I’ve just read via Massively and a flurry of blog posts that Turbine are bringing back to life the short-lived sequel to one of the longest running MMOs – Asheron’s Call.
This differs from Vanguard Saga of Heroes for instance, which Sony Online Entertainment kept running on lifesupport for years (no new development but the game servers stayed online and subs were deducted).
I’ll admit I have never played AC or AC2 so I don’t have the emotional investment to get excited about this. But given the deluge of free-to-play and now buy-to-play games out there, what chance does this have of a short term novelty factor? I suspect it’ll follow the “new MMO” tourism trap cycle but on fast-forward. Vets will flock back there but will quickly realise you can’t recreate the past in its entirety. Many of the vet playerbase will be invested in current games, and such an old game is likely to compare very badly in certain aspects.
We tried last summer to play Neverwinter Nights 2 as a break from online gaming, it was just painful. It has poor controls, un-optimised graphics, and it felt flat and lifeless (despite playing two player). I tried Vanguard for a while myself early this year and despite the wonders of a truly open world, the bugs and the limitations of the engine were glaring. I’d rather MMO developers focused on the present and future than on the past.