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Respawn: Gaming Recession

Posted Wed, Dec 04, 2013 by Xerin

Welcome back to ReSpawn. Round two of three of the yearend holidays is over and we’re rapidly coming to a close in 2013. This year has been rather lackluster for MMOs but a lot of people ask why? Let me explain why – the recession. The recession destroyed the MMO industry because MMOs have long build out times. The recession was in 2008, yes, but MMOs are multi-year projects. Must MMOs take between 3 and 5 years to produce, some much longer. What the recession did was put a two year hold on the development of a lot of MMOs (2008 and 2009), having 2010 be the year that major development continued.

This explains, in graphic detail, why eSports is a major thing now. That’s because low budget games like League of Legends flourished during the recession. The reasons why are simple:

  • LoL doesn’t require a monthly fee.
  • Purchases in the game are very small and very affordable.
  • You can play the entire thing for free and enjoy a lot of it.
  • Matches are entertaining to watch.

LoL and the like had always been a supplement to MMOs. Most of the crowd in any DoTA clone (or DoTA itself) was usually MMO players waiting on a server to come back up or a raid to start. MMO players are nomadic, moving from one flash in the pan to another, but happened when there was a huge drought of titles after the recession?

Game Thing

Games like this launched in the last year I think. Is it bad that I can barely remember which game this is even though I wrote a guide to it? I swear it was fun. Honestly it was. I just don't remember it. That will be our topic on Monday. Friday will be about Black Friday console sales. It's nice to schedule things, isn't it?

They stuck with the game that they played alongside of it, now slowly working their way to actually being good at it and enjoying it. Thus, games like LoL began taking the front runner transitioning the nomadic MMO players over. What’s interesting  is that MMOs also have begun to adopt to the short attention span of MMO players. Games like Guild Wars 2 are providing their content in small bite sized chunks every two weeks to allow players to advance through something new at their own pace, without putting an emphasis on dedicating large amounts of time into something.

I digress, though; the recession is still affecting the industry. Games are back in production, but they had to restart. Money had to flow back into the industry and grease the wheels. That’s why we’re seeing these years with a massive lull in new releases. Some think the industry is dead, nay, it’s far from it. The good stuff is just in the horizon.

Good stuff like EQN, Camelot Unchained, Star Citizen, and many more titles. Crowdfunding has stepped in to work as a way for the industry to gather money without having to wait on investor confidence to recover, while big name companies like Sony are stepping up with the projects that have been in development for a long, long time.

I look forward to the coming year when we get to see Landmark and WildStar and so many other good MMOs take a step forward into the limelight. Until then, we have FFXIV and GW2 updates to hold us over.

In another quick comment that we’ll talk about on Friday – Black Friday console numbers are hilarious to me. The Xbox totally owned the PS4 – but let me ask a question, how much stock of the PS4 was there? I went to everywhere looking for one since launch, there are none. They’re a fable. How anyone got one on Black Friday is beyond me. I feel like the numbers are poisoned.

We’ll talk about this and more on Friday. Look to see you then!


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