Firefall‘s developer says casual gaming is killing the MMO.
MMO stands for Massively Multiplayer Online, a sort of subgenre of MMORPGs, and that’s already getting complicated. In short, an MMO is where you meet a lot of people all over the world through the internet to have a virtual good time. Shooters and RPGs are beginning to merge under this header and becoming one and the same.
However, with the flagging economy and people not having as much time for gaming due to multiple jobs, games that require a lot of time to finish have taken a step to the side and made way for the more casual side of things. The popularity of mobile gaming is a major sign of this, as games you can play in five minute intervals usually draw more time and money from the majority.
As a result, Firefall‘s developer Mark Kern says that MMO developers have had to focus more on making the game accessible to casual gamers. The concept is becoming the death of such ambitious undertakings as World of Warcraft, where weeks of lengthy gameplay sessions are practically necessary to make any kind of progress.
Firefall developer Mark Kern wrote in a guest blog:
“Since these quests are so easily and quickly accomplished. The developer is not motivated to spend any time creating rich quests or events for players, since they will only be done once and discarded in the blink of an eye. Developers have no choice but to rely on kill 10 rats, FedEx or escort for nearly every quest, and to do so with the least amount of work possible, lacking in depth or story. It’s simply not worth it to do anything more.”
Unfortunately, like the era of offline gaming, MMOs with lengthy quests and the incentive to play for hours are going by the wayside. In their place are coming games where the goals are simplified and quick, and the story takes a back seat to getting things done faster.
Mark Kern said things need to go back the way they were:
“You should feel like you could live your whole life there, not by having infinite quests, but by having a living world that makes you feel good just for being in it and experiencing all it has to offer at your own pace. It’s not about the competition to max out your character, it’s about a way of life and a long term hobby with enduring friends.”
What do you think of casual gaming killing off the MMO? Is Firefall developer Mark Kern right?