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Saturday, September 24, 2011

On MMOs and Maintaining Interest

I've been thinking about things for a little while, and I've come to realize that over the last few years, I have progressively spent less and less time in each MMO as I've played. My initial foray into SWG lasted over a year, as did my first experience with WOW. After that, Aion lasted maybe a month, as did FFXI, COH, and many others I wasted a lot of money purchasing. Even when returning to MMOs I enjoyed and played for a long time (such as Eve) my playtime will be around 1-3 months. My brief return to Eve just now lasted two months; three technically but I haven't "played" in at least 30 days. I'm considering going back to WoW, but unless I give myself some objectives, I will not stick with that very long either. Maybe SWTOR will keep it longer, but given what I've read I do not think so (me negative about SWTOR? Never!)

The question I am left with is: Why? Is this an evolution of myself as a gamer (in having less time as I am older, married, and working?) or evolution of the games I've played (WoW, SWG, and Eve have all undergone major changes since i played them extensively). To be honest...I'm not fully sure. I find that some of the single player games i have that lack depth are becoming less and less interesting as time goes on. Could be that these games are older and I've played them a lot, or it could be that games are slowly loosing interest to me.

I think that it is a combination of things. First, games are simplifying, especially those mentioned. Second, I am becoming more demanding of quality in games as I get older, particularly with the amount of trash that is being developed and pushed out. Is this a trend, or just me? Well I will never know. I see a lot of people complaining about the over simplification of games like WoW, and especially SWG, and this leads me to believe that I am not alone and that there is a major reduction in quality for most MMOs that is causing a backlash against the genre. SWTOR might stem the tide of this downturn, but I am not confident one title (even a Bioware one) can do so.

Time will tell.
-VG

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