Massively Overpowered’s end-of-the-year 2016 awards continue today with our award for the Biggest MMORPG Disappointment of 2016, which was awarded in 2015 to World of Warcraft’s setbacks: Blizzard’s massive sub slide and content drought. Hey, at least it won’t go two in a row!
Disappointments can be games, launches, patches, trends, stories, sunsets, all manner of topics in the MMORPG genre and orbiting sub-genres. All of our writers were invited to cast a vote, but not all of them chose to do so for this category. 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 Biggest MMORPG Disappointment of 2016 is…
Andrew Ross (@dengarsw): Pokemon Go. Yes, I like the game, but I remember hanging out with an Ingress player and taking notes on what would be problematic. All the problems with Ingress appeared in PoGo, and then some. Man, so disappointing.
Brendan Drain (@nyphur): No Man’s Sky’s false promises. Though No Man’s Sky turned out to be not a massively multiplayer game by most definitions, it was expected to have online interaction and some form of shared universe persistence. Throughout No Man’s Sky’s development, it’s been fairly difficult to pin down exactly what it would be like to play and how much online multiplayer functionality the game would have. Sean Murray is on record as saying that the game would have a Journey or Dark Souls style multiplayer experience, and that you would only find out what your character looks like when you meet another player. In an interview in 2014, Sean even described a seamless lobby system in which someone flying to the same location as another player would enter their multiplayer instance.
This was all proven false within 24 hours of launch when two streamers both managed to get to the exact same location on a planet and couldn’t see each other or interact in any way. That turned out to be just the start of No Man’s Sky’s woes, as players went on to dig up a huge list of promised features and content that simply weren’t in the game and even got the UK’s Advertising Standards Agency involved. In one of the most needlessly self-destructive PR moves I’ve ever seen, the developers then completely clammed up and didn’t speak to the media or fans for over three months. Hello Games eventually broke its long silence with the release of the Foundation update, which has completely revamped the game and genuinely made it enjoyable again, but the whole saga just shows how poorly the company has managed expectations.
Brianna Royce (@nbrianna, blog): I’m torn: My colleagues have identified two big disappointments, from No Man’s Sky abysmal community management and apparent marketing lies to EverQuest Next’s long silence and abrupt and callous cancelation, and I could comfortably settle for either, so let me add another for your consideration: Guild Wars 2’s aimlessness. I want to adore Guild Wars 2, but I find myself in turns stymied by ArenaNet’s seeming lack of direction, concerned about its future given how many key staff have left this year, and frustrated that it seems content to alienate its original playerbase, from PvPers to casuals alike. I hope 2017 is a better year for what remains my favorite modern MMORPG. Honorable mention for The Repopulation’s continuing woes.
Eliot Lefebvre (@Eliot_Lefebvre, blog): Unlike a lot of people, I’m not heartbroken over the loss of EverQuest Next; I don’t think it speaks as much to the state of the industry as it speaks to the state of Daybreak, which shouldn’t really come as a surprise to anyone now. I’m also fine with the various Kickstarted titles that seem to keep sliding further and further in the year and getting later and later starts; that’s the nature of game development, it happens. No, what has really stuck in my craw is the number of companies that have begun relentlessly pushing e-sports everywhere, no matter what, no matter how irrelevant. The reason I play video games instead of watching football is not because I dislike the game being played; it’s because that does not interest me. I get that the money is there, but the more you push it, the more I tune you out; Guild Wars 2 and Blizzard in general have been particularly bad about it this year.
Justin Olivetti (@Sypster, blog): If there ever was an IP custom-made for MMORPGs, it was Otherland. And if there ever was an MMORPG that was given a sub-par development team, publisher, and release, it was Otherland. It’s already been forgotten, and boy is that a shame.
MJ Guthrie (@MJ_Guthrie, blog): The loss of EverQuest Next. This game was set to be an industry changer with the systems and features it had on board. It was the only game that was preparing to push us past the same old, same old and give us truly innovated elements. Canceling it felt like conceding the ability for the Western games to hold their own and make a difference in the broader MMORPG market.
Tina Lauro Pollock (@purpletinabeans): I again have to nominate EverQuest Next here. I was gutted at its cancellation and I feel as though those who put money into Daybreak over the last couple of years are feeling seriously shortchanged with the half-hearted consolation offering that is Landmark. Disappointment like that is very hard to shake and it makes me very worried for the franchise’s future.
No Man’s Sky and EverQuest Next won our award for Biggest MMORPG Disappointment of 2016. What’s your pick?
Reader poll: What was the biggest MMORPG disappointment of 2016?
- EverQuest Next's cancellation (40%, 375 Votes)
- No Man's Sky's false promises (11%, 102 Votes)
- Obsession with MMORPG e-sports (7%, 64 Votes)
- Pokemon Go (3%, 25 Votes)
- Otherland (1%, 12 Votes)
- Guild Wars 2's aimlessness (11%, 99 Votes)
- The Turbine/SSG/Daybreak deal and Asherons Call sunset (4%, 34 Votes)
- Star Citizen has still not launched (5%, 48 Votes)
- The Repopulation's fizzle-out (3%, 29 Votes)
- BlizzCon, again (4%, 39 Votes)
- Early access and Kickstarter crud (5%, 42 Votes)
- ArcheAge's fresh start servers (4%, 33 Votes)
- Nothing. (1%, 5 Votes)
- Something else (tell us in the comments!) (2%, 23 Votes)
Total Voters: 930