Wednesday, August 27, 2008

"MMOs are History" revisited: Syncaines View

I got bored of fantasy MMOs and went through a whole MMOs are History thing. Then I got bored of "MMOs are History" and dropped the subject. The feeling hasn't enirely gone away though. I have been enjoying EVE for the last few months but much of my enjoyment of EVE stems from how different it is to the WOW like mmos I had dabbled in before.

With tongue in cheek I extrapolated my ennui onto the entire MMO population predicting that the each new game would hold its audience for less time than the previous one leading quickly to the demise of the genre. The two month wonder that was Age of Conan certainly proved me right and it will be interesting to see if WAR can do better.

In a recent post Syncaine makes a very sensible counter argument to MMOS are History(tm). He points out that it is entirely possible for people to be bored with the game they are playing but not be bored of the entire mmo genre. I quote:

'I believe most of the people burned out on WoW are still very much into MMO gaming, and hence will see WAR is a cure for WoW burnout, rather than ‘more of the same.'

Using single player games as an example (and GTA in particular) Syncaine points out that people get excited by each new release even though the core gameplay remains pretty much unchanged.

Its is a strong argument but I see a flaw in the comparison with single player gaming. The time and effort that players must invest in an mmo is an order of magnitude greater than that required by a single player game. I suspect that because of this mmo burnout is a much deeper experience than getting bored of a single player game. I also suspect that he memory of this effort creates a much larger barrier to re-entry for those of us who are burned out.

The forthcoming release of WAR will provide an interesting test case. I am in the happy position of not having played the beta and not having read most of the preview stuff about the game. If MMOs are really history though it shouldn't matter how good the game is , extrapolating from the ever reducing lifespan of recent releases WAR will lose most of its players within the first month.

4 comments:

melmoth said...

Welcome back from your holiday.

So you're all rested and ready for the latest round of MMO Burnout?

Me too! Well apart from the rested part. And the ready bit. But I'm raring to go on the burnout, in fact I can feel the burn already.

Feel the burn!

mbp said...

Hi Melmoth. Curious thing, I have found it hard to get back into EVE since I returned. Running care bear missions has lost its appeal. I am currently playing something called Last Stand 2. Its a very enjoyable zombie shooter but its a flash game and I am too embarrassed to blog about it.

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melmoth said...

I've had a sudden resurgence of interest in City of Villains, mainly due to a bunch of other like-minded individuals joining-up en masse and teaming-up a lot.

Perhaps it's just the social side you're missing? No idea if you're getting to socialise much in EVE, but it seems to be what I've been missing.

And Last Stand 2 is a fun little game. Don't be embarrassed about blogging these things, some of the best little flash games that I've found have been linked to from various blogs around the ol' sphere!

Although you will get angry posts if it's one of those addictive games that almost loses one their job.