMORPG.com as a writer in 2005. In 2007 Garrett went on to handle Industry Relations for TenTonHammer.com. Then, in July 2009, Garrett happily rejoined his old team at MMORPG.com as the site's News Manager. Garrett lives in Hillsborough, NJ with his wife, son and daughter.

His column appears here every Wednesday.
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