As my compadre Eli
, there is reasoning available that Fantasy MMOs have flourished due to there being a greater preponderance of Fantasy titles, in various media, upon which to draw inspiration to sustain an MMO. The lack of substantive Science Fiction titles of the time, therefore, leads to the correlating dearth of such MMOs. However, this argument only mentions in passing what I think is the more crucial element, which is this:
Fantasy titles are about the Hero's Journey, or the Epic. Science Fiction titles are about exploration of ideas. One of these story types makes for better adaptation to immersive gameplay. Guess which?
Now, I will back up a bit and acknowledge that as a blanket statement, what I said does not (and should not be considered to) cover every Fantasy or Science Fiction title everywhere. Clearly, Star Wars
is the most well-known Epic SF story, but then again, Lucas based the plot almost entirely on Joseph Campbell's monomyth
, which was itself formulated around the epic myths and stories of history. And perhaps one of the finest Fantasy titles ever written, John Crowley's Little, Big
, uses Fantasy tropes to examine the idea of the complexity of human relationships, rather than one character's journey to overcome evil. But having made those concessions, let me make my case.