Barring Ouija boards, magical leprechauns and time-traveling DeLoreans, it's pretty much impossible to predict the future -- but that doesn't stop people from trying, no sir. In a recent "The State of the MMO in 2010"
over at Eurogamer, Jim Rossignol chats with Paul Barnett
(EA Mythic), Colin Dwan
) and Torfi Frans Olafsson
) in an attempt to pin down where MMOs stand as of now, and where they're likely to go.
The article begins by stating that the defining line surrounding what is and is not a MMO has become blurred, and will only become more so in the future. Whether we like it or not, different payment models, server types and even genres (such as sports MMOs) have broadened the definition of the genre. Many folks are worried that F2P titles and "quasi-MMOs" like FarmVille
may trigger the end of traditional subscription-based MMOs.
It wouldn't be an article about MMOs without invoking World of Warcraft
, which apparently has both helped and hindered subsequent MMOs. Dwans sees the giant MMO as a blesssing: "In a strictly business sense, people are more willing to take the MMO space seriously. They understand that if you are able to find loyal followers this can actually make money."
So where are MMOs heading, according to this article? Three important directions were identified: that companies are heavily experimenting with the business model of the games, that player tastes and expectations are shifting due to F2P titles, and that EA BioWare's The Old Republic
is poised to make huge waves in the industry.
Check out the entire article
over at Eurogamer!