Games should never die. If you continue to develop the game and feed your fans what they want, you should be able to keep those alive. It’s only when something really drastic happens that’s business related… City of Heroes shouldn’t have died dammit! That was a great game. *applause* MMOs are designed to last forever. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to play EverQuest in 2050.
Dave Georgeson, on the Future of MMORPGs at PAX East 2013
Dave Georgeson seems to be on a roll for quotes this week. First there was the camera insight and now this.
Can a game like EverQuest bend with the technology and stay relevant, or at least playable, for fifty years or more?
The real test of longevity has to be whether or not brand new players are still joining the game many years after release. If it is just a few old times playing on for nostalgia reasons then it doesn’t really count. EVE passes that test. WoW used to pass it, not sure if it still does.
I once read an interview Smed did with a business magazine way back in the early 2000s in which I remember him saying that the goal for EQ was that it would last for three years but it looked as though hat might stretch to five. I’ve tried many times to find that interview again but no luck.
It would tie in with the decision to develop EQ2, which launched just around the time they would have expected EQ to be dying. I certainly don’t think many people back then were thinking in terms of decades for the lifetimes of these things, let alone half-centuries and more. The way it’s turned out, though, I think Georgeson is right. There really is no need for any MMO to go dark while there are still even a few hundred people left who want to play it.
The current success of faux 8-bit and of some very elderly games on new hardware, as well as the enormous effort put in to create things like Project 1999 and Emerald Dawn strongly suggest that there’s an audience around for whom neither state-of-the-art graphics nor novelty for the sake of novelty is the be-all and end-all.
The problem that I foresee is that if no MMO ever closes down, by 2020, let alone 2050 there will be many thousands of them. Which is fine for novels that take a few days to finish or movies that take a couple of hours or songs that you listen to in a matter of minutes, but MMOs take years of your life each. How the heck anyone will have the time to go back and play old ones for more than a quick nostalgia trip I can’t imagine.
Kriegspiel is 201 years old, so… yea.
@Chris – And that runs on what operating system?