Remasters today are everywhere, but not every game can give you a complex experience. The reasons for this kind of refreshing are obvious for single players, but let’s see its importance for MMO. The economic model of online games is different. The AAA hit is selling two or three years after launch. The most famous versions have popularity peaks again and again. But for MMO, the audience has to be stable. The abandoned projects were different but had one specific issue: they stopped delivering the direct profit.
So, the main reason to make an MMO refresh is the economy. Let’s see the most common features of this genre:
- Relatively simple graphics. MMORPG is not a benchmark. The marketing goals will always prevail. An average player has a “potato PC,” a modest gaming set. The same flaw is inside free slots offline games;
- Simplification with time. The core audience is growing with the project. Older people like arcade mechanics. Even teenagers that are full of energy are tired of the same procedures that are repeating through years;
- The life cycle of a successful MMO is decades. Hence, it must be relative for modern OS and still allow modest system requirements;
- The balance is way more complicated. Broken gameplay in a single game is annoying. An exploit in MMORPG kills all the fun and competition. Technically, every massively multiplayer game is updating permanently.
The graphic remaster is not a recipe for success in this genre. Players are spending hundreds of hours in the game. They very seldom are fascinated by the landscapes after months in a guild or a clan. Yes, the first impression is vivid. But profit is the key to an MMO game survival.
The most known facts about a refreshment are coming from the biggest hits. Tons of unknown Korean multiplayer games fell into oblivion without a trace. The social resonance can come just from the hype titles of recent times.
- WoW Classic
World of Warcraft is still one of the most popular and inhabited MMORPGs. The golden formula was rich in lore within modest graphics. Blizzard Entertainment started the venture almost twenty years ago. Every new major update gives players new cosmetics and a lot of visual enhancements. Though, simplification is also widely seen. Most players today are moaning about the uninteresting gameplay and boring bosses and raids in the late stages.
For better sales, Blizzard released the WoW Classic. These are the first several expansion packs with the old-school mechanics but better graphics. The hardcore fans returned to the game. The natural decline of the title was postponed. The remastered version is still on top.
- Lineage II
It is the classic Asian RPG with millions of fans. The golden age of the franchise passed years ago. Today we can find hordes of bots even in the initial location. The developers are trying to refresh the game, but they meet only a massive failure. Today Lineage II is the best example of a semi-abandoned MMO. Some activities are done there even today, but the clans are in a coma. The title has a second life on unofficial servers, though. Of course, they are pretty outdated.
- Black Desert Online
Black Desert Online is one more Korean MMORPG with a simplified protagonist development. All the buffs and effects are standard. So, the selling point was an advanced picture. Graphic settings for BDO require a powerful laptop or a middle-end PC. The archaic titles with more democratic demands have a bigger audience. What was the decision of BDO creators? You gotcha – another graphic patch! The result was obvious: Steam regularly delivers massive discounts on premium classes in Black Desert Online. The game has its core community. The issue is in the maintenance. All the infrastructure elements for a colossal title are expensive. Hence, the expected profit is way much higher.
- New World
The phenomenon of the industry. The game itself isn’t published yet and needs a remaster already. Amazon made a buggy and raw online game with role elements and massive problems. The landscapes look well, but the models in the lobby are awful. Also, this MMO requires a top-notch PC. Just for killing it. Many players burned their Nvidia RTX 3090 because it overheated. Developers from Amazon don’t have malware on the servers. They just delivered the wrong code that can be dangerous. The project budget is so enormous that the future of remastering seems undefined.
There are very few successful remasters of online games for every reason. The balance prevails over the style, and the game itself should be democratic. The titles with heavy graphic features are too expensive. For the producers, the more profitable way is to create another generic fantasy world and pray for hype.
Though, there are good examples of massive patches. Of course, the game should have interesting lore and jolly cooperation from the start. The tremendous success of the first World of Warcraft showed us a fine example of the correct features.