Good afternoon, readers. Or good evening if you’re reading this rather late. Of course, “Good morning” might be more appropriate for some of you. And for those of you reading this at 2:30 AM, I recommend you simply stop reading this, and turn off your computer to get some rest. Staying up that late can be detrimental to your internal body clock, you know. Unless of course, you work a night shift, then I suppose it can’t be helped. In which case, hi.
Moving swiftly on…I wanted to elaborate on something I very briefly touched upon in my previous post, “Funcom’s Still At It“. Now, don’t be mislead by the title, the topic today is not specifically about them. Rather, I wanted to point out the extreme ruthlessness that we have seen in the MMO market, and the few groups that have fought against that.
If you note Syp’s comprehensive MMO Timline, you’ll see that a Massively Multiplayer Online Game has been shut down every year since 2007, and in much greater numbers than before. In the year 2009, a total of four MMOs were shut down, namely Hellgate: London, The Matrix Online, Tabula Rasa, and Shadowbane. Three of which were intended to be the “Triple-A” MMOs when released. NCsoft is especially guilty for cracking down on their western development teams, shutting down Tabula Rasa, Auto Assault, Dungeon Runners, Exteel, and the North American “Lineage” servers in rapid succession. Sony has also seen hard times, finding themselves unable to support The Matrix Online or Star Wars Galaxies. Along with that, the surprisingly long lived Everquest Online Adventures game for the PS2 shut down this year, and the long awaited spy MMO “The Agency” has been canceled, and likely will never see the light of day.
Now consider the fact that because of these game closures, literally thousands of gamers have actually lost the game that they dedicated themselves to for months, or even years. Gamers without their MMO-homes to go to. We are talking about MMO-homeless people. A tragedy if I’ve ever heard of one. Even now, Planetside, which originally held six servers, now hobbles about with only one (of course, there is still a ray of sunshine knowing that they are working on a Planetside 2), how long can that last?
Despite that, a small number of developers stand out as MMO protectors, staying strong against hard economic times, low server populations, budget cuts, and the competition of other online games trying to crush them; online companies that remained in a positive light or were not discouraged for being unable to conquer the MMO market like so many claim to be their goal. Because I have spent more time on this post than I earlier expected, I will be detailing the second half of this topic in Part Two.
Riknas, signing off!