Massively OP’s 2020 Awards: Best MMO Trend of 2020


MassivelyOP’s end-of-the-year awards for 2020 continue today with our award for Best MMO Trend of 2020, which last year went to the rise of rogue servers. This award is meant to highlight a pervasive trend that we can identify and actually appreciate seeing in the industry. 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 MMO Trend of 2020 is…


Andy McAdams: I think there are cracks starting to form finally in the LOL RAID OR GTFO mentality… it’s not dead by a long shot, but there’s a least a little bit of light in the “maybe, just maybe games should be about more than raiding.” But I also like the console push as a good trend. Console audiences can only help the MMO genre, and since I was lucky enough to manage to snag a PS5, I’m excited about the opportunity to play more MMOs on my PS5.

Brianna Royce: The console push for sure. I’m not a hardcore console person, but I’m really glad to see more MMOs becoming platform agnostic, offering proper crossplay, and frankly making more money. It benefits us back here in PC world too. I mean, come on, this is a year when a new owner is mumbling about a console port for Lord of the Rings Online. This is not a fad.

Carlo Lacsina: MMOs getting controller support and going into the consoles. With the release of the new consoles, it’s the best time to do some MMO gaming on consoles. The machines are powerful enough to run the game decently and they’re getting at doing some decent controller controls. I know how up-in-arms folks get when an MMO goes into consoles, but if we want the genre to stay alive, we need new blood. And a lot of that new blood play on consoles. We’ll just convert them to the PC players later; there’s no rush. They all succumb to the power eventually.

Chris Neal: More MMOs on consoles and Steam and the expansion of cross-platform play. I’m not a Steam ride-or-die sort of person, but it’s impossible to deny the platform’s prevalence as a PC storefront, so seeing more games arrive to Steam (and therefore drawing in more folks to play) has been awesome. In that same vein, console players getting in on the fun has been wonderful to see as well. MMOs and multiplayer games are always better when more people join in, no matter what gatekeepers and crusty, unhappy vets say!.

Eliot Lefebvre: Capitalizing on shared social spaces in the wake of the pandemic.

Justin Olivetti: The console push, chunking patches into smaller patches, season passes. I’m not a console guy, but hey, I’m all for MMOs making money and growing playerbases — and consoles help greatly with both of that! With the next generation of consoles here, we can expect to see 2021 full of announcements about titles jumping onto the XboxX and PS5.

MJ Guthrie: Staying online without becoming a cesspool to your employees or players? No? OK, well how about platform diversification. As someone who doesn’t play on consoles (or even mobile), I don’t really care much about games going to other platforms because I am not waiting to play them there. That doesn’t affect me. What I do care about and does affect me, however, is the health of a game, and by branching out to a new audience, games are likely to gather more attention and players than if it stayed PC-only. I’d be way more sold if cross-platform were included, though.

Tyler Edwards: A growing resurgence of co-op play. Between Overwatch 2 and New World’s change in direction, it’s starting to feel like maybe devs are starting to realize co-op can co-exist with PvP.

The console port craze took our award for Best MMO Trend of 2020. What’s your pick?

Reader poll: What was the best MMO trend of 2020?

  • MMO's pushing to console and crossplatform play (14%, 71 Votes)
  • Demise of raid-or-die philosophies (23%, 114 Votes)
  • MMOs coming to Steam in droves (10%, 49 Votes)
  • Smaller patches and season content passes (2%, 12 Votes)
  • Good treatment of devs during COVID (like work from home) (14%, 70 Votes)
  • Resurgence of co-op play (5%, 23 Votes)
  • Retro and legacy servers (8%, 40 Votes)
  • Blurred lines between MMOs and other genres (3%, 17 Votes)
  • Industry unionization efforts (10%, 49 Votes)
  • Monetization experimentation (0%, 2 Votes)
  • Games being pulled back into testing before they fail (8%, 42 Votes)
  • MMO studios being bought up by larger companies (3%, 13 Votes)
  • Something else (tell us in the comments!) (0%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 356

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How does MassivelyOP choose the winner?
Our team gathers together to nominate and discuss candidates and hopefully 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 trends nominated plus others we thought had a chance.
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