The Eye Of The MMO Hurricane
I’ve probably been a little out of touch with the intricate goings on of MMO affairs this last week or two but, from what I can tell, everything (and by that I mean fanboi excitement) seems to have quietened down a bit. Is it just my imagination or have we suddenly entered a bit of a fallow period for the MMO industry? We had the big explosion of RIFT (again with the caps) back in February/March and now that the magic seems to have worn off we’re back to the same old drudgery of daily life waiting for the cycle to continue again.
Make no mistake about it there are a huge number of exciting things on the horizon starting with, let me think, oh I don’t know, Star Wars: The Old Republic (squeal). Equally so there are exciting prospects in Guild Wars 2, The Secret World, Warhammer 40K and World of Darkness along with several others. However they are all a few months, if not years, away so it’s definitely a case of having to bide ones time right now. We truly are existing in the eye of the metaphorical hurricane, waiting for the storm of fun to continue.
Taking advantage of this fallow period is probably a wise move but I can’t help but wonder what’s happening to games like RIFT that only a month or two ago was the most talked about thing on the blogosphere. Have the players returned to their primary MMO of choice (thus proving the WoW Tourist theory) or have they stuck with RIFT? Is it still holding everyone’s attention with excitement and anticipation or is it dropping off our radars like so many games before it?
I guess in many ways I’m just feeling on a bit of a come down after the initial hype of RIFT. It’s hard to not feel deflated after such monumental build-ups that tend to be MMORPG launches. They are grand affairs that last for weeks and months on end until the entire gaming community is foaming at the mouth in excitement and trepidation. And then, two or three months later, when the normality of it has sunk in we are left with nothing more than the faintest hint of melancholy.
Still, it’s what I love about the MMO genre. The highs and lows are all part of the ebb and flow of the grand gaming cycle so right now, even as I’m starting to feel a little despondent with RIFT on one hand, I’m also starting to look forward and anticipate games like SW:TOR with the other.
The cycle of (virtual gaming) life continues.