No one can say for sure exactly how many massive role-playing games will see release in the next year, though the amount of which is sure to be staggering.
Once upon a time there was a genre of videogames known as massively multiplayer online role-playing games. Each one contained fantastic new worlds to explore, amazing creatures to meet and blunt instruments of death in which to interact with them. The MMOG’s, as they are called, saw release perhaps only once or twice a year, the populations of which would shift and fluctuate with each new world as the virtual tourists would seek newer and greater nesting grounds.
Then Blizzard released World of Warcraft. Now where there were few, there are dozens upon dozens of online RPG’s in development and there just simply isn’t enough time in the world to risk your social life and enjoy them all (See: the fall of Pirates of the Burning Sea, Age of Conan, Tabula Rasa). IGN Vault has put together a massive list of some of the MMOG titles that may see release in 2009 and the scary thing is, it may not even be complete, though there’s enough vaporware (Huxley, The Agency) to keep it from being too frightening. The list itself is worth a gander should be you be jonesing for a new addiction, though here are the ones I feel may be worth your attention.
Aion (NC Soft) – The original Korean MMOG developers try and make you forget everything terrible about Korean-made MMOG games. Create a porcelain god, earn your wings and PvP your heart out in this fantasy epic.
Champions Online (Cryptic) – From the developer that brought you City of Heroes … another superhero MMOG! Cryptic looks to be trying to accomplish everything they couldn’t with its original capes-and-tights online game, only this time its not just for PC, but Xbox 360 as well.
LEGO Universe (NetDevil) – No one is quite sure what to make of the upcoming Lego MMOG, but playing virtual LEGO with hundreds or thousands of other people sounds like a compelling enough experiment.
Star Wars: The Old Republic (Bioware) – It’s (possibly) got microtransactions and developed by the kings of western role-playing games. Bioware has a lot to prove and a backlash at hand with this one, but if anyone can squeak out a win, it would be them.
Star Trek Online (Cryptic) – Captain a ship, partake in Klingon warfare, what else is there to know about Star Trek Online? Battle against the Borg, freak out and do your best Jean-Luc impression and more in what could end up being a nerd paradise.
How about yourself? Do any of the upcoming MMOG’s interest you enough to pull yourself away from your current addiction?