MMORPGs in 2006: The Year in Review
Jeff "Ethec" Woleslagle examines the upbeats and beatdowns of the last year in MMO gaming. Mass media headlines about goldselling, virtual property, and griefing; the varied success of this years numerous game and expansion releases; the discontinuance of games like Seed; encounters with developers authoring the next wave of MMORPGs; trade shows and developer junkets... it was all part of the 2006 MMO landscape. We do our best set the stage for what will prove to be a very exciting 2007 in the MMORPG category.
"Following the zeitgeist of post-WoW launch 2005, 2006 was not a time for innovation in the MMORPG industry. Looking back, 2006 was more as a year of old titles retrenching (rather than reinventing) themselves, and untimely experimentation by the genre's newcomers, followed by a fitful retreat into the mainstream. With all this in mind, my purpose with this article is not to shock and astound you with this year's goings-on, but simply to chronicle the good, bad, and ugly we've seen during 2006. The MMORPG niche has long been a genre in search of itself, knowing that there's incredible unrealized potential in this particular entertainment medium, but also knowing that while we've perhaps touched that perfection, we haven't come close to latching onto it... More than anything with this article, I hope to provide that kind of a sense of continuance on that journey towards that fleeting ideal of MMO perfection."
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