Hopefully those who do like more of the old school type of mechanics can get something new soon. I do think there is a market for it and like Gary said the first company to realize this and bet money on it could really make a profit. Of course they also have to realize that this is 2013 and that not everything from back in the day is what is wanted, but rather a improved gameplay and mechanics, but with a few basics being more old school.
Thing is, people have taken that bet, and they've lost. Vanguard: Saga of Heroes
was created by none other than EverQuest's own creator, no stranger to hardcore MMOs, Brad McQuaid
. The game was made by hardcore players, for hardcore players, with a modern look to satisfy the beefiest of PCs. It sold almost a quarter of a million copies when it launched in 2007, and within a year, it was all but deserted. It was a total flop, completely hindered by the fact there wasn't a market for an new EQ-style MMO. It simply ran out of money because it ran out of players and couldn't be saved.
But maybe that was a fluke.
So in steps Richard Garriott
, creator of Ultima Online
, which was an even older and more hardcore MMO than EverQuest, to take his stab with Tabula Rasa
later that year. Surely, the hardcore crowd devastated at the fail that was Vanguard would not forsake this icon of old school MMOs?
But alas, despite adding innovative FPS elements into combat, the players dried up pretty quickly here too. It only survived a year-and-a-half before shutting down forever.
Now, if you're taking a pulse of the MMO market, you're going to look at a casual game like WoW still played by millions and raking in millions, and you're going to look at a more recent, more modern hardcore MMOs like Vanguard and Tabula Rasa taking it on the chin despite being built by the gods of hardcore MMOs themselves. If you're going to invest years and millions of dollars in developing a new MMO that will stand the test of time and make you lots of money, which approach do you think investors and developers are going to prefer?
Most customers want an MMO that has a casual grind to endgame with a hardcore grind to max yourself out at endgame if you really want to pursue it, and they want a franchise they can trust and believe in to keep them there. SE was lucky to have enough rabid fans to make FFXI their most profitable game ever. And Blizzard had years of a solid reputation for great games like Starcraft, Diablo and Warcraft to reap the rewards in WoW.
If you really want to play in a hardcore, subscription-based MMO, your best bet is to stick with the old guard that still survives to this day. Keep your sub to EQ, FFXI, EVE or whatever else is left, because they just don't make them like they used to, and as history has shown, it's a money-losing venture to even try. Edited, Feb 17th 2013 6:15am by Xoie