If you’re paying attention to MMO news at large which is likely if you are reading this blog, you know that The Secret world from Funcom is suffering right now. While we don’t know the exact details, the gist of it is that TSW is not selling enough and has not enough subscribers leading to dire consequences like Funcom stock taking a huge drop.
If news of this sort continues to surface, I wouldn’t be surprised to see TSW join the list of MMOs that got cancelled soon after their launch. It’s a tragedy.
Reviews at launch were mixed and TSW reviews scored poorly in classic MMO areas like combat, pvp and endgame. However, a lot of critics and blogs praised the game for it’s very innovative storytelling, atmosphere and quest flow. In short, if what you’re interested in is storytelling and a coherent world, TSW is probably one the best games out there. Not only that but they did it while avoiding the classic medieval fantasy world.
I’m going to address a few specific people here. All those who ever said that MMOs need to be about world first and not systems, all those who lament the fact that there’s too few MMOs who break out of the classic fantasy tropes. I’m talking to everyone who says MMOs never innovate and those who keep complaining about WoW, Rift, GW and their clones.
Are you playing TSW right now?
Are you encouraging new ideas by supporting them when they do appear?
Look at the current MMO industry, the most succesful games all emulate WoW to some degree and are all fantasy based MMOs. MMOs that are trying different either disappear or quickly become niche games.
What message do you think we’re sending to the industry? To the ones who pay for developing MMOs?
We’re saying: Guys! Don’t bother innovating too much or giving us anything other than swords, elves and dragons. Don’t change too much the formula either. We want our ability bars, our kill ten rats quests and our raids. We’re going to scream we want different so just switch the furniture around enough so we think we’re getting something new.
That’s what we are saying. So if you’re one of those people I addressed earlier, I ask again, why not pick up a game like Secret world and support a company that had the guts to do things differently and tell the investors that yes, we also want something else than fantasy MMOs.