Massively OP’s not-so-serious end-of-the-year awards continue today with our blooper award for best feel-good moment for the MMO genre. And the winner is…
MMO preservation efforts
This bloopie is a bit of a multi-parter. Since 2015, we’ve been reporting on the EFF’s petition seeking exceptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to allow video game preservationists the authority to break DRM protections to make abandoned or ancient games work again. At the time, it didn’t apply to online games. By 2017, however, the Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment (MADE) began pushing for exceptions for online games too. In spite of the truly gross behavior of the Entertainment Software Association, the US Library of Congress did indeed grant the DMCA exception for preserving online games this year, leading MADE to offer to preserve any and all sunsetted MMORPGs so that they’re available for museum-goers and academics.
Relatedly, MMO studio Portalus, the custodian of Pirates of the Burning Sea, turned the game over to players rather than take it offline when the company closed down. In fact, we’ve seen a bit of a resurgence of emulators, authorized and otherwise, this year.
Want to nominate another winner? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to check out our serious MMO awards while you’re at it.