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If You Could Choose The MMORPG Creator To Helm The Next Great Game, Who Would You Pick?

Joseph Bradford Posted:
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Gaming, like other entertainment genres, have celebrities. Typically those who are prominent in the gaming world are there because of their resume, namely the games they worked on and how successful they were. MMORPGs are no different. 

Oftentimes the success of the projects carries the individual through their career, and the MMO landscape has plenty of them floating around, still in the game. Figures like Raph Koster, from Star Wars Galaxies and now building an MMO over at Playable Worlds, to Richard Garriott, a creator on Ultima Online and in the process of building a new, crypto-based MMO, lead the headlines whenever they start talking, but they aren't the only creative forces that have driven the genre forward.

Much of the pull of certain upcoming games leans heavily on the cache of the people at the helm. Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen is an interesting concept, though it would likely not have been as popular when crowdfunding was initially going on if it hadn't been the work of EverQuest developer Brad McQuaid. And anticipation is built up around just what the hell John Smedley is working on for Amazon. 

Seriously, what the hell are you doing down there, John?

For me, lesser-known creative directors, such as Bergur Finnbogason from EVE Online and Rich Lambert from The Elder Scrolls Online are on my shortlist. I love Bergur's approach to trying to revamp EVE, not just for the rich nullsec blocs, but mostly for the newbro just getting a handle on their first ship.

Lambert has done a stellar job with The Elder Scrolls Online's vision since taking over from Paul Sage just a little while into the MMO's life. Since then, ESO has garnered over 20 million accounts across multiple platforms and is, by and large, one of the best MMOs on the market to pick up and play today.

However, the impetus of this article was based on a comment Final Fantasy XIV's Naoki Yoshida made to Inverse in a recent interview. In the interview, Yoshida-san stated that he would love to make one more MMORPG from scratch before he died. This to me is music to my ears. 

Yoshida has not only helped oversee the development and relaunch of one of the more critically panned MMOs on the market when it launched initially but he's helped lead it to become, arguably, the best on the market to date. It's hard enough to create an MMO, let alone one with the history and name recognition of a mainline Final Fantasy title. When FFXIV launched and was panned, Yoshida's team rolled up their sleeves and remade the whole game, incorporating this into the lore of A Realm Reborn

Since then, FFXIV has steadily grown, building off each success. Now it's one of the most played MMORPGs in the world and, by all accounts, is considered the new King of the MMORPG. 

I really hope Yoshida gets to make that MMORPG from scratch he's looking to create. And if he does, I'll be there day one to try it out.

But who would you choose to helm your next great MMO? Someone we mentioned here, or someone entirely different? Let us know in the comments.


Joseph Bradford

Joseph has been writing or podcasting about games in some form since about 2012. Having written for multiple major outlets such as IGN, Playboy, and more, Joseph started writing for MMORPG in 2015. When he's not writing or talking about games, you can typically find him hanging out with his 10-year old or playing Magic: The Gathering with his family. Also, don't get him started on why Balrogs *don't* have wings. You can find him on Twitter @LotrLore