The Decline of MMOs

Prof. Richard A. BARTLE
Visiting Professor, School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, University of Essex,
United Kingdom

Ten years ago, MMOs had a bright and exciting future. Today, they are waning. In an effort to attract ever-more casual players, their gameplay has been diluted. Now that even these sources of players are drying up and MMOs’ core audiences are deserting them, they face a slow and steady decline. They cost too much to make. Too many of them play the exact same way. New revenue models put off key groups of players. They lack immersion. They lack wit and personality. Players have been trained to want experiences they don’t actually want. Designers are forbidden from experimenting. Can anything be done to prevent MMOs from fading away?

Well, yes, it can. The question is, will the patient take the medicine?