“MMORTS is an endangered species.”
First off I’m not including MOBAs; LoL & DotA and their ilk seem to be doing fine. I’m talking the classic build your base & send out your squad style that we all broke our teeth on back in the days of Warcraft, Command & Conquer, Earth 2150 and Age of Empires. Everywhere you look you see titles in this genre dying. Could 2013 be the year they’re slated to disappear?
Consider the following:
- EA is laying off staff (one of those sites where Victory Studios is located)
- GPG announced no more content for Age of Empires Online
- Who knows what’s happening to End of Nations since Trion took it in-house
- Saga Kingdom’s Kickstarter failed miserably
Starcraft II might be the exception here, but it’s still just match based with no persistent core outside of player score, so should it really qualify as an “MMO”RTS or just a more detailed MOBA?
So why the painful hemorrhaging of titles? One easily visible cause is the issues with monetization. How do you make a mechanic in an RTS title that allow you to squeeze as much cash as possible out of a player? Aesthetics are challenging, due to the diminutive size of units. We all know that the minute your game smells of Pay-2-Win it’s doomed.
So will this be the year that the term MMORTS ceases to be? Will our children look back and ask us what we did wrong? My crystal ball is cloudy, but I’m hunkering down with what little solace I can find and hoping we’ll see a brighter tomorrow.