MassivelyOP’s 2022 Awards: MMO Story of the Year


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

Today’s award is for the MMO Story of the Year, which was awarded to the Activision-Blizzard scandal last year. This isn’t an award based on popularity as measured by hits or comments, and it’s not meant for a single article; it’s an acknowledgement of an ongoing narrative or event of deep importance and significance for the genre during the year, something different from a surprise or trend. 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 Story of 2022 is…


​Andrew Ross: The NFT/blockchaining push, especially in relation to play-to-earn. It’s extremely concerning, and while I think they’ll flop (more than they have), I do fear one will be successful enough in the coming years that, like lockboxes, we’ll see clones and crackdowns.

Andy McAdams: Blizzard being held accountable.

Brianna Royce: The crypto clownshow. Call it crypto, the blockchain, the metaverse, NFTs, pay-to-earn, whatever: Legitimate gamers do not want any of this, and every time some crappy company buys another failed game to try to turn it into a crypto mill, gamers tell them so. I’m heartened by the response from gamers and devs, but there’s no question that the ongoing deluge of these scams has a huge impact on our genre – and is therefore the story of the year.

Carlo Lacsina: Blizzard pulling out of China.

Chris Neal: The crypto clownshow, Blizzard pulling out of China. These goofballs sure just keep on trying, huh? No matter the fact that they’re either openly evil, openly inept, or openly exploitative, this garbage keeps on surfacing and pulls the ears of execs in the industry. Out, out, damn spot!

Colin Henry: The crypto clownshow.

Eliot Lefebvre: Not functionally transpiring – no, financial tricksters. Not funding this!

Justin Olivetti: New World’s recovery. At the start of 2022, a lot of folks thought New World’s days were numbered. At the end, we’ve seen Amazon pull off an impressive comeback, largely thanks to improving word-of-mouth, the Brimstone Sands release, and the subsequent fresh start servers. Its future is not assured, but neither is its demise any longer.

MJ Guthrie: If you go by bust size, then obviously the winner for biggest story is how Elvira’s cleavage got AQ3D yoinked from all app stores! Completely removed so that no one could get the game for over a day. A thumbnail picture of her in-game avatar caused the ruckus. Yes, cartoon cleavage of the Mistress of the Dark temporarily crippled a game for new users. We knew it could cripple hearts, but this was unexpected. The power of boobs, my friends. Aside from that, the whole crypto clownshow debacle. Ugh, I don’t even want to revisit it for this vote!

Tyler Edwards: Amazon finally beginning to make real inroads in the gaming space with New World’s recovery and Lost Ark’s success. Whatever you think of Amazon becoming a player in the MMO space (and even as a fan of its games I have some mixed feelings), a company of this size establishing itself in our genre is something that we’re going to be feeling the repercussions of for years to come.

The crypto clownshow took our award for MMO Story of the Year. What’s your pick?

Reader poll: What was the biggest MMO story of 2022?

  • The crypto clownshow invading MMOs (35%, 91 Votes)
  • Blizzard pulling out of China (13%, 34 Votes)
  • New World's recovery and the rise of Amazon (9%, 23 Votes)
  • Lost Ark's huge launch (4%, 10 Votes)
  • Diablo Immortal's grotesque monetization (13%, 33 Votes)
  • Wargaming quit Russia over Ukraine (2%, 4 Votes)
  • Richard Garriott is making a blockchain MMO (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Two Activision-Blizzard teams unionized (5%, 12 Votes)
  • Daybreak took over EG7 and canceled the Marvel MMO (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Crowfall was closed for a rework (1%, 2 Votes)
  • Bluehole went on a sunset spree with Elyon and TERA (1%, 2 Votes)
  • Star Citizen hit $500M in crowdfund (2%, 5 Votes)
  • Blizzard rescued its content cadence for Dragonflight (3%, 9 Votes)
  • Shroud of the Avatar suffered a catastrophic rollback (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Legends of Aria got a blockchain trashfire rebrand (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Google Stadia collapsed (2%, 5 Votes)
  • Chronicles of Elyria's player lawsuit failed but the game has no future (0%, 0 Votes)
  • TitanReach's angel investor pulled out over studio embezzlement scandal (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Lineage Eternal is finally happening, but as Throne and Liberty (1%, 2 Votes)
  • Ultima Online turned 25 (2%, 4 Votes)
  • Funcom's DUNE got a reveal and it's an MMO (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Embracer bought the LOTR rights (1%, 2 Votes)
  • Blizzard announced a new survival game and bought Proletariat (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Gamers were seriously injured, sickened, and killed at multiple cons (2%, 5 Votes)
  • and all its MMOs got sold (0%, 1 Votes)
  • The Sims 5 will basically be an MMO (2%, 6 Votes)
  • Something else (tell us in the comments!) (0%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 252

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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 commentary from writers so that you can see our thought process. 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 nominated plus a few others we thought should be included.
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