Top 5 trends you need to know in MMOs

In preparation for the ION Game Conference, we thought we’d update you on the state of MMOs. We’ll be speaking about game story versus emergent story, which is sure to lead to a knock-down fight — er, a few disagreements. Read on to find the latest trends that affect story, pulled in party from Gamasutra.

1. Not all MMOs will be successful — and some won’t even get off the ground. Bioware, THQ, Activision are all trying to get into the MMO space. Activision, of course, was successful with the Blizzard merger. However, we can point to as many games that disintegrated or barely made it out the gate. A few have asked if mainstream MMOs really can innovate. Which leads to:

2. Casual and children’s MMOs make money, too. Reportedly $350 million for Disney’s Club Penguin.

3. The days of the subscription model may be numbered. Free and micro-payments games already attract a number of players. Real Money Transfer (RMT) games may be just around the corner.

4. MMOs are not a zero-sum game. More players are entering the MMO space, so higher subscription numbers on one game don’t necessarily mean fewer in another. Although not everyone agrees.

5. User generated content (UGC) appeals to many people, and quest-making tools in MMOs may help players make the technology hurdle. Most UGC appears on fansites.

Have you heard about any MMOs experimenting with or demonstrating these trends? Stay tuned for more about story and MMO this week!

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Filed under Game Design, Game Industry, Games, Writing

4 responses to “Top 5 trends you need to know in MMOs

  1. UGC is -the- reason why Second Life is so popular, in my opinion. All Second Life really is is a set of custom content creation tools. The players have made the world what it is, and you’ve got everything from kid-safe playgrounds, college lecture sites, Star Wars sims, mature clubs… anything you can imagine, it’s there.

    Personally I would love to see more games take advantage of the power of UGC. I think that’s the future of MMOs and the only way WoW will be ‘dethroned’, so to speak.

    You mention user-created quests… what did you have in mind?

  2. User created quests would really change things up, I’m sure. It would be great to have players hire other players to do things.

  3. The Matrix Online community would insert its own narrative drive behind quests. – Sande

  4. Pingback: Digital Hollywood: can content help online games? « Writers Cabal Blog

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