While 2012 may not have had as much activity in the MMO space as we’ve
seen in previous years, there were still a number of major releases
clamoring for our attention, time, or hard earned dollars. Major
releases included TERA,

href="/tsw">The Secret World


target="_blank">Guild Wars 2

, RaiderZ,
and PlanetSide 2, among

Apparently MMO developers were amongst those smart enough to figure out
that the world wasn’t going to automagically implode in late December,
as a massive number of games are slated to hit the market in 2013. In
fact, this looks to be one of the busiest years for new game launches in
the history of the industry.

We’ve put together a comprehensive two-part look at the games expected
to drop sometime in 2013, and as an added bonus have also included a
brief look at some of the other titles we hope to learn more about this
year, even if they don’t land their ships in our backyard and demand to
see our leaders over the course of the next twelve months.


Developer: Cryptic Studios
Status: Closed Beta
Release: Spring 2013

If the city of Neverwinter is known as the Jewel of the North, then the
upcoming game bearing the same name could very well be the jewel in
Cryptic Studios' crown. Not only does it feature what is perhaps the
best active combat system we've experienced in an MMO to date, but it
also manages to capture the essence of what makes Forgotten Realms such
a beloved setting.

While most MMOs tend to suffer from the fact that players can consume
in-game content faster than the developer can crank out meaningful
updates or expansions, that won't be the case with Neverwinter. The game
will of course ship with a hefty chunk of content created by Cryptic,
but Neverwinter's secret weapon is the Foundry.

The Foundry will allow players to create and share their own custom
content, all within the game client. While it isn't necessarily the
first of its kind, from what we've seen so far the Foundry is shaping up
to be one of the best.

Read more about Neverwinter on Ten Ton

The Neverwinter
official website

Age of Wushu

Developer: Snail Games
Status: Closed Beta
Release: February 1, 2013

The release date for Age of Wushu is right around the corner, ringing
in the decidedly busy MMO release schedule for 2013. The jury is still
out on how North American players will take to Wushu's progression and
combat systems, though reports from the most recent beta have been
pretty positive.

A main selling point for this free-to-play import is the progression
system. Rather than select a static class, instead players are able to
train in eight different martial arts schools, essentially creating
their own combat style as you progress. While not a revolutionary
paradigm shift by any means - skill-based leveling systems have picked
up a fair amount of steam over the years - it still offers something
outside of the typical predetermined destiny that most class-based MMOs
devolve into.

Read more about Age of Wushu on Ten Ton

The Age of
Wushu official website


Developer: Red 5 Studios
Status: Ongoing Beta
Release: 2013 (?)

For all intents and purposes FireFall has been live for quite some time
now, though developer Red 5 has stated on numerous occasions that the
plan is to have more of a soft launch for the game rather than a firm
(giggity) release date. Much like the original rollout of Gmail, the
idea is to keep adding more and more players to the beta until enough
people are playing to consider the game "live".

As such, FireFall has been in beta for well over a year now, but that's
also allowed Red 5 a lot of freedom to rework entire gameplay systems
and add new ones without the same negative connotations associated with
major post-launch iteration.

If you're even casually interested in online shooters, FireFall is
worth checking out. Chances are you already know someone in beta that
could toss a key your way, but if you don't you can sign up by hitting
the handy link to the official site below.

Read more about FireFall on Ten Ton

The FireFall
official website

The Elder Scrolls Online

Developer: ZeniMax Online
Status: In Development
Release: 2013

There have been many popular IPs that have been given the MMO treatment
over the years to varying degrees of success. In most cases the end
results simply haven't lived up to the lofty expectations of a
preexisting fan base more familiar with the IP through other media, or
even different gaming genres. Age of Conan, Warhammer Online, Star Wars
Galaxies, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Champions Online, DC Universe
Online... and the list goes on.

So what makes The Elder Scrolls Online special, and why would it have a
better chance of achieving massive success where so many others have
fallen flat?

For starters, the existing Elder Scrolls series already offers a slice
of what makes MMOs tick to begin with. In other words, massive, open
worlds - not to mention class, combat, and character progression systems
that have very distinct MMO hooks.

From what we've seen of TESO during our hands-on time with the game so
far, it looks to be on track to be one of the first genre-hoppers since
Warcraft to grow as a franchise rather than come to a grinding halt in
the massively multiplayer market.

Read more about The Elder Scrolls
Online on Ten Ton Hammer

The Elder
Scrolls Online official website


Developer: Adhesive Games
Status: Open Beta
Release: Early 2013

Hawken is shaping up to be an excellent alternative for gamers who love
shooters in concept, but have grown tired of the "been there, done that"
nature of the genre. Unlike its direct competitor, MechWarrior Online,
Hawken plays very much like an FPS... albeit one where you're scampering
around in giant robots that have the potential to overheat, and might
not be as graceful as say a ballet dancer.

Hawken is also one of a handful of games on our list that have been
loosely categorized as an MMO by gamers or other media outlets, but at
the end of the day it's a pretty straightforward lobby based multiplayer
game. That's not necessarily a bad thing, and Hawken does offer a pretty
decent advancement system on a per-mech level.

In the current open beta, Hawken does tend to suffer a bit from a
disparity of maps and the lack of full clan support. Thankfully,
developer Adhesive Games has stated that both of these areas are being
addressed so players will have an easier time connecting in-game, and
the ability to play on a wider variety of maps in the future.

Read more about Hawken on Ten Ton Hammer
The Hawken official


Developer: Carbine Studios
Status: In Development
Release: 2013

Wildstar may be one of those games that lives or dies by people's
acceptance of its decidedly cartoonish graphics. But if you can look
beyond the highly stylized surface, Wildstar is perhaps one of the most
interesting MMOs currently in development.

The combat is incredibly fun, taking concepts like ground targeted
abilities to a whole new level that factors in more shapes than circles
or straight lines. The Paths system also adds a layer of depth that
extends character progression in some very direct and meaningful ways,
and we were also pleased to learn last summer that Wildstar will also
feature a player housing system. Player housing is one of those magical
MMO elements that helps connect players to a given game over time nearly
as much as social systems, so we're excited to see what the team at
Carbine has up its sleeves in that department.

We expect big things from Wildstar, and will be looking at the game in
greater depth moving forward. While a release date still hasn't been
confirmed, we're keeping our fingers crossed that this will be one of
the games we're all playing and talking about next fall.

Read more about Wildstar on Ten Ton

Wildstar official website


Developer: Trion Worlds
Status: In Development
Release: April 2013

There have been lots of games that were inspired by film and
television, and likewise plenty of attempts have been made to adapt
stellar video game IPs into feature films. Call it an act of defiance (I
know, terrible pun), but Trion Worlds and the SyFy Channel (it's
pronounced "siffy"... honest!) have teamed up to be the first to launch
both a TV series and MMO set within the same world simultaneously.

Well, almost the first. Anyone remember Hero 108?

While we walked away from the 2012 event season with mixed feelings
about Defiance, a thing to keep in mind is that it won't only be
releasing in April along with the TV series, but it's launching on PC
and consoles as well. As such, some of the deeper MMO connects we've
come to expect from a PC only release have necessarily given way to
locking in a core console shooter experience first and foremost.

With that said, Defiance is still high on our radar, and you can bet
your arkfall that we'll be playing the heck out of the game between
episodes of the show this April.

Read more about Defiance on Ten Ton Hammer
The Defiance
official website

DUST 514

Developer: CCP
Status: Closed Beta
Release: 2013

Have you ever loaded up a console game and thought to yourself, "Hot
diggity clown vipers, I bet this game would be so incredibly
on PC!" Call me old school, but PC is where it's at for
shooter purists, which makes DUST 514 an interesting specimen of sorts.

While DUST may be a PS3 exclusive, it's also one of the few shooters
I've ever had a genuine interest in playing on that particular platform.
It also sits in an oddish space where on the one hand you could simply
consider it a multiplayer shooter and call it a day, but on the other it
offers a lot of MMO hooks, even if a massive open world isn't among

It's also one of the numerous games on our list that is kind of still
in beta, but also taking real world cash for in-game purchases so could
be considered a launch product. The game also comes with the PS3
Uncharted bundle, prominently featured on one of the side panels of the

Regardless, DUST 514 is a great game that helps expand the EVE universe
in interesting ways. If you own a PS3 you'll absolutely want to check it
out, and can sign up for the beta on the official site or by purchasing
the Mercenary Pack.

Read more about DUST 514 on Ten Ton Hammer
The DUST 514 official

Blade & Soul

Developer: Team Bloodlust
Status: In Development
Release: 2013(?)

By all accounts, the Korean release of Blade & Soul has been a
highly successful. While that doesn't necessarily indicate that the game
will share a similar success in North America, it does at least help
give us some indication of whether or not Team Bloodlust's localization
efforts will pay off.

Among the many things that make Blade & Soul worth watching are the
distinct visual style, and the hyper-active combat system. Since the
game is already live in Korea, you can find oodles of fan-made gameplay
videos on the web that help illustrate both points. On the whole, the
fundamentals of the game won't change much for the NA release, but
things such as the leveling curve are being looked at very closely to
help avoid getting slapped with the dreaded "grind" label.

As for when Blade & Soul will launch in North America, that remains
to be seen, but we remain hopeful that NCSoft and Team Bloodlust will
begin dropping more details heading into the 2013 event season.

Read more about Blade & Soul on Ten
Ton Hammer

The Blade &
Soul official website

City of Steam

Developer: Mechanist Games
Status: In Development
Release: 2013

The most recent closed beta test for City of Steam came to a close
during the holiday sandwich week, and while the developers haven't
announced when the next CBT will kick off, the plan is to begin
assessing and incorporating as much of the feedback they're received as
possible over the next few months.

As the name suggests, City of Steam takes a stab at steampunk; a
setting that is woefully underrepresented in online gaming. On the
whole, we enjoyed our time with the game during the latest CBT, and
found the setting to be a breath of fresh air, even though it can at
times feel a bit too gritty and hyper-industrialized.

That's not necessarily a bad thing, and given that CoS is based on a
series of existing PnP RPG sourcebooks there's plenty of rhyme to the
reasoning behind many of the design decisions for the game.

Read more about City of Steam on Ten Ton

The City of Steam
official website

Don't forget to check back tomorrow for the second half of our complete look at the MMOs of 2013!

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our DUST 514 Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016

About The Author

Sardu 1
Reuben "Sardu" Waters has been writing professionally about the MMOG industry for eight years, and is the current Editor-in-Chief and Director of Development for Ten Ton Hammer.