A few days ago I was trying to define what I thought of as an MMO. I started off thinking it was just a realtime, online game with other players, but as the day went on, thinking about it more, I felt it had to include a persistent avatar representing the player that could be named and customized. I was pretty confident that nailed the essential nature of an MMORPG.
Well, Zynga’s newest semi-interactive “Ville” game is going to bring MMO gaming to Facebook. Via Massively,
You can build your castle, show it to your friends, and craft things like potions or armor. You can follow the game’s story and its characters. You can trade and barter with friends by visiting their towns. And you have to defend your town against beasts who are outside the walls. The game has more personalized storytelling; players explore the world around them. You meet characters and make them happy and unlock new characters as you progress.
“In short, Zynga is bringing massively multiplayer role-playing games to the mass market,” Jackson said.
If this sort of non-realtime probable clickfest is the future of MMOs, then the genre is dead. It does sound like, after CityVille and Empires & Allies nudged into SimCity and Civilization territory, that it will be returning to the avatar-based gameplay of Farmville and Frontierville. Of Frontierville, the NY Times writes:
Cityville, its biggest game, has picked up a little steam recently with 13.5 million daily users, according to AppData. FrontierVille, however, has been sliding faster than a pioneer bitten by a varmint. Introduced in June 2010, FrontierVille peaked with nine million daily players but now has about 5 percent of that.
So there’s a winning strategy right there, I guess. Zynga has to keep pumping out the games ever faster because people tire of them ever faster. How fast Zynga can shovel new games at us now? They have 2500 people writing them!
But there’s more stuff to talk about than Sims Medieval clones! After the break!
Continue reading Daily Blogroll Oct 12: No time for heroes edition