Saturday, January 14, 2012

Ambigious Statement of the Week: "Is MMO Falling?"

I'm not entirely sure where they came up with this idea for a "story" but it's been a pretty slow week for gaming news. If you are not seeing "the best games of 2012" or "the best games of 2011" lists you're probably reading about how game sales over the holiday were not so good.

So someone at  MMOSite.com decided to link the falling of MMO's to the Interactive Achievement Awards. If you don't know what it is, and not many people do, it's an annual look back at games over the past year and judged by a panel of peers, held by the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences. This year GameSpot will be hosting a live stream of the awards. It's not the flashy flash of award shows. In fact, I don't think they have any official ceremonies and it's more of a summit to discuss games, their future, and the like. Which is kind of nice. As gamers we tend to be a relaxed crowd. We don't need Spike. We can do it ourselves.

Because it's a peer to peer "award" discussion, MMO's don't typically have the best of followings. Something I remember hearing from the gang at Trion Studios, the guys that made Rift, MMO's are not really high on the totem pole. Even with games like World of Warcraft, they are still considered something too casual. They're not at the bottom of the list, nor at the top, but somewhere in between. It's not necessarily a bad thing, but I don't think that the Interactive Achievement Awards are a good comparison on current consumer trends. It's a group of people in the industry that have a more dominant position on certain genres. Also! It bases it's decisions on games released in the past year. DC Online and Star Wars The Old Republic were really the only 2 MMO's from top companies that made arrived. We didn't have 20 new MMO titles. So to claim that MMO's are falling is a lame duck response to the awards. At least the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences recognizes the fact that gamers need a REAL look at our hobby, and not celebrity endorsements.

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