- In a news story run by GamesIndustry.biz and picked up by Massively, Chinese games market analyst firm Niko Partners reports that Chinese gamers are starting to turn away from MMOs as they focus more on social gaming. I haven't seen any chatter about this story in the blogging community, but something about the report struck me.
- China (along with many East Asian countries) has suffered under the stereotype as grind loving no-lifers with no taste in games who would just as soon die as turn off their computers. Niko Partners' report seems to refute the notion by showing gamers turning away from the cookie-cutter MMOs in favor of their local Farmvilles and Mafia Wars.
- And we, the hardcore gamers of the West, scoff at the grindfests they keep churning out. But a quick look at Ten Ton Hammer lists 412 games available. (That number is inflated due to separate entries for expansions and other oddities, but you get the point.) Is it any wonder that we no longer hear about the next WoW killer? Sure, people are still chasing the MMO dollar, but it's not the wild west anymore. Only the big boys can afford play here. Anyone looking to ride the gravy train has gone to seek their fortunes on Facebook before that crashes.
- Times are changing. If we're lucky, there is still enough money to be made that MMOs will continue to be a vibrant field where innovation and tenacity will thrive. If not, MMOs may got the way of the wargame and text adventure.
© 2010 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.