Massively OP’s 2019 Awards: MMO (or studio) with the Stormiest Future


Massively Overpowered’s end-of-the-year 2019 awards continue today with our award for MMO with the Stormiest Future, which was awarded to Chronicles of Elyria last year. Prior to 2018, this award was usually called “Most Likely to Fail” and “Most Likely to Flop,” but we decided to change the name and expand it beyond just individual games to studios and ideas as well as fringe and unlaunched games. It represents something we’re worried about for one reason or another: Maybe we think the game or studios will sunset or struggle or simply fail live up to insane hype. (And we don’t actually want anything to have a stormy future!)

And the MassivelyOP staff pick for the Stormiest Future of 2019 is…


A quick note before we dive in: This award was decided several weeks before Daybreak announced it was sunsetting PlanetSide Arena, a move that unfortunately makes it even more poignant.

Andy McAdams: GW2/ArenaNet. I disagreed with the Massively Zeitgeist on this one. Daybreak has been a complete dumpster since it totally wasn’t ever owned even a little by Columbus Nova, and was a smoldering dumpster fire basically since it congealed into existence. I voted for ArenaNet who despite themselves can’t seem to get their act together. I think Guild Wars 2 is the particular toddler with a lighter and gallon of jet fuel to watch in 2020.

Ben Griggs: Star Citizen. If/when this game ever truly launches (or even makes it out of alpha) is there any way imaginable that it can hope to live up to the expectations that seven years of open development and $250 million in funding bring?

Brendan Drain: It has to be Daybreak this year. It’s just been a full year of layoffs, scandals, and cancelled projects. Secondary shout out to Star Citizen as I still think it’s only a matter of time before it collapses in on itself, but it’s proven me wrong every year so far.

Brianna Royce: We don’t usually give this award to a studio, but in this case, Daybreak and its entire stable worry the hell out of me, pitching from scandal to layoffs to game cancellations to more scandals and so few people left to actually build the EverQuest 3 everyone wants. Yes, I still think games like Shroud of the Avatar and Chronicles of Elyria are in extremely rough waters and probably would’ve won in any other year, but I expect so much more from Daybreak, a studio that used to win good awards on the regular. I want to be wrong about this. If I have a runner-up, it’d be ArenaNet and Nexon.

Carlo Lacsina: GW2, Daybreak. I don’t trust Daybreak. It’s the opposite of Grinding Gear Games. I don’t feel like the things they do is in the best interest of the players or its developers. I feel like it’s just too corporate, and that lack of trust is what gives them the stormy future. While Blizzard had a bunch of really bad missteps this year, it’s a big company and can take the hit. Daybreak can’t afford the mistakes it’s making.

Chris Neal: Daybreak. Even if the studio split goes away cleanly, I’m never going to feel super comfortable with Daybreak Games. DCUO always feels like it’s on a knife’s edge, the PlanetSide franchies feels like its barely fed… about the only IP that seems to get love is EverQuest, and even that’s not a guarantee. Yes, I’m still grumpy about Landmark.

Colin Henry: SWTOR, Anthem/Fallout, Daybreak. As if the lukewarm reception of H1Z1 and the cancellation of EverQuest Next and Landmark weren’t enough, Planetside Arena seems to be failing before it’s even out of early access. Whether or not you believe Daybreak is a front for shady Russian corporations, it’s sad to see what remains of SOE becoming such a shell of its former self.

Eliot Lefebvre: Whenever I think of Shroud of the Avatar, I think of this scene from Kill Bill.

Justin Olivetti: At this point, does anyone really think that Daybreak can pull out of this slow death spiral without a drastic change in management or ownership? I thought not.

Mia DeSanzo: Daybreak can’t catch a break. Let’s all just hope there aren’t substantial lay-offs in 2020.

MJ Guthrie: Honestly, this is one category I just can’t bear to fill out. I feel like it is too close to wishing demise on someone, and I simply can’t do that! I do agree that Daybreak has had a super stormy year, but to me it feels like 2020 will be the calmer aftermath of 2019. A storm is full of energy to me, and I just don’t see any energy coming forth from either the studio or the community. Players are pretty resigned now.

Samon Kashani: GW2/ArenaNet. The number of layoffs in February, the big players leaving to start their own studios or go elsewhere, it is very scary. I don’t think the game will shut down any time soon or anything crazy like that – hell Guild Wars 1 is still rocking. Yet, I am starting to worry. I hope they pick up the pieces and bring hope back into the studio.

Tyler Edwards: Star Citizen for sure. It was supposed to release in 2014, and it’s still in alpha. It’s already a disaster, and things are not going to get better from here.

Daybreak took our award for Stormiest Future of 2019. What’s your pick?

Reader poll: What MMO game or studio has the stormiest future heading into 2020?

  • Daybreak and its games (29%, 277 Votes)
  • Cloud Imperium and Star Citizen (11%, 102 Votes)
  • ArenaNet and Guild Wars 2 (15%, 147 Votes)
  • Catnip, Portalarium, and Shroud of the Avatar (6%, 55 Votes)
  • Soulbound and Chronicles of Elyria (2%, 20 Votes)
  • Bethsoft and Fallout 76 (11%, 109 Votes)
  • BioWare, Anthem, and SWTOR (12%, 110 Votes)
  • Barunsun and Astellia (1%, 7 Votes)
  • Nexon and its remaining games (1%, 6 Votes)
  • Gamigo and its games (1%, 10 Votes)
  • CCP and EVE Online (1%, 11 Votes)
  • Blizzard and its games (3%, 30 Votes)
  • Citadel and Legends of Aria (1%, 5 Votes)
  • Frostkeep and Rend (0%, 2 Votes)
  • Funcom and its games (1%, 9 Votes)
  • Standing Stone and its games (1%, 8 Votes)
  • Heroic and Ship of Heroes (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Broadsword and its titles (0%, 0 Votes)
  • ArtCraft and Crowfall (0%, 4 Votes)
  • CSE and Camelot Unchained (0%, 4 Votes)
  • Intrepid and Ashes of Creation (1%, 12 Votes)
  • PWE and its games (0%, 3 Votes)
  • Missing Worlds and City of Titans (0%, 1 Votes)
  • NCsoft's non-ArenaNet games (1%, 10 Votes)
  • Something else (tell us in the comments!) (1%, 9 Votes)

Total Voters: 658

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How does MassivelyOP choose the winner?
Our team gathers together over the course of a few weeks to nominate and discuss candidates and ideally settle on a consensus winner. We don’t have a hard vote, but we do include written commentary from every writer who submitted it on time so that you can see where some of us differed, what our secondary picks were, and why we personally nominated what we did (or didn’t). The site’s award goes to the staff selection, but we’ll include both it and the community’s top nomination in our debrief in January.
How does MassivelyOP populate this poll?
Poll options include all games and entities nominated plus others we thought had a chance. Or more accurately, didn’t have a chance.
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