A recent priority of ours has been sifting through our MMORPG List to make sure all of our links are working properly. We’re also updating every game to include screenshots on respective individual review pages. In doing so we found that an astonishing number of MMORPGs have closed over approximately the past year. Was 2011 a brutal year for MMORPGs or are we just inundated with subpar products in the genre?
Here’s the list with some comments attached for each:
9 empires – Kind of cool gameplay reminiscent of Heroes of Might and Magic. Ironically, it may have been better than Might and Magic Heroes, especially for PvP fans. The community was always pretty small.
Faxion Online – Heaven vs. Hell with epic RvR and semi-offline skill training. Except it was released with bugs, without features, and they failed at listening to their community.
Kitsu Saga – Nice cell shaded graphics. That’s about all it had going for it. Who knew that gameplay mattered?!
Legendary Champions – This game lasted less than a school semester. It tried to offer a lot of things and was pretty bad about all of them.
Luna Online – Sad and surprised to see this one go. It had been up for 3 years, had a cool job system, the ability to raise pets, farm, and fish. It was pretty damn grindy though. It also seemed somewhat popular. I guess they just weren’t monetizing very well.
Prius Online – Same company as Luna Online but lasted less than a year and with good reason. This game was generic and awful in every way.
Secret of the Solstice – Ragnarok Online without quite as much charm or fun.
Tales Runner – A cutesy racing MMO. Please be more niche kthx.
Three Kingdoms Brawler – I love the 3 Kingdoms setting, but I’d rather play a good sidescrolling brawler. I’d take Final Fight from freaking 1989 over this and an AOL chatroom over this.
Upshift Strikeracer – Mario Kart with some legit graphics. It was pretty cool, but I’m not sure the market for MMO racers on the PC is very big. Perhaps it’s also a tough balance between providing free content and balanced paid options?
Wonderking - Like a lot of games on this list, this is a crappy rip off of MapleStory.
The Chronicles of Spellborn - Oh Spellborn, your tale is so sad. This actually closed in August 2010 but was supposedly going to come back revamped. That hasn’t happened and probably never will. It offered a free targeting system that’s not getting popular with games like TERA and Dragon Nest. Players could combo abilities and experience was gained pretty much exclusively through quests. Basically the developers went bankrupt, Acclaim bought it but didn’t support it, then they sold it off, and it died.
Caesary – Generic strategy MMO. They were getting sued for something that led to the closedown.
Divine Souls – A pretty crappy version of Dragon Nest.
Majesty – Strategy MMO with tactical turn based combat, completely under the player’s control. People complain about no real tactics in these games, but every online strategy game that breaks the mold “build up troops and overwhelm the enemy with numbers” fails or ends up clinging to life.
Troy Online – Many were heartbroken over Troy. Not because it closed, but because it was ever made. I mean you could level up. That’s a feature right? Oh, it had some borked PvP too. It closed after 3 months. No idea what anyone involved with this game was thinking.
World of Kung Fu – This lasted for a while based on fast paced combat (for an MMO) and the odd lack of MMOs set in ancient China at the time of the game’s release in 2008. It had a good run filling a market void, but at it’s core this game was pretty bad unless you enjoyed mindless grinds.
Outside of Luna Online and The Chronicles of Spellborn these games were hopeless. Spellborn needed more development time and perhaps better developers. Luna still appeared to be a strong contender amongst cartoon MMORPGs. Perhaps they should have lessened the grind and figured out how to monetize better. Empires and Majesty failed probably by adding a tactical features most strategy gamers complain about not having. They may have had a pay2win model though. Always a deal breaker for me and many others.
I don’t think there are too many MMOs. I think there are too many bad MMOs. Now there are ~17 less.