Last Time, On Riknas Rants…
Joshua “Riknas”, observes the state of the MMO genre, noting the mortality rate of the online games in custody of the larger studios, now he-
Hey, stop that!
Riknas will fight with the personification of italics and bold text in an epic s–
The hell I will!
Aww, come on…
ANYWAY, MOVING ONTO THE MAIN TOPIC.
The caps lock key makes its move on-
I said stop!
No, and no back talking either! Back to online games…
As I said earlier– Erm, as I said earlier, despite the difficulties that well known companies have grappled with in the online gaming market, there have been some that have weathered the storm, while others have actually weathered the storm, while others actually have actually prospered.
Many of these developers are independent groups that managed to carve out a safe niche, slowly growing, or simply trudge along happily on their own with their isolated community. Smaller teams, or single MMO developer groups are what most come to mind. Most likely because their entire company’s livelihood, they hold onto their project tighter than a boa-constrictor wrapped around an idiot’s neck. Jagex, for example, of of the (in)famous Runescape, has not been affected by the server merges of Warhammer, the shutting down of The Matrix Online, nor do they care about the expansions released in World of Warcraft. The same can be said of eGenesis of the rarely virtually unheard of, “A Tale In the Desert”, that exists in such obscurity one could almost consider it a small MMO cult that lives in its own special commune, fenced off from the rest of the internet. Other companies that manage to typically go unnoticed are the F2P MMO groups such as gPotato, Aeria Games Entertainment, and Suba Games.
Naturally, that’s not all there is, as we can not forget CCP which has worked on it constantly for nine years, putting in an obscene amount of effort to expand the size and accessibility of their massive single-server game, while keeping it new an entertaining for the people that have been around from the start. Along with that, we can not ignore the years Aventurine spent just to make Darkfall, which set the MMO community aflame with its release, and they have already went through great pains to create radical changes and additions to the game. Also, standing proudly alongside them we have Funcom and Turbine.
I won’t deny that Funcom has me starry-eyed with their upcoming title, “The Secret World”, however one can not deny the Norwegian developers’ dedication to their products. One would think that with the critically acclaimed point-and-click adventure game “The Longest Journey” , they would simply continue with that. After the catastrophic release for Anarchy Online, people would not have been surprised if it shut down only a few years later. And yet, it has been over a decade since the game’s release, and instead of slowly withering away they have elected to revamp the graphics engine and system mechanics for a new generation of players. Facing similar issues with the release of Age Of Conan, Funcom was once again slammed for allowing servers to be overpopulated and unfinished system mechanics. Conan was also criticized for “deceiving” the players with a fully voiced starting area, that disappeared once you finished it, causing players to wonder, “Did I walk into a different game?” or questioning whether your sound settings were working right. Even so, Funcom continued to improve upon the game, smoothing over system problems, filling content in where there was a gap, and even adding in more voice acting. Not long after, we discover they are working on a third online game, which many of us now eagerly await. While one might argue they are their own worst enemy with the release date problems, they continue on making new games while supporting their older titles, and consistently using graphics that have been cutting edge for their time. And for that, I applaud them. However, what happens after The Secret World remains to be seen…
At this point some of you might say, “Riknas, you brilliant man! What a profound line up you created!”
Flattery won’t convince me italics, and you can’t hide in the left alignment.
As I was saying, some of you might say, “But, Turbine? Don’t you remember Asheron’s Call 2? They shut that down!”
While this is true, I would argue that was a much tougher call, having had no other games to back themselves up beside the original Asheron’s Call. Also, while two years ago they lost their independence after being purchased by Warner Brothers Interactive, they have continued to protect all their other titles admirably. Well done fellows, well done. Hopefully other developers will be able to expand on their own stable of games like these folks have.
That’s all for now, see you next time.
Riknas signing off.
DAMN IT GUYS.