Over the last few months (possibly over a year), every browser-based MMORPG that I play has shown a decline in the player base, the decline has been slowly accelerating. Have browser-based MMORPGs had their day, is it a dying genre?
There are so many of them (which spreads the potential user base thinner and thinner) but there are also so many "client-based" where you either download a client software or run from a multi player mode of a main game, have peoples expectations of games surpassed anything that it's possible to make in a purely browser-based game?
Obviously the state of the overall world-wide economy can't help with people perhaps having to have 2nd or 3rd jobs cutting down on their on-line time but I don't think that can account for all the decline.
So over to you, what's your thoughts, is the browser-based MMORPG market in decline (possibly a terminal decline), is it just the current ones now reaching the end of their life-span or is it something else?
I used to love gaming... all kind of games! but unfortunately I don't have time, and think that's the case for the big majority of the people. Basically, you can be playing for hours... it is quite easy that you lost the track of time.
On the other hand, the consoles are introducing more technological gadgets every day, and new games to go with them, and very posibly lots of people have returned to their consoles and playing at home with friends instead of playing online.
I don't think it is the end of browser based MMORPGs... just a delcines and as soon as the trends returns to the web... their user base will increase again
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Actually, the decline of MMORPG's is very relative to the fact that the craze of quick, easy to play games has taken the world by storm. People don't want to spend hours playing a complex and cheat heavy environment when they can quickly play something fun and simple in their spare few minutes whilst on a coffee break or on the train. At least that's my view - it's why iPhone games have become a huge multi-million dollar industry.
I feel like browser based MMOGs have been pretty steady for the last few years. Sure some games don't even last for a year before shutting down their servers, but most of them are still around. The ones aimed at kids are probably have the biggest turnovers but still get lots of players (mainly because they're always advertising for them on tv and online).
Also, I've seen very few that are purely browser based. I don't like to have to download a new client just to try out a game that I may not play for more than two days. (Also the fact that my computer from college is too old to support the requirements for any current games so most of them don't work for me anyway.)
Which country you live in also has a lot to do with what games are available. Korea has boat-loads of new online games each year, but they're only accessible if you have a Korean SS#. There's a chance those games will be picked up for international release eventually, but it's usually like 4 or 5 years after the original came out.
Oh, but the one gaming area that has definitely picked up are those short, indie-produced puzzle/adventure games. Especially with Steam offering most of them for download. I really love those games! They're very fun and more time-friendly than a giant RPG.
I honestly don't think that these indie games will replace MMORPGs but they are certainly able to reach a wider audience.