You are no doubt aware that Champions Online
is still running, although the game has been in unofficial maintenance mode for half of forever. What you may not be aware of is the fact that at this point, it is the longest-running superheroic MMO on the market. That’s right, it edged out its closest competitor
by just about a month.
If that strikes you as the sort of thing that should not have been permitted to happen, well, you aren’t alone in that. But that’s the world we live in.
You can argue whether it’s the longest-running steadily updated superheroic MMO, but you can’t argue that it’s been in operation longer than anything else. Collectively, it turns out that players have had about 5500 years in-game, which is more than twice the age of the Great Wall of China. Those are your fun statistical factoids for the game, but we’re sure that some other unintentionally depressing fact will come along before too long.
MMOs have a longer shelf life than other games do. We talked about this not so long ago, even, and you can see it when you think of the big online games out there. World of Warcraft is over a decade old, Star Wars: The Old Republic is four years old, Final Fantasy XIV is five years old, and League of Legends has been around for six years. I rarely see any of those titles brought up as “old” games, yet contemporary single-player titles are often listed as being “old” titles.
What’s even more amusing is that titles seem to age at different rates in matters of perception. I’ve seen people talking in World of Warcraft about how EverQuest II is an “old” title, despite the fact that the two games launched in the same month of the same year. Some titles just feel older or newer than others regardless of actual dates. So what do you think, dear readers? What makes a game move over the threshold from “new” or “contemporary” to “old”? Is it a matter of time, of active design, of communities, or some combination of all three?