Casual MMO Explosion or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

The casual video game market has been the largest for a long time now, this is no news.  With the current spotlight on FreeRealms, some other companies are following suit to cash in.  They may be on to something by slipping in casual gaming into MMO’s

Most people might think it’s some sort of death of MMO’s or at least a nail in their coffins but I don’t think so.

Change is constant.  I think the focus is just changing but it won’t be the death of anything.

We need to start looking more specifically at genres.  while Casual MMO’s may be garnering more attention, I still think MMORPG’s will always be around and the difference more noticeable as time goes by.

I think the wording will better label the different games in the future but Casual MMO’s are not MMORPG’s and I think the two can co-exist.  Sure, maybe Casual MMO’s will become more popular and have larger servers, but I don’t think it will have an adverse affect on who, and how many play MMORPGs.

I find it strange that sites like WoW Insider are giving “guides” for WoW players to play FreeRealms.  I understand it, but I still think it’s strange.  I’m sure there are a lot of WoW players that love it for its casual gaming allure, but I personally don’t see FreeRealms winning over WoW players.  At the most, WoW players will just play both.  On top of that, Blizzard has announced that they are trying to make WoW more casual-friendly.

Maybe we will have to start thinking about niche gaming differently.  Maybe MMORPGs will become niche games.  The prospect of this makes me smile a bit.  It could ensure that players go into the games a bit more educated about what they can expect, resulting in games I like full of more(or mainly) other people like me.

However this new explosion of Casual MMO’s affects the industry, I don’t think it will win me over.  I like casual games.  I loved my Nintendo DS’s Puzzle Quest game, and I still occasionally play tetris and other fun casual games on my phone.  But I have specific ‘wants’ when it comes to MMORPG’s, that no Casual game can replace, no matter how fun and accessible the “mini-game” aspect of play it provides.

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2 Responses to “Casual MMO Explosion or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb”

  1. I think if done correctly, a casual game can hit those “wants” a MMOer has. I just think that the right balance of free and fun and fulfilling has yet to be found. I am hopeful for DDO’s new F2P service; it seems rather limited at first, but it might be just the thing to help bridge the gap of quality and depth between subscription services and Free2Play games.

  2. howtoloseyourlifetoanmmorpg Says:

    I’m not hopeful, but hoping that you’re right:)

    The pessimist in me is saying it’s going to be more of a “Freemium” game that offers very limited options in the free version, unless you pay to “unlock” the whole version.

    Let’s all hope they balance it well. I’ve never played DDO but I plan on trying it now. I’ll give my impressions.

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