Massively OP’s 2020 Awards: MMO with the Stormiest Future


MassivelyOP’s end-of-the-year awards for 2020 continue today with our award for the MMO (or Studio) with the Stormiest Future, which was awarded to Daybreak last year. Years ago, we called this award “Most Likely to Fail” and “Most Likely to Flop,” but we’ve since changed 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 no, we don’t actually want anything to have a stormy future! 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 MMO (or Studio) with the Stormiest Future as of the end of 2020 is…


Andrew Ross: Star Citizen. Still. The long development cycle almost makes it feel like the game came and went already. Runner-up: Camelot Unchained.

Andy McAdams: New World, Star Citizen, Camelot Unchained, Crowfall – I listed several different games here, but really it because I felt bad about actually thinking that Camelot Unchained has the stormiest future. While I love how active Jacobs is, the game has languished for too long with not enough and not a consistently playable state. I think the Jacobs and CSE has a lot of ground to make up in 2021 from the somewhat lackluster 2020. They are doing some great work, but they need to get more cohesive, persistent, game out there.

Brianna Royce: Pantheon, Camelot Unchained, Shroud of the Avatar, Chronicles of Elyria. This one is painful. Where to begin? Chronicles of Elyria and Shroud of the Avatar probably don’t even need mentioning here. Elyria blew up and is smothered in lawsuits by now. Shroud of the Avatar is now a punchline that nobody plays and investors are too tired to sue. Pantheon… I had really high hopes for Pantheon, and I really hate that it seems like the deaths of prominent developers has hurt the studio to the point that its finances and future seem in jeopardy. I don’t even like including it, but it’s true. And Camelot Unchained? Look, I don’t actually care that they’re making a second game. A lot of studios do this, and not all of them are honest about it, and this one actually looks good. If it keeps the studios alive and thriving, great – as long as we still get the MMOs. That’s not even why it’s on my concern list this year: It’s on my concern list because I expected to see CSE really go nuts in 2020 proving to everyone that it was still a top contender and assuaging all our fears and pushing Camelot really hard, and I didn’t see that. We did get footage this year, and I’ve seen even more than is public, but the progress on the game, at least from the newsletters and updates and 90-day reports, is still plodding, and I honestly cannot tell independently how much of that was the fault of COVID and 2020 sucking. I do think we’ll get the game; I’m just worried the playerbase will be gone by the time we do. My hope is that 2021 sees much more forward momentum – and maybe a community manager to smooth ruffled feathers (and finish delivering those refunds).

Carlo Lacsina: Camelot Unchained. I remember a friend of mine was really hyped to play Camelot Unchained… back in 2017. Yo, that’s three years ago. Where is the darn game? The longer games stay in the hands of the developers, the worse it gets in my opinion. This game missed its window and bigger games are already on the horizon. By the time it comes out, it will be going up against games like Crimson Desert, DokeV, Plan 8, Blue Protocol, New World, Crowfall, and it’s going to have a hard time finding its footing.

Chris Neal: Camelot Unchained, Shroud of the Avatar. I hate picking CU. Hate it. Truly hate that this is the right pick for this award. Because the ideas in this game really are neat, and Mark Jacobs seems like a legitimately good guy, and it’s clear that the devs are working hard. But the Ragnarok decision and its seemingly appreciable impact its had on the forward momentum of CU is too strong to ignore. I legitimately want to be proven wrong, but things really don’t look good right now. Regarding SOTA – when the guy whose name is tied to your game seems wholly uninformed about what’s going in said game and is more interested in dunking himself into the deepest part of the ocean, there’s Beacons of Gondor-levels of worry to be had. This game has printed newsletters about decorations for crafting tables, signposts that double as fast travel, and towns getting more lights ss features. None of this bodes well.

Eliot Lefebvre: Camelot Unchained. Ugh. I hate putting this out there. I liked the second project Mark Jacobs is working on when I saw it earlier this year. I understand what it’s there to do. But honestly, the split left a bad taste in people’s mouths, and crowdfunded games in no small part live on the goodwill of players. Now that the goodwill is gone… life is harder, and I really hope that Camelot Unchained moves forward and starts being something we can talk about more actively instead of being in limbo.

Justin Olivetti: Camelot Unchained, Shroud of the Avatar, RIFT, Chronicles of Elyria. Listen, it comes down to this: I think that Mark Jacobs and his team know PvP MMOs well, have a good idea here, and could eventually produce something well worth playing. But the thing is that they haven’t. Camelot Unchained feels like it’s been in development hell for far too long now when it should’ve been released, say, two years ago. The constant demand for refunds from backers show eroding support for this product, too, and that doesn’t exactly bode well.

Mia DeSanzo: Star Citizen, again. Maybe New World.

MJ Guthrie: I abstain from this category. I just can’t bring myself to inject any additional negativity on 2020.

Sam Kash: Camelot Unchained and LOTRO even if the studio got bought.

Tyler Edwards: Star Citizen. Camelot Unchained is definitely on shaky ground at this point, but I do still believe it’ll deliver a complete game… eventually. I hope.

Camelot Unchained took our “award” for MMO (or Studio) with the Stormiest Future. What’s your pick?

Reader poll: What MMO game or studio has the stormiest future heading into 2021?

  • Camelot Unchained (29%, 328 Votes)
  • Star Citizen (20%, 231 Votes)
  • New World (8%, 90 Votes)
  • Crowfall (3%, 35 Votes)
  • Pantheon (5%, 56 Votes)
  • Shroud of the Avatar (5%, 53 Votes)
  • Chronicles of Elyria (5%, 55 Votes)
  • RIFT (3%, 38 Votes)
  • LOTRO (3%, 34 Votes)
  • Guild Wars 2 (4%, 43 Votes)
  • SWTOR (2%, 20 Votes)
  • ArcheAge (3%, 32 Votes)
  • Project Gorgon (0%, 2 Votes)
  • Saga of Lucimia (1%, 11 Votes)
  • Ashes of Creation (2%, 26 Votes)
  • Ship of Heroes (0%, 5 Votes)
  • Valiance Online (0%, 3 Votes)
  • City of Titans (1%, 8 Votes)
  • Daybreak games other than LOTRO (2%, 19 Votes)
  • Bethesda's ESO and Fallout 76 (3%, 36 Votes)
  • Legends of Aria (1%, 10 Votes)
  • Something else (tell us in the comments!) (1%, 13 Votes)

Total Voters: 824

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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 MMOs and studios nominated plus a few others we thought should be included.
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