No, PvE is not more mainstream than PvP

It always surprises me when I see a MMO player calling PvP a “niche” feature or meant only for hardcore players.  What planet  are they living on?

Online-multiplayer games that are PvP exclusive are some of the largest, best-selling games in the world. While the MMO genre seems to have fallen head-over-heals for PvE, mainly thanks to World of Warcraft’s run-away success, the rest of the gaming world prefers PvP.

The examples are many, but I’ll list a few of the largest PvP games over the last decade.

  • League of Legends
  • Call of Duty Series & COD: Modern Warfare series
  • Battlefield series
  • World of Tanks
  • Starcraft series
  • Counter-Strike series
  • Warcraft series
  • Halo series
  • Team Fortress series

While most of the listed games above are FPS or RTS, MOBA are exploding right now and they’re all PvP. You can also include any sports or racing game as well as their online component is PvP as well, just without the death part. The only non-MMO game that was mainly PvE and came close in terms of popularity to the titles listed above, that I can remember, was Diablo and Diablo 2.  Can you name another?

So why is there always so much push back against PvP in the MMO genre? There is obviously a huge divide between those players that enjoy single-player games and those that enjoy online games, but it seems for the MMO genre, the single-player crowd has taken over for the last decade or so, leaving MMO games in some weird anti-PvP time-warp.

However with games like Guild Wars 2, TERA, PlanetSide 2, Dust 514, Firefall and others on the horizon, it seems PvP is coming back and in a big way. I for one couldn’t be happier as I’m just downright sick of PvE.


  1. lol What? While i agree that PvP games are popular the majority of popluar games are single player.
    GTFO with this nonsense. “Mainly thanks to World of Warcraft.” lmfao

    Are you a teenager? I ask cuz if thats what you really think you havent been gaming long enough to know how wrong you are.

    Most players in WoW dont play for PvP and that is exactly why they “push back against PvP in the MMO genre.”

  2. You need to read a bit closer, I’m talking about “Online multiplayer games” of course there are more single-player games than PvP games. That argument would just be silly.

  3. What your saying is akin to saying stick shift cars aren’t a “niche” and then naming the top selling sports cars who by being sports car would tend to be sticks shifts.

    Call of Duty is for the most designed around PVP the averge player has 100 times more hours in online pvp than they do in cmapaign mode

    MMO’s like WOW are PVE games with a niche PVP

  4. @Qwerty That’s not what I’m saying at all. What I’m saying is that PvE games are the “niche” stick shift cars, and PvP is manual.

    There are nearly no online multiplayer PvE games outside the MMO genre that are anywhere as near as popular as those games I listed above. The vast majority of online games are PvP.

    My argument is that many MMO gamers believe that PvP is the niche, when in the broader sense of online-gaming, it is actually the PvE games that are the niche market.

    If I’m wrong, I challenge you to name 3 online games that are not MMOs,are PvE and that are as popular or sold as well as those games listed above.

  5. I’m not entirely sure about the push back against PVP MMOs. As you’ve listed, there are quite a few PVP MMOs or MMOs that have PVP option or multi player games with PVP.

    I can’t speak for those that believe multiplayer PVP is a niche. From my personal experiences and circle of people; it seems that multi-player PVP is a lot more widespread compared to multi-player PVE.

    It’s possible that game industry wants to open up the market to both options to expand the business.

    Or perhaps some would like to have more options toward PVE MMOs. For me, personally, the reason why I would want a PVE MMO is to have a community that isn’t about direct competition between each other or through aggressive means.

  6. Its as simple as this alright: PvP is “niche” in a PvE game.
    And i cant possibly think the majority of gamers think “PvP is for the hardcore” lol its simply for people that enjoy it, some more casual than others.

  7. Unfortunately, you’re mixing apples with oranges here.

    Firstly, WoW IS a PvE centric game that only added in PvP as a response to player requests and as an after thought. WoW was MEANT as a strictly PvE game and was launched as such since we would be viewed as ‘adventurers going out and about against the backdrop of the War.’

    Secondly, WoW and SC are the only SUB based games on your list. The others are console and F2P games. So to compare the three genres is simply ridiculous.

    Thirdly, if you want to KNOW why there’s a ‘pushback’ against PvP, particularly in WoW, it’s because of the gear disparities and lack of resilence once you get to endgame and even at earlier levels with BoA PvP gear. However, this IS an issue that Blizzard is trying to address in Mists.

    Some advice: Next time, compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges. Also, you might wish to look back at the history of any game you wish to discuss. It comes across as informed rather than some short hater rant.

  8. @huggywuggles so comparing online games to other online games is “apples and orange”? How did you come to that conclusion?

    Firstly, this article is not about WoW, but about all PvE MMO games. I don’t care why WoW players dislike PvP or what gear disparities there are. That has nothing to do with this.

    Secondly, what does subscriptions or consoles have to do with anything? This is completely irrelevant to the argument.

    I’m comparing all online games, console and PC, to each other. My only point is that MMO games seems to be the only online-multiplayer games where PvE is the mainstead. Nearly all other multiplayer-online games are PvP.

    Its a very simple concept.

  9. You’re a PvP fan, we get it, so am I. However, the issue with straight PvP games is the following: Once you get where you’re going, it’s the ‘same old, same old’.

    Fact is, most people WANT to enjoy other activities, not the ‘old hat’ of, “gee, looky there, another LoL character…which does the exact same thing as other characters, just in a different fashion.” or “Oh joy, another quest to kill 500 gajillion rats for eyeballs”.

    PvE centric MMO’s offers players variety. The real successful MMO’s sprinkle that with a liberal helping of PvP, and bammo, you have a winning combination. Take one or the other out of the equation and you have a formula that quickly grows stale.

    That’s why there might be a conceived ‘pushback’ against strict PvP games and would be against any strict PvE games as well.

    Now one other thing here:

    “My only point is that MMO games seems to be the only online-multiplayer games where PvE is the mainstead. Nearly all other multiplayer-online games are PvP.”

    Really? NO KIDDING! Show me any other MMO that doesn’t either feature PvE or PvP. Do you even PLAY MMO’s?

    However, I am grown up enough to read between the lines. You wish to know why there aren’t more strictly PvP MMO’s v. PvE MMO’s. I’ve addressed that, but for simplicity’s sake, I’ll address it again:

    Because people, at large, prefer diversity and variety in their gaming experience. There is a REASON most strict PvP (LoL, TF series, etc.) or PvE games (LotRO, DDO, Forsaken World, etc) have gone F2P. Because there isn’t enough variety or diversity to maintain a large enough player base’s interests.

  10. @huggywuggles

    “Because people, at large, prefer diversity and variety in their gaming experience. There is a REASON most strict PvP or PvE games have gone F2P. Because there isn’t enough variety or diversity to maintain a large enough player base’s interests.”

    Yes, MMOs are more diverse and offer more variety then say COD to LOL, but your statement implies that PvP games cannot be diverse and they cannot maintain a large enough player-base to be subscriptions.

    Allow me to counter both arguments with one game. Eve Online.

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