Start of the Dominos

4 MMOs in one shot.  Is that a grand slam?  As reported in a few spots now, SOE is taking the bold move of shutting down some MMOs.  Pretty much half of their line up, since all that’s left is Planetside 1/2, DCUO and EQ 1/2.  Let’s go over what’s going bye bye.

Free Realms

This was the first, at least to my knowledge, F2P-from-the-start western game.  I’m pretty sure Smedley had his kids design it, what with the significant focus on pets and cusotmization.  It certainly had monetization done right and laid the groundwork for many games to follow.  I honestly thought this was the most successful F2P game in SOE’s lineup but perhaps the playerbase just moved on to less aggressive models.

Star Wars: Clone War Adventures

I actually beta-ed this one.  Just a set of mini games from a lobby.  The best part of Star Wars in 30 years took an arrow to the knee when Lucas cancelled the show.  Selling to Disney certainly did not help with license renewal.  I fully expect a Disney Infinity tie-in by summer.

Wizardry Online

You remember this one, what with the permanent death penalty and absolutely horrible western reception?  No?  Well that makes sense.  This game was pretty much proof that a an Eastern F2P designed game won’t work in the west.  I am surprised it lasted this long as it exemplified pretty much everything western audiences hate about F2P and gaming in general (low risk vs. reward tolerance).

Vanguard

Considering the money SOE threw at this game, I was a little surprised.  Perhaps it’s the result (or cause) of McQuaid’s kickstarter.  I played it for a while and to be honest, it’s a game with great ambition and next to zero follow through.  I find it odd that Istaria is still around and Vanguard is going away, given they both had similar ambitions – just minus the whole “Brad”.  For some time now, I’ve been under the impression that Brad McQuaid got lucky with EQ in that there was no real 3d competition at the time.  He did bring uncompromising vision to the genre, it would have been nice to see that in other games.

What’s it all mean?

Very little to be honest.  All the games were aiming for a market that moved on to greener pastures.  Your MMO is either here, showing signs of life, or it’s dead.  It looks like SOE is throwing a lot of money into EQN/Landmark.  Should be an interesting 2014.

2 thoughts on “Start of the Dominos

  1. Pingback: Bloodbath at SOE – Four Titles Closing Down, PlanetSide Goes F2P | The Ancient Gaming Noob

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