As we get closer to another full lap around the Sun, we look back and round up the chief 2022 MMO happenings.
Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard is facing roadblocks
The year started with the company in deep waters. One year later, we still don’t know what the future looks like for this once so beloved gaming company. Several organizations are trying to stop the acquisition citing unfair competition and monopoly issues.
However, rumor has it that the deal will eventually go through and we will exclusively play World of Warcraft on Xbox. That last part was obviously a joke.
Diablo Immortal is obscenely successful
The mobile MMO proved to be a blatant cash-grabber. It looks like people don’t just have phones, they also have money. Diablo Immortal’s earnings stand as proof that Blizzard’s foray into the mobile market was a triumph.
Blizzard nails the re-release of World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King
Come September, players have once again answered the call of the icy plains proving that the Lich King’s grasp is firm even after all these years.
The new LFG tool made the automatic dungeon finder’s supporters forget about the decision not to include this feature in the release package.
World of Warcraft: Dragonflight is not too shabby
We are happy to report success on the Retail front. The ninth WoW expansion is better than the last two. Players are happy with the new talent system and content.
Chinese players lost access to World of Warcraft
Blizzard and the China publishers didn’t reach an agreement. As a result, the MMO will no longer be available to Chinese players starting in January 2023. Blizzard is currently working on a solution, but finding a new publisher is not as easy as one would think. Industry veteran, Scott Hartsman, gave insight into the process. You can find the lengthy explanation on Twitter.
Chris Metzen returned
One of the key people is returning to Blizzard. Metzen has been with the company since the beginning. He is the man behind the StarCraft, Warcraft, and Diablo universes. Metzen is associated with Thrall, one of the characters he has voiced. Metzen left the company in 2016. Six years later, he is rejoining as a Creative Advisor.
Daniel Alegre left
Actiblizzard President and Chief Operating Officer Daniel Alegre has been with the company since 2020. He will be joining the NFT company Yuga Labs.
Final Fantasy XIV is enjoying a steady cruise on the sea of success
The critically-acclaimed MMORPG continues to receive praise for the 2022 Endwalker content. Players are overjoyed with the PvE content. The new Crystalline Conflict PvP mode brought a much-needed spark to this part of the game. However, it is the Island Sanctuary that wins the game. We are looking forward to the next major Endwalker update.
Elder Scrolls Online has a change of plan
For the fourth year in a row, ESO dutifully deployed its year-long adventure that includes a dungeon DLC, an expansion, and a zone DLC. We can all agree that we got a bit bored with this strategy. Luckily, the developers are in agreement with us.
Q1 2023 will bring the usual dungeon DLC. Q2 will come with a new Chapter (expansion) to explore. From then onward, the content deployment strategy changes. The Chapter will contain a complete story. Q3 will be about quality of life improvements. Instead of the zone DLC, we will have a new system as the Q4 update. The January 2023 Global Reveal Event will reveal more details.
Lord of the Rings Online is making waves
Kudos to this 2007-MMORPG for doing more than just retaining the players’ attention for yet another year! A new 12-player raid, progression servers moving forward, more free content, the Yondershire update, a new Further Adventure, and the November update had a positive impact on the player base which saw an 11% increase in numbers. All in all, a good year for this fan-favorite veteran MMO.
Guild Wars 2 is gaining popularity
Guild Wars 2 treated players not just with a full-fledged expansion, but also with the conclusion to the Dragon Saga. The fabled Cantha continent struck the right cord for all the veteran Tyria adventurers out there. In 2022, ArenaNet did what it should have done years ago: put GW2 on Steam. The new expansion and availability through Steam made the player numbers soar for the first time since 2015.
The 2023 roadmap includes more End of Dragons content. We expect news in early 2023.
Sword of Legend Online Goes Free-To-Play
We feel for all those who bought Sword of Legends Online during the 2021 Winter sale. The Wuxia-based MMO went free to play a few months later. If you’re after a visual experience and satisfying fast-paced action combat, go ahead and give SOLO a go.
Rose Online is Back
It’s the year 2022 and Rose Online is available in early access. Gravity Interactive decided that the MMO world cannot do without this cute anime-style old-school MMORPG.
Did Rift get that big update?
In November 2021, Gamigo announced that Rift will be getting a major update in Q1 2022. Only a few words were enough to make players dream of a new expansion. It was none of that. The once-delayed update proved to be a new Battle Pass and items.
New World got more content
New World broke a Steam record at launch followed by a rapid dwindling of the player base. Lack of content was one of the main reasons. The good news is that the developers picked up on that. The game received improvements and new activities.
Lost Ark had a good year
The graphically impressive isometric Korean MMO was finally launched in the West. Similar to the New World, the game saw massive numbers in the first days. Dissimilar, the number drop wasn’t that abrupt.
Lost Ark lost some of the players, however, it’s one of the most popular 2022 MMOs and it will most likely maintain this status throughout 2023 as well.
RuneScape shows no signs of slowing down
Both RuneScape 3 and RuneScape Old School are going forward. The 2023 road map includes a new Fort Forinthry adventure, more quests, challenges, a new training system, and Necromancy as a new skill. On the Old School front, we have a new skill on the horizon as well. The community will have a say in the new skill’s design.
Star Wars: The Old Republic is facing some difficulties
The delayed Legacy of the Sith expansion launched in February 2022. Unfortunately, it didn’t bring any spark to the game leaving veteran SWTOR players disappointed and reluctant concerning the future of the game.
Star Trek Online continues with the fan service
It has been another rather uneventful year for the old-timer MMO. Not that there wasn’t new content. It’s just that there wasn’t any ground-shaking update or revamp or anything. The latest major update continues the foray into the Mirror Universe. The Ascension adventure sees Wesley Crusher becoming the villainous Emperor Crusher giving players a chance to shut Wesley up.
Black Desert Online rolls out new content
BDO continues to dominate the open-world sandbox MMO niche. Throughout the year, the game deployed the Mountain of Eternal Winter expansion, two new classes, a 3 versus 3 PvP arena, the Abyss One adventure zone, and a plethora of updates. We are looking forward to a new class in January and the next expansion, Land of the Morning Light.
EVE Online gets a new expansion
The infamous space MMO got a brand new adventure. Uprising comes with new ships, customization options, important Factional Warfare updates, quality of life changes, and numerous visual improvements. Players are overall happy with the content.
EverQuest 2 launches its 19th expansion
The Renewal of Ro expansion adds five new Ascension levels, the new Raj’Dur Plateaus zone, more PvE content in the form of dungeons and raids, epic spell quests, adventure and tradeskill quests, and a ton of new items.
Star Citizen is still not a thing
Even if you don’t care much about the game, you are most likely still wondering what’s the deal with the most crowdfunded MMO of all time. Well, the deal is that it’s 2022 and the game is in alpha. The official retrospective counts significant steps forward. However, the launch date is still nowhere in sight. The players jokingly congratulate Chris Roberts for keeping the jig down yet another year.
MMOs that launched in 2022:
Mortal Online 2 – The sequel to the 2010 Mortal Online didn’t deliver what it promised. The game got somewhat better in the last months but it is still a long way off from being a polished product.
Broken Ranks – Broken Ranks is a free-to-play fantasy MMO with a turn-based combat system, open-world setting, and isometric perspective.
Embers Adrift – Formerly known as Saga of Lucimia, Embers Adrift is a low fantasy sandbox MMORPG with a focus on challenging PvE content sans PvP.
TemTem – The unofficial Pokemon MMO exited early access in September 2022. The creature-collecting game is enjoying positive reviews from players.
Dual Universe – Dual Universe is a sci-fi first-person voxel-based sandbox MMO that gives players the tools to create complex structures and vehicles.
Fractured Online – The open-world sandbox MMO is available in early access. City building, crafting, and action combat are on the feature list.
Zenith: The Last City – One of the first VR MMOs, Zenith offers exploration, crafting, world bosses, dungeons, and fast-paced combat.
Ni No Kuni: Cross Worlds – Available on mobile and PC, Ni No Kuni: Cross Worlds is the casual free to play MMO offshoot of the famous single-player RPG.
MMOs that shut down in 2022:
Tera PC – Perhaps the saddest MMO news of 2022 is that Tera is no longer available on PC. The game remains active on consoles.
Elyon – One-year-old Elyon shut its gates in December. Publisher Kakao revealed that the game was struggling with only a few hundred active players.
Crowfall – Crowfall enters hibernation mode. The developers are taking time off to figure out the future of the game, so Crowfall went offline for the time being.
Bless Unleashed Console – The console version of the eye-candy Bless Unleashed is no longer available. The PC version is still running.
Forsaken World – Perfect World Entertainment decides to pull the plug on the 2011 MMORPG.