What is the Drought MMO and what can you do about it?
If you’re an MMO player, you might feel like you’re suffering a bit from a content drought right now. It has been many years since the release of new MMOs, and the MMOs currently available are showing their age.
This article will explain what MMO Drought is and offer some ideas on what to do about it.
What is the MMO Drought?
“Drought MMO” is a term referring to the lack of AAA MMO releases since 2014. The latest AAA MMO releases were Wildstar and Black Desert Online in 2014, which failed to retain a large player base.
Since then, the development of AAA MMOs has become a rarity. Most AAA game studios have taken over other projects such as battle royale games or first person shooter games. The risks of building a new MMO are high, and given several colossal flops in recent history, many AAA studios are moving away from MMO development and moving into safer territories.
How to overcome the drought of MMOs?
If MMOs are your favorite genre, what should you do about it? Well, there are a few approaches you can take. Here is a list of actions that could remedy your situation.
Play old but active MMOs
There are several old MMOs that are still active and have new content for their players. The top four titles are World of Warcraft, Elder Scrolls Online, Final Fantasy 14, and Guild Wars 2. If you just want to play a decent MMO, one of these might have what you’re looking for.
All four of these MMOs offer free trials, which makes them easy to try. FFXIV has extended its free trial to let you play for free indefinitely, and others have adopted similar trial models. If you are interested in any of these older MMOs, check out their free trial options.
If none of these bigger MMOs have what you’re looking for, don’t forget the smaller MMOs that still exist. A few smaller MMOs still have active player bases, like Runescape, Lord of the Rings Online, and the original Guild Wars, to name a few.
Look for upcoming extensions
Expansions are a great time to return to MMOs, as they bring a lot of influxes of players with them. See if any current MMOs have a big expansion coming up, and if any of them look cool, you can play when they release alongside plenty of other players.
A few of the biggest MMOs continue to release expansions at a steady pace. World of Warcraft has just released its latest expansion, Shadowlands, which sold very well on launch day.
The Elder Scrolls Online offers downloadable content under its new Gates of Oblivion theme. Finally, the developers of Final Fantasy 14 are working hard on their next Endwalker expansion.
Register for a play test
While you may not have heard of them, there are new MMOs in the works. These developing MMOs will eventually start playing tests (if they haven’t already). One such example would be Amazon’s upcoming New World, slated for release on August 31, 2021. You can sign up to test the game through the Tester registration page on newworld.com.
Gameplay testing is a great way to support upcoming MMOs and get your MMO fix in the process. To sign up for a game test, visit an upcoming MMO’s website and create an account. Then make sure that you are subscribed to their mailing list. This way when the play test starts you will receive an email notification.
Donate to a participatory project
Most of the studios currently working on MMOs are small independent studios. These independent studios are picking up where AAA studios left off, working on what they hope will be the next generation of great MMOs.
These independent studios lack the resources available to AAA studios and therefore use crowdsourcing to fund their projects. If you want to support the next generation of MMOs, consider donating to a project of your choice. If you’re unfamiliar with crowdfunding, read what crowdfunding is and if you can trust a Kickstart campaign.
To donate to a crowdfunding project, find an active campaign on a site like Kickstarter or Indiegogo, or visit a known project’s website and search for bundles or supporter packs. Most of the time, if you donate, you’ll be rewarded with custom loot or special recognition from the dev team.
Now you can face the drought of MMOs
If you didn’t already know what MMO Drought was, I hope you know by now. And if you already knew it and felt its effects, you now undoubtedly have some ideas of what you can do about it.
We’re aiming for our recommended action plans to get you your MMO fix during this content drought. It may not be easy, but it is always possible. It’s also worth mentioning that these action plans are not mutually exclusive, so you can always choose to make more than one.
Want to play an MMORPG without downloading or installing anything? Here are the best free MMORPGs to play in your web browser.
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