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The Think Tank: Massively's MMO industry predictions for 2015

Business Models, Culture, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, Humor, Miscellaneous

SWTOR
It's that time of year for looking ahead and trying to predict just what will happen in the MMO industry in the year ahead of us. Will we play it safe this year or predict all sorts of wild and crazy things that everyone can quote and laugh about next December? Magic 8 ball says yes. Go big or go home when it comes to predictions!

Join the Massively staffers for this next-to-last Think Tank of the year and share your own predictions in the comments.

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Steam discounts lots of MMOs for the holidays

Business Models, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, News Items, Massively Meta, Promotions, Miscellaneous

Steam
Steam's winter sale is upon us, which means it's time to celebrate the season the way gamers do: by opening up our wallets. Here are just some of the MMOs running sales through Steam: Anybody spot anything else?

Massively's Best of 2014 Awards: Most Anticipated for 2015 and Beyond

MMO Industry, New Titles, Opinion, Massively Meta, Miscellaneous

Massively 2014 Awards
Massively's end-of-the-year awards continue today with our award for the Most Anticipated MMO for 2015 and Beyond. Pretty much every MMO that isn't out yet or is planning a major content update in 2015 was eligible for this award. All of our writers were invited to cast a vote, but not all of them chose to do so for this category. Don't forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end.

The Massively staff pick for Most Anticipated MMO for 2015 and Beyond is...

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Massively's Best of 2014 Awards: Best Update or Expansion of the Year

MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, Miscellaneous

Massively 2014 Awards
Massively's end-of-the-year awards continue today with our award for the Best Update or Expansion of the Year. Every patch, be it small freebie update or traditional paid expansion, was eligible for this category, as long as it released in 2014. All of our writers were invited to cast a vote, but not all of them chose to do so for this category. Don't forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end.

The Massively staff pick for Best Update or Expansion of 2014 is...

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Massively Speaking Episode 325: End of the year roundtable

Podcasts, MMO Industry, News Items, Massively Meta, Massively Speaking, Miscellaneous

elite dangerous
2014 was a heck of a year here at Massively. And for all of the ups and downs that we weathered, we like to think that we've emerged a little smarter, a little wiser, and a little ready for a less dramatic 2015. On today's episode, we invited to staff to come in talk about MMOs we've played, our awards picks, and what we're going to do in the new year.

Get all of our opinions and analysis on the most important stories of the past week right here on Massively Speaking, the industry's leading MMO podcast. And if you have a comment, question, or topic for the podcasters, send an email to podcast@massively.com. We may just read your email on the air!

Get the podcast:
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Listen here on the page:



Read below the cut for the full show notes.

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Massively's Best of 2014 Awards: Most Likely to Flop

MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, Miscellaneous

Massively 2014 Awards
Massively's end-of-the-year awards continue today with our award for the Most Likely to Flop in the coming years. This'd be a released or announced MMO that we think has little chance of performing to expectations, even if it may not capsize completely (though we're happy to be proven wrong!). All of our writers were invited to cast a vote, but not all of them chose to do so for this category. Don't forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end.

The Massively staff pick for Most Likely to Flop in 2015 and Beyond...

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Elite: Dangerous' launch-day roundup

Betas, Sci-Fi, Trailers, Business Models, Launches, New Titles, News Items, Massively Meta, Crowdfunding, Elite: Dangerous, Buy-to-Play

Elite
Successfully Kickstarted just over two years ago, David Braben's space MMO Elite: Dangerous formally launched early this morning, a rare buy-to-play entry in the MMO market and one of the most high-profile Kickstarter MMOs to actually reach launch to date. If you're heading to the comments right now to inform us that Elite isn't an MMO because of its single-player mode, know that the tide's against you; even Frontier, in the midst of controversy over the cancelation of its originally promised offline mode, justified that decision because Elite is an MMO and "technically [...] always has been."

Elite: Dangerous won Massively's Most Underrated MMO of the year by a hair just last week. Check out the launch trailer and our roundup of the best Elite news, streams, and hands-on articles by the Massively staff below!

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The Daily Grind: What's the best MMO for solo play?

Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

SWTOR
One of the comment tropes we see repeated over and over below our articles is this idea that if you're soloing in an MMORPG, you're in violation of the rules of the genre. I despise that idea so much that I even wrote a whole rant about it. The fact that a game is massively multiplayer does not mean that you need to be playing directly with other people at all let alone all the time, and it definitely doesn't mean you need to be grouped up performing completely arbitrary combat activities, which is usually how the argument goes. MMORPGs without groups and without combat debunk that construct handily. The genre is way bigger than that limited definition; the options are what make it great, not the requirements.

A lot of MMO gamers solo for so very many reasons: don't like other games, don't want to hold anyone back, don't want to be held back, might need to AFK, feel too shy, don't speak the language, or just prefer solo challenges and want to be measured for them against that massively multiplayer backdrop.

That leads me to today's question: Which MMORPG is the absolute best for a gamer who likes to solo but wants to do it "alone together" alongside lots of other people?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

Massively's Best of 2014 Awards: Biggest MMO Blunder of 2014

MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, Miscellaneous

Massively 2014 Awards
Massively's end-of-the-year awards continue today with our award for the Biggest MMO Blunder of the year. This is also not a fun award to give or receive, but criticism is a necessary element of growth. This category focuses on a mistake made by a game or developer or the genre as a whole, something that has far-reaching negative consequences for the industry. All of our writers were invited to cast a vote, but not all of them chose to do so for this category. Don't forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end.

The Massively staff pick for Biggest MMO Blunder of 2014 is...

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MMO Week in Review: Zombies incoming

Massively Meta, Week in Review, Miscellaneous

H1Z1
At the end of every week, we round up the best and most popular news stories, exclusive features, and insightful columns published on Massively and then present them all in one convenient place. If you missed a big MMO or WoW Insider story last week, you've come to the right post.

SOE announced this week that its post-apoc zombie survival sandbox MMO (do we have an acronym for that yet?) H1Z1 will enter early access testing on January 15th. Like Landmark's beta before it, H1Z1's early access represents a serious test phase, says studio boss John Smedley. Tickets for early entry will run you just under 20 bucks.

And don't forget Massively's ongoing 2014 awards, the first seven of which have already been announced. We're leading up to our MMO of the year on Friday!

Read on for a look at the rest of this week's top MMO stories.

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Massively's Best of 2014 Awards: Best MMO Trend of the Year

MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, Miscellaneous

Massively 2014 Awards
Massively's end-of-the-year awards continue today with our award for the Best MMO Trend of the year. We're not talking about a single article or game here; we are looking for trends, memes, and ideas that have seen a rise to prominence and have the potential to influence our genre for the better. All of our writers were invited to cast a vote, but not all of them chose to do so for this category. Don't forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end.

The Massively staff pick for Best MMO Trend of 2014 is...

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Massively's Best of 2014 Awards: Best Pseudo-MMO of the Year

MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, Mobile, Consoles, MMOFPS, MMORTS, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, MOBA, E-sports, OARPG

Massively 2014 Awards
Massively's end-of-the-year awards continue today with our award for the Best Pseudo-MMO of the year. This is always a difficult category since it forces us to define MMOs. This year, we opted to make eligible any online game that isn't a pure and traditional MMORPG, games we'd cover in Not So Massively: mobile MMOs, console MMOs, OARPGs, MOBAs, MMOFPS titles, MMORTS titles, and so on. And of course, the game must have launched in 2014. All of our writers were invited to cast a vote, but not all of them chose to do so for this category. Don't forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end.

The Massively staff pick for Best Pseudo-MMO of 2014 is...

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WRUP: HDMI converter for GOTY

Massively Meta, Miscellaneous

Seriously, we get the weirdest spammers here.
Welcome back to Massively's What Are You Playing, the game in which we tell you what we're playing this weekend and you tell us why we should be playing HDMI converter.

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Ask Massively: Scoring last year's MMO predictions

Business Models, Culture, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, News Items, Opinion, Massively Meta, Humor, Ask Massively, Miscellaneous

GW2
One of my favorite things to do every year is go back to the previous year's staff predictions. What did we think 2014 was going to look like in the MMO world back at the end of 2013? How wrong were we, and where did we hit eerily close to the mark? I won't include everything, just some of the more prophetic and ridiculous ideas our current staff offered a year ago. Feel free to share your own fulfilled prophecies down in the comments.

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Massively's Best of 2014 Awards: Biggest MMO disappointment of the year

MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, Miscellaneous

Massively 2014 Awards
Massively's end-of-the-year awards continue today with our award for the Biggest Disappointment of the year -- not exactly one of the more coveted awards, admittedly. For this category, we focused on single games rather than concepts, and every MMO that launched in 2014 was eligible. All of our writers were invited to cast a vote, but not all of them chose to do so for this category. Don't forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end.

The Massively staff pick for Biggest Disappointment of 2014 is...

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