Last week, we posted a rundown of the most popular MMORPG articles of 2016, calculated strictly by the number of pageviews they got. Today, we’re going to take a look at the most popular articles of 2016 as measured by comments, which provides an entirely different overview of the year and the genre. The other list was stuff you clicked on, but this? This is the stuff you cared enough about to comment on — and boy did you ever.
What’s interesting to me is that some articles completely absent from the hits list dominate this one. EverQuest Next’s cancelation was far and away our biggest comment thread of the year, coming close to last year’s Legion announcement thread (but not quite besting it), but it didn’t make the top 15 in terms of page views, suggesting that the impact was limited to the core MMORPG community, not the greater gaming crowds. The Working As Intended editorial in the top 15 is also EQN-themed.
Business models are clearly something MMO gamers will probably always want to talk about; the Black Desert cash shop, cost of VR, and lockbox regulation threads were huge this year.
In sharp contrast to 2015 when it was beleaguered by internet warlords, 2016 saw Star Citizen slip off the MMORPG radar quite a bit; this year it cracked the top 15 only when Sandi Gardiner was harassed off social media temporarily.
Overwatch didn’t fare much better when it came to sociopolitical drama; MMORPG fans clamored to argue over Tracer, first her butt pose and then her sexual orientation — the latter a very recent article whose final numbers will probably be much higher than they are as I pen this piece.
I choose, however, to see the comments on Amazon’s New World MMORPG as a sign that the genre’s got a life left to live beyond petty dramas. Here’s to 2017.