Gamasutra's Best of 2008: The 5 Most Significant MMO Trends
MMO expert Michael Zenke takes a look at the year's five most compelling trends in online gaming in this very end of 2008, reported by Gamasutra.com.
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The world of MMOs is an enormous business, and a huge opportunity for the game development community at large, from World Of Warcraft's 1 billion USD yearly haul to microtransaction-based firms like Nexon that make tens of millions yearly in the West.
Here are the biggest stories of 2008 in online gaming - and just maybe some hints as to next year's top titles and trends:
The AAA Fantasy Game Is A Solved Problem
Two multi-million dollar epic fantasy MMOs launched this year, and by the standards of both of the companies that made them they are simply not successful.
Funcom, the developer of Age of Conan, has admitted as much in interviews. Game director Gaute Godager stepped down as a result of the game's post-launch failure, and the company is now focused entirely on restoring good will with the title's diminished playerbase.
Warhammer Online developer Mythic Entertainment hasn't admitted anything, but by the standard of comments made by company head Mark Jacobs they haven't achieved the success they were looking for. Pre-launch statements had him saying that if a company is closing or merging servers within a few months of a game's launch, there are problems. Warhammer has merged several servers in the days since its release.
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