Bridging The Console Player/MMO Player Gap
The upcoming release of next-generation consoles comes with a host of free-to-play MMO games, giving credence to the fact console developers are finally giving MMO player’s and console gamers the same attention. Warframe, The Crew, Deep Down, these are just some of the exciting MMO games that PlayStation 4 and Xbox One players are going to be able to enjoy when both consoles release next month but are console gamers ready for the world of the MMO?
Recent events lead me to believe they’re not. The launch of Final Fantasy XIV and Grand Theft Auto Online were understandably sketchy for MMO fans but console communities exploded in response to the technical issues and gameplay problems that plagued both titles for a few weeks after launch. Everyone with a decent amount of MMO experience expects a launch to be poor, even from the big AAA titles, but console gamers are not used to massive issues straight out of the box.
Sure, these things do happen but for the most part, console games work from day one. We may discover a few bugs and glitches but it’s rare for a console release to be broken to the point of it being unplayable. There are exceptions, such as The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct, but that was unplayable because it was so poor.
So what can developers do to prepare console gamers for the issues that plague MMO games of today? In my personal opinion, nothing. MMO players today have become immune to most MMO problems as we’ve been pummeled with them for years. It doesn’t matter how many big names release, how long a game is in development; there’s always problems. Experience is one of the best teachers and I personally feel that’s the only thing that will calm the console community.
That’s not to say all console players are oblivious to the massive technological challenge posed by today’s MMO games but I don’t think the vast majority of ready for the problems that await us next-generation.