If there’s one thing that’s a given for the future of gaming during 2018, it’s that MMOs will continue to reign supreme. The range of new technology that rolls out continues to favor the level of gameplay familiar to MMO audiences. But which game studios are the ones to watch this year? With a market eager to absorb new fans and keep current ones entertained, studios and indie creators are bringing out all the tricks they can to show their prowess in the field of the MMO.
Source: @mediaaoc via Twitter
Intrepid Studios, Inc.
Intrepid Studios, Inc. continues to pave the way with the Ashes of Creation MMO, which received a fair amount of publicity in 2017 for its successful Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign. The fantasy MMORPG received $3,271,809 out of the forecasted $750,000 to develop the game for a 2018 release. The game features both PvP gameplay and a player-created world. The collaborative nature of the creation of the game world, and the updates throughout the development phase will have already created a steady fanbase by the time the game is available in December – and will at least have the 19,576 backers eager to play.
Source: @plariumgames via Twitter
Game developer Plarium continues to enhance and adapt its roster of games, including the updates to Vikings: War of Clans. The Nordic mythology-based supremacy MMO has added additional capabilities and enemies for the Vikings in their quest to reclaim the north, showing a continued push to ensure the game keeps audiences entertained. The roster looks to continue its growth in 2018 with additions and amendments to the brand’s ongoing MMO projects, which range from fantasy conquering MMOs to Soldiers Inc, and Pirates: Tides of Fortune. Branching out from the standard fantasy quest helps differentiate Plarium’s offerings.
Source: @projectgorgon via Twitter
Elder Game Studios
Elder Game Studios intended to release Project: Gorgon in 2017, but the redesigned interface caused the release date to be pushed back to 2018. The game offers an MMORPG immersive experience of forging a player’s own path of exploration. By combining skills, players can level up through skills-based gameplay, which forgoes the class system found in some current multiplayer fantasies. Steam early access means that the crowdfunded indie MMO, created by a husband and wife duo, is set to be released mid-March, and will no doubt fully roll out throughout 2018.
2018 looks set to bring us a wide range of unique and collaborative independent MMOs, while also delivering improvements to the games we currently play. When development is done in a transparent way with a long lead time, it works not only to drum up more of a waiting fanbase but to make the fans feel as though they are part of the journey of the game long before they play it. Commercially, this can be beneficial, while critically this can soften the blow should the game present initial teething problems. While developing games not only shows a commitment to the audience – by adding or removing aspects that the consensus suggests – but also shows that the company is eager to create games that people want to play.