MMOs and MMORPGs are in a rough spot as a genre. A number of anticipated indie Kickstarters are either going nowhere or failed on launch, and it's been years since the most recent triple-A projects - New World and Lost Ark's western release - both of which have fallen off despite attracting a fair few players at launch.
What's to be done? Why did those players walk away? Has the market changed since the last MMOs that 'stuck' and if so, how would you design an MMO for today?
It's time to play armchair designer and save a genre. Think about the questions above as you analyse the MMO market in 2024 and pitch a game that would work today. Tell us about the setting if you like, but what we really want to know is what would an MMO need to do differently in terms of its structure and content to attract and retain a healthy playerbase?
This is a 1st/2nd/3rd essay contest; we're looking for lengthy written or video submissions. 1st place gets $30, 2nd gets $20, and third gets $10.