Massively OP’s Best of 2015 Awards: Pseudo-MMO of the Year

Massively OP’s end-of-the-year awards continue today with our award for the best pseudo-MMO of the year.

The games that populate this category are games that we’d usually cover under Not So Massively — they’re MOBAs, online dungeon crawlers and ARPGs, online shooters, survival sandboxes, and other games that tread into MMO territory but aren’t full MMORPGs. Games did not need to have released in 2015 to be eligible but should have done something notable this year. Last year, our winner was Hearthstone.

Don’t forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end!

The Massively OP staff pick for Best Pseudo-MMO of 2015 is…

ARK: Survival Evolved

Brendan Drain (@nyphur): Path of Exile. This year we saw Path of Exile really come into its own with the release of its first expansion, The Awakening. The frequent addition of new items and skill gems has kept people developing new builds and the we’ve seen several innovative new race event types. Mostly I’m just impressed that Path of Exile has remained popular all throughout 2015 with gamers, YouTube personalities, twitch streamers. It’s even managed to keep selling crowdfunding-style support packages that let players design items like divination cards long after release.

Brianna Royce (@nbrianna, blog): ARK: Survival Evolved has managed to capture a broad audience of people who don’t traditionally think much of survival sandboxes. While Destiny might have continued dominating headlines and raking in sick money, Studio Wildcard is pushing out faster updates and cementing its position at the head of its subgenre. Honorable mention to Paladins, whose gameplay has MMORPG fans intrigued, and Gigantic, whose art direction is just brilliant.

Eliot Lefebvre (@Eliot_Lefebvre, blog): Overwatch. I can’t be the only person who thinks this game has wound up going for a niche too narrow for what it could be, but the fact of the matter is that it’s a brand-new IP for Blizzard that’s generated tons of buzz, put lots of people in an excited mood, and keeps generating conversation. Whether or not it’s the hybrid-MOBA-and-Team-Fortress-2 game we all necessarily want, it’s the one generating a lot of attention, and there’s every reason to believe that it could really wind up big with time.

Jef Reahard (@jefreahard): ARK: Survival Evolved, and it isn’t a close race. Aside from being a fun, beautiful, and well-made multiplayer survival sandbox with MMO elements, Studio Wildcard set the bar for early access games (and really, dev teams in general) by updating ARK on a ridiculously frequent basis. These weren’t token updates either, but large content adds and significant bug-fixing patches that happened at least once and usually two to three times per week.

Justin Olivetti (@Sypster, blog): Destiny. Purist MMO lovers might scoff at Destiny (and I am not overly fond of it myself), but I know way too many people playing it and pouring money into its Taken King expansion to dismiss its apparent success either. Also ARK: Dinos plus the ever-popular survival-crafting game genre. It’s a smash hit and deservedly so.

Larry Everett (@Shaddoe, blog): I’d never thought that the survival genre would step beyond zombies. But ARK appeals to a very strong childhood fantasy. ARK is one of those games that isn’t an MMO, but pulls very strongly on the MMO player because it’s highly social and is persistent to the private servers they are set up on. Because of its addictive appeal, I had to fight to keep some of my MMO guildies in the guild. If ARK were an MMO, I’d probably give it the award for best new MMO of the year.

Matt Daniel (@Matt_DanielMVOP): Let’s go with ARK! I haven’t played it in a while, but holy shit, it’s a crafting/construction-based sandbox with DINOSAURS. THAT YOU CAN RIDE! I don’t feel like I really need to say anything else.

MJ Guthrie (@MJ_Guthrie, blog): Although it is only in early access right now, I seriously have to say ARK: Survival Evolved. This game puts all other games — early access and live — to shame with the frequency of updates and addition of content.

Tina Lauro (@purpletinabeans): Paladins wins this for me with no contest! I have to throw my hands up and admit to generally loathing pseudo-MMOs, mainly because I’m appalling at quick, map-reliant gameplay because I can get lost in my own home! This major problem of mine is dampened significantly in Paladins because of the transport system and super-clear telegraphing. This game blew me away at Gamescom, and I am now happily tinkering with the beta.

ARK: Survival Evolved won our pick for best pseudo-MMO of the year. What’s your pick?

What was the best pseudo-MMO of 2015?

  • ARK: Survival Evolved (30%, 221 Votes)
  • Paladins (2%, 12 Votes)
  • Destiny (12%, 85 Votes)
  • Path of Exile (13%, 98 Votes)
  • Overwatch (4%, 30 Votes)
  • Gigantic (1%, 8 Votes)
  • Diablo III (10%, 76 Votes)
  • Heroes of the Storm (6%, 47 Votes)
  • League of Legends (3%, 20 Votes)
  • SMITE (2%, 17 Votes)
  • Dota 2 (3%, 19 Votes)
  • Hearthstone (7%, 48 Votes)
  • HEX (1%, 7 Votes)
  • Something else -- let us know in the comments! (5%, 39 Votes)

Total Voters: 727

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Poll options include all games nominated plus several other major NSM games.

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87 Comments on "Massively OP’s Best of 2015 Awards: Pseudo-MMO of the Year"

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pakelf
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pakelf

I know, I know, but this is the pseudo mmo zone. So a kind of minecraft where people can build together seems fit to this posting…. …and in that genre Creativerse (http://playfulcorp.com/#creativerse) seems a good game with twists over the original (teleport, sci-fi kind of gathering, etc…). But probably most of you will disagree…

Scarecrowe
Guest
Scarecrowe

Steam says I put 4.9 hours into it. I wish I could get that time back. And/or be able to give away my copy to someone who wants it.

syberghost
Guest
syberghost

BigJohnny1982 what term would you propose for games that don’t support a Massive number of people playing together, but do support a Massive number of people potentially playing together, in a world that isn’t persistent but has persistent character elements, and is played online?

Not saying “pseudo MMO” is the best possible term, but it certainly gets across the point that these aren’t MMOs, but they’re not OMs either.

melissaheather
Guest
melissaheather

ARK, i have not played it a great deal but it’s amazing and fascinating.

karmamule
Guest
karmamule

7 Days to Die came out with a release this weekend that IMO is a big step forward to this (still in “alpha”/early access) game.  I’ve always had fun playing but hit bugs/design decisions that drove me away from it so it could mature a little more.  With this release (alpha 13 if I remember right) it’s starting to come together.

Post-zombie-apocalypse games are a dime-a-dozen but this one is my fave of all of them.

syberghost
Guest
syberghost

It’s fascinating watching all the people say these games aren’t “pseudo-MMO” because they’re not RPGs.

Note Bree’s lack of “RPG” in her terms. All of these games support large, but not Massive, numbers in Multiplayer Online play.

Why, they’re almost like an MMO.

DamnDirtyApe
Guest
DamnDirtyApe

No Marvel Heroes?

I voted for ARK even though I would rather play other survival games like Space Engineers, Empyrion, and 7 Days to Die.  Much love for ARK but I just can’t devote the enormous amount of time that it takes to tame ‘good’ dinos.

Janio2
Guest
Janio2

carson63000 No, he is not harsh. Its a bad artical,  because its totaly out offline with the other statements made by writers on this website which about mmo’s. You need laydown a line what is an pseudo and what is not. Its like saying a tree is grass because lives of soil , sunlight,  air and water.

Janio2
Guest
Janio2

How can this site list overwatch,  
That so insulting its in closed beta you cannot get acess to it.

Even if you want pay there is no way to get in as normall player. Also I like the whinning I heard some where that it will be offline for a month , because blizzy will do some code overhall. 

Like its easy to write code on that level !!!

Dobablo
Guest
Dobablo

BigJohnny1982 My point being that there is no definitive answer. A game does doesn’t suddenly become massive when its population passes a magic number? Massive is a fuzzy marketing term with no real meaning, so demanding that something meets an undefined criteria is pointless. It is simpler to create pseudo-massive category to act as a catch-all for all those games that fall somewhere between the two extremes.

dragonwhimsy
Guest
dragonwhimsy

carson63000 dragonwhimsy It’s not harsh. There is nothing MMO about Hearthstone. You never play it with more than one other person at a time.

If Overwatch is a pseudo MMO then every FPS’er is a pseudo MMO. 
A pseudo MMO is a game like Destiny which uses a lot of MMO elements, but is not a true MMO. Guild Wars 1 would be another example.

They should just rename the category “other genres” or “not so massively games”. MassivelyOP, of all sites on the web, should not be trying to water down the term MMO until it has no meaning.

badr
Guest
badr

Albion Online for sure.

BigJohnny1982
Guest
BigJohnny1982

I think to say it’s safe once you start counting in the hundreds, mmo was first used to describe and differentiate Ultima Online from standard multiplayer games.
Didn’t expect an answer did you?

BigJohnny1982
Guest
BigJohnny1982

There is no such thing as pseudo mmo. It’s either got a massive amount of people online playing together, or it doesn’t.

Hurbster
Guest
Hurbster

A frickin’ card game is a pseudo mmo ? That’s as ridiculous as having a moba in this list, or a Team Fortress Clone.

Oh.

You want a pseudo mmo ? Dragon Age Inquisition or Kingdoms of Amalur.

Enikuo
Guest
Enikuo

BryanCo Enikuo You’re right – I didn’t even look at the rest of the list. And, Ark hasn’t even officially released yet – it’s early access. Not that I have anything against Ark.

Oleg Chebeneev
Guest
Oleg Chebeneev

Warning. Alert. DOTA2 fanboiz above

BryanCole
Guest
BryanCole

See I would consider games like Vindictus or Dragon Nest to be Pseudo MMOs.  They are lobby based but still have similar progression systems and content to an MMO, not these MOBAs and ARPGs and Online Card Games that populate this list.  See, they have categories already, no need to throw them into another just to make an article/poll.

DPandaren
Guest
DPandaren

I don’t really feel like Overwatch should be on there since it’s not officially out yet. Not until next year at least. That said, I put a lot of hours into Warframe and Path of Exile over the past year.

CloakingDonkey
Guest
CloakingDonkey

Dobablo BigJohnny1982 well it’s not 10.

I think it’s fair to compare it to a party. Would you call a party with 10 people massive? 16? 32? ;) There is a difference between arguing whether or not Dota 2 or Diablo 3 has a place on massively and whether or not it’s an MMO, or even a pseudo MMO. I mean seriously now when you look at that list, every bloody multiplayer game with any semblance of a persistent account counts. That’s practically all multiplayer games on steam.

hint: yes. no. in that order.

Modrain
Guest
Modrain

Cevo It’s not because people come here to read the articles that they have to agree with all of what is written. It’s way more healthy for a community to have different opinions expressed, as long as it’s courteously said. As soon as your work is accessible to the public, you’re fated to be criticized, for what you write, do, or even for what you are, as dumb as it sounds. That’s not the kind of job one can do without being able to handle such controversies, whether they’re justified or not.

Modrain
Guest
Modrain

Is the climate really changing? Is evolution a theory? Does pseudo-MMOs exist?

DINOSAURS. THAT YOU CAN RIDE!

Argument won.

Craywulf
Guest
Craywulf

spacecampclan Actually agree with you because the line between what is massive and not is highly subjective. But its pretty clear what’s online and not.

spacecampclan
Guest
spacecampclan

Guys, you got it all wrong. All online multiplayer games are MMOs. I know because everyone keeps telling me so.

BryanCo
Guest
BryanCo

Enikuo  There are other titles shown (at least in the voting section) that weren’t released in 2015.  Diablo 3’s original release was 2012 with the expansion being in 2014.  League of Legends was released way back in 2009.

Llokki
Guest
Llokki

I have to agree with a lot of the other comments in saying that most of the picks on that list are not pseudo-MMOs, at least not in my mind. Paladins and Overwatch are shooters, plain and simple. A large percentage of the rest have their own acronym: MOBA.
For me, ARK kind of won out simply from process of elimination. I haven’t really played it myself. Gave it a shot, found out it ran like horse with no legs on my computer, and promptly got myself a refund. Having said that, from what I’ve seen they seem to be putting together a very nice game, so I think they deserve this award.

Enikuo
Guest
Enikuo

Maybe because the initial release was in 2013? But, the PC release was this year, right? Seems like it should be on the list.

Damonvile
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Damonvile

So the best mmos* of 2015 are all going to be games that launch in 2016 or later. That seems….dumb.

Karl_Hungus
Guest
Karl_Hungus

schlag sweetleaf 
Caitlin has never looked better.

carson63000
Guest
carson63000

dragonwhimsy Think you’re being a bit harsh. Massively always refers to these games as “not so Massively”, “pseudo MMO”, etc. Countless other sites just straight up call them MMORPGs with not a hint of self-awareness.

CloakingDonkey
Guest
CloakingDonkey

Cevo overwatch and hearthstone don’t immitate MMOs though… in no way whatsoever. I don’t give a shit if they’re on the site either, I actually like getting my overwatch and hearthstone news here, means I don’t have to visit some of the awful outlets out there.

Doesn’t change the fact that Overwatch and Hearthstone are not MMOs, pseudo or otherwise, in the same way that CoD BlOps 3, Battlefield 4, Dirty Bomb, Team Fortress 2 , Magic Duels, and Rocket League aren’t MMOs. You wouldn’t give MMO of the year to Smite either, would you?

CloakingDonkey
Guest
CloakingDonkey

agemyth CloakingDonkey No I don’t blame the people making those games… it’s obviously a brilliant way to make a quick buck without having to put in a ton of work. Afterward you put it in maintenance mode, patch in some new stuff every now and then and never finish it. Smooth sailing for them.

I blame all the idiots who constantly buy into this charade and I blame gaming news sites, in this case mop, for rewarding this shitty behavior with awards and reviews and promo pieces. It has already taken the survival crafting game genre and completely ruined it. There is not a single game in that genre that has actually been finished. They’re all perpetual early access vapor ware (prove me wrong and finish your damn games.) and I’ve never been so disappointed in massively.

SexyKingJesus
Guest
SexyKingJesus

Warframe

Cevo
Guest
Cevo

Maybe you should look up the definition of pseudo…. Imitates it, acts like an mmo but not. They even say, games that typically are on the “not so massively” coverage. You just seem hurt that team fortress 2 is not on the list. Why do people come here, read the articles l, then bash the writers.

DarkWombat
Guest
DarkWombat

ddocentral *cough* bullshit *cough*

Processedknowledge
Guest
Processedknowledge

Oleg Chebeneev League is just terrible. There’s no other way to really describe it, but best MOBA? Yea I think not.

ManastuUtakata
Guest
ManastuUtakata

…I’ll abstain from voting on this one. Though on the other hand, I am surprised GTA Online isn’t mentioned here.

dragonwhimsy
Guest
dragonwhimsy

Guys…. Overwatch is not a pseudo MMO. You don’t cover Team Fortress 2, the only reason you cover Overwatch is because it’s Blizzard. That doesn’t make it a pseduo-MMO.  Neither is Hearthstone. 

Words have meanings, and they’re important. Especially when you write for a living. You guys really need to rename this category if you’re going to misuse the words so much every year. It’s cool that you cover other genres that might interest MMO players, but don’t go redefining accepted terms just to make them fit in some people’s minds.

Eliandal
Guest
Eliandal

I generally as a rule, hate “shooter” type games – that being said – I had an insane amount of fun with friends and guildmates in Overwatch!

milosanx
Guest
milosanx

Hands down ARK. Amazing game and It also has some of the best devs out there. Not surprised that it got the most votes. 

As for popularity? well look at the list, there are some huge titles in it with heaps of player that play them.

DasBenty
Guest
DasBenty

I knew I should’ve bought ARK during the steam sale, the dinosaur loving kid in me just wants to run around looking at t-rexeses and triceratops…

CloakingDonkey
Guest
CloakingDonkey

Armsbend CloakingDonkey Corvus Monedula or the luckiest git on the planet…

schlag sweetleaf
Guest
schlag sweetleaf
MikedotFoster
Guest
MikedotFoster

I voted for Dota ;)

carson63000
Guest
carson63000

Siphaed carson63000 Armsbend Sorry, would have been better worded as “99% of them could not have played”.. some did play before the servers went offline :-)

Robert80
Guest
Robert80

Yeah, I think ARK probably has the most popularity for this.  I still think other games have had more innovation, less glaring balance/ganking issues, around equivalent support/developer-community relations.  ARK is just popular.  Many people like dinos and modern weapons.  Where I have other games I would love to see have the popularity, it is not so… and ARK certainly isn’t bad for what it is and what it aims to be.
The pure popularity of it sort of forces the decision to ARK.

Sorenthaz
Guest
Sorenthaz

So MOBAs and Shooters count as pseudo MMOs? Lol.

ARK wins easily even though I’ve barely touched it yet, considering it’s the only MMO-ish game on that list outside of Destiny.

Paladins would come in second only because I’m having a blast in it right now, but the game is in such an early state that it’s kind of super early to even judge it fully.

Dobablo
Guest
Dobablo

BigJohnny1982  At what number of participants does a multiplayer game become massively multiplayer?

Dobablo
Guest
Dobablo

So the best pseudo-mmo is open to games that have pseudo-launched? In that case, how come Star Citizen isn’t on the list? It is more mmo and more launched than Overwatch.

rottenrotny
Guest
rottenrotny

Mostly agree with these results I do.
Ark is pretty sweet, though I cast my vote for Destiny. Some fun gameplay there.

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