Wednesday, May 22, 2013

5 MMO Games to Watch Out For in 2013

2013 looks to be an exciting year for MMO games, with a slate of potential blockbusters set to release steadily throughout the year in a range of MMO genres. Upcoming MMORPG's look especially mouth-watering, as developers reach for innovation after watching countless World of Warcraft clones quickly fizzle out. The 2013 release schedule promises something for fans of all genres, including more triple-A MMOFPS titles than ever before. With so many great games coming out, which ones will be the most successful? No matter which games top the charts, these 5 new MMO games are sure to make a huge splash in 2013:

The Elder Scrolls Online
The Elder Scrolls Online can't be more hyped up at this point, and Zenimax Studios is doing everything they can to satisfy fans' expectations and woo MMO fans who have not experienced the epic single-player franchise. The Zenimax team promises to bring the depth, lore, and customization of the previous titles into the MMO, but the combat mechanics are probably the most anticipated crossover. The Elder Scrolls Online will do away with the menu-driven combat of recent MMORPG's, and will say goodbye to ability cooldowns altogether. Players will be able to experience the same real-time action combat they've come to love in the Elder Scrolls series, utilizing a small handful of abilities (chosen from a large pool of options) that rely on consumable attributes.

Regardless of how this game fares over the long term, it's almost guaranteed to be a blockbuster hit at launch. Aficionados of MMORPG's and the Elder Scrolls series won't want to miss this one when it comes out. 

Path of Exile
I won't say that there was anything wrong with Diablo III, but it is clear that fans of the franchise were sorely disappointed. Path of Exile is a new action MMORPG from a small studio in New Zealand. Currently in beta, Path of Exile is sure to be a sleeper hit when it releases, since it is made by hardcore dungeon-crawler fans with an immaculate attention to detail. The amount of customization available in the new and unique character build system ensures that no two play experiences will ever be alike, and the game was designed to satisfy all the desires of long-time dungeon-crawler fans.

While this one may not make the same splash as some others, the impressive design will undoubtedly garner attention and a loyal following. 

Game of Thrones: Seven Kingdoms
2013 is the perfect time to launch a high-budget Game of Thrones MMORPG. As the TV series maintains a top spot in the ratings, and the books consistently hit the Top 10 Bestsellers list, developer Bigpoint has a recipe for success on its hands. Not much is known about the game so far, but the early screen shots and trailer are quiet impressive for a browser-based game. Browser MMOs may have been a joke just a few years ago, but each new browser release seems to be more polished and robust than the last.

Expect Game of Thrones: Seven Kingdoms to be a hit among a large audience with its low system requirements, beautiful graphics and free-to-play business model. .

DUST 514
DUST 514 is a long anticipated MMOFPS set in the world of EVE Online. This game has already built up so much hype that its servers will be packed on day one. EVE Online is one of the most popular and longest-running MMOs in history, and DUST 514 promises to take the franchise and the genre to a new level with an unheard-of innovation.

DUST 514 will be an MMO shooter for PS3 that places players into the very servers that EVE Online players occupy, allowing them to play alongside EVE players in massive battles involving space and ground combat at the same time – in two different games. DUST 514 is sure to breathe new life into EVE Online, and solidify the strength of the franchise for years to come. 

World of Warships / World of Warplanes took the MMO world by storm with World of Tanks, achieving massive success around the world, especially in the Eastern European region. From a design perspective, the beauty of World of Tanks is that the gameplay is so fresh and unique that it does not have to compete directly with behemoths such as World of Warcraft or Planetside 2. The developers are placing a big bet on this kind of creativity by releasing two new games at once – World of Warships and World of Warplanes.

Simply looking at screenshots and watching videos does not make me excited about these games, but the unbridled success of the predecessor tells me that both of these games are going to be hits when they release. Both games release to an already loyal audience, and the marketing momentum of maintaining three games at once can be huge if done properly. I'm going to especially keep an eye on World of Warships, because the premise allows for a much more similar play experience to World of Tanks, which people have already come to love.