MMORPG is a genre of games that are usually developed over a long period of time. Unless, of course, we do not take into account the same type of “mobiles” that come out almost every month. Because of this, the disappointment from the final product, if it fails, becomes even stronger. In April 2023, the developers of Throne and Liberty launched testing for the first time, which took place without an NDA. After seeing what NCSOFT had been working on for over a decade, many fans of the genre were very disappointed. However, the game has not been officially released yet, so we decided to recall what other MMORPGs showed promise before the release, but turned out to be a failure on release. So, we have collected for you the TOP 10 most failed MMORPGs at the time of May 2023.
New World can not be called a completely failed MMORPG. The game still receives regular updates and has a fairly large audience. That is why it is in tenth place. However, the release of the project turned into a real disaster.
For several weeks after the release, players had to stand in queues (literally) for many hours to get into the servers and hope that they would not be suddenly “kicked out”. The problem was solved when it was no longer required in principle. Online quickly fell from 900 thousand to 15 thousand, due to which many servers were empty.
The game itself also proved to be a disappointment for many users. They criticized New World for a small amount of content and too “stuffy” pumping. Although many issues have already been fixed, and at the moment the project really began to look better, players are not very willing to return. Now Amazon Games is working on an MMORPG based on the Lord of the Rings universe and I want to believe that the developers will not repeat the mistakes.
WildStar came out at a time when almost every MMORPG developer dreamed of creating their own “World of Warcraft killer”. The game itself was great – it had beautiful graphics, an excellent and even revolutionary combat system for the genre, a good storyline and lore. But she still failed to take off, and there were at least two reasons for this.
First, Wildstar was distributed on a pay-to-play basis. Not many were willing to pay a monthly fee for a new MMORPG from an unknown studio (even though it included Blizzard veterans). When the developers switched the game to Free-to-Play, it was already too late – the number of players remained insufficient to support the servers.
The second reason, again, as in the case of New World, is associated with too long pumping. Players played dozens of hours, but still did not reach the endgame, which is why they abandoned the game. The authors also tried to solve the problem, but the effect was only short-lived. After numerous unsuccessful attempts to save the game, they gave up and simply closed the servers.
Swords of Legends Online
Moving from the West to Asia, the next MMORPG on our list is called Swords of Legends Online. This game is quite popular in China, where it is still distributed on a time-based payment model (that is, you pay for hours directly in the game, and not for months of subscription). Obviously, such a model would not have taken root on the global market, so the publisher Gameforge decided to make the project simply paid.
In fact, the distribution model of Swords of Legends Online was perfect – you made a one-time payment and then played without any restrictions. The in-game store was present and contained only cosmetic items. Alas, despite this, the game failed to conquer the world market. The transition to Free-to-Play and the addition of the Russian language did not save the situation. Someone blames the Chinese setting for this, someone the publisher – the truth, as always, is somewhere in between.
In June 2023, the closure of Swords of Legends Online was announced. This was preceded by long months without content and regular sales of costumes, so it is logical that online has left much to be desired in recent months.
Another Asian-style game that didn’t find success in Russia and the West is called Revelation. The project was advertised as an MMORPG that has everything. Indeed, the amount of content at the start was impressive, and there were many players. It would seem that here it is – a worthy MMORPG! Unfortunately, as is often the case, at one point something went wrong.
An extensive advertising campaign helped only in the initial stages, but fans quickly lost interest in Revelation. The game is still alive, but practically does not receive updates.
Odin: Valhalla Rising
Odin: Valhalla Rising at the announcement stood out for its Scandinavian mythology setting, which was, to put it mildly, an infrequent guest in the MMORPG genre. Player expectations were reinforced by impressive in-engine trailers showcasing great graphics on PC. However, if everything was as cool as the developers told us, this game would not have made it into our anti-TOP.
As a result, Odin: Valhalla Rising could offer nothing but an interesting world and a beautiful picture. The game turned out to be a typical mobile game with auto-battle, wild grind and tough monetization. The release took place in South Korea and Taiwan, and the developers had plans to release a global version, but now few people are waiting for it.
Undecember is a clear example of how a really great game can be ruined by terrible monetization. This “diabloid” looked incredibly cool even in the beta stages, and many fans of the genre were looking forward to the release. The project offered addictive gameplay, a curious system with skill stones, and an oppressive gloomy atmosphere. As they say, nothing foreshadowed trouble.
There was only one reason for the failure – Pay-to-Win. At the start, the game had an incredibly greedy monetization, which allowed you to buy almost anything. Moreover, the goods in the in-game store were not very cheap. Yes, over time the situation has become a little better, but fundamentally nothing has changed. So now the project remains interesting only for a small number of fans.
When a game’s concept is turned on its head during development, it’s rare that something good comes out of it (although there are certainly examples of successful reworks). Elyon also started out as a rather unique MMORPG, the main feature of which was air battles on ships. Then the game was still called Ascent: Infinite Realm.
After the launch of the first closed beta testing, the project received a lot of negative feedback, which is why the authors decided to abandon the original idea and make a more “mundane” MMORPG called Elyon. However, in this way they simply replaced the awl with soap, because in the end we got a secondary game, made, moreover, on the ancient Unreal Engine 3 engine. As a result, the servers were closed a few months after launch.
Diablo Immortal has been a disappointment ever since it was announced. At BlizzCon 2018, many fans of the series were waiting for the presentation of a full-fledged license plate, but received a mobile spin-off and the famous meme about the lack of phones. Closer to the release, the developers began to share new gameplay videos, and in them the game looked much better, which created a small spark of hope. In addition, a full-fledged PC version was announced.
Unfortunately, the same thing happened as with Undecember, which came out later. The game featured microtransactions that significantly affect the power of the character. By depositing real money, you could become much stronger, not only to kill monsters faster in PvE, but also to easily destroy opponents in PvP. Perhaps, if the game had not been called Diablo, few people would have paid attention to this, but the fans could not come to terms with this injustice and collapsed the rating on aggregator sites to below one.
Blade & Soul 2
The first part of Blade & Soul still feels pretty good if you compare it with other games from our TOP. However, it’s hard to deny that the game is already a little outdated, so a sequel would be very welcome. And the second part was indeed announced. True, it turned out far from what her fans expected.
NCSOFT did not show Blade & Soul 2 until its release and did not conduct closed beta tests. All we had were promises from the developers and high-quality rendered cutscenes without real gameplay. As it turned out, the reason was that this is a typical clone of Lineage 2M, on which the BNS skin was “stretched”: the same interface, the same automatic gameplay, the same monetization. The game was a big disappointment for those who played the first part and wanted something new. By the way, this unfortunate sequel, currently available only in South Korea, is going to be launched on the global market. But for whom – it’s not entirely clear.
The real king of failures can rightfully be called Bless Online, which the developers unsuccessfully tried to launch many times. While the game itself may not have been all that bad, it was spoiled by the nasty optimization that made it run badly even on top-end hardware. It seems that, not realizing the true reason for the failure, the developers have restarted this MMORPG again according to the Buy-to-Play model. And guess what? She again suffered from poor performance.
The authors decided not to stop there and, using ready-made developments, released a separate console project called Bless Unleashed. Then this game was ported to the PC, but it never found success. The console version was closed, and the computer version was transferred to another studio that has not released content patches for a long time.
If you think that this is where the story ends, you are deeply mistaken. NEOWIZ has also had attempts to launch the franchise on mobile devices. In 2020, Bless Mobile was released, the servers of which were turned off after a few months. Bless Eternal, which came out after that, and its global version with NFT called Bless Global, oddly enough, still exist, but no one plays them anymore.
On this BLESSing note, our TOP 10 most failed MMORPGs have come to an end. Of course, he did not include all the games of this genre that disappointed the players. Therefore, we suggest that you go down to the comments and tell which MMORPGs did not live up to your expectations.