Age of Conan Illustrates the Fallacy of MMO Innovation
The recent Launch of Funcom’s Age of Conan MMO serves to illustrate the fallacy of innovative MMOs. According to The Escapist, when you compare MMOs to video games in other genres, the new features we’re seeing are actually common place in other types of games. The action combat in AoC does differ from the more traditional auto action combat found in most MMOs. However Tabula Rasa, Dungeons & Dragons Online and even Planetside all feature a more action oriented approach than say WoW or Lord of the Rings Online. Even the mature content offered in AoC is commonplace in traditional RPGs and FPSs.
The article isn’t putting down AoC, but pointing out that even self proclaimed renegades are playing it safe in today’s market.
This isn’t a criticism of Age of Conan, but an argument that the game, despite appearances, is playing it as safe as any game that’s come before. It’s well respected IP with a familiar interface, predictable pricing models and the level and skill-tree based advancement profiles that have been with us since the birth of the genre. There are a few modifications to the trappings on which the game is built, certainly, but no one who has played Everquest or World of Warcraft wouldn’t feel immediately at home in this game. There were probably bigger visions for what Age of Conan might be, but the realities of a difficult market, the need to live under the shadow of Blizzard and the growing fan interest during the game’s development probably encouraged the decision makers to begin playing it safe more often.
It’s true that the nudity, unbridled spilling of blood and dismemberment and sexual situations in Age of Conan are not anything new to video games. It’s just that now you can share it all with your closest friends.
via The Escapist