December's many article roundups and awards always remind us that it's hard to remember what happened last month, let alone what happened way back at the beginning, so this year (as last year), we decided to poke through our MMO coverage, month by month, to hit the highlights and frame our journey before we launch into 2017.
January 2016 was dominated by the launch of NCsoft's Blade & Soul in the west, but we also got our first teases of Guild Wars 2's gliding, mourned The Repopulation's engine switch, watched Firefall continue to unravel, peeked into Black Desert's beta, and saw Smed announce Hero's Song only to abruptly cancel the Kickstarter not long afterward.
Read on for the whole list!
TOP NEWS STORIES OF JANUARY 2016
The9's CEO is throwing over a million bucks at Chinese Firefall players
RIFT raiding guild drama results in player suspensions
John Smedley on player emulator projects: 'Good for them'
Divergence Online calls for an indefinite moratorium on 'gaming yelp reviewer bullshit'
Final Fantasy XIV voice actress goes missing, possibly murdered
Popular Guild Wars 2 YouTuber team banned for cheating
The Oculus Rift costs a staggering $599
SWG-inspired sandbox Divergence Online is now on Steam early access
Black Desert is keeping energy potions out of the cash shop
Red 5 Studios is undergoing 'strategic reorganization'
Star Citizen has a 'surprise' in store for Alpha 2.1
Abandoned crowdfunded MMO Greed Monger is apparently back in production
Industry analysts react to Oculus Rift's $600 price tag
Indie sandbox TUG secures $8.5M in new funding, delays game for engine switch
Chronicles of Elyria hitches its death mechanics to its business model
Did Guild Wars 2 just tease gliding in vanilla Tyria?
David Brevik's new company is Graybeard Games; expect an RPG
Star Citizen shares dev progress on its Million Mile High Club
Check out what World of Warcraft looked like 17 years ago
Richard Garriott cuts off (some of) his rat tail to raise money for Shroud of the Avatar
Guild Wars 2 winter 2016 update, gliding confirmed for Central Tyria
The Elder Scrolls Online's 2016: DLC, housing are in; veteran ranks are out
NCsoft addresses Blade & Soul gamemaster name reservation controversy
World of Warcraft's design philosophy for tanks and healers in Legion
The Division's beta will start this month... probably
Elite: Dangerous has sold 1.4 million copies
Blade & Soul plans star-studded launch event
ESPN officially launches an e-sports division, picks up e-sports journalists
PWE shuts down World of Jade Dynasty for redevelopment
Black Desert explains how both of its cash shops will work
Elder Scrolls Online subscribers to get bottomless crafting bags
Vivendi sells all of its shares of Activision Blizzard for $1.1 billion
Dungeons and Dragons Online preps Gnome race and 10th anniversary dungeon
Blade & Soul is live; here's the launch roundup, gallery, and trailer
Exclusive Interview: John Smedley reveals Hero’s Song, his new open-world OARPG
Black Desert's character creator tool available; CBT2 begins February 18
Analysts consider NCsoft's 2016 prospects: Guild Wars 2, WildStar earnings dip predictions
Here's what you can do with the Black Desert character creator
Age of Conan has a new game director with plans for 2016
Blade & Soul plans new servers to combat queues
The Elder Scrolls Online previews Thieves Guild DLC with a new trailer
Star Citizen showcases actress Gillian Anderson's Squadron 42 role
The Black Death takes survival games to a grim era
Alleged WildStar ex-devs gripe about Carbine
Blade & Soul hits one million players in the west
Nexon announces Riders of Icarus, an aerial combat, action-adventure MMORPG
John Smedley's Hero's Song Kickstarter project is cancelled
RIFT forces players to use cash shop for expansion gear upgrades
SWTOR is putting lockboxes inside of other lockboxes
Superdata says League of Legends makes more money than any other game you play
Funcom announces Conan Exiles, a multiplayer open-world survival game
RIFT addresses paywall controversy, explains F2P finances
EA says SWTOR's sub numbers were way up last quarter
Divergence Online abandons Steam sales over ongoing review harassment
How MMO studios wield 'YouTube influencers'
The Repopulation switches engines, announces survival spin-off 'Fragmented'
FAVORITE EDITORIALS OF JANUARY 2016
WoW Factor: The view from outside the Legion alpha test
First impressions of Black Desert's closed beta test: Classes, combat, and mechanics
EverQuesting: EverQuest, EverQuest II, Landmark, and EverQuest Next in 2015
LOTRO Legendarium: Looking back and forwards with LOTRO
Guild Chat: Can MMO progression-seeking become 'bullying'?
First impressions of Black Desert's closed beta test, part two: Crafting, gathering, and economy
Hyperspace Beacon: A roleplayer's SWTOR wishlist
Choose My Adventure: Trying on the Shroud of the Avatar
Jukebox Heroes: Six MMO soundtracks that need to be in your collection
Massively Overthinking: Let's play with the Gamer Motivation Model
Massively OP's guide to choosing an online ARPG
Hyperspace Beacon: How to make a million credits in an hour of SWTOR
EverQuesting: A 2016 franchise forecast for EverQuest Next, EverQuest, EverQuest II, and Landmark
Perfect Ten: Top 10 obscure MMORPGs
WoW Factor: The importance of class fantasies
Exploring 'The Video Game Debate': Cognitive performance and your brain on games
Hyperspace Beacon: Is SWTOR losing its MMORPG cred?
Working As Intended: What Star Wars Galaxies got wrong
Perfect Ten: Ten MMO tropes we don't need in 2016 (but clearly aren't going anywhere)
Launch impressions of Blade & Soul: Combat, story, questing, and flow
EVE Evolved: Should CCP start developing Walking in Stations again?
How Star Wars: The Old Republic won me over with its endgame
Tamriel Infinium: Six features Elder Scrolls Online's level-scaling system needs
Massively Overthinking: The cynicism of modern MMO Kickstarters
WoW Factor: Why Legion's alpha/beta label is a hair worth splitting
The Game Archaeologist: Perpetual's Star Trek Online
ALL 2016 MONTH-IN-REVIEW POSTS TO-DATE