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Why Always Fantasy?
September 25th, 2008 by Mike
It seems that when it comes to MMORPGs most of us prefer the fantasy genre. This is evident by not only by looking at the top MMORPGs (Wow, GuildWars, LoTRO, Runescape, EQ, Lineage, DAoC, FFXI), but also by the fact that most of the MMORPGs that are created are fantasy based. Is this a case of developers giving us what we want or is the fantasy genre being shoved down our throats?
I believe this is a case of supply and demand. For most of us, including myself, it is much much easier to go from one fantasy MMO to another fantasy MMO. In the most recent case for me, jumping from Age of Conan to Warhammer Online. There#DY#s already a built in system that I don#DY#t have to relearn. Warriors carry melee weapons, mages have mana and spells, orcs and goblins are evil. I already know who my friends and enemys are before I create my first character. Not so with the sci-fi genre. Jumping from Starwars to Eve Online to Tabula Rasa to City of Heros is a learning experience each time. Sure we all know the Starwars story and that superheros fight super villains, but not so with most other sci-fi games. We must learn a new story line, new weapons, new races, new powers, which makes the learning curve much steeper. There#DY#s something to be said about knowing where you#DY#re headed. Same goes in real life, most of us have a favorite bar or restaurant we always go to and while we don#DY#t mind trying something new, it#DY#s always nice to be somewhere you#DY#re familiar with.
Apart from the comfort factor with fantasy MMORPGs, there also seems to be many more big fantasy properties out there that already have a following and lore. Lord of the Rings, Warcraft, Conan, Warhammer, Camelot, D&D, Final Fantasy, Ultima Online to name a few. Most of us, being a bit on the nerdy side (or could just be me), already have at least some knowledge of almost all of these story lines. Which again makes it easier for us to join that universe. While sci-fi does have some big properties that have been made into MMOs, it doesn#DY#t seem any of them have reached a level of success that the big fantasy MMOs have.
Does this mean that a sci-fi or other non fantasy MMORPGs can never become the top MMORPG? Absolutely not. In fact the next MMORPG I#DY#m looking forward to is a sci-fi one which I wrote about a little while back, JumpGate. Even though I do prefer fantasy, it does get a bit stale after a while so I need to switch it up from time to time. How about you? Fantasy, Sci-fi or other?
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