In last week's edition of The Soapbox
, Mike Foster
argued that online gaming has evolved over the past few years and that the term MMO should be expanded
to cover other online games like MOBAs. He examined the blurred dividing line between new online games and the classic MMOs of yesteryear, and he made the controversial argument that Call of Duty
and League of Legends
should now fall under the MMO umbrella. I found myself disagreeing with many of Mike's arguments and wanting to make additional points of my own, so this week I'd like to offer a few counter-points on the same topic for debate.
The MMO market has certainly evolved since Massively was founded, with some pretty big innovations in gameplay and new ideas like the free-to-play business model
taking hold. As much as people like to complain about a lack of innovation in the games industry, the same level of experimentation and evolution has hit industry-wide. Call of Duty
has borrowed unlock and XP systems from the world of orcs and dragons, and League of Legends
came from nowhere to be at the forefront of a global MOBA revolution
, but neither of them is an MMO by any stretch of the imagination.
In this in-depth opinion piece, I break down the definition arguments surrounding the term MMO, offer a reasoned view of where the line can and should be drawn, and look at why Massively covers games other than MMOs.