It seems like every new day brings yet another free-to-play MMO to the market. In January alone, there are eight different MMOs either being released or operating in some of beta/registration mode. Publishers smell blood in the water ? they know that if they can make even a relatively successful MMO, they?ll have a steady revenue stream to count on for years to come.
There was a time when no developer would touch MMOs with a ten-foot pole. They appealed only to a very small niche of players, and represented an enormous gamble on the part of the publisher. But thanks to games like World of Warcraft, MMORPGs have quickly become a mainstay of the games market.
The success of free-to-play has also had a huge impact ? the F2P model makes it easier for smaller devs to get in on the action. Of course, some publishers, especially those investing millions of dollars into their products (read: Star Wars: The Old Republic), are going to depend on a classic subscription model to recoup the initial costs of development. But plenty will not.
2012 is the year of the MMO. There are dozens, if not hundreds of new MMOs launching this year. Some will be good, some will be bad. A few will be great.
Which MMO game are you looking forward to most?