MassivelyOP’s 2023 Awards: Best MMO Trend


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

Today’s award is for the Best MMO Trend, which was awarded to games industry unionization last year. This award is meant to highlight a pervasive trend that we can identify and actually appreciate seeing in the industry. 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 Best MMO Trend of 2023 is…


​Andrew Ross: NFT/crypto games/mechanics being taken out/dying.

Andy McAdams: All the delays. Product development is my day job, so difficult decisions that are still the right decision have a place close to my heart. Let’s hope 2024 can stick the landing. The problem with delaying for polish is that people really hear “delaying to give me the sparklepony I wanted.” Folks tend to have increased expectations with delays, so I’m hopeful studios remember that they need to manage those expectations with the delays

Brianna Royce: Delays. I know this is going to seem like a controversial award for a bunch of reasons, but it kept coming up in our discussions, and we thought this was one of the key trends in the genre this year – with an actual silver lining. Almost nothing that was supposed to come out in 2023 actually did it, from Blue Protocol to Throne and Liberty to Nightingale to Tarisland. And while this is annoying as heck for MMO players (and not great for MMO websites, ahem), I would always rather these games delay to maximize their chance of success at launch. Rushed MMOs usually fail. I don’t want failed MMOs. So yeah, I’d rather wait. And on the plus side here, 2024 is going to be bonkers if even half the delayed MMOs actually make it out the door. (Also, three cheers for the folks who voted for crypto MMOs going belly up. Get out of our genre, scammers.)

Carlo Lacsina: More inclusive character building options. I don’t really spend that much time designing my characters. Half the time I end just just using the default look with small alternations. This vote isn’t for me. It’s for the folks that see it as something important for them. This was actually something Diablo IV got right. The inclusive body types in Sanctuary portrayed a tough and hardy people.

Chris Neal: Crypto withers on the vine, polish delays. Nobody likes delays, especially for a game that has your interest, but in a year where it felt like there were more rushed and half-baked releases, or some games that finally died because they were rushed or half-baked, studios recognizing that extra time to clean up and release a full product is welcome. It’s arguably depressing that this has to get lauded, but I agree that the waiting should be worth it.

Colin Henry: Delays. Ok, I know delays are generally something you think of as being disappointing, but I think companies are starting to realize that they only get one first impression, and first impressions are incredibly valuable. Sometimes, a game just needs more time before it’s ready for public consumption, and I’m willing to give it to them. The MMORPG genre has had its fair share of comeback stories, but as someone who really enjoyed Magic Legends, I can tell you, not every game gets that chance.

Eliot Lefebvre: Death to crypto, all the delays.

Justin Olivetti: Seeing more major MMO projects get underway. From Amazon’s Lord of the Rings MMO to Greg Street’s project Ghost to whatever Jack Emmert, Raph Koster, Riot, ZeniMax, and Daybreak have brewing behind closed doors, it’s really encouraging to see a lot of movement as the industry strives to become the next big thing.

MJ Guthrie: Delays? I am so sick of delays. And sick of waiting. Waiting, waiting, waiting. But if a game delays to polish itself up and make it better when it launches, then I am going to be ok with that. I’ll wait a little more because I’d definitely prefer a better game over a contender for next year’s biggest disappointment! The dalya had just better be for the not-too-distant future; anything tossed to 2025 or beyond is going to get ignored now.

Tyler Edwards: More inclusive character options in MMOs like LOTRO.

The silver lining of endless but needed MMO delays took our award for Best MMO Trend. What’s your pick?

Reader poll: What was the best MMO trend of 2023?

  • Lots of MMO delays - for good reasons (10%, 52 Votes)
  • Crypto MMOs withering on the vine (28%, 141 Votes)
  • Studios emphasizing inclusive customization (6%, 31 Votes)
  • Tons of new MMORPGs on deck, half of them from NetEase (1%, 6 Votes)
  • Games like New World, Guild Wars 2, Albion Online switching to a quarterly cadence (5%, 26 Votes)
  • Continuing unionization trends (9%, 46 Votes)
  • Games like New World, WOWS, Lost Ark shutting down forums for Discord (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Fewer Kickstarter MMORPGs than ever (3%, 17 Votes)
  • Older MMOs continuing to pump out content (15%, 78 Votes)
  • The rise of cozy MMOs (5%, 26 Votes)
  • Widespread industry support for Turkiye (0%, 2 Votes)
  • The mainstreaming of rogue servers (4%, 20 Votes)
  • Player pushback against gross MMO monetization (13%, 64 Votes)
  • Something else - tell us in the comments! (0%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 342

Loading ... Loading ...
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. Reader poll options include all MMOs nominated plus a few others we thought should be included.
Previous articleNew World’s Eternal Frost is finally live as Amazon’s Scot Lane becomes a storytelling puppet for Christmas
Next articleLord of the Rings Online opens the doors to Corsairs of Umbar’s crafting guilds

No posts to display

oldest most liked
Inline Feedback
View all comments