The heyday of the MMORPG genre in gaming has long since gone as the late 2000s and early 2010s was a time where the market was certainly at its biggest – whilst there are still some titles holding on and even thriving in some cases with the likes of World of Warcraft and Guild Wars 2, numbers are much smaller now than they had been previously and certainly aren’t showing many signs of recovery. One big title on the horizon has many in the space excited though, as Ashes of Creation have many believing that there could be some rising passion in the MMO space once more, but what had led to the downfall of the genre, and can it really recover?
Falling behind the curve – Perhaps the biggest factor that has made MMOs shrink in popularity has been the inability to keep up with the changing expectations in gaming, with a wider shift towards esports as a whole, the genre just hadn’t been suited for the change. There has been a wider adoption for things like betting with esports, bigger markets in states like online gambling Oregon options are well suited for esports, and some games like WoW have tried to close the game somewhat but with broadcasting difficulties and other factors, it certainly hasn’t been beneficial for the MMO market as a whole.
Little change or evolution of the games – Another important factor had been that many games had stayed the same for a longer period of time, whilst games like WoW had really built the genre and set the expectation for what should be included in an MMO title, but that also means many games didn’t deviate from this either leading many to follow the same blueprint and the same gameplay experience. Whilst there has been some diversity recently, many still largely feel the same – this is certainly looking to be where Ashes of Creation makes the change with the non-NDA open beta on the way, but a poor reception could swing things the other way for the genre.
A changing audience – When MMOs were first released, much of the audience were younger and still in school with all the free time to play the games like these that require a huge time investment – these players have since grown up, got jobs, and families of their own and it’s much harder to commit to the long hours, and with the younger audience more attracted to the growing esports titles, for example, there is just a much smaller player pool for many of these games. Although there has been a shift to accommodate a more casual audience, the changes aren’t enough to reduce the huge time requirements.
Ashes of Creation doesn’t look to solve all of these issues as it still seems like a game more tailored toward the hardcore fan side of the MMO genre, but may look to provide something new and help to reinvigorate a space that has been falling flat in many areas for quite some time.