at the past 12 months, 2009 was an interesting year in the MMOG
industry. We didn't see a lot of new titles but we did see a lot of
expansions and updates that pushed the genre closer to its next
evolutionary stage. A few new things were tried and some classic ideas
PROBABLY the most noticeable shift we
saw this year was towards
microtransactions. Though they're nothing new to the industry, a lot of
developing companies got their feet wet this year with in game real
cash markets. The concept is still what we would consider to be in
infancy but it has become a lot more apparent this year that the model
can, and does, work. The misconception that if a game is free-to-play
it must be poor quality is fading.
PVP is also gaining popularity. Several titles this
year focused heavily on PvP which we also saw in 2008. The difference
this year is that developers seem to really be trying to build their
PvP games as PvP games from the ground up. We saw more PvP-centric
titles launch this year than we have in the past with games like Aion,
CrimeCraft, Darkfall, and Fallen Earth.
WHILE we could give almost every game
an award of some sort this year,
we thought that would be a little self-defeating. It is worth
mentioning though that almost every game or expansion launched this
year did bring at least one positive element to the genre. However, the
purpose of these awards is to recognize excellence in 2009.
SO without further ado, roll out the red carpet. Pop open some
champagne. Get your cameras ready for the glitter and glamor of the
Ten Ton Hammer Best of 2009 Awards.