I want to talk about the MMO genre in the meta sense for a sec this morning. Every time I see another game pivot to NFT or metaverse jibber-jabber, my heart sinks a little bit, not just because these folks saw us as marks but because that’s one more MMO that’s never going to make it, one more in-development game taking up space in the genre that isn’t legitimate and is going to leave a tiny hole where a game should be when it finally dies instead of being a future title we’d want to cover and play. That gloomy realization just makes me hold tighter to the games I have. This all may be shit, but at least I’ll still have the Star Wars Galaxies and City of Heroes emus – that’s how I console myself. Nobody can torch those with NFTs or publisher shenanigans, as fragile as they are.
And then I pull myself out of that gloom and remember that in spite of the shrinking influx of new MMOs and the trickle of stupid scams, we still have a crapton of MMORPGs, really good MMORPGs, games that are still a blast to sink time into, games that are improving and expanding even a decade or more into their lives. You could even argue that the genre is thriving in scarcity – that fewer new games means richer old games, games allowed to grow and collect players over longer periods of time without having to compete with shiny but shallow new titles.
Is the MMO genre thriving in scarcity? Are we at least doing OK?