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Dear MMOs: It’s not you, it’s me

I am with Gryth on this one. I wanted to play Wildstar. All my friends were playing Wildstar. But work exploded, and then some health stuff came up, and they’re still there, but it’s not like I haven’t played video games _at all_. I’ve played some Civ V (turn-based), some Skyrim (pause button), and a couple of narrative games.

But I’ve lost the habit of MMOs. I mean, my life is very different from when I was playing MMOs regularly: I’m not in grad school anymore, for one thing, and at least for me life is a lot more challenging, varied in schedule, and busy than grad school was. I also have more options – in grad school, I paid my $15/month to play 20-50 hours a week, 80-200 hours/month (!) because it was the cheapest gaming entertainment per hour that I could find (I mean, seriously. I don’t think there were many 200 hour months, except when I was raid leading with one guild and raiding with another progression guild, but that’s like $0.08/hour. I can’t even _go walking outside_ for that price per hour – shoe replacement per mile is more than that.)

Now, between the bundles and the summer/winter/spring sales and, frankly, the incredible quality, depth, and range of computer games… I mean, I played games on my brother’s old Apple IIE, from Karataka to Zork to QBert and on. They have games that my _mom_ likes to play now (on her phone!), and they have games I would want to integrate into a literature class, and they have games (like Skyrim) that show a scope that I could only imagine as a kid.

But that variety and depth goes for MMOs too – there’s most kinds of MMOs you could imagine out there now (EQ1 is still going, for the love of diety), and EVE, and Rift/WoW/LOTRO/SWToR/GW2, ArcheAge and Landmark are around the corner not to mention EQ Next, and while they feel left behind, most of them, and stuck in 2004 in some sense, they’re still of a size and variety you couldn’t imagine back when WoW ruled the roost.

I think that Liore has suggested that MMOs are dead, but reading her post I think she’s actually suggesting that MMOers are dead. And I don’t disagree – this one is, at least*.

*The argument that they (and I) were never _really_ MMOers is a bit specious, in my view – how many decades do you need to do a thing before you get the badge? – but I definitely see an argument that Blizzard made MMO players out of people who had never touched the genre, just like they’ve made tradeable card game players out of people who never in twenty years have played Magic.  But don’t we start to get into No True Scotsman at some point? They count!

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One thought on “Dear MMOs: It’s not you, it’s me

  1. I think you misunderstood my “WoW players” and “MMO players” point. I’m not saying that WoW players are not true MMO players, but that if you look at the churn rate of WoW subscribers and the relative population of other current MMOs is it evident that the vast majority are not migrating to a different MMO. When the majority of players quit WoW (the only MMO they’ve played), they quit MMOs.

    WoW players are not converting in large numbers to players of the MMO genre in general.

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