The Daily Grind: Which game made the biggest contribution to killing the MMORPG genre in 2018?

    
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So here’s a fun-slash-depressing annual Daily Grind we’ve been running for the past few years thanks to DK, who originally proposed it.

The knee-jerk answer, mind you, isn’t necessarily the right one. A lot of folks are going to say “WoW ruined MMOs foreverrrrrr,” but it didn’t really hurt the genre last year, did it – if anything, the financial success of the game continues to buoy it. So how you answer seems to depend on whether you think the MMORPG industry is in trouble and what specifically ails it – business model shenanigans or bad design pushing people and companies away, or other genres pulling MMO players out, or something else entirely.

So let’s revisit the topic now that 2018 is behind us. Which game, MMO or otherwise, made the biggest contribution toward killing the MMORPG genre specifically in 2018? Is the real enemy without or within the genre itself?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!

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Lieutenant BaconWaffles

I want to say it’s oversaturation mixed with stagnation. You play a mobile game for 5 minutes, so it doesn’t matter that a thousand come out every month. But when you play 4-8 hours a day & there’s 150 options with little to set them apart from each other….

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Lieutenant BaconWaffles

Who started the most annoying trends? Who popularized them? Who took them to extreme limits to see how much players would tolerate before retaliating? Loot boxes were inspired by gashapon/gatchapon/gatcha. Who started the expirable rental costumes/pets/mounts? How about those horrid mobile MMOs that literally play themselves for you? Who stared the microtransactions?

I want to say that it was probably EA that abused everything mmo players hate harder than anyone this year.

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Skoryy

For a dying genre, there’s still plenty of life around that I can see.

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Alatar

Oh, it’s just so EASY to say World of Warcraft. I’m willing to accept that World of Warcraft might be the game best answering the question posed, but I don’t believe it is and I don’t accept “well, of COURSE” as a valid reason.

My vote, and I know it just came out at the end of the year, is the dumpster fire that is Fallout 76. It fails to deliver on everything that makes a great Fallout game, while at the same time demonstrating everything that can be wrong with an MMORPG. Granted that Bethesda isn’t an MMORPG veteran company, they handed over their Elder Scrolls IP to Zenimax Online for development, but that makes it all the worse. They are certainly close enough to ESO to see how an MMORPG is done well.

Bethesda might be able to salvage it. After all, when ESO launched it had a plethora of issues and received a savage beating from the fans who had been expected an MMORPG version of Skyrim. You can see what a turnaround ESO has made. So it’s not impossible.

But from my console gaming friends, I heard “yeah, Fallout 76 is why I don’t play MMOs.” That’s why it gets my vote.

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Arktouros

The biggest thing killing MMOs right now is stagnation. Most companies are just retreading the same ground over and over again. We’re to the point that we’re celebrating rebooting “classic” MMOs because we hope our fond memories are more pleasant than yet-another-expansion for the game we’ve now played for years. A game like Bless comes along and your eyes immediately start to roll because you’ve played this game a hundred times before under different names.

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Crowe

WoW but only because it’s so big and was so mis-managed for 2018.

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Bruno Brito

Unpopular Opinion: WoW has no obligation to be a guide for other MMOs, and if they’re failing because they’re following WoW’s footsteps and trying to go one step further, that’s on their own incompetence.

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Maggie May

Just a comment; I have been coming onto MOP for years and there have been times when I was playing Mmorpg ‘s, not playing anything, looking for games, happy with the games I’ve played, unhappy, taking a break etc. etc.

I always like to read WRUP as much to see what everyone is actually playing rather than the srories or press or PR. One day, reading peoples plans, I realized that, I won’t say most, but many of us are no longer playing MMORPG’s. I thought to myself when did this happen ? Late lightbulb going off in my head.

It’s a testament to this site and its community that it has evolved to cover a lot of different types of games. Whats killing MMO’s ? Everything, all the comments, Armbend’s gas, WOW, money grubbing suits? All of the above and the years of work required and wads of cash needed, lack of attention span, and other forms of entertainment. ☺

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PanagiotisLial1

I am not sure but personally I also feel we are sometimes getting toxic overall as a mmo community too. Yes events and companies given us lots fuel for a fire but its on us too. Maybe we should concentrate more on the things we like and not these we hate/dislike

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smuggler-in-a-yt

I definitely agree with this. The games have gotten easier, there’s a lot more to do, and yet people are complaining more. The only reasons I can really come up with:

1. The MMO games, tech wise, haven’t really kept up with other genres. It’s obviously easier to implement the latest gen stuff when you’re not scaling for thousands at a time, but one thing I’ve learned over the past year and a half: the U.S. market is absolutely tech obsessed.

2. MMO games, system wise, trend towards diversity and complexity over simplicity. Blizzard made a Smaug’s horde off of simplifying the complex and making it beautiful. And yet few other studios seem to really take this seriously. You can make simple systems with depth, just as you can make complex systems which are shallow. The latter approach is inelegant over the hopeful lifespan of an MMO and either results in accretion (into a Supermassive MMO-hole) or explosion (into an MMO Supernova).

3. Demographics are evolving, but into what we have yet to see. Digital natives are a bit like The Fly. They’re still shedding their mortal form and becoming. People who grew up without the Internet or easy access to computers, or crazy mobile devices are slowly being matched by people who are. They like and want different things (see the latest MOP podcast on progression servers as a good or bad thing as a great example).

By overall, yes, I think the community needs to come together. An MMO 60s summer of love event would be awesome. Digital Woodstock, here I come…

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Maggie May

I grew up without computers and I’m still a ghee wiz – thats so cool, type as opposed to my kids who just live through the tech. I still think we’re in the infancy of where everything is going, it’s just what we want is lagging behind the creativity of those who are bankrolling projects.

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Random MMO fan

They all sucked and all contributed to that. Especially the games with “Massively” part, excluding co-op RPGs/FPS games.

Hopefully next years will be better and someone will have more guts to create a truly massive online MMO which would have fun stuff to do for ALL kinds of players (no matter if you’re into mindless PvE loot grinding, some massive PvP battles for the control of large territories, meaningful crafting to support such battles or into RPing with other characters using beautifully created avatars with millions of cosmetic outfits and full support for body motion tracking sensors).

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Kherova

I still believe it’s WoW. It’s the juggernaut and it’s struggling. How can anybody else think they will not in this market?

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NeoWolf

This is a tough one for me to answer as I don’t geinuinely think the games are to blame but the companies behind then and the stupid decisions and business models they impose ONTO said games the nameless suits who care NOTHING for the genre or its integrity and whose only interest is the bottom line on a spreadsheet.

If I were a developer i’d be pretty bitter as i’d be real sick of my employers and the other bottom feeders up the business chain who are the ones really responsible for souring peoples views of what is essentially great and often unappreciated work over and over because of them.

So..yeah anything NCSOFT lol

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Mr.McSleaz

That game that took money from people for an MMORPG with No Cash Shop & built a Battle Royale with a Cash Shop.