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Devil's Daily: Genre Blender

24. June, 2013Tags: MMO Blog

Prime World 1I've been playing a lot of Prime World in the last few days. Prime World is a new MOBA game that adds MMORTS and MMORPG elements to the overall adventure, as well as a series of single player quests. None of this can count as reinventing the wheel, but it works. It feels fresh and fun without ever feeling as "by the numbers" as the average game in those individual genres. It doesn't need to be as good, it just needs to try something original.

How long can this go on for though? How long can we just blend genres before we run out of genres to blend?

Genre Blender

I just want to stress again that Prime World actually works quite well. We have a more detailed look at it on its way this week, along with some video from the open beta, but for now just know that it'd be well worth you keeping an open mind. It still doesn't change the fact that, actually, we've already seen everything on offer before. 

Prime World 2

There have been countless MMORTS games where you create buildings that help out your multiplayer game. There have been an uncountable amount of MMORPGs that have tried to shake up the way you level and grow characters, and the way you learn certain moves. The MOBA genre itself is now getting to a place where developers are working to make things more accessable, dropping the difficulty, policing their communities and making the whole thing newbie-friendly.

For what it's worth, that's all fine. It's ok to borrow from other sources, it's ok to build upon the foundations laid by others. The question remains though, how on earth can a genre survive when it remains so incestuous? Take a look at the top ten MMORPGs of the last 18 months and you'll probably only have a handful of unique features per game, if that. Even The Elder Scrolls Online looks terribly generic, a fact apparently undone by its release on next-gen consoles (where people who have never played MMO games will finally get their first taste). 

With the release of Guild Wars 2 and the like, it looked like the MMO genre was finally going in the right direction. Our favourite genre was finally going to get out of the shadow of World of Warcraft and Everquest with subtle but important changes to the things we spend our time doing. The only thing that's really changed is the amount of people you can play with, and of course the graphical quality, a natural progression of the technology behind our games as opposed to the games themselves.

Prime World 3


I've said this before and it remains true - something new needs to happen. We need something on the scale of Citadel of Sorcery, a game that many have been, at best, indifferent to. This might be because it's a new IP by an unknown development studio, but it's also partly because people don't believe it can be done. And why should they? If it all it takes to change the world is to try really, really hard, why has nobody else done it? Why aren't people taking those risks?

Prime World shows how an MMO can innovate by taking the best of everything and mixing it together into a clever blend, but it also shows how nearsighted many MMOs are. It's a discussion that can't be left for another day.

What do you think?
You voted 'Boring!'.

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