A few weeks back, Remnant from the Ashes creative director David Adams did an interview on Gamasutra where he discussed how his team very specifically wanted to avoid the “forever game” mentality when it came to development. MMO players, of course, grew up thinking the forever game was the norm and the ideal, but then non-MMOs decided to horn in on the format with dollar signs in their eyes, forgetting that always-on doesn’t actually mean good or social. Here’s the key excerpt from Gamasutra’s piece:
What’s interesting about Adams’ perspective on this model is that it actually strays away from the “forever game” that’s attracted developers to the online RPG genre of late. Adams said there was some desire to make a game that players could walk away feeling satisfied from, with the hopes that new content would lure them back in to capture something like the original experience. […] “I fully admit that…we didn’t really design the game to be like, ‘you’re gonna play this literally forever,’ because we didn’t want a game built around the idea of grinding the same content. Once you’ve seen all the random content, and gotten all the cool collectibles and figured out all the secrets and puzzles, we’re totally okay with [players] saying ‘alright, cool, I played Remnant.”
I am a “forever game” person at heart, but sometimes I wonder whether it wouldn’t be better if more MMOs had a five- or 10-year plan instead of the “slowly abandon the game but keep it up to leech money until we give up” plan. The stories would make more sense, the powercreep would be slowed, developers wouldn’t become so exhausted and tangled up in spaghetti code, and it’d be a lot harder to be blindsided by a sunset or maintenance mode.
What do you think: Is the “forever game” philosophy healthy for actual MMOs? Or are MMOs meant to be forever-games by their very definition?