Is The MMO Market Getting Too Crowded?

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I was running around on a Blood Elf, not a care in the world, not knowing my class (hunter) or what raids really were. I just wanted to fight Lich King because he looked like a total badass. For those of you who play WoW or have played it I’m a Wrath baby. I’ve been playing MMOs since 2008. I’ve always been a fan of grouping with friends and taking on a dungeon, or playing some PvP or even pulling a Leroy

Since then I’ve played many other MMOs, City of Heroes, DCUO, Everquest, Runscape, Guild Wars 2,  Terra, SWTOR, etc. just to name a few. The genre has become increasingly more populated. Some have died off slowly, others were over hyped and are barely hanging on. Then you have some like WoW that have “stood the test of time” so to speak. With 2014 upon us there are even more waiting to embrace our time grinding levels and collecting gear. I started to ask myself, is the market getting overcrowded?
Not everyone is into these types of games first and foremost. One of those reasons is it’s a great time investment. With games coming out for consoles and other pc games, who really has the time. Lets be honest, when you play these types of games you want something out of it. Weather it be cool gear, a nice mount, owning fools in PvP or just going in a raid and kicking ass and taking names. All of these things take time to do. Sure some games don’t focus on gear and you can get good-looking gear right out of the gate…sort of. Most games now have micro-transactions, but more on that later. Time is a luxury that not everyone has, so most just skip these types of games all together.

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Everybody wants to make an MMO now a days and it’s a gamble, a rather big one. You have to sell your product in an already crowded market. You have to sit there and throw out something that the others don’t have.  Maybe just maybe come up with something that hasn’t been done before and make it work. That within itself is a large hurdle developers have to overcome. A few years ago people wanted “dynamic events” now most are doing that, then people wanted housing and now we’re getting that as well. Not saying that there can’t be anything new done, but pretty much everything has been done.

End Game is a pretty big deal for a lot of people. Especially when a percentage of players rush through leveling just to get there. If there’s nothing much there at launch then you’re pretty much doomed from the start. The community has this thing where if people beat something before a large portion of the players in the game. The majority complain that the game is garbage and the infamous “there’s nothing for me to do, so and so already beat the game” It’s a rather sad mentality but it happens often. That’s something that the developers have to be ready for off the bat. Which brings me to my last and final point.

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Subscription fees..we all hate them, but we still pay them. Some games like Guild Wars 2 doesn’t require a sub. They just want you to pay for the game and everything else is free. Sure they have micro-transactions but they have to make money back somehow after giving free updates/patches. Then we have games like the upcoming Elder Scrolls Online, which require you to spend 60$ for the game and then have you pay a monthly sub. I don’t know if it will have micro-transactions but if it does then that would be pretty much a money grab. I digress because you don’t have to spend money, it would be optional. Unlike SWTOR who pretty much went F2P almost a year after launch because of some of the points I made above. They pretty much restrict so much stuff that it makes you want to sub and buy micro-transactions. With everything I’ve stated above, it’s risky to ask for a sub fee, plus the price of your game and all of this time to put into your game when there are so many like it.

I’m not rich by any means, I can only sub and play one MMO at a time, I can’t grind 2 or more games at the same time while paying for multiple subscriptions monthly. With so much time being invested in one, I can’t make time to do the same thing in several other games. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who feels that way. I’m not suggesting that there shouldn’t be new games that enter the genre anymore, I’m just saying take a look around, study what makes the successful ones successful and the failures…well fail, and not try to cash in on a popularity of these games hoping to become the next “WoW Killer”

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Vash Wilson

Game Review Editor at iGame Responsibly
Vash hails from the Windy City and has been writing for about 11 years now. He recently picked up writing game reviews. His writing credits include several short stories, an unpublished book, and currently write poetry. Since he was a child he’s always had a passion for video games. Vash enjoys pretty much any genre, although his favorites are RPGs and MMOs.
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