I know that AAA studios have been saying for years that MMOs are a dying genre, that they are expensive to make and younger audiences just aren't interested in them anymore. Blizzard has this same mindset as well, which is very evident with lack of interest in developing anymore MMOs and the continued divergence of resources away from WoW.
I think they are wrong though! Look at the interest surrounding Atlas, the new so called MMO that just launched on Steam from the makers of Ark Survival. That buggy early access game has gotten a ton of interest from many sectors of the gaming community because it marketed itself as an MMO. I think MMOs still have a ton of popularity, there just hasn't been a good one in some time.
I think WoW as well, still has a ton of interest from the gaming community at large, despite this mindset that the game is old. I just think the direction they took with the game has turned WoW into a boring game that has been designed purely on metrics and tactics to keep people logging in. So much of the design is targeted at a demographic that is kind of unknown to me. Many of my friends that are MMO vets and at one time Warcraft enthusiasts all kind of agree that they feel they just aren't the target audience anymore for Blizzard. I am really not sure who this game is being designed for anymore?
I often see comments too that the casual player ruined the game, which I think is totally wrong. Casual players have been a part of WoW since the beginning. In fact at the games height of popularity in Wrath, I'd say the bulk of the player base was probably mostly casual players. I'm sorry, but most of the casual players I know hate the direction the game has taken over the years with simplified classes and all the extreme streamlining that has taken place over the last 3 expansion. Casual play does not have to be synonymous with dumb down game play.
My suspicion as to the state of WoW and the MMO genre as a whole is that the profits vs the investment just weren't high enough for these greedy investors. That is why we are seeing a shift away from MMOs,which is pretty obvious. I also think the lack of innovation and the abandonment of older design philosophies to target the modern gamer, killed a lot of the charm that made older MMOs fun.
Anyway, sorry for the rant r/wow ! I'm probably off in a lot of what I said here, but I've been wanting to float this out idea out there for some time. I see some posts touching on it, but not really discussing it at length. I see so many people spouting this idea that the state of the game is in today is because there is a lack of interest for MMOs and that WoW is just old, when the reality is, there is just a lack of interest for subpar MMOs that is making the genre look stagnant. I think a good Warcraft MMO (WoW 2), or even a return to systems that were proven popular in the past for current WoW would probably generate a lot of interest from the community again.
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