It’s not quite over yet, but 2011 was not a banner year for the MMOG genre. There was no massive success, no breakaway hit. Players did receive their handful of expansions and new content patches, but with the exception of the just-released Star Wars: The Old Republic – a title which may become that massive success – most events were a blip on the radar.
Perhaps 2011 will be remembered not for its lack of breathtaking releases in the genre. No, no, the Year of the Rabbit may go down in history for a paradigm shift in the genre itself. Yeah, you guessed it, a continued aggressive shift to the free-to-play model.
What started with a last-ditch effort by Turbine Entertainment to save Dungeons & Dragons Online has continued to spread through the industry like wildfire. From dieing titles to titles that would have surely been paid-to-play years ago to upcoming AAA games, escapisms from every subgenre, every part of the world and catering to every type of game were released, entered beta or teased during the year. It’s getting to the point that drawing the line between what is an MMOG and what isn’t is becoming increasingly difficult.
Below you’ll find the titles that have us here at LoreHound.com the most excited. There’s a little bit of everything, AAA to F2P, MMORTS to MMORPG, casual to hardcore. An exhaustive list of expansions, content patches and releases? No, but the post is choke full of excitement, previews and information.
We’ll kick it off with the prediction for Star Wars: The Old Republic‘s seemingly bright future. More after the cut.
Star Wars: The Old Republic: BioWare has definitely set themselves on the right track with this game, going full blown into production. They have stated that they have a years worth of content already in back log before launch, giving them a year’s head start worth of content as they still work on more to come. Add to the fire the fact they’ve watched every MMO that was released in 2011, and took notes, along with everything the head megabeast, World of Warcraft, has done for the last 5 years. The game is only just over a week old (officially), and besides the hiccups with a launch of any new game, the game is going pretty solid with 1 million subscriptions already created on December 22nd (before people who got it for Christmas could subscribe).
Is the game perfect right now? No. Give it a few months, and all the kinks will be found and ironed out, with some new content. Yes, yes, that statement could be recycled for almost every MMOG release in modern history. That doesn’t make it any less true. The fully voiced story gives a very cinematic feel. Check out the Lore Cast Episode 5 in the coming days to hear how Mordil, Beararms, and perhaps a few others are feeling about the game.