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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Day the MMO's Died

There is an old saying from around the time of the NGE for Star Wars Galaxies that goes "Whoever is the last one on Bria, turn the lights out when you leave." Now that's obviously a modification of a much older saying, but it deals with a topic I've been thinking a lot about lately: The closure of servers and the end of an MMORPG.

Many MMO's are in trouble these days. SWG is struggling to have a population, DDO and LOTRO are going free to play to attract more people, and games like FFXI and Everquest are showing their age in obvious ways. Eventually these MMO's will actually end, wont they?

Consider the many games that came before. Short of bankrupt parent companies (and indeed in spite of them in some cases) the old titles are still around, albeit with less population and usually a free to play form. Everquest didn't die even when its sequel came out, and indeed still seems fairly strong.

There is always talk about WoW dying, and talk that it is immortal. Some thought that the initial response to it was so strong that it would burn out swiftly, but Blizzard has kept players coming and hooked for over five years. I have a secret theory that Cataclysm will destroy the game, but more on that later.

It is said that once something is on the internet it can never be removed from the internet. Maybe this is true of MMORPG's. Maybe there will always be a version of WoW out there. Maybe SWG will never finally kick the bucket. Even if the characters that we played and invested our time into don't matter anymore, maybe the servers will never shut down.

But if they do, and you're the last one on, turn off the lights before you go.
-VG

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