Perfect Ten: Mobile MMOs coming in 2017

This past year, we couldn't seem to go a week without bumping into news of some new mobile MMO or a tablet spin-off of some existing franchise. It seems as though the mobile market is still blowing up, and MMORPG developers are looking for a way to take advantage of the popularity and market penetration that these devices offer.

What does this mean? It means that in 2017, we have a whole lot of games heading our way. With any luck, some of them might unseat the low-quality half-breeds that seem to make up a bulk of the existing mobile MMO library and set a higher standard for fun and engagement.

Let's take a look at about two dozen mobile MMOs we could be getting in 2017 -- and which ones might be the new contenders for our undivided attention. Unless we mention otherwise, these titles will be coming out for both iOS and Android platforms.

ffxi

Final Fantasy XI Reboot

The Final Fantasy community was abuzz at the news in early 2016 that FFXI would be going into maintenance mode while adapting to the mobile market. Strangely enough, FFXI has continued to roll out updates even after its retirement while not saying much at all about the mobile version follwing this initial announcement in April 2016.

If it's still in the works, FFXI Reboot (working title) will be a joint collaboration between Square-Enix and Nexon to remake the title in Unreal Engine 4. The initial launch will not contain all of the expansions, although there are plans to eventually roll out the full game.

Final Fantasy XV

MZ and Square Enix have partnered up to create some sort of MMO based on the relatively new Final Fantasy XV. It remains to be seen how much of a true MMORPG this will be, as mobile developers like to play fast and loose with that term (online connectivity? It's an MMO!).

Lineage Red Knights

An offshoot of sorts from the original Lineage, Lineage Red Knights looks to be a territory control game in which players vie for sections of the land. The art style is definitely worth noticing, with its cuter and more colorful design than the standard Lineage games.

tree-of-savior

Tree of Savior

The ARPG MMO Tree of Savior kind of fizzled when it launched in the west earlier this year, but it's going to try to get a do-over by porting the whole game to mobile. We don't have a timeline for it, but there's a website up and a reported global rollout planned.

Blade and Soul Mobile

This is a little confusing, as it looks as if two Blade and Soul mobile spin-offs in the works. The first is a prequel called Blade and Soul: Hongmoon Rising, co-developed by Tencent and NCsoft for release on PC and mobile. Then there's Blade and Soul Mobile proper, which is a cuter game that's coming only to tablets and smartphones.

Dragon of Legends

This pixel art-style, Viking-themed online action RPG has been pretty quiet over the past six months or so, but apparently that's because the team is waiting until the game is ready to show off for real. The first episode was promised by the end of 2016, so we'll see how it goes.

Third time's the charm?

Seventh Rebirth

One of the producers of Final Fantasy XI and XIV is now working on this fantasy title over at Gungho. Seventh Rebirth focuses on a world locked in a cycle of destruction and rebirth, hence the title. Players will move between building up towns while picking up supplies and exploring dungeons with other players.

Becoming Preta

Cross-platform play is the new hot catchphrase of the online industry, although we suspect that some studios are going to kill themselves to try to accomplish such lofty goals. One of these cross-platform projectsis Becoming Preta, a hack-and-slash title that will feature not only a mobile edition but a virtual reality one as well.

Second Galaxy

Invoking EVE Online's name to describe the goals of your project is lofty, to say the least, but it's what this mobile title did this past spring. Don't hold your breath too much for a pocket EVE: Second Galaxy's studio has since pulled its videos and hasn't posted an update to Facebook since June. Still, you never know.

lineage-mobile

Lineage Mobile

Make no mistake about it: The Lineage series (the first game in particular) is a massive cash cow for NCsoft. So it's a no-brainer that the company has licensed multiple mobile titles, including a version of the first game that crams the classic look down into a new format. We haven't heard too much about it following its initial Korean announcement, but considering its, erm, lineage, we have no doubts it's still in development.

Lineage II: Blood Oath

Yet another Lineage franchise spin-off, this mobile MMO is being made by Snail Games for China -- at least initially. While there's no word on whether it's coming to the West, Snail's involvement (including the use of its own Flexi Engine) and the good-looking graphics makes it worth keeping tabs on.

Durango

ARK has certainly proved that there's a strong demand for survival sandboxes with dinos, so don't strain your brain by wondering why Nexon is working on an isometric dinosaur-themed survival sandbox. Cash cow in the making or a flight of fancy? Testing is progressing, so we might have the chance to judge its authenticity soon.

vindictus-eternal

Vindictus Eternal

The high-energy hack-and-slash Vindictus is going mobile with a dungeon crawler that promises all sorts of furious (screen) button mashing. The main hook of the game is a character-swapping mechanic that allows you to tag different fighters in and out of combat.

Mirage Realms

A mash-up of SNES-style graphics and MMOs, Mirage Realms is attempting to sample the best of a few favorite categories of its designer. The game went into open alpha testing for Android devices this past fall with no word as to whether or not it might be coming to iOS in the future.

Ragnarok Mobile

Movement is definitely happening with this mobile edition of the long-running Ragnarok series. It's scheduled to launch in March 2017... in China. Will it be coming to the west? We'll just have to hang tight and see.

aurakingdom

Aura Kingdom Mobile

The spin-off from the colorful MMO is being designed to complement its big brother. There are doubts over whether this will be a true MMO or simply a side game with the Aura Kingdom moniker, although in either case players will have plenty of dungeons to conquer and a world to explore.

World of Dragon Nest

There's definitely a mobile version of this action MMO in the works, although Dragon Nest's struggling popularity in the west throws its future as a title in this region in doubt. Not much else is known about this game right now.

Azera: Iron Heart

Webzen's upcoming hack-and-slash MMO has the usual stable of eastern classes and the usual eastern focus on PvP. Its cinematic cutscenes and presentation might be the only things to set this apart from the rest of the pack.

MapleStory M

Apparently Pocket MapleStory was somewhat of a bust for Nexon, so the studio has declared a do-over of sorts in the form of the improved MapleStory M. It's already out in Korea and looks like it offers a full-fledged (side-scrolling) MMO experience.

elsword

Elsword Slash

From the brief video teaser of this upcoming game, Elsword Slash looks like it will contain much of the over-the-top action combat and the bright, cartoony visuals of Elsword proper. A perfect button-masher for stress relief?

Dungeon & Fighter Spirit

I'm starting to get the sense that fast-paced, flashy fighting MMOs are seen as ideal candidates for the mobile space. Maybe we don't need huge 3-D environments and the subtleties of a large MMO world when you've got blazing swords and huge numbers going everywhere. Anyway, pretty much everything I said about Elsword Slash looks like it applies to this upcoming adaptation of the Dungeon & Fighter series.

Albion Online

Most mobile MMOs are divorced from their desktop colleagues, but Albion Online is outright attempting to make its game playable on either, offering cross-platform play. If the studio can pull this technical challenge off, it might have a huge advantage over its competitors. Now if it only weren't pushing the gankbox model so hard...

AdventureQuest 3D

Speaking of cross-platform MMOs, AdventureQuest 3D sort-of pseudo-launched last fall, but in reality, it's still very much in a beta state with a lot of work left to be done before it's a fully formed MMO. Seeing how this game develops in 2017 is of great interest to me, especially considering just how many different platforms can access this MMO.

Boss of the road.

Bless Mobile

Bless Online is one of 2017's mostly hotly anticipated MMOs, so why not make a mobile version to ride on the coattails of that hype? We don't know much about Bless Mobile other than it's being made using the Unreal Engine 3, which might speak to its potential visuals if nothing else.

Villagers and Heroes

Last October, Villagers and Heroes pushed out an Android version of its underrated MMO. But what about the rest of us mobile users? The team announced this month that an iOS port is in the works and should arrive by the end of February.

Hades' Star

Hades’ Star is a top-down strategy MMO in which players will roam the galaxy looking for opportunities to colonize, mine, trade, and fight. It went into alpha testing last December, so it should be on track for a launch this year at some point.

Everyone likes a good list, and we are no different! Perfect Ten takes an MMO topic and divvies it up into 10 delicious, entertaining, and often informative segments for your snacking pleasure. Got a good idea for a list? Email us at justin@massivelyop.com or eliot@massivelyop.com with the subject line "Perfect Ten."
SHARE THIS ARTICLE
29 comments
PizzaDoh
PizzaDoh

I'd happily play a legit MMO on my phone - however all the mmo ports always have that fancy little "auto play" button which you quickly learn to use (before uninstalling 2 mins later) because actually playing them is such a chore to navigate around all the flashy icons telling you to spend money on the game.

luxundae
luxundae

It's so strange to hear about Unreal 3 engine running on mobile devices...

Robert80
Robert80

Ah yes, mobile.  This is just a wild guess, but low quality carbon copy clones of games from years ago, or with very little to recommend them beyond little hooks to drive spending, unless one is truly and desperately bored, which will appeal to the wallet for progression.  *Mobile gaming is, at this time, mostly an oxymoron.  When it eventually matures, if ever, then we might have something interesting there... maybe.*

wild_abyss
wild_abyss

I just don't... get it. There are short MMO sessions and then there are short MMO sessions -- how annoyed would you be by someone in your party disconnecting because their morning commute is over?

Gevah
Gevah

@wild_abyss i imagine a mobile MMO is designed for solo playing, while group content is optional. so there won't be 2 hours raids, that won't work on mobile, it'll be fast content for people on the move.


schmidtcapela
schmidtcapela

@Gevah @wild_abyss 

Also, they will likely allow players to get to the content they want to play right away (you can't force the player to waste 5 minutes getting to the content if they play session is just 15 minutes), and I wouldn't be surprised if more than a few found ways to allow players to "pause" the solo action any time they want (or need).

Sarigar
Sarigar

I see the words "Mobile MMOs" but my brain translates them into the phrase "things you don't want". Hopefully someone else will have a ball with them.

zandog
zandog

Enjoyed the Pocket Legends series very much. Wasn't too hooked on the Wow clones for mobile but AMMORPG seems to be a great fit for mobile tech at the moment. Can we see more mobile MMORPG coverage on this site please Bree?

Qarran
Qarran

Lol!  Holy shnikees!


Ok.  I'm going to go on record now and say that I will never play an MMORPG on my phone.  Ain't gonna happen....  Now, 



Beacon
Beacon

In articles like these, it would be really lovely if you could caption the pictures so we know which games they're from.

nosz
nosz

@Beacon ? Just hover them and you can read the file's name! And it's not like they're placed above the individual game's titel...

Oleg Chebeneev
Oleg Chebeneev

Of the list Im mostly looking forward FFXI reboot. I always wanted to try this game and did abit during free weekend, still not enough to draw my conclusion about it. On PC its abit too old. Hopefully mobiles bring new life to it so I could dive deeper. Also hopefully they implement F2P model as well

jeremy2020
jeremy2020

"It remains to be seen how much of a true MMORPG this will be, as mobile developers like to play fast and loose with that term (online connectivity? It's an MMO!)."


uhh...massively...pot...kettle?

Strands
Strands

The only mobile gaming i will be doing this year will be on the Nintendo Switch. 


Phones are too small and hard to see whats going on with my fingers on the screen.  I know there's tablets and bluetooth controllers you can hook up, but i found most games i wanted to play (i.e. Terraria) the controllers didn't support or were really clunky. Maybe one day when we have tablets like in "WestWorld" i may venture into MMObile, but until then, No thanks. 


schmidtcapela
schmidtcapela

@Strands 

Part of the reason why my "phone" is a 10.1" tablet capable of doing phone calls; I don't even own a smartphone anymore.

I got it more for reading books than playing games after noticing I had my Kindle on me more often than my phone, though, and for that use alone it was certainly worth it.

UpayaCrow
UpayaCrow

@schmidtcapela @Strands I went from being an early Android adopter and generally enthusiastic about the tech to going full "meh" recently to the point where my phone is barely ever even charged up, let alone where I know where it is.

Considering getting a landline.

Kanbe
Kanbe

I mean confused by the Ragnarok Mobile. There's been a mobile version called Valkyrie and I thought that's been out for awhile. I remember giving it a try years ago and I see its still on Google play store. Though I do see the recent reviews have major issues.

BKone
BKone

For me it's either Torchlight online or Tree of savior. Depending on control scheme, server location and monetization. And if they come west ofc...

melissaheather
melissaheather

Bless Mobile might be pretty cool.  New snapdragon chips are way better at graphics, your average top-of-the-line Android or iPhone now is arguably a better gaming machine than any Intel-graphics-sporting Mac. The visuals on some of these games are really surprisingly good, and viewed on a 1080p or 1440p screen in many cases.
Good times ahead for mobile gaming.   Time be comin' when that little device in your purse or pocket is all you'll need.  it will run all your games, cast them to a bigger screen, and then go back in the purse when you're done.

Veldan
Veldan

@melissaheather While I have a tablet with a Tegra chip, and have yet to find its limits in terms of graphics, I don't see the appeal of playing MMORPGs, MOBAs or other "serious games" on it. Why play on a mobile device what you could enjoy so much more on a PC?

SallyBowls1
SallyBowls1

@Veldan @melissaheather  But why does the why matter?  Today, most video is consumed on mobile devices even though I think there is a better experience on a PC or what IIRC my grandparents call a TV. Businesses need to sell what customers do, not what they could do or should do.

schmidtcapela
schmidtcapela

@SallyBowls1 @Veldan @melissaheather 

About half my Netflix consumption is on my tablet, even when I'm at home. The portability makes it more practical, even if the experience with my big TV with a good sound system is better.


The main reason I don't do more gaming on my tablet is because virtual joysticks are awful, and carrying an external bluetooth controller everywhere makes it not practical anymore.

UpayaCrow
UpayaCrow

I, for one, am wicked excited for mobile FFXI. I really hope it comes to fruition.

Detton
Detton

@UpayaCrow Wicked excited?


Oh crap, another New Englander!   Run! *hides... in Boston*

UpayaCrow
UpayaCrow

@Detton @UpayaCrow I'm always amazed, no matter how much I know it to be true, that people don't use "wicked" that way everywhere.