MassivelyOP’s 2023 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 Shroud of the Avatar and Garriott’s crypto MMO 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 is…


​Andrew Ross: Project Gorgon. I hope I’m wrong about this one, and there are so many others we’ve talked about before, but small indies struggle so much in general. The funding news while a head dev fights cancer is rocky. Hoping for the best, and not just the game, but as we primarily cover games, I will note that this is a game I frequently point to in terms of good gameplay that could be more mainstream if it simply had prettier graphics to attract mainstream crowds.

Andy McAdams: Pantheon. I don’t have a lot of faith in the design decisions of a studio that devoted resources to trying to recreate Fortnite, years after the rest of the industry had already attempted and failed. Then, to have the gall to act surprised? Yeah, Stormy might be kind.

Brianna Royce: Pantheon, CCP Games, Overwatch 2. I hate voting for Pantheon here because I kinda feel sorry for the devs. But the extraction mode Pantheon announced this year was a total unforced error that literally anyone watching the MMORPG genre over the last couple of years could have predicted, given how many other MMOs have tried this and failed miserably. I know they have walked back the whole thing now and fallen on their swords, but it’s really hard to regain community trust after something like that. I also wouldn’t be entirely surprised if Microsoft cans Overwatch 2 after the dreadful first-year performance it’s had.

Carlo Lacsina: Any Asian MMO that isn’t BDO, Blue Protocol, and Lost Ark. After SOLO and Elyon got the boot, I’ve become jaded when it comes to any title coming out of Asia that doesn’t have the backing of studios like Amazon or Pearl Abyss. Consider any Asian MMO coming to our shores without a major corporate backer dead on arrival folks.

Chris Neal: Pantheon Rise of the Fallen. This is another thing that didn’t need to happen, but desperate times (for game studios) call for desperate (and completely braindead) measures (from executives who can’t remember who built their house). And yes, Visionary Realms reneged on 247 extraction, but the ship of trust has absolutely sailed while an already long-in-the-making MMORPG seems further away from completion than ever before.

Colin Henry: Wayfinder, Multiversus. Multiversus came out and made a big splash last year, even winning our Not-So-Massively award last year, but then, this past March, the team suddenly announced that the game was going to be pulled offline for further development, playing it off like this was all supposed to be a temporary beta all along, despite the fact that nobody had ever mentioned that before, and that it was already charging for microtransactions and season passes. And since then, we’ve barely heard a peep out of Players First Games. I won’t say we’ve never seen a game pulled back into development and come out better for it (just look at FFXIV), but something seems very off about it.

Eliot Lefebvre: Pantheon, Camelot Unchained. I mean, when you try to spin off an extraction game… that’s not something you do because everything else in your development cycle is going gangbusters, right?

Justin Olivetti: There are a few small early access games that I honestly don’t think will survive 2024, such as Evercore Heroes, Ethyrial, and Fractured. I don’t say that to be mean; I’m just reading the writing on the wall. They’re small titles without a huge critical mass of players and funds, and they’ve all had numerous setbacks over 2023. But Pantheon seems like a right pick even if I have hopes and sympathies for them. Stormy doesn’t mean done, but it does mean hecka concerned.

Sam Kash: Project Gorgon. Sad to say due to the whole situation but even with the little bit of help that came out for it recently, I don’t think it’s enough. [Editor’s note: Elder Game said it had enough to keep the game online indefinitely even before the donations started pouring in.]

Tyler Edwards: RIFT and anything crowdfunded.

Pantheon 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?

  • Pantheon (20%, 90 Votes)
  • Wayfinder (8%, 35 Votes)
  • Overwatch 2 (7%, 31 Votes)
  • CCP Games (3%, 14 Votes)
  • Project Gorgon (5%, 22 Votes)
  • Camelot Unchained (9%, 41 Votes)
  • Amazon and its stable (3%, 15 Votes)
  • Ethyrial (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Fractured (2%, 9 Votes)
  • RIFT, Gamigo (11%, 52 Votes)
  • Evercore Heroes (1%, 3 Votes)
  • ArcheAge (2%, 9 Votes)
  • Destiny 2 (5%, 23 Votes)
  • Embracer and Cryptic (4%, 18 Votes)
  • SWTOR (4%, 18 Votes)
  • Skull and Bones (3%, 15 Votes)
  • The Riot MMO (3%, 15 Votes)
  • Daybreak, Standing Stone, and their games (2%, 10 Votes)
  • Cloud Imperium and Star Citizen (4%, 17 Votes)
  • Soulbound and Chronicles of Elyria (2%, 8 Votes)
  • Magic2Master (0%, 2 Votes)
  • Something else - tell us in the comments! (1%, 6 Votes)

Total Voters: 327

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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. Reader poll options include all MMOs nominated plus a few others we thought should be included.
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