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Five MMORPG Sequels I'd Like To See

Richard Aihoshi Posted:
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The concept of sequels is very familiar to anyone who plays video games, so much so that we basically expect any hit to spawn one, if not more. In the MMO space, the situation is somewhat different because the titles continue to grow and evolve over time. Accordingly, follow-ups aren't nearly as common. That said, it wasn't hard to come up with a handful that would potentially be of significant interest for me.

I arbitrarily limited myself to considering titles that launched at least five or six years ago. In addition, I chose not to consider any for which a sequel has been made or is in development. What I ended up with is a pretty distinguished list. As is my wont, my selections appear in alphabetical order rather than in a precise ranking.

Dark Age of Camelot

Right up front, I admit that Mythic's renowned 2001 release occupies a unique place in my experience as an editor. My connection with it actually began a few days before it was unveiled, when I was given the opportunity to submit an advance interview that was completed in time to publish right as the game was announced. So, I was the first person to cover it. Although I can say the same about a number of other titles, they all came later, and none became nearly as prominent.

In addition, my site at the time, Vault Network, hosted the game's official boards and had its main fansite, Camelot Vault. All in all, I never had a similar relationship with any other MMOG or studio. It afforded me a truly invaluable learning experience, most of all in the area of community management. As a result, even more than a decade later, I can't help continuing to feel a special fondness for the game.

My primary reason for wanting a sequel is largely selfish. Among the hundreds of MMORPGs I've played at least a bit since DAoC, none has matched its core three-realm component. Compared to conflicts involving either fewer or more sides, this structure creates a different feel, one that happens to be a better fit for my PvP preferences. So, even though my balance of playing time tends toward PvE, it would be great to see a sequel that promises to fit the times I'm in the mood for something else.

I'm aware DAoC is still running, and that I could try going back. To be frank, although I've thought about doing so a number of times over the years since I left, I'm generally not the kind of player who returns to games. I realize some people enjoy yo-yoing in and out when new expansions arrive, etc. That's simply not me. I also realize that Camelot Unchained is in development. If I end up with two appealing RvR options, so much the better. Sadly though, I doubt  that DAoC II – or any other of my hoped-for sequels – is very likely to happen.

Earth & Beyond

In a previous list, I stated my opinion that accessible space flight / exploration / combat is a concept with a great deal of unfulfilled potential. I've felt this way for quite some time. Further, I've never been fully satisfied with the reasons I've seen, heard or come up with as to why we have yet to see a notable success of this type. I'm not saying such an MMOG would have universal appeal. However, it's also pretty hard to regard the market as not yet ready for such an offering, assuming of course that it would be solidly designed and made.

With respect to accessibility, the crucial element I cited at that time was a flight control model with a gentle learning curve. To clarify this further, I didn't mean “easy to learn, hard to master”, but rather something that a large majority

of players would be able to handle pretty well with reasonable amounts of experience and practice. This may seem and might even be “dumbed down” for many MMOG veterans. However, this doesn't mean there isn't an audience for it, or that it can't be part of an entertaining game.

As examples, I named the Wing Commander series and E&B. The latter only lasted two years before EA pulled the plug on it. Westwood's title had its flaws, but some of the reasons for its rapid demise weren't necessarily the team's fault. For instance, it may have been nudged out the door somewhat before it was ready. In addition, it never seemed to get very much advertising and promotional support, and questions were raised as to whether the post-launch funds made available for ongoing development were sufficient to give the title a reasonable chance to survive, never mind to prosper.

In any case, since I would still like to find an accessible space flight / exploration / combat MMOG, there's no apparent reason why I shouldn't hope for Earth & Beyond II. Considering the total market size now compared to a dozen years ago plus the fact that the growth has brought a shift toward less hardcore play, such a sequel might do surprisingly well.

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Richard Aihoshi

Richard Aihoshi / Richard Aihoshi has been writing about the MMOG industry since the mid-1990s, always with a global perspective. He has observed the emergence and growth of the free to play business model from its early days in both hemispheres.