Ex-WoW lead Rob Pardo says industry devs are avoiding the ‘MMO’ label

MMOs aren’t going anywhere, but the label may be on the way out. This comes from former World of Warcraft lead Rob Pardo, who said in an interview that developers are avoiding the term “MMO” like the plague these days.

“If anything, I think people are even avoiding the term MMO,” Pardo said. “A really good example is Destiny. It clearly is an MMO. But they’re really trying to avoid calling it that, and obviously it is a very different type of game. But I think that’s a good example of how with MMOs, the term has been eliminated. But you kind of continue to see the influence in games that are persistent world games that have spawned out of that. It’s just people seem to avoid the term MMO now.”

Pardo also affirmed that Blizzard hasn’t given up on MMOs, even though the studio canceled Titan last year. “I think there’s still a big belief within Blizzard that MMOs are a great genre to be in,” he commented, going on to say that WoW’s success meant that the studio kept more people on that team instead of farming them out to Titan and other projects.

Source: Develop via Gamasutra
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devin007
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devin007

amkosh  I cant believe someone can be called an idiot for having a different opinion on a genre label. The whole thing is a little subjective and comes with a dose of “who gives a fuck what you call it”. Is the game good is all anyone should care.

AGx
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AGx

amkosh Did you read the full interview or just this article? I don’t see anywhere in the actual interview that’s linked where he says “Developers” in this regard. He does say “Publishers” and “people” a lot but never specifically “developers are avoiding the term”.

amkosh
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amkosh

Pardo is an idiot.  He doesn’t understand those kind of things (what to call something when it hits public) are marketing, not developers/producers.

kgptzac
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kgptzac

Last time I checked, games still like to call themselves MMO when they aren’t.  Things like World of Tanks got MMO rewards, etc.

Sorenthaz
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Sorenthaz

ArbsX Sorenthaz  LoL is pretty much the MOBA version of WoW.

And I’d say the F2P boom was more due to seeing Turbine start on that path with DDO/LotRO and then other MMO companies steadily followed suit.

Equilibrium31
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Equilibrium31

I love MMOs, but I can totally understand this.  MMOs, unfortunately, have very negative stereotypes for the playerbase (see the Southpark WoW episode) and are known for largely being a bunch homogenous games that all closely adhere to the WoW design.

It’ll be interesting to see how games can change going forward as they break this mold.  Fable Legends could be a good example of this since it’s a cross between multiplayer RPG with strategy games.  I just hope developers that are making risks like this do well enough to inspire game developers to take more risks and move these types of games forward to create really new and interesting experiences.

BigMikeyOcho
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BigMikeyOcho

I don’t blame them. Just look at these comments of what exactly people think MMOs are, and what aren’t, and what you can attribute the label to. I mean, take games like Marvel Heroes, Guild Wars, Diablo 3, Ark, Star Trek Online, etc. People argue till they’re blue in the face whether these games are MMOs or not. Does it really matter? No. They’re all fun in their own way, all designed in different ways. But “MMO” is still very strict in a lot of peoples heads to essentially mean “WoW or a WoW-clone”. So yeah, drop the tag, especially if it means your game will suddenly be thought of as residing in the same market where the leader is an aging, boxy, almost 11 year old title that could run on a PC as powerful as a box of crackerjacks.

ArbsX
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ArbsX

Nreff One of the reason I had zero interest in Skyforge at the start.

ArbsX
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ArbsX

Sorenthaz Yet the difference is Destiny is good & Defiance is shit. Well anything that comes out of Trion is shit. 
However I do agree that companies are trying very hard to avoid the MMO label simply because for years people went on about WoW Kilers, which we all agree is a stupid term. Than the amount failure that came with it than f2p abominations were born. Companies are all about profit now their to scared to take risks they rather make money. I wouldn’t put all the blame on WoW, but would also put some blame on League of Legends aswell.
Now let me explain, LoL we could say was the first f2p that really succeeded, if anyone remembers Heroes of Newerth had a Sub & it was that game or LoL. Of course people picked the free game & it blew up. Since than f2p has been like a big thing. Now I always do go on about WoW being a scap-goat, but why also put some blame into the devs that slacked off & put out such such garbage rushed games & not taking their time. I’m sure if done right SWTOR & Wildstar could of been amazing. 
If you call your game a MMO, you’re basically saying we are stupid to try & go up against WoW, Even though they aren’t the impression that the majority of what people get is or is this another WoW Killer. We can also use the idea that Blizzard avoid the term MOBA cause of LoL’s massive success. Dota 2 is Dota & I still refer the genre as Dota myself. But It isn’t surprising you do want to seperate yourself from the competition. 
But honestly I wouldn’t blame WoW for this cause of it’s success, I would blame all the lazy developers who were looking for money over excellent games & great alternatives other than WoW. FF14 seems to be a prime example & prbly the only MMO(RPG) I would recommend besides WoW honestly.

ArbsX
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ArbsX

A Dad Supreme deekay_zero Nreff Yet Trion is managing it, so it is doomed to fail before it even releases here.

ArbsX
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ArbsX

I’m not surprised after reading Rob Pardo’s Keynote from 2004-2005 everything he was talking about is why MMOs now a days are failing left & right.
There being rushed out, I’m sure we all know a recent MMO that was rushed out.

cald
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cald

Not played destiny myself as i dont own a console but how many people do you play with in that game ?

josefreaksalem
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josefreaksalem

Took them long enough. Who in hell wants to spend 5 years and all that money on something that people expect for free? Screw that! Even most triple A single player game still sell for $60 and make a lot of money. Who was the original idiot that thought it was ok for mmos to be free? They ruined the genre!

Esoteric Coyote
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Esoteric Coyote

I’m not really that interested in MMOs anymore, but I still read the news…  And I wonder if I’m not the only one, which maybe is another reason why developers are shying away from the MMO title.  I decided to poke Wildstar one last time, a challenge popped up and then a person ran by and the first thing I thought of was “Ugh another person, I might not be able to do my challenge now.”  And that should never be something a MMO player thinks.  No MMO player should hate the presence of another human player.

Tiogui
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Tiogui

schmidtcapela Really back then we had Ultima (not the Online one). You only spoke through your keyboards. In Ultima V you had to unpack your bag in order to get an specific item – annoyingly realistic (and a bs, really). 
Now, I don’t want to type while playing (damn micless chats), but calling a Game a Role Playing one because it has stats and progression is not really accurate. But it’s a popular convention we can’t change. Their book.

PurpleCopper
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PurpleCopper

I remember a time when being a MMO was the hip thing to do, and every game dev began describing their games as MMOs even though it really wasn’t.

And now, the opposite is happening.

funny that.

schmidtcapela
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schmidtcapela

Tiogui Craywulf 
Yep. I don’t consider a lot of so-called “RPGs” to be roleplaying games at all.

People back then liked the whole simulation and progression mechanics of pen and paper RPGs, so they transposed those to computer games and, since the mechanics were the same, kept calling those games “RPGs”.
But it’s not the mechanics that make a game an RPG, the same way being made of wood doesn’t forcibly make an object a tree. Heck, The Sims is far more about roleplaying than most of those so-called RPGs could ever hope to be.

Tiogui
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Tiogui

Craywulf Then a LOT of videogame RPGs are not really RPGs. Namely, all games where you control a character who speaks whithout you choosing what he actually says.

Tiogui
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Tiogui

schmidtcapela SoMuchMass I do agree with that. I could say Bungie is even more honest. Now, saying that a game is not a MMO because it has no raids is the same as saying that Wii Sports is not a real game. MMO: Massively Multiplayer Online. Which of those three names has a correlation with raids?

disUserNameTake
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disUserNameTake

Porculasalvania Vikingr tobascodagama They promised the moon, and we’ll see if they can deliver all that on any reasonable time frame.

disUserNameTake
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disUserNameTake

Serrenity Craywulf Nreff That’s kind of an over-generalization though.  It is more accurate to say that all games are simulations of one type or another.  The “RPG” label has all kinds of associations going back to pen-and-paper role-playing systems, and it continues to have them.  But okay, I see your point kinda.  :)

disUserNameTake
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disUserNameTake

Ket_Viliano hehe perfect

disUserNameTake
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disUserNameTake

The traditional theme park MMORPG has been done to death at this point, and there is no reason to jump to a new one after years of being invested in one (the WoW effect).  That said, many of the attributes from themepark MMOs have been extended now to other game genres even when those games aren’t labeled as MMOs.  Many titles include various aspects invented or popularized by the MMO genre such as leveling, achievements, equipped items, earning upgrades over time, and the whole nine yards.

To my mind, the problem is that the “RPG” part has really been severely neglected.  I would love to see a game that provided an extensive set of tools for really creating a living, breathing world rather than just a theme park of one variety or another.  I know this is typically called sandbox but it is more than this.  Something that completely ditched the tropes of “regular” MMOs (quests, instances, etc.) would be really fresh in my opinion.  I’m just not interested in repeating another theme park grind for gear.

schmidtcapela
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schmidtcapela

TimothyTierless schmidtcapela 
I’m completely fine with optional MMO-like lobbies for multiplayer games. But, if it’s a game I would prefer to play without seeing or being influenced by other players, and the game so much as requires an online connection, chances are good I will just ignore it and go play something else instead.

annoyedbadger
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annoyedbadger

Armsbend
Massively
Multiplayer
Online 

Lots of people playing the same game online at the same time.
Some people seam to think MMO means just MMORPGs, but thats never been the case, and no reason it should ever be.

TimothyTierless
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TimothyTierless

schmidtcapela There will still be single player games, or even less, 2-4,  whatever you want but I think a large portion of games will scale up to the thousands. They might feature smaller matches as well but on the high end I forsee all multiplayer games eventually utilizing MMO like server/lobby systems.

Tamanous
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Tamanous

Polyanna Yup that’s the problem right there. Mmo came from mmorpg. The mmo label has since been slapped onto games that were never in a million years an mmorpg in the classic sense. They stole it, over used it and now tossing the name aside like an old hooker. Big business 101.

schmidtcapela
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schmidtcapela

Nreff schmidtcapela Craywulf 
I would say it’s halfway between a simple space sim and a RPG. The number of activities, IMHO, is a good indication that a considerable part of the game’s draw is being able to choose the path your character will plot, which for many means to roleplay the character.

Kinda like X3, where a lot of the intended fun is in deciding how you will tackle the game, figuring your objectives and methods yourself; in other words, making career choices for your character. It’s still a space sim first and foremost, but it has just enough choice that pretending to be your character is not only feasible, but expected of the player.

And, BTW, I don’t consider progression as needed, at all, for a game to be a RPG.

blackcat7k
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blackcat7k

Industry developers should stop using the term, because making a game where the majority of the players are jammed in one section of the world while the rest of the game is barren is the exact opposite of what MMOs were setting out to do when they came on the scene. 

When developers spend more time on single player content, run from experimenting with ways to get players working together, and focus on ensuring that players pay varying fees to not play through the game… One has to wonder why they don’t just make single player RPGs with a multiplayer option? Because the majority of these are being played that way.

Tamanous
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Tamanous

Good! Stop using it! The industry ruined the name on their global raping of the genre. Let the indie companies use ‘mmorpg’ and put some integrity back into the genre.

Good riddance. Keep making your lobby games and find a new name for them.

schmidtcapela
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schmidtcapela

quixadhal Skyewauker Porculasalvania 

For me, your explanation is close, but not quite there. Besides how boring wasting time through places I have already fully explored feel, I have another issue related to both the multiplayer and the always online aspects.

If I want to play with friends, I want to play with them NOW. I don’t want to have to wait until everyone finds their way around and gets to where we will be playing. If I expect the group I want to play with to spend more than a few minutes getting together, I will instead ask them to log off from the MMO and launch something else where we don’t have to waste time just meeting each other before having fun. And they usually comply; our gaming time tends to be too precious to waste.
(Incidentally, this — together with level barriers — is why I almost never play MMOs with actual friends. Even the MMOs with the fastest travel times still tend to take longer to meet than, let’s say, launching Diablo and clicking on the banner.)

Something similar happens in content where there is any kind of real-life time limit: dailies, content that respawns, content that just take too long to complete and that I will have to restart if I log off, etc. In an offline game where I can pause the game at will I don’t mind those much, but in a game where having to attend to real life concerns might mean losing whatever I was doing, I want to skip all the downtime and get right to the actual gaming part so I can minimize the risk of my gaming time running out before I can get to a good place to log out.

Craywulf
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Craywulf

schmidtcapela I think you basically redefined what I been trying to say all along. I agree with your sentiments wholeheartedly and thank you for chimming in.

schmidtcapela
Guest
schmidtcapela

TimothyTierless 
I certainly hope you are wrong. There are many kinds of games where I absolutely don’t want strangers butting in and ruining my fun.

schmidtcapela
Guest
schmidtcapela

Craywulf 
In my book:
– If a game’s main draw is supposed to be pretending to be a character, playing his or her role and thinking like the character, then it’s a roleplaying game. Whether the game has progression in any shape or way is meaningless.

– If a game’s main draw is something else — flight, racing, shooting enemies, etc — then it’s not really a RPG. Not even if it includes character progression, even if progression is the main draw; if character progression was what made a game a RPG, then those clicker games would be RPGs.

Nothing precludes people from playing a RPG as something else, or from roleplaying in a different game, though. Also, there is not just black and white, but a rulebook’s worth of shades of gray too.

Skyewauker
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Skyewauker

WhoaAContrarian The topic of discussion isnt if we like it or not, its the term MMO and why its not being used anymore.  You like the game the way it is.  I get it.  The way the game is though, is why people avoid using the term MMO.  Thats beyond contestation.

WhoaAContrarian
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WhoaAContrarian

Tangent: Im sick of CR’s bullshit. I just want my 30 dollars worth of game not this ever expanding world of everything.

WhoaAContrarian
Guest
WhoaAContrarian

I like WoW now.
Sorry I have a life and wanna have fun, you can keep yr Vanilla Raiding bullshit. Fucking DKP nolifer.
#sorrynotsorry

schmidtcapela
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schmidtcapela

SoMuchMass 
Quite. More so because MMO means different things for different people, so matching everyone’s expectation of what a MMO is might be just impossible.

I mean, I’ve seen a game being attacked because “real MMOs don’t use instancing”, another one because “if you don’t have raids, you are not a MMO”, and so on.

Tiogui
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Tiogui

DennisSmith2 Armsbend If it is massively, you should be able to see lots of characters controlled by people. In Destiny you have the potential to see anyone, but you can see very of at the same time, no exceptions.
So, I agree with Dennis, though the number may be discussable (I mean, only a 100 people?).

Ket_Viliano
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Ket_Viliano

It’s just a GAME.

Generic Adventure Massive Exploitation

Best I could do on short notice.

quixadhal
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quixadhal

SkyewaukerPorculasalvania  One of the things I always wished they would have done was make exploration account based, rather than character based.
When they first introduced the dungeon finder, you had to find the dungeon enterance on foot FIRST, before it allowed you to use the LFD tool to queue for it.  I think that was also true for battlegrounds (how many remember standing around the entrance of warsong gulch?  Do the new ones even HAVE open world enterances?
However, WoW has always encouraged playing alts… and while it’s fun to explore and discover things on one character, the devs failed to realize that it’s the PLAYER that’s having fun discovering things.  Once you do it on one character, it becomes a tedius chore to “discover” those same things again for all your alts.
THAT is why people whined, and that’s why those things got removed.

ManastuUtakata
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ManastuUtakata

Vikingr ManastuUtakata 
Thank you for that clarification then. :)

Estranged
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Estranged

breetoplay Armsbend DennisSmith2 It is your site.  I enjoy the company and leave it to you as to what is covered.  Gamers game.  I would think the majority of us aren’t 100% locked into the traditional MMO genre. 

For instance, I think it is awesome that you guys cover GTA V.  GTA V online requires interaction with real people.  Crazy goals and game modes.  The NPCs are so much more immersive and realistic than your typical MMO game.  I think playing and covering a broad spectrum helps set our expectation level higher.  Makes me want to ask why this isn’t possible in our “traditional” MMOs.

Omedon
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Omedon

Aaaand meanshile back on another, less worthwhile gaming news site, Shards Online are letting themselves disingenuously be called an MMO again. *facepalm*  I get that they need press, but that’s so dumb of them.

BKone
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BKone

Nreff BKone Sorenthaz Yeah, it’s a nice chart. For subs and not popularity.
Anyway, Dungeon Fighter Online is destroying every charts in China. Of course it’s up for debate whether it’s an MMO or not.

A Dad Supreme
Guest
A Dad Supreme

deekay_zero A Dad Supreme Nreff
“it’s mmoish, and and no one pretends otherwise afaik.”
==================
“In a nutshell, Devilian is a full-fledged action MMORPG in the vein of http://massivelyop.com/tag/path-of-exile/ and http://massivelyop.com/tag/marvel-heroes, although it contains a few unique twists.” – Justin O

Polyanna
Guest
Polyanna

If these guys think Destiny is an MMO, then it’s hard to blame them for avoiding the term “like the plague.”

Skyewauker
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Skyewauker

Nreff Skyewauker You are as high as 3 kites.  Im done replying to ya m8.

Skyewauker
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Skyewauker

Craywulf breetoplay Thats what they are.  You don’t have to play with anyone anymore.  In WoW, the dungeons might as well be you + 4 bots, because thats what it is.  In some cases , it IS 4 bots lol.  You don’t talk or interact with people in LFD or LFR.  You dont communicate with people in BGs either.

Armsbend
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Armsbend

CharcoalCrow Armsbend fuck, you are aggressive today! ;)

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