Last year was an eventful one for the MMO genre. Games come and go all the time, some are better than others, and some deserve (and some don’t) the fates that await them. Here are the games that died in 2011.
Star Wars Galaxies - this game had a hard-core fan base and will probably be the most-missed game that Dodo’d in 2011. When Star Wars: The Old Republic was announced and the hype machine started rolling, the writing was on the wall for Galaxies.
It was a fun, often quirky game that will leave its mark on sandboxes for a long time.
LEGO Universe - There aren’t many games that can say that they lived up to their hype. LEGO isn’t one of them either. This game killed itself by spending more money than the GDP of many small nations on advertising and marketing campaigns. You couldn’t turn on a children’s channel or cartoon station without being bombarded with LEGO Universe ads.
They tried hard to tie the household-name building blocks into an MMO that would both appeal to a wide audience and have great gameplay. By doing so, they hoped to reach profitability.
Like the politicians in Washington, they failed to realize that nothing appeals to everyone and trying to do so will only appeal to nobody – nevermind the fact that you can’t spend your way into prosperity. (Note: LEGO Universe actually goes offline officially at the end of January.)
Faxion Online - the MMO that nobody liked. With its goofy heroes with huge upper bodies and no legs, its strange (barely qualifying as “alpha stage”) mechanics during open beta, and its hyper-aggressive monetization attempts, this game was never going to go anywhere anyway. If anything, it outlived itself.
Faxion was barely a good idea to begin with, but the too-fast development cycle, lack of polish, and utter disregard for anything but getting players to pay – and NOW – was an obvious death knell before the game even got started.
Comebacks? Will any of these make a comeback? Not likely. LEGO might see a new franchise attempt, perhaps from a different angle or developer, since the LEGO name is just too hard to pass up as an IP. It’s doubtful that it will be anywhere near as robust as LU attempted to be, however, and will likely be more like the Mickey Mouse Club game or some of the other smaller franchise attempts.