MassivelyOP’s 2022 Awards: MMO with the Stormiest Future


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

Today’s award is for the MMO with the Stormiest Future, which was awarded to Blizzard and World of Warcraft 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 expanded 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 with the Stormiest Future of 2022 is…


​Andrew Ross: Blizzard and WoW. I keep finding myself comparing problematic studios to Blizzard in the old days in terms of customer service, openness, and listening to player feedback. And we laugh because that doesn’t sound like the Blizzard we see before us today. Star Citizen is obviously in the pits, Chronicles of Elyria may never see the light of day, but Blizzard can pull itself out of this, or not. 2022 was also not a great look for the company, and while it’s not my favorite studio, it’s long been the above average one that could bring different gamer camps together, like a less whimsical Nintendo.

Andy McAdams: CIG and Star Citizen.

Brianna Royce: Shroud of the Avatar and Garriott’s new game. I could’ve gone in a lot of directions here, and indeed I nominated seven studios for this award (CIG, CSE, Blizzard, Soulbound, Catnip, CCP, and Frontier, if you’re curious). But once we hashed it out in debate – and we had to, as this was the most-contentious award of 2022 by far – folks convinced me that the combination of Shroud of the Avatar being an absolute dumpster fire (rollback plus lack of accountability for its failure and loss of funds from equity crowdfunders) and Richard Garriott picking up Catnip’s lead dev to develop his new crypto monstrosity (which couldn’t even keep its website up on announcement day) makes for the stormiest near-future of all of them.

Carlo Lacsina: Shroud of the Avatar, Kritika Global.

Chris Neal: Embers Adrift. To call this game “optimistic” in terms of its design and its subsequent business model is, frankly, putting it lightly. A box price and a sub for a game that seems incapable of learning from the past? Nah, this one doesn’t have legs. Or even the entirety of 2023, in my opinion.

Eliot Lefebvre: I was open to be convinced of a lot of things this year. Let’s be real. EVE Online is over here in “we can have a little superspreader event, as a treat” territory, Elite: Dangerous somehow keeps shooting itself in the foot like it’s somehow going to get through and finally hit the target, Shroud of the Avatar and World of Warcraft speak for themselves. There are a lot of approaching storms.

Justin Olivetti: SWTOR. Guess we’re not going to put Crowfall on this list any more, eh? Too soon? Sorry. In any case, I’m harboring some deep concerns for Star Wars: The Old Republic these days. Its February expansion was so incredibly underwhelming and showed how BioWare doesn’t have the resources and manpower to pull off sizable content releases (or to keep the cadence from becoming pathetic, for that matter).

MJ Guthrie: Shroud of the Avatar, SWTOR. You know, there is just too much negativity out there and I do not need to tempt any karma to come and bite at me. So I was abstaining from this one. Who knows, to vote might even make the RNG gods even more displeased with me! But I’ll be honest, with everything that keeps swirling around it and even the rollbacks, I was surprised SOTA was still alive at the end of this year. I am also not very convinced that SWTOR will survive 2023.

Sam Kash: Axie Infinity.

Tyler Edwards: Shroud of the Avatar, Star Citizen.

SOTA and Richard Garriot’s new crypto MMO took our award for MMO with the Stormiest Future. What’s your pick?

Reader poll: What MMO game or studio has the stormiest future heading into 2023?

  • Shroud of the Avatar, Portalarium, Garriott's blockchain game (22%, 127 Votes)
  • CIG and Star Citizen (11%, 65 Votes)
  • Activision-Blizzard and World of Warcraft (7%, 42 Votes)
  • BioWare and SWTOR (10%, 59 Votes)
  • Axie Infinity (2%, 10 Votes)
  • Embers Adrift (1%, 7 Votes)
  • Kritika Global (1%, 4 Votes)
  • City State and Camelot Unchained (6%, 32 Votes)
  • Soulbound and Chronicles of Elyria (2%, 11 Votes)
  • CCP Games and EVE Online (3%, 17 Votes)
  • Frontier and Elite Dangerous (1%, 6 Votes)
  • Monumental and Crowfall (3%, 15 Votes)
  • Daybreak, Standing Stone, and their games (1%, 8 Votes)
  • Amazon, Lost Ark, and New World (5%, 27 Votes)
  • Gamigo, RIFT, and Fractured Online (9%, 54 Votes)
  • NCsoft, ArenaNet, and their games (2%, 9 Votes)
  • Cryptic and its MMOs (1%, 5 Votes)
  • Intrepid and Ashes of Creation (2%, 9 Votes)
  • Pearl Abyss and its games (1%, 5 Votes)
  • Visionary Realms and Pantheon (1%, 5 Votes)
  • Legends of Aria and whatever the hell happened there (3%, 17 Votes)
  • The big City of Heroes spinoffs (2%, 9 Votes)
  • Funcom and its games (1%, 6 Votes)
  • Wargaming and its MMOs (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Mortal Online 2 (1%, 6 Votes)
  • Novaquark and Dual Universe (1%, 6 Votes)
  • Something else (tell us in the comments!) (1%, 8 Votes)

Total Voters: 409

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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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