3 Recent MMORPGs That Could Not Dethrone World of Warcraft
“Revolutionary”, “genre-defining” and “trend setter”. These are just a few words to describe the most popular massively multiplayer online role playing game of our generation, World of Warcraft.
At its height, the game boasted 12 million active subscribing players. WoW paved the way for all future games in the genre to draw inspiration from, be it game mechanics or world design. Currently hovers at half that number in terms of paid subscriptions. But WoW has no plans on dropping its subscription model for buy-to-play or free to play. That’s what many of its competitors have done to stay relevant.
From the smooth progression mechanics of WoW’s leveling and questing, to the raiding and dungeon culture, many recent MMORPG’s have tried to replicate and sometimes deviate from the qualities that made World of Warcraft so successful. Here are the top ten recent MMO’s or “WoW Killers” that took a shot at dethroning the greatest MMO of them all.
1. Guild Wars 2
Arguably the most popular MMORPG on this list is 2012’s Guild Wars 2, the much awaited sequel to the first Guild Wars that has garnered a huge following.
The game’s no-level requirement to explore zones combined with its epic storytelling and smooth combat mechanics has managed to successfully pull in over 7 million subscribers in 2015, 2 million more than World of Warcraft at the time.
While the game does not offer a subscription based model to compete with World of Warcraft’s huge revenue numbers, the game is still competitive in the genre and could pull away from WoW in the future.
2. The Elder Scrolls Online
It’s hard to forget Zenimax Studios and ESO’s disastrous launch in 2013, no small thanks to optimization issues, phasing issues that hindered group questing and the ridiculous limitations that prevented players from openly exploring the world of Tamriel, which was an unusual departure from the exploration that we’ve come to know Bethesda’s games for.
A lot has changed for the better in three years. ESO has gone buy-to-play, and re-launched for the PC as well as both the Playstation 4 and XBOX One to critical acclaim. Today, the game can proudly boast 7 million players, and is currently only one of two MMORPGs that is actively competing with WoW in terms of playerbase.
While World of Warcraft still sits comfortably on top of the MMORPG hill that could very well change in the next couple of years if The Elder Scrolls Online continues to improve so watch this space!
In 2014, all the hype in the MMORPG universe centered on the launch of Wildstar, a sci-fi fantasy MMO that was dubbed the quintessential WoW killer which will eventually set the new high standard in the genre.
Developed by former World of Warcraft developers, the game set out to overthrow WoW, and features a fresh approach to combat and with its world design. The instances and raids are also a plus point, with raid bosses being notoriously difficult to overcome, often leading to some crazy moments, which was the attraction for WoW Players.
Sadly, the hype that brought about Wildstar’s good times couldn’t last, and the game eventually dropped its subscription based model and went free to play, joining the ever growing list of MMORPG’s that couldn’t compete with the dominance of World of Warcraft.