Welcome to the 3rd Edition of Lifetap
Serving up steaming piles of MMO awesome all week long
With the end of the year fast approaching, Team Hammer has been locked in its secret underground complex to deliberate on our upcoming Game of the Year awards. Even though it was a busy year for new game launches, a combination of soft launches and shifting business models helped skew our perceptions as consumers a bit.
As a result, only a few titles brought the kind of hype at launch that we’ve seen in previous years. Thankfully 2014 is already looking to bring back the hype (whether Flavor Flav believes it or not) with a solid lineup of major titles already building vast amounts of anticipation amongst the gaming public
enemy number one.
As part of our deliberations, we typically scan over our current games list to see if there are any titles worth focusing on for our end-of-year content plans. At present, we have just over 600 MMOs in our current games list. That’s not the sum total of all titles out there, but that is how many games we’ve actively covered at one point or another.
Scanning over the list, the first thing that stood out for me is how many MMOs play follow the leader when it comes to names. It’s pretty ridiculous in some cases. As it is, the broader gaming industry loves to gank original ideas to iterate upon, repackage, and sell back to an unassuming public. But when it comes to names for a major brand, originality is still king. Well, at least it should be.
Here is a quick breakdown of some of the worst "me too" name offenders from the list:
Age of Armor
Age of Conan
Age of Empires Online
Age of Wulin
Age of Wushu
Dark Age of Camelot
Dark and Light
Darkwind: War on Wheels
Hero 108 Online
Heroes and Villains
Heroes in the Sky
Heroes of Bestia
Heroes of Gaia
Heroes of Newerth
Heroes of the Storm
Heroes of Three Kingdoms
Pirate King Online
Pirates CSG Online
Pirates of the Burning Sea
Pirates of the Caribbean Online
Star Legends: The Blackstar Chronicles
Star Trek Online
Star Wars Galaxies
Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures
Star Wars: The Old Republic
StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty
StarCraft II: Heart of the Storm
World of Battles
World of Cars Online
World of Darkness
World of Kung Fu
World of Tanks
World of Tanks Generals
World of the Living Dead
World of Warcraft
World of Warplanes
World of Warships
Don’t even get me started on the usage of the word “Online” as a suffix in MMO titles. Out of the 603 games in our database, 112 of them end with the word “Online”. 112. That’s just over one sixth of all the games we've covered.
Making an online game and then spelling out that yes, your game is indeed played online within the official title is a bit of a redundancy. I mean, I get that sometimes you want to differentiate an existing IP in some way so that consumers don’t get confused by product lines and titles. But even some of the biggest developers on the planet are apparently susceptible to tacking the most generic MMO term possible on the end of an existing IP and calling it a day.
Yes, we’re looking at you Elder Scrolls Online!
What can we learn from the above (besides the overall lack of originality when it comes to MMO titles)? If you really want your game to be a success, I cordially invite you to give your upcoming project the following title:
World of Star Pirates: Age of the Dark Dragon Hero Online
Oh, and make sure you Kickstart the hell out of that thing while you’re at it. I mean, if people will back Ever, Jane, how could you miss with such a killer title that uses all of the most generic MMO naming conventions in one fell swoop?
That wraps things up for today’s wondrous journey into the vast reaches of space and time known as Lifetap! Drop a comment below if you feel so inclined, or you can also do the whole social thing and follow my babble on Twitter and Facebook. I promise I won’t bite. Hard.
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