Whilst it’s pretty safe to say that different mobile genres are the future of gaming as this past year in particular has shown the growth of many favourites in the mobile space whether this be from more traditional options like video slots and the growing casino space or even to something more familiar to MMO gamers like the move of some big titles to mobile as games like Runescape have found a big mobile audience – but that doesn’t mean traditional gaming options and genres aren’t finding their own opportunities for success. Historically, one of the bigger genres here has been the MMO market, boasting millions of players and countless hours played, but could the MMO era be coming to an end?
The biggest MMO in the world of World of Warcraft having just seen its next expansion release over the holiday period still records big numbers but those numbers are almost certainly shrinking, and whilst the small bursts of releases like WoW Classic and the upcoming Burning Crusade will do the same, the 17-year-old game may be coming toward the end of its life span. Other games like Final Fantasy XIV and Guild Wars 2 have looked to fill the space, but not quite to the same initial popularity, with hopes instead that that newer titles may fill the void, with two upcoming games in particular that many fans are hoping will reinvigorate the struggling MMO space.
The first comes from Ashes of Creation, the title looking to bring many features of the biggest games over the past two decades under one banner and deliver the ultimate MMO experience, with recent dev showcases showing progress for things like world bosses, the hype train has dialled up a little. There are concerns that the game has been a little too ambitious in some instances though, and with a relatively small team behind it and quite some time in development with only an alpha planned later this year, and no news of a beta test, it could be quite a way off yet.
(Image from venturebeat.com)
The second comes from the recently announced planned Riot Games MMORPG – with their successes in League of Legends and Valorant, it’s almost bound to be a huge hit, but still a long way off as those invested may not see any news for a number of years yet. Given there’s no information available at all, fans can only speculate around the potential direction of the game, but there’s the concern that it may come just a little too late as the struggling genre gets out paced by the likes of MOBA, ARPG, and other favourites.
For now the numbers are looking good for existing titles but without a prominent esports scene or the flexibility to adjust into different mobile markets, that may not stay the case – there can be exciting opportunities ahead with the announced titles, but for now the genre is finding a slow decline with little change coming.