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Space simulators and worlds at war: The state of MMO PC games in 2014

Hayden Dingman | Jan. 5, 2015
2014 saw the release of four major MMOs, an MMO alpha, and a ton of expansions for legacy games. Now what were you saying about MMOs being a dead genre?

Maybe one day I'll...Nah, who am I kidding?

Editor's note: The author, Hayden Dingman, roommates with a person who works on the CCP account for Lewis PR.  The roommate had no influence on this article and Hayden only included EVE in the roundup after I instructed him to do so--no MMO roundup is complete without mention of EVE, after all. --Brad Chacos, senior editor

Everquest/Landmark/SOE in general
EverQuest Next

Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) is juggling so many games right now I don't even know where to start. There's MMOFPS PlanetSide 2, which is still free-to-play and still going pretty strong, albeit with a buggy and kind of frustrating engine.

Then there are EverQuest and EverQuest 2, SOE's classics, which celebrated fifteen- and ten-year anniversaries in 2014, respectably. And both released new expansions. And both are going about as well as any classic-MMO-not-named-World-of-Warcraft can go.

But it's clear the company's focus lies on a trio of upcoming products these days: DayZ-alike H1Z1, EverQuest Next, and Landmark.

H1Z1 seems like a perfectly fine survival game, but the main question with that property is whether there's even room for another survival game. What with DayZ and Rust and The Forest and oh wow so many other survival games it's hard to know whether H1Z1 is different enough to stand out.

EverQuest Next is...well, a mystery, mostly. This article I wrote at SOE Live covers about everything we know so far, and it's not much.

SOE's Dave Georgeson claims we know more than we think though. "We're making all the systems that we need for EverQuest Next," said Georgeson at SOE Live, "and we're building them in Landmark." Landmark is SOE's Minecraft-esque side project to EverQuest Next, wherein there's a light RPG that mainly exists for players to build cool things out of the materials they gather. Or build giant Mountain Dew cans, as the case may be.

All three games are a big bag of potential that we might see start to come to fruition in 2015, if we're lucky. Or later, if we're not.

Elite: Dangerous
Elite: Dangerous 1.0

Okay, so Elite: Dangerous isn't technically branded as an MMO, and some people are still really mad it doesn't have an offline mode.

But it is basically an MMO. Large area to explore? Check. Lots of random people in each area? Check. Teaming up to take on harder objectives? Check. World events slowly spooned out by the developers? Check. If EVE is an MMO, I think we can safely class Elite: Dangerous as one too.


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