It’s the new year, it’s 2016, and the MMO industry has about as much life as the 6th army at Stalingrad. This post over at TAGN kind of sums up my severe ambivalence to the genre as a whole. Now I know it’s a small game and nothing like the big budget monsters that we routinely think about when we talk about MMOs, but that’s kind of the point. Check this out:




Reading that game description makes my eyes bleed with fatigue. “Become a legendary hero in a dangerous and mysterious world of magic and …” oh Buddha, kill me now. That’s the best you can come up with? Even when we’re going small we couldn’t excite an Indian at a cricket match. And they want 800K to make this shit. Anyone who actually gives them money will just underline the rule that a fool and their money are soon parted.

I tried Life is Feudal, really I did. I gave it a good shot. A few of us built our castle and hauled the wood and stone around, and hammered stuff, and cut wheat, and stitched our leather, and hung it on a tanning frame, and it wasn’t any fucking fun at all. It was just hard work.

Now there’s Naval Action which has just launched in some bastard Beta/Alpha form where they want you to pay full price to test it for them. Once again it looks amazing, eye-boggingly realistic, which then gives me great pause. Yes it will be realistic but will it be any fun? Apparently you have to actually navigate by compass and sextant which could easily lead to you being lost and sailing around in enormous circles until your entire crew dies of scurvy. Sounds like a lot of fun! (sarcasm).

Maybe some of you dear readers, (all 137,489 of you), (sarcasm), know of an MMO coming out that will be fun. And worth the time investment. And worth me wasting eons of my time when I should be working on my second book. But you don’t because there aren’t any.

The rules for good game design according to me:

Rule 1: It’s gotta be fun.

Rule 2: It’s gotta be interesting.

Rule 3: Capture some imagination why don’t ya?

Rule 4: If I’m not waking up in the morning and I’m immediately wanting to play this game then you’ve failed on the previous rules.

Rule 5: It’s better and more fun playing the game with other people than by yourself.

Because, I mean, these are supposed to be fucking MMOs, right?

We peaked in 2007, as a genre and an industry. Just admit it. Nothings fun any more. It’s fun for a bit but then you have a sneaking suspicion that it’s only fun because you’re really hoping that it will be fun and you’re trying your best to make it fun and then when that realization hits you …

It’s not fun.

Where is the love? Fuck that. Where is the fun?