Massively OP’s 2021 Awards: Indie MMO of the Year


Welcome back to Massively Overpowered’s formal end-of-the-year awards!

Today’s award is for the Indie MMO of 2021, which was awarded to Albion Online 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 Indie MMO of the Year in 2021 is…


Andrew Ross: Crowfall.

Andy McAdams: Book of Travels, Albion Online. I can’t get behind Crowfall here. Everything about the game has been rushed and half-considered. I really wanted to like the game but it just didn’t click for me.

Brianna Royce: I did vote for Albion last year and I adore it, but I don’t really think it qualifies as an indie any longer since it was bought out for over $120M. So I’m happy with Ship of Heroes or Book of Travels winning; neither game is maybe exactly what I personally want out of an MMORPG, but I cannot deny they are both full of heart. I would’ve liked to see Crowfall win this, but I’m just not confident it how it will be supported going forward, given the buyout.

Chris Neal: Ship of Heroes, Albion Online. I admit that I have not been in this one in a while, but I would be remiss if I ignored Bree’s opinion of this game here, especially since she was the one who opened my eyes to SWG. Crowfall launched, but Albion, by all accounts, has grown.

Colin Henry: Albion Online.

Eliot Lefebvre: Book of Travels. It’s weird, it’s unpolished, it’s full of strange edge cases, in many ways you could argue that it’s still not very great. But it also is a weird, cozy, neat thing and I’m glad it exists.

Justin Olivetti: This year I’m going to give my nod to Ship of Heroes after having enjoyed the beta. It’s got a ways to go until it’s really ready for prime time, but this superhero MMO could hit that sweet spot if this trajectory continues.

Mia DeSanzo: Crowfall.

Sam Kash: Crowfall.

Tina Lauro Pollock: Ship of Heroes.

Ship of Heroes took our award for Indie MMO of 2021. What’s your pick?

Reader poll: What was the best indie MMO of 2021?

  • Ship of Heroes (8%, 41 Votes)
  • Book of Travels (11%, 58 Votes)
  • Albion Online (21%, 113 Votes)
  • Crowfall (6%, 31 Votes)
  • Ashes of Creation (7%, 39 Votes)
  • Villagers and Heroes (2%, 12 Votes)
  • AdventureQuest 3D (3%, 14 Votes)
  • Pantheon (5%, 27 Votes)
  • Project Gorgon (23%, 125 Votes)
  • Wagadu Chronicles (1%, 5 Votes)
  • Legends of Aria (0%, 2 Votes)
  • Fractured (1%, 5 Votes)
  • OrbusVR (1%, 4 Votes)
  • City of Titans (2%, 9 Votes)
  • Profane (0%, 2 Votes)
  • Embers Adrift (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Dual Universe (1%, 6 Votes)
  • Monsters and Memories (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Zenith (2%, 9 Votes)
  • Something else (tell us in the comments!) (5%, 28 Votes)

Total Voters: 472

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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 games nominated plus a few others we thought should be included.
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