In today’s MMO industry we have access to almost as many genres as our console counterparts but there’s an undeniable difference in quality, especially in regards to sports titles. When you compare sports related MMO games to MMORTS titles, MMORPG’s or even MOBA’s, it’s practically unheard of. There’s only a handful of games available online, which is dwarfed by the hundreds of RPG’s and strategy titles, but why?
Why hasn’t a developer delivered a truly worthy sports MMO? Sure, some have tried. Soccer has a few representatives in the form of Power Challenge, Football Superstars and the newly released Global Soccer but in all honesty, none of these titles even compare to the worst soccer games on console.
Baseball also had a brief moment in the spotlight with the buggy yet popular baseball MMO, Ultimate Baseball Online. Originally published by Netamin the game later became sponsored by Baseball legend, Cal Ripken. Changing the name of the game to Cal Ripken’s Real Baseball, but sadly the game closed the servers shortly after.
Empire of Sports also gave the sports genre a go with a multi-sports setup. Players could participate in Soccer, Basketball, Skiing and even Tennis, but spreading itself across so many different sports meant that lacked depth and mechanics individually.
I’m not really sure if it’s something to do with the technical aspects of an MMO but when you think of RPG’s that can support 500v500 battles online, why can’t we get a decent 11v11 Soccer MMO? Where’s Rugby? Where’s American Football? Surely some developer has to realize the huge gap in the market for a high quality sports MMO. Do you think 2013 may be the year someone takes advantage of it?