It seems World of Warcraft is still being seen as the game to live up to over the next year in the MMORPG market and Wired has put up an article saying that there are only three that could possibly challenge it.
World of warcraft has dominated the MMORPG market since it's release in 2004 and this year could see it going against its biggest contenders to date, according to Wired, those contenders being Age of Conan, Warhammer Online and Pirates of the Burning Sea.
Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures
Currently scheduled for release on March 25th 2008, this title looks set to rock or flop as far as the MMO world is concerned.
By foregoing the family-friendly angle, Funcom is risking the loss of a large section of the player base, but the general feeling among longtime online gamers -- particularly the player-versus-player demographic -- is that Age of Conan is poised to be the Halo of the massively multiplayer genre. In a period when these games are just gaining mass market appeal, this title brings something for the adults to enjoy in an adult setting.
Pirates of the Burning Sea
Releasing in only a few days, Priates of the Burning Sea looks set to follow in the footsteps of Tabula Rasa and Eve Online, offering a different experience entirely to World of Warcraft. Will it contract scurvy and die a horrible and painful death void of vitamin c or will it take a leaf from us Brits and carry around a lemon or two?
Despite its numerous character options, each player in World of Warcraft lives essentially the same life. Pirates of the Burning Sea's greatest strength is that it allows for radically different play styles, each contributing in some way to a faction's success in the game's vaguely fictionalized 1720s-era Caribbean setting.
Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning
Due for release sometime in Q2 2008 and probably the top of the three to actually contend with World of Warcraft, Warhammer Online promises to offer fantasy fans a brand new title backed with a huge IP to sink their teeth into.
As it did with Dark Age of Camelot, game developer Mythic Entertainment tries to differentiate WAR by giving players the chance to engage in gigantic battles throughout the game world. Unlike World of Warcraft's player-versus-player combat, which takes place in pocket dimensions away from the daily life of Azeroth, battles in WAR will be raging constantly, and each fight will have strategic and economic impacts on each faction's day-to-day existence.
2008 looks set to be a rocky year for World of Warcraft as it contends with some of the biggest titles to be released since its reign as Ruler of the MMO-verse began.
Good luck to all of them!
You can read the full article here.