Nerd alert post–no cooking or working out in this one. What is a MMORPG? It is a massively-multiplayer online role-playing game. Think World of Warcraft–the most popular and successful of them all. There have always been some: EVE, EverQuest, and so on. But now, big companies and big game lines have really started throwing themselves into this genre. Don’t get me wrong, I used to play WoW a lot, it’s a lot of fun, but my feelings start to get mixed once my beloved game series get involved.
This post is inspired by my playing Skyrim yesterday. I love the Elder Scrolls series, with them choosing different homelands of each of the playable races and being able to experience each one. Skyrim, which is pretty much all snow, is for the Nords. I usually either play as a Khajiit or a Wood Elf. I started thinking how cool it would be when Elder Scrolls finally got to their homelands. The desert land of the Khajiits with endless sand, or the forest-cities of the Wood Elves. How awesome it would be to explore it, especially now with such improved graphics and the ever-present attention to detail Bethesda offers.
And then I remember. Oh yeah, they’re making an MMO. That might mean that there will never be another Elder Scrolls game after that. And that kinda breaks my heart. I know they’re trying to make it as Elder Scrolls-y as possible, but it will still be an MMO. It will never be the same. I find myself wishing that they would choose not to jump on the bandwagon and instead, work on Elder Scrolls VI. Perhaps they still will, but that will be a lot to take on.
Star Wars: The Old Republic by BioWare (probably in competition with Bethesda for my favorite company ever) jumped at a huge MMO project like this as well. Of course I was excited–one of my most favorite series by one of my most favorite companies, it had to be good. And while I do enjoy playing SWTOR, it’s just not the same as Knights of the Old Republic. I would much rather have another single-player sequel to that amazing series with all its tough choices, exploration, and story than the impressive huge universe BioWare created. But KOTOR is a lot smaller than the Elder Scrolls games, so I doubt there will be another since TOR is out.
I’m not sure why MMOs are trending so much–perhaps because of the big money gains, the success, and fame? World of Warcraft certainly made its mark on gaming history and will continue to do so. But just because it was wildly successful doesn’t mean that every big awesome gaming company needs to do it. For me, the Elder Scrolls series is truly unique and I love the worlds they create, the attention to detail, and the openness of gameplay that is hard to recreate in an MMO. I hope the MMO format doesn’t kill it, but it probably will.
What are your feelings about the increasing number of MMOs? Cheers!