Massively OP’s 2019 Awards: Indie MMO of the Year


Massively Overpowered’s end-of-the-year 2019 awards continue today with our award for Indie MMO of the Year, which was awarded to Project Gorgon last year. All indie MMOs, crowdfunded or not, are eligible for this award; the game needn’t actually have launched yet, though it does need to be in some form of playable state. Don’t forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end!

And the MassivelyOP staff pick for the Best Indie MMO of 2019 is…


Andrew Ross: Albion Online.

Andy McAdams: It was a bit of a slow year for indies. We had lots of chatter from the usual suspects – Gorgon, Villagers & Heroes, and AQ3D – but there wasn’t anything that really stood out to me when I was doing the nominations.

Brianna Royce: I’ve basically known I was going to go to bat for Villagers & Heroes for this award this year with our team ever since I wrote the post on the summer expansion and realized that this adorable little indie MMORPG put out more content in 2019 than World of Warcraft. It’s on PC and mobile too. I’ve played it off and on for years now and it’s a charmer – it deserves way more love and attention than it gets, and the devs really do pour a ton of effort and polish into it.

Carlo Lacsina: AQ3D, Villagers & Heroes. This is a full fledged MMORPG in a phone, the monetization is fair and if you need a desktop MMO experience the size of your pocket, then this is really one of the best games to play. It’s got a clean design, easy to understand mechanics, and it’s got that self-aware humor any millennial will enjoy!

Chris Neal: Villagers & Heroes. I’m not coming from a place of experience here, but this one looks like one of the most fully-realized small-team MMORPGs going. Maybe I should give this one a close look for a future edition of Choose My Adventure…

Colin Henry: Gorgon, Villagers & Heroes.

Eliot Lefebvre: Uh… I know Project Gorgon didn’t do much this year of note, but it’s still Project Gorgon, right? That’s where I’m going.

Justin Olivetti: Project Gorgon continued to add a lot of weird skills and interesting areas over the year, but I want to lend my voice to Villagers & Heroes for being that scrappy little MMORPG that impresses us with its moxie and work — including a huge summer expansion.

Mia DeSanzo: Gorgon, Albion, V&H. I wrote about Gorgon this year, and it was my original choice for this category. It’s both innovative and a call-back to earlier styles of gameplay.

MJ Guthrie: Citadel Forged With Fire, AQ3D. At first, I didn’t think of AQ3D as an indie game, but when I stopped and took stock of how small the Artix Entertainment team is and how the studio creates and self-publishes everything, I realized it is indie! So my vote goes to AQ3D. If we were not looking expressly at MMORPGs, I would also add in Citadel: Forged with Fire.

Samon Kashani: Albion Online. I really adore Albion Online. It hasn’t had that sticky factor yet for me to become a game I regularly log into and play, but every time I do step into the game I enjoy every minute of it. The vast amount of things to do and directions to go is really awesome. I think this title is special and Sandbox Interactive hit it out of the park. I can’t wait for the mobile version to drop, I’ll be all over that!

Tyler Edwards: My vote is for Occupy White Walls. I’ve never played it, but it’s just so different, and I think that deserves respect.

Project Gorgon and Villagers & Heroes tied for our award for Best Indie MMO of 2019. What’s your pick?

Reader poll: What was the best indie MMO of 2019?

  • Villagers and Heroes (39%, 251 Votes)
  • Project Gorgon (16%, 105 Votes)
  • Albion Online (5%, 34 Votes)
  • Occupy White Walls (1%, 8 Votes)
  • AdventureQuest 3D (3%, 19 Votes)
  • Star Citizen (7%, 43 Votes)
  • Elite Dangerous (4%, 24 Votes)
  • Ship of Heroes (8%, 51 Votes)
  • Crowfall (2%, 13 Votes)
  • Ashes of Creation (1%, 9 Votes)
  • Pantheon (3%, 21 Votes)
  • Dual Universe (0%, 3 Votes)
  • Camelot Unchained (3%, 18 Votes)
  • Legends of Aria (2%, 12 Votes)
  • Ever, Jane (1%, 7 Votes)
  • Fractured (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Chronicles of Elyria (0%, 2 Votes)
  • City of Titans (1%, 8 Votes)
  • Exocraft (0%, 0 Votes)
  • OrbusVR (1%, 5 Votes)
  • One Hour One Life (1%, 6 Votes)
  • Something else (tell us in the comments!) (1%, 8 Votes)

Total Voters: 578

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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 nominated plus other games we thought should and would be in the running.
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