Short and sweet, I just wanted to take a moment to wish you all a Merry Christmas from the staff here at MMORPG.com. Read on if you’re in a cheerful mood, and if you’re not, read on still. Maybe a little cheer from us to you will thaw that frozen heart of yours.
You see, it’s been six years since I began working for MMORPG.com. I cannot believe that it’s been so long, and at the same time I can’t believe everything we’ve seen in that time. The rise and plateau of an entire genre, the rise plateau of Kickstarter games, and the rise and plateau of my waistline. I smell a trend!
But through it all, there’s one thing that’s been constant: I’ve loved every single second of my work here on this site. I don’t know what the future holds. I know that the MMO genre is at a crossroads, for while the online game is surging in popularity, the Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game seems to be wondering where it can go next.
And yet… there’s hope. So many smaller studios, many of which seem armed to the teeth with grit and determination, are trying to break the mold that Blizzard set and show the world that the MMORPG can be more than question marks and gear scores. I hope they do it, not just for the sake of our site, but for the sake of my favorite pastime.
In the meanwhile, this Christmas, I want to hold dear the games that do keep me happy and enjoying what’s supposed to be a fun diversion from real life. What’s more is that I think we actually have some strong games set to come out in 2016. I hope that Mark Jacobs and crew do indeed release Camelot Unchained in 2016, despite fearing they’ll hit 2017. I hope Crowfall lands with a huge splash before the year’s out, and that Shards Online and Shroud of the Avatar each offer a refreshing return to the Ultima Online formula. I’m watching Albion Online, Divergence, and Tree of Savior closely. I’m anxious as all hell to finally play Blade & Soul for real to see if it can capture me the way TERA did for at least a little while. I’m also positively ecstatic that Black Desert seems to have oodles of depth to it, and hope it comes out to be a surprise hit in the New Year. And of course, I’ll be thrilled when ARK is officially launched, as it’s already one of the best survival games I’ve ever played.
These are all games due to launch in 2016, and I’m sure there are some I’m missing. None of them has the huge AAA budget games of the past have milked, but perhaps that’s a good thing. Without the strong arm of a big publisher or investor, developers are free to experiment and take risks. Once upon a time, that’s exactly what World of Warcraft was… a huge risk from a studio that had never made a game of that size and scope.
So as we march quickly towards 2016, and we prepare to be disappointed I’d like to urge the opposite. Give the little guys a chance to shine. Give them your hope, your wishes, and your patience. Because, quite frankly, they’re like all of us – fans of the MMORPG who want to see the genre expand upon the potential it has always left unfulfilled.
We’ll have columns and features through Friday, but we’re going dark on news posting until the weekend at the earliest. We deserve a break too, right?
Merry Christmas to you all. Hope you get plenty of great gifts, warm hugs, and lots of laughs. Don’t let a bad PUG get you down.