So 2020 wasn’t exactly the year a lot of us probably thought it was going to be in early January. Every bit of our lives was altered by the pandemic, and the MMORPG genre was no different: Many upcoming games were forced to scramble and delay, and work-from-home and shifted schedules also turned into communication and preview slowdowns too.
This week for Massively Overthinking, I’ve asked our staff to reflect on those games – the MMOs that might normally have been on a most-anticipated list but somehow fell through the cracks because of delays or comms issues. What MMO were you expecting and hoping to hear so much more about in 2020 – but didn’t? What games fell off your radar or your playlist? And what happened to create that situation?
Ben Griggs (@braxwolf): This doesn’t really answer the question, but I did feel like the Greymoor chapter for Elder Scrolls Online was more anticipated in January than it was well-received post-COVID. I know that ZOS has commented about how they underestimated the toll working from home would have on developers, and it did affect the launch. It seems like a Skyrim chapter should have been able to sustain that early-year hype a little bit better.
Brianna Royce (@nbrianna, blog): When I blank my mind and just blurt out the first thing that pops to mind, it’s just got to be Lost Ark. I mean, there are games I wanted to hear more about, but I know why I didn’t. I have a pretty good idea what’s going on with New World and Elyon, for example. I can see where Ship of Heroes and Book of Travels are going.
But Lost Ark has become the highest-profile missing game we’ve had since… well, since Lineage Eternal back several names and do-overs ago. Both of those games are overseas titles we’ve been waiting for since before Old Massively became New Massively, and I’m grumpy. It’s nuts that it took so long to roll out in the east and that we still don’t have this game in the west. It’s bonkers that we have no timeline. Heck, it’s wild that we’re still over here having to read between the lines on who’s publishing the game in the west (it’s probably Amazon, but nobody’s officially said so). Let’s go!
Carlo Lacsina (@UltraMudkipEX, YouTube, Twitch): Guild Wars 2 slipped through the cracks for me. Aside from playing the game for Wintersday, I haven’t picked up the game since March, logging in only to ensure I get the free episodes. Don’t take this the wrong way: The voice acting being held back made the game unplayable for me. I just couldn’t imagine playing Guild Wars 2 without voice acting. It’s one of my most favorite parts of the game, and I do play the game regularly. I just couldn’t see myself playing the game without it; the gameplay is fast, and hearing Rytlock yelling out orders or the battle banter just added to the overall beauty of the game. I want my first experience with each episode to be as rich and complete as possible.
Of course, since I haven’t been playing it, I’ve pretty much missed out on all the additions and news the game has to offer. I’ll have a lot of catching up to do in the weeks before End of Dragons!
Chris Neal (@wolfyseyes, blog): I don’t think anything really slipped through the cracks for me last year. If anything, like many others, I found comfort in some old standbys like Final Fantasy XIV. I did find something new to love in Elite Dangerous (as anyone who has been paying attention to my personal Twitter account or the year-end podcast knows), but nothing really sunk to the bottom because of delays or comms issues.
I suppose if I had to point out one game that was pushed off of my shelf by the insolent cat of last year, it’d be Star Citizen. Yes, this game has been delayed into the stratosphere, but 2020 was really the year that I found my enthusiasm dashed by a combination of endless dev time, my machine suddenly not being able to play the game whatsoever (someone please help me find a suitable RAM stick), and the aforementioned Elite Dangerous delight. I still hope and want this game to be a thing, I should point out, but with Odyssey on the horizon and feeling far more tangible in terms of the internet spaceship game I want, the clock on Star Citizen really feels like it’s ticking down to midnight.
Eliot Lefebvre (@Eliot_Lefebvre, blog): It’s not really the fault of 2020 specifically, but I find myself a lot cooler on Elyon (formerly Ascent: Infinite Realm) than I was a couple years ago. For whatever reason the game seems to have gone from using a fairly basic and boring class setup as a springboard to have a more interesting setting to using that basic and boring setup to have… an equally basic and boring setting, and the time spent flailing around in development hell does my perceptions of the game absolutely no favors. It seems like a project launched for reasons other than making an actually good game, if that makes any sense.
Not that it’ll stop me from giving it a fair shake, but I don’t have a good feeling about it right now.
Sam Kash (@thesamkash): I can’t think of many games that I’m really interested in that fell through the cracks. New World is going through a huge refresh and it’s hardly off anyone’s radar. If Crowfall is slipping I never would have noticed as they are still pumping out major updates.
Perhaps Camelot Unchained would qualify. Honestly, until awards discussions started to come around, I had totally forgotten about it. I understand they are still plugging away, but it’s feeling further and further behind in my mind space.