Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Twelve Most Anticipated MMOs for 2007

I was cleaning up my bookshelf and found the February 2007 issue of Beckett Massive Online Gamer, with an article about the twelve most anticipated MMOs for 2007. They are:
  • Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning
  • Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures
  • Vanguard: Saga of Heroes
  • The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar
  • Gods and Heroes: Rome Rising
  • The Chronicles of Spellborn
  • Pirates of the Burning Sea
  • Hero's Journey
  • Huxley
  • 9Dragons
  • Last Chaos
  • Pirates of the Caribbean Online
I think it is safe to say that if you were actually anticipating the MMOs of 2007, you were in for a disappointment. Some of them never launched, some closed down, and the majority had rather limited success and went Free2Play. LotRO is still the best game on that list, and that one is Free2Play too.

My personal interpretation of the history of MMORPGs over the last years is that game companies saw the success of World of Warcraft, but failed to see that WoW, although far from being perfect, is a product of very high workmanship. Or "polish", if you want to use that term. Thus everybody thought they could get to a similar level of success with games that were significantly less well-made. And failed.

While this has filled some players with gloom and doom, I actually think that this phase of history is behind us. Star Wars: The Old Republic isn't a perfect game either. But nobody can accuse it of being cheap and not well made. During the beta I was positively surprised by the quality of the workmanship, lack of bugs, stability of the servers, and all that famous "polish".

I do think that EA is going to make a lot of money with SWTOR, and attract millions of players. Which moves the overall market forward from "nobody can make a successful MMORPG and WoW is just an exception" to "highly successful MMORPGs can be made if you invest a huge amount of money". 2007 was still the gold rush period of MMORPGs, and I'm actually happy that this is over.

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