MassivelyOP’s 2023 Awards: Biggest MMO Disappointment


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

Today’s award is for the Biggest MMO Disappointment, which was awarded to SWTOR’s Legacy of the Sith last year. Disappointments can be games, launches, patches, trends, stories, sunsets, all manner of topics in the MMORPG genre and orbiting sub-genres. 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 Biggest MMO Disappointment of 2023 is…


​Andrew Ross: I’m going to say World of Warcraft. There’s so much to talk about in MMOs, but between Kotick still being at Blizz for a while after the buyout and a lot of other poor decisions (moving from forums to Discord, firing a guy for being too on-point about greedy goblins, adding RMTs to Classic…), it’s just a bunch of junk piled onto the game that made MMOs mainstream. I know the expansions news has gotten a lukewarm reception overall but (and apologies for the comparison), but I fear it’s like finding a warmspot in a public pool. For a split second it’s enjoyable, but you quickly realize how you get here and why it’s not good. Again though, I’m not a WoW lore fan, so three expansions of story by a guy who basically adheres to “gameplay first” without seeming to understand that story matching gameplay is best, doesn’t inspire a return to greatness.

Andy McAdams: Diablo IV was a pretty big disappointment. It was fun to start but ended up feeling so wildly grindy to me that even the story couldn’t actually keep me going.

Brianna Royce: CCP’s crypto push, Wayfinder getting dropped, the endless layoffs. I shouldn’t be disappointed at CCP’s continuing efforts to make crypto MMOs happen because this is just what CCP under its current leadership is; I know this, and it’s not going to change, just continue fouling itself. I get it. I also want to call out the quarter of a million tech industry layoffs this year, most laid at the feet at management overborrowing. And definitely, I’m beyond disappointed at the slapdash way Digital Extremes treated Wayfinder. It’s probably never going to be my game, but everything I’ve learned about the way this happened crushes my previously high opinion of DE.

Carlo Lacsina: Swords of Legends Online’s closure. This was such a shame. It had a strong start, but hindsight is 20/20 and I see now for what it really was. Get folks excited for a really nice looking MMO, make as much cash as possible, then close it so there’s money to support the servers in Asia. We got shafted out of a good MMO that was poorly handled. It didn’t traumatize me or anything, but I’m certainly more guarded when an Asian studio releases an MMO these days.

Chris Neal: Everything Redfall, Wayfinder being dumped. This is less about Wayfinder not hitting a mark more than Digital Extremes’ panicked dropping of the game and its publishing arm. What used to seem like a studio that had its head on straight ended up being just as thin-skinned, nervy, and ultimately risk-averse as any other big corporation or major publisher in gaming. As if DE doesn’t know how long it’s taken for Warframe to become shored up like it has. Find some freakin’ patience.

Colin Henry: Wayfinder, industry layoffs. I was kind of disappointed with Wayfinder itself, whose “beta” was not a beta but an alpha, and even the parts that were working didn’t seem all that fun. But the fact that it got left at the altar by Digital Extremes before it even launched made me feel some sympathy for them. It sounds like the folks at Airship Syndicate are going to be OK, at least in the short term, but this game is definitely on shaky ground right now. I hope they prove DE wrong and pull through because this game has some fun ideas!

Eliot Lefebvre: Basically every time leadership opened their mouths at Blizzard, Wayfinder getting dropped. I am not disappointed in Wayfinder as a game; it has its lackluster elements, but it is made with heart, and it’s clear that the developers are passionate about it. What I am disappointed in is that Digital Extremes just cut and let it flop to the ground after it launched to some problems, which is basically the same thing Gamigo did last year to Fractured – and Digital Extremes as a company is supposed to be the good guys. Calling that “disappointing” is underselling it significantly. Insert your own “you were the chosen one” GIF here.

Justin Olivetti: Delays. Maybe it’s just me, but it seemed like there were so many games we were hoping to get this year that got shoved off to 2024 or beyond. Skull and Bones was expected, sure, but stuff like Blue Protocol and Nightingale stung. I’m just tired of waiting, waiting, waiting — and this year wasn’t a fun one if you have my level of patience.

MJ Guthrie: My personal biggest disappointment was Guild Wars 2’s Secrets of the Obscure expansion. Coming after the amazing sights and story of End of Dragons, which finally pulled me heart and soul into the game, SOTO fell really flat. The tempo of story smidgens between these awful rift hunts is such a turn off for me. I’ve really felt that things were more broken. And what’s with removing the dialogue indicators from NPCs, huh? I do, however, give props for the addition of the Wizard’s Vault, although the the fact you get locked in on your preference is annoying; it assures I will never go in PvP areas anymore when I used to occasionally when I felt I could manage a specific daily.

Sam Kash: Not an MMO, but MultiVersus closing down was a big bummer for me.

Tyler Edwards: Palia and Wayfinder both turning out to be so undercooked. I really hoped at least one of them was going to be decent, but both just really missed the mark for me. Dishonourable mention to GW2’s Secrets of the Obscure for failing to drum up much excitement.

Digital Extremes abandoning Wayfinder took our award for Biggest MMO Disappointment. What’s your pick?

Reader poll: What was the biggest disappointment in the MMO world in 2023?

  • Wayfinder was dumped by Digital Extremes (7%, 53 Votes)
  • Thousands of layoffs across the industry (19%, 133 Votes)
  • WoW's endless corporate dramas and fiascos (8%, 59 Votes)
  • Diablo IV's lackluster post-launch (11%, 75 Votes)
  • CCP's obnoxious obsession with crypto (4%, 32 Votes)
  • The sad death of Swords of Legends Online (2%, 14 Votes)
  • Guild Wars 2 Secrets of the Obscure (5%, 33 Votes)
  • So many huge delays for MMORPGs (3%, 24 Votes)
  • Multiversus got yanked back into closed testing after soft launch (1%, 5 Votes)
  • Palia and Wayfinder had rocky soft launches (3%, 18 Votes)
  • The colossal failure of Overwatch 2, its PvE, and its esports (3%, 23 Votes)
  • SWTOR's move from BioWare to Broadsword (1%, 10 Votes)
  • Unity's failed attempt to soft-extort game devs (9%, 66 Votes)
  • The cancelation of E3, again (2%, 12 Votes)
  • The sad death of The Repopulation (1%, 9 Votes)
  • WoW and other Blizzard titles sunset in China (1%, 7 Votes)
  • Skull and Bones delayed a seventh time (1%, 7 Votes)
  • Blizzard brought RMT to WoW Classic (2%, 14 Votes)
  • Donkey Crew abandoned Oasis to make a new game (0%, 2 Votes)
  • Games like New World, WOWS, Lost Ark shutting down forums for Discord (4%, 29 Votes)
  • Funcom canceled Anarchy Online's advisor program (1%, 5 Votes)
  • MapleStory deleted an entire character class from the game (1%, 6 Votes)
  • The weird mess surrounding Cryptic's layoffs (1%, 7 Votes)
  • Destiny 2's layoff and delays and playerbase collapse (4%, 26 Votes)
  • Daybreak is working on EverQuest 3, but not LOTRO Remastered (4%, 27 Votes)
  • CCP Games is trying to make another EVE FPS (1%, 5 Votes)
  • Something else (tell us in the comments!) (2%, 13 Votes)

Total Voters: 472

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 articleFantasy sandbox Myth of Empires aims for a February 2024 release
Next articleSiege Camp’s Anvil Empires pre-alpha begins testing housing interiors, player markets, and pack animals

No posts to display

oldest most liked
Inline Feedback
View all comments