MassivelyOP’s complete 2023 awards recap and debrief

    
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As we did in 201420152016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022, today we’re going to recap our annual awards and other articles from the end of 2023.

We gave out 21 formal awards over the span of December 2023, in addition to our annual recaps, roundups, listicles, predictions, golden yachties, oddities, community discussions, and retrospectives running into the start of 2024. Per tradition, we delivered over 100 special articles, each capped off by a newly commissioned piece of Mo art from Larry – a natural 13, eh?

Following our deep-dive into our awards, we’ll be collecting all of the end-year articles too so you can snoop through anything you missed over the holidays. Enjoy!

All of our 2023 winners!

MMORPG of the Year: Lord of the Rings Online
MMORPG Expansion of the Year: Guild Wars 2 Secrets of the Obscure
MMORPG Studio of the Year: Standing Stone Games
Indie MMORPG of the Year: Project Gorgon
Most Anticipated MMO: Nightingale
Most Improved MMORPG: World of Warcraft Retail
Most Underrated MMORPG: New World
Best PvP MMO: Albion Online
Best Classic MMO: Final Fantasy XI
Best MMO Rogue Server: Warhammer Return of Reckoning
Best New MMO Class: Elder Scrolls Online’s Arcanist
Best MMORPG Business Model: Final Fantasy XIV
Worst MMORPG Business Model: Star Citizen
Biggest MMO Story: The Microsoft/ABK Merge
Biggest MMO Blunder: The Overwatch 2 PvE Fiasco
Biggest MMO Surprise: SWTOR’s Move to Broadsword
Biggest MMO Disappointment: The Ousting of Wayfinder
Best MMO Trend: Delaying MMOs for Quality
Stormiest MMO Future: Pantheon Rise of the Fallen
MMORPG Housing of the Year: Villagers & Heroes
Not-So-Massively Game of the Year: Baldur’s Gate 3
Lifetime Achievement Award: Guild Wars 1

Let’s break it down by award, with past winners and reader polling too.

MMO of the Year: Lord of the Rings Online (2023), Lost Ark (2022), Final Fantasy XIV & New World (2021), Final Fantasy XIV (2020), Elder Scrolls Online (2019), Final Fantasy XIV (2018), Elder Scrolls Online (2017), Black Desert (2016), Final Fantasy XIV (2015), Nothing (2014), Final Fantasy XIV (2013), Guild Wars 2 (2012), Star Wars The Old Republic (2011), Global Agenda (2010), Fallen Earth & Dungeons & Dragons (2009)

Community Poll: Lord of the Rings Online (2023), Guild Wars 2 (2022), Final Fantasy XIV (2021), Final Fantasy XIV (2020), Elder Scrolls Online (2019), Final Fantasy XIV (2018), Elder Scrolls Online (2017) Elder Scrolls Online (2016), Elder Scrolls Online & Trove (2015), Nothing (2014), Star Trek Online (2010), Runes of Magic (2009)

Years ago, we decided to include both new and old MMOs in our GOTY award so as not to discount existing live-service MMOs, and this year, an older MMO – LOTRO – was the beneficiary of that change, and the readers apparently agreed. As I noted, although I play LOTRO, it wasn’t I who pushed for this decision; I usually nominate the game for Best Classic MMO, which it has won several times. This time, quite a few writers nominated LOTRO for GOTY, which made its selection a fairly easy one in the end, owing to the game’s new expansion, new zones, new class, new race, and expanded character customization.

Best Expansion/Update: Guild Wars 2’s Secrets of the Obscure (2023), Guild Wars 2’s End of Dragons (2022), Final Fantasy XIV’s Endwalker (2021), World of Warcraft’s Shadowlands (2020), Final Fantasy XIV’s Shadowbringers (2019), Elder Scrolls Online: Summerset (2018), Guild Wars 2 Path of Fire (2017), World of Warcraft Legion (2016), Guild Wars 2 Heart of Thorns (2015), Guild Wars 2 April Feature Pack (2014), Guild Wars 2 Super Adventure Box (2013), RIFT Storm Legion (2012), Lord of the Rings Online Rise of Isengard (2011)

Community Poll: Guild Wars 2’s Secrets of the Obscure (2023), Guild Wars 2’s End of Dragons (2022), Final Fantasy XIV’s Endwalker (2021), World of Warcraft’s Shadowlands (2020), Final Fantasy XIV’s Shadowbringers (2019), Elder Scrolls Online: Summerset (2018), Guild Wars 2 Path of Fire (2017), World of Warcraft Legion (2016), Guild Wars 2 Heart of Thorns (2015), World of Warcraft Warlords of Draenor (2014), World of Warcraft Cataclysm (2010)

Guild Wars 2 has never put out an expansion and failed to win best expansion, ever, and 2023 ensured that winning streak, with both our writers and readers. Of course, 2024 is going to put up a bit more fight in terms of expansion competition.

Most Anticipated: Nightingale (2023), Soulframe (2022), Palia & Guild Wars 2 End of Dragons (2021), New World & Crimson Desert (2020), Book of Travels & Torchlight Frontiers (2019), Torchlight Frontiers (2018), Crowfall (2017), Star Citizen (2016), Star Citizen (2015), EverQuest Next/Landmark (2014), EverQuest Next (2013), WildStar (2012), Guild Wars 2 & WildStar (2011), Star Wars The Old Republic (2010), All Points Bulletin (2009)

Community Poll: Monsters & Memories (2023), Ashes of Creation (2022), Guild Wars 2 End of Dragons (2021), Ashes of Creation (2020), Pantheon (2019), Pantheon (2018), Crowfall & Shroud of the Avatar (2017), Camelot Unchained (2016), Star Citizen (2015), Camelot Unchained & Shroud of the Avatar (2014), Star Wars The Old Republic & Project Titan (2010), Star Trek Online (2009)

Nightingale, which is arguably not an MMO, took this award by dint of so many writers nominating it. I will say there was a lot of discussion about EverQuest 3 during the staff meeting – we want this so much – but the consensus was to stick to games we were sure were coming – and had actual names, for that matter. I suspect that if Light No Fire had been announced before we picked our winner, it might have changed the equation (it did for me!). Our readers – well, I suppose more likely our guests – swarmed to Monsters & Memories.

Studio of the Year: Standing Stone Games (2023), ArenaNet (2022), ArenaNet (2021), ZeniMax & Cryptic (2020), Grinding Gear Games (2019), Grinding Gear Games (2018), ZeniMax & Square-Enix (2017), ZeniMax (2016), Square-Enix (2015), SOE (2014), SOE (2013), SOE & ArenaNet (2012), SOE (2010), Turbine & Fallen Earth LLC (2009)

Community Poll: Standing Stone Games (2023), ArenaNet (2022), ArenaNet (2021), Visionary Realms (2020), Square Enix & Cloud Imperium (2019), Standing Stone Games (2018), ZeniMax & Square-Enix (2017), ZeniMax (2016), Cloud Imperium (2015), City State Entertainment (2014), Blizzard (2010), Frogster (2009)

We’ve had some years in this genre where the MMO studios were such a mess that we ended up awarding Best Studio to multiplayer teams instead, but 2023 was a year with quite a few strong MMORPG studio contenders, and I’m thrilled to be saying it. Standing Stone Games, the team behind LOTRO and DDO, took our award rather easily as it was nominated quite a bit, but I was initially hesitant to bestow this award, as the Daybreak-owned studio doesn’t communicate or cooperate with us whatsoever. However, it wouldn’t be right to penalize developers for PR decisions, and quite frankly the actual developers on LOTRO and DDO cranked out an absurd amount of content this year for a studio as tiny as it is – “punching way, way above their weight,” as we phrased it. On this one, the readers agreed.

Most Improved: World of Warcraft Retail (2023), New World (2022), Elder Scrolls Online (2021), Black Desert (2020), Black Desert (2019), RuneScape (2018), Guild Wars 2 & Trove (2017), Elder Scrolls Online (2016), WildStar (2015), Final Fantasy XIV (2014), Final Fantasy XIV (2013), RIFT (2012)

Community Poll: World of Warcraft Retail (2023), New World (2022), Elder Scrolls Online (2021), World of Warcraft (2020), Final Fantasy XIV and No Man’s Sky (2019), Elder Scrolls Online (2018), Guild Wars 2 (2017), Elder Scrolls Online (2016), Elder Scrolls Online (2015), Final Fantasy XIV (2014)

The Most Improved award can feel like a backhanded compliment, and I suppose it was meant that way this time too. This year, we gave it to World of Warcraft – Retail WoW, specifically – for the Blizzard team’s two-steps-forward-one-step-back efforts on comms and patch rollout in 2023. The readers’ vote aligned with ours, though we notice quite a few votes for New World and Nothing, too.

Best Business Model: Final Fantasy XIV (2023), Guild Wars 2 (2022), Guild Wars 2 (2021), World of Warcraft & Elder Scrolls Online (2020), No consensus (2019), Guild Wars 2 (2018), World of Warcraft & Final Fantasy XIV (2017), Guild Wars 2 (2016)

Community Poll: Guild Wars 2 (2023), Guild Wars 2 (2022), Guild Wars 2 (2021), No Consensus (2020), Elder Scrolls Online & Final Fantasy XIV (2019), Guild Wars 2 (2018), World of Warcraft (2017), Guild Wars 2 (2016)

Final Fantasy XIV took Best Business Model this year, and while it’s won before for its fairly no-frills subscription approach, our discussion made it clear that it didn’t win so much as Guild Wars 2 lost its crown owing to SOTO’s effective price bump. Guild Wars 2 edged out FFXIV in the reader poll, however, and even with its monetization overhaul this year, it’s never a bad pick.

Most Underrated: New World (2023), Elder Scrolls Online (2022), Elyon (2021), Star Trek Online (2020), Lord of the Rings Online (2019), Lord of the Rings Online & MapleStory 2 (2018), Black Desert & Secret World Legends (2017), Final Fantasy XIV (2016), Trove (2015), Elite Dangerous (2014), Neverwinter (2013), The Secret World (2012)

Community Poll: New World & LOTRO (2023), Lord of the Rings Online (2022), SWTOR (2021), Albion Online (2020), Lord of the Rings Online (2019), Lord of the Rings Online (2018), Secret World Legends (2017), Dungeons & Dragons Online (2016), Elder Scrolls Online (2015), Elite Dangerous (2014)

“Underrated” is always a contentious award; our comments always fill up with people anxious to argue about it. This round, we gave it to New World, which actually came in second for quite a lot of our awards this year (including GOTY!) but didn’t really edge into the top slot anywhere else. The addition of mounts, a seasonal cadence, and a functioning monetization strategy sealed the deal. As I type this, the readers are split between New World and LOTRO, the latter of which frequently wins the poll.

Story of the Year: The Microsoft/Activision-Blizzard Merge (2023), The Crypto Clownshow (2022), Blizzard’s Sexism Scandal (2021), Daybreak’s sale & COVID’s impact (2020), The Blizzard boycotts (2019), The Daybreak Columbus Nova Saga (2018), The Lockbox Debate (2017), The Death of EverQuest Next (2016), Daybreak’s Drama (2015), ArcheAge’s Drama (2014), EverQuest Next’s Reveal (2013), 38 Studios’ Doom (2012), Monoclegate (2011), Blizzard’s Real ID Fiasco (2010)

Community Poll: The Microsoft/Activision-Blizzard Merge (2023), The Crypto Clownshow (2022), Blizzard’s Sexism Scandal (2021), COVID’s impact (2020), The Blizzard boycotts & Hong Kong mess (2019), The Daybreak Columbus Nova Saga (2018), The Lockbox Debate (2017), The Death of EverQuest Next (2016), Daybreak’s Drama (2015), ArcheAge’s Drama (2014)

The merge of Activision-Blizzard into Microsoft has been an ongoing story in the gaming industry since 2021, but in 2023, it was finally completed, and both our writers and readers agreed in a landslide that it was the biggest narrative. As we put it:

“It really had to be the Activision-Blizzard merge into Microsoft, which brings to a close a legal and industry drama that’s been ongoing for two years. Unfortunately, it also allows Activision, Blizzard, and their executives and management to escape real consequences for the 2021 abuse exposés that forced the sale. The only silver lining here is that Microsoft is more likely to work with the unions – and we’re finally rid of Bobby Kotick, the kind of guy who laid people off in good years, spewed xenophobia on TV, insisted he was a union guy while spending millions to bust unions, stiffed his own lawyer in a sexual harassment case against him, and threatened to have his personal assistant murdered.”

Worst Business Model: Star Citizen (2023), Diablo Immortal (2022), Star Citizen & Crypto Scams (2021), Star Citizen & ArcheAge (2020), Star Citizen & Fallout 76 (2019), Star Citizen (2018), Star Citizen (2017), Star Wars The Old Republic (2016)

Community Poll: Star Citizen (2023), Diablo Immortal & Star Citizen (2022), Star Citizen (2021), Star Citizen (2020), Star Citizen (2019), Star Citizen (2018), Star Citizen (2017), Star Wars The Old Republic (2016)

Star Citizen had a brief reprieve in 2022 when Diablo Immortal emerged, and it spent three years before that sharing the title with other games and models, but it returned as the sole owner this year for the first time since 2018. To date, it remains the genre’s greatest boondoggle, and it’s important to keep saying so. In this case, we said so before the company tried out a new $48,000 package on backers, which only seals the deal.

For the record, this award is granted from the perspective of MMO players and customers, not from the perspective of executives or investors (why on earth would we give an award to the latter?). Likewise, nothing would make CIG (and the weirdo backers who harass us about SC) happier than disqualifying the game from winning this award when it deserves it, so don’t expect it.

Best Trend: Delaying MMOs for Quality (2023), Games Industry Unionization (2022), Games Industry Organizing (2021), MMO Console Ports (2020), The Rise of Rogue Servers (2019), Progression Servers (2018), Focus on Communities (2017), Content Scaling (2016) Resurgence of Expansions (2015), Sandbox Gameplay (2014), Sandbox Gameplay (2013); Best Innovation: SOEmote (2012)

Community Poll: Crypto MMOs Failing (2023), Games Industry Unionization (2022), Games industry organizing (2021), The Demise of Raid-or-Die Philosophies (2020), The Rise of Rogue Servers (2019), Progression Servers (2018), Focus on Communities (2017), Content Scaling (2016), Resurgence of Expansions (2015), Sandbox Stuff (2014)

During our nomination process, the huge number of MMOs delayed in 2024 kept coming up – and not particularly negatively – so we decided to call it a trend, as we’d much rather games like Blue Protocol, Throne & Liberty, Nightingale, and Tarisland launch next year in a good state than this year in a bad. Our readers opted for the ongoing decline of crypto games.

Best Not-So-Massively Game: Baldur’s Gate 3 (2023), V Rising & Multiversus (2022), Valheim (2021), Genshin Impact & Animal Crossing New Horizons (2020), No Man’s Sky (2019), Warframe (2018), Warframe (2017), Overwatch (2016), ARK Survival Evolved (2015), Hearthstone (2014), Path of Exile (2013), PlanetSide 2 (2012); Best Mobile MMO: Arcane Legends (2012)

Community Poll: Baldur’s Gate 3 (2023), V Rising (2022), Valheim (2021), Genshin Impact (2020), No Man’s Sky and Path of Exile (2019), Warframe & Path of Exile (2018), Warframe (2017), Overwatch (2016), ARK Survival Evolved (2015), Hearthstone (2014)

Every year, there’s at least one crossover multiplayer title we can easily get behind for this award, and this year, the obvious winner was Baldur’s Gate 3. The voting was a BG3 blowout for the readers, too.

Best Indie MMO: Project Gorgon (2023), Zenith (2022), Ship of Heroes (2021), Albion Online (2020), Villagers & Heroes and Project Gorgon (2019), Project Gorgon (2018), Elite Dangerous (2017), Marvel Heroes (2016 – as “Best Popcorn MMO”)

Community Poll: Project Gorgon (2023), Pantheon (2022), Project Gorgon (2021), Ashes of Creation (2020), Villagers & Heroes (2019), Dual Universe (2018), Dual Universe (2017), Marvel Heroes (2016 – as “Best Popcorn MMO”)

Project Gorgon returned to the spotlight at the end of 2023 when its community rallied around a sick developer and bolstered the finances of the game well into the future. Both our writers and readers gave it the nod here, which handed the MMO its third win in six years.

Stormiest Future: Pantheon (2023), Shroud of the Avatar and Richard Garriott’s New Game (2022), Blizzard & World of Warcraft (2021), Camelot Unchained (2020), Daybreak (2019), Chronicles of Elyria (2018), Star Citizen (2017), Star Citizen & WildStar (2016), Blade & Soul (2015), Star Citizen (2014), Elder Scrolls Online (2013)

Community Poll: Pantheon (2023), Shroud of the Avatar and Richard Garriott’s New Game (2022), Blizzard & World of Warcraft (2021), Camelot Unchained (2020), Daybreak (2019), Star Citizen & Fallout 76 (2018), Star Citizen (2017), Star Citizen (2016), Star Citizen (2015), Star Citizen & ArcheAge (2014)

As always, we note that we’re not hoping for a stormy future but merely predicting one along the current trajectory, and this year, both readers and writers pointed directly at Pantheon Rise of the Fallen, thanks entirely to its bizarre extraction mode bungle and apparent financial problems.

Best Player Housing: Villagers & Heroes (2023), SWG Legends (2022), Elder Scrolls Online (2021), EverQuest II & Elder Scrolls Online (2020), Elder Scrolls Online (2019), RIFT & EverQuest II (2018), WildStar (2017), WildStar (2016)

Community Poll: Elder Scrolls Online & Final Fantasy XIV (2023), Elder Scrolls Online (2022), Elder Scrolls Online & Final Fantasy XIV (2021), Elder Scrolls Online (2020), Wurm Online (2019), Elder Scrolls Online (2018), WildStar (2017), WildStar (2016)

We had several years in MMO land without much new movement on the player housing front, leading us to consider dropping this award, but last year, rogue servers came through, and this year, we were able to give the nod to an indie, as Villagers & Heroes thoroughly revamped its housing system in ways the likes of WoW deem impossible. Our readers once again chose to vote for larger games that didn’t do much for housing this year.

Biggest Disappointment: The Ousting of Wayfinder (2023), SWTOR’s Legacy of the Sith (2022), Way Too Many Underperforming MMOs (2021), Torchlight III & the MMO Downshift (2020), The Cancellation of Peria Chronicles and the Decline of Guild Wars 2 (2019), Industry Employment Scandals (2018), The Sad Death of Marvel Heroes (2017), EverQuest Next & No Man’s Sky (2016), World of Warcraft (2015), WildStar & ArcheAge (2014), DUST 514 (2013), City of Heroes’ Sunset (2012), Star Wars Galaxies’ Sunset (2011), Aion (2009)

Community Poll: Industry Layoffs (2023), Diablo Immortal (2022), Blizzard/WoW and New World’s Launch (2021), The MMO Downshift/Lack of New MMOs (2020), The Decline of Guild Wars 2 (2019), Blizzard’s Diablo Immortal Mess (2018), The Sad Death of Marvel Heroes (2017), EverQuest Next (2016), EverQuest Next’s Silence (2015), WildStar & ArcheAge (2014), Final Fantasy XIV (2010), Aion (2009)

There was plenty to be disappointed about this year, but the dumping of Wayfinder by Digital Extremes (and therefore Tencent) topped our list, as it showed weakness not just for an MMO but for a beloved MMO company working on yet another MMO. Our readers opted for industry layoffs, which was certainly mentioned repeatedly throughout our awards this year, though surprisingly they didn’t dramatically affect the MMO genre itself.

Biggest Blunder: Overwatch 2’s PvE Fiasco (2023), Blizzard’s China Exit (2022), Blizzard & WoW’s Clownshow (2021), SSG’s LOTRO Fiascos (2020), Blizzard’s Bliztchung Fiasco (2019), Blizzard’s Diablo Immortal Bungle (2018), CCP’s VR Pullout & EVE Layoffs (2017), The VR Obsession (2016), Star Citizen Melodrama (2015), Dev Hubris – Multiple Games (2014), Elder Scrolls Online’s & WildStar’s Sub Models (2013)

Community Poll: Overwatch 2 PvE Fiasco & Unity Extortion Fiasco (2023), The Crypto Clownshow (2022), Blizzard & WoW’s Clownshow (2021), SSG’s LOTRO Fiascos (2020), Blizzard’s Bliztchung Fiasco (2019), Blizzard’s Diablo Immortal Bungle (2018), The Death of Marvel Heroes (2017), EverQuest Next’s Cancellation (2016), Everything ArcheAge (2015), WildStar’s Endgame & ArcheAge’s Launch (2014)

Blizzard can celebrate three years of winning the Biggest Blunder award – really, it’s won five of the past six years for one thing or another, and this round was for its egregiously terrible mishandling of Overwatch 2 – foreshadowed by the departure of Jeff Kaplan, laid bare by Blizzard admissions that it lied about its MMO-like PvE mode, punctuated by the collapse of the bajillion-dollar OWL, and cemented since by former workers finally spilling tea. Readers were tied between the Overwatch 2 implosion and the Unity extortion attempt.

Biggest Surprise: SWTOR’s Move to Broadsword (2023), TERA’s Sunset (2022), The Revival of Fallen Earth (2021), The Microsoft/Bethsoft buyout (2020), The Revival of City of Heroes (2019), The Buyouts of Trion and CCP (2018)

Community Poll: SWTOR’s Move to Broadsword (2023), Blizzard’s China Exit (2022), The Revival of Fallen Earth (2021), The Microsoft/Bethsoft buyout (2020), The Revival of City of Heroes (2019), The Buyouts of Trion and CCP (2018)

Writers and readers agreed that the biggest MMO surprise of the year was EA porting the SWTOR team and license over to Broadsword for ongoing development. “It wasn’t a surprise that SWTOR came to an inflection point, and unfortunately it wasn’t a surprise that EA decided to pick 2023 to wreck BioWare,” I opined. “What was a surprise to me was that EA punted SWTOR to Broadsword.”

Best PvP: Albion Online (2023), Albion Online (2022), Albion Online (2021), Nothing (2017), EVE Online & Black Desert (2016), Darkfall (2009)

Community Poll: Albion Online (2023), Albion Online (2022), Albion Online (2021), Nothing (2017), Guild Wars 2 (2016), Star Trek Online (2010), Runes of Magic (2009).

Albion Online has taken our Best PvP award for the third year in a row – a rarity for our awards, but no real surprise, as we’ve noted time and again that the game is booming with concurrency 10x the size of EVE Online’s concurrency peaks last year; by rights, it’s a top five or top six MMORPG now. A large part of our genre’s playerbase is still sleeping on what we called a “seismic shift […] in MMO PvP land” over the last couple of years.

Best Classic MMO: Final Fantasy XI (2023), Lord of the Rings Online (2022), Lord of the Rings Online (2021)

Community Poll: WoW Classic (2023), Lord of the Rings Online (2022), Lord of the Rings Online (2021)

Final Fantasy XI has never won this award, inexplicably, and once we realized LOTRO was getting GOTY, we decided to spread the love to this long-running MMORPG that refuses to quit in maintenance mode. Our readers were more divided, splitting votes for WoW Classic (which we almost didn’t include), LOTRO, and FFXI.

Best MMO Rogue Server: Warhammer Return of Reckoning (2023), City of Heroes Homecoming (2022), City of Heroes Homecoming (2021)

Community Poll: Warhammer Return of Reckoning (2023), City of Heroes Homecoming (2022), City of Heroes Homecoming (2021)

For the first time, our award for the best player-run server or emulator went to a game and server other than City of Heroes Homecoming, as Warhammer Return of Reckoning finally got its due after several years of nominations that didn’t quite put it at the top. (Do note, we don’t cover or include rogue servers for live games unless they’re sanctioned by the team; rogue servers for dead games are always in the running.)

Best New MMO Class: Elder Scrolls Online’s Arcanist (2023), Guild Wars 2’s Mechanist (2022), Black Desert’s Corsair (2021)

Community Poll: Elder Scrolls Online’s Arcanist (2023), Guild Wars 2’s Mechanist (2022), Final Fantasy XIV’s Reaper/Sage (2021)

This was a tough choice for both our writers and readers, chiefly between Elder Scrolls Online’s Arcanist and Lord of the Rings Online’s Mariner, but the Arcanist and its gooey green magic won out in both cases.

Lifetime Achievement Award: Guild Wars 1 (2023), Final Fantasy XIV (2022), EVE Online (2021)

Back in 2021, we started granting a lifetime achievement award to an MMO that’s made great contributions to the genre but hasn’t necessarily been recognized for a specific award (and in some cases, is unlikely to ever get one because of its age). This year, we saluted Classic Guild Wars. ArenaNet has kept the 19-year-old MMO online and functioning and even tweaked it, and there’s no doubt that it help, laid the foundation for modern MMOs with its skill system, hero system, PvP, and gobs more. Plus, we still love it.

We do have a few awards we’ve given out in the past but didn’t this year; we might bring them back in the future, so here they are for posterity:

Best Crafting (historical)
Best Event (historical)
Best Music (historical)
Final Fantasy XIV (2020), Multiple (2019); Community Poll: Final Fantasy XIV (2020)
Best Character Customization (historical)
Black Desert (2020); Community Poll: Black Desert (2020)

And here are all of Larry’s graphics for posterity too!

That’s a wrap on our awards for 2023; for those of you who missed other special content over the holidays, we’ve rounded up all our Golden Yachtie awards, our weirdest story series, our end-year feature columns, our monthly news recaps, our staff roundtables, and our favorite top tens and streams and screenshots right down below. Make sure you check out at least the biggest stories list, biggest surprises list, healthiest MMO list, best updates list, the uncertain futures list (forthcoming), our predictions for next year, the big crowdfunding news, all the MMOs we’re watching in 2024, and the best-value MMOs!

2023 GOLDEN YACHTIE AWARDS
2023 WEIRDEST STORIES SERIES
2023 RECAP LISTICLES & ROUNDUPS
END-OF-2023 READER OPINIONS
END-OF-2023 STAFF ROUNDTABLES
END-OF-2023 COLUMN EDITORIALS
COMPLETE 2023 MONTH-IN-REVIEW SERIES
COMPLETE 2023 AWARDS SERIES
Are video games doomed? What do MMORPGs look like from space? Did free-to-play ruin everything? Will people ever stop talking about Star Wars Galaxies? Join Massively Overpowered Editor-in-Chief Bree Royce and mascot Mo every month as they answer your letters to the editor right here in Ask Mo.
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