As anyone reading this can attest, the Mayans' prediction of the world ending December 20, 2012 did not come to pass as their prophecy had given the impression it would. While this world continued, 2012 did manage to take down one major MMO world however, the players of City of Heroes™ will attest to as much. Few realize however just how many more worlds were unleashed upon the MMO market in 2012. As one world may have been put to rest, just over thirty saw theirs begin.
When researching just how many MMO games were released over 2012, it became beyond obvious that while the Mayans may have predicted doom in 2012, the MMO developers were predicting profits to their investors. With just over thirty releases of new MMO's, it cannot be denied that investors were betting on their game developers' predictions over those of the Mayans. Then when comparing how many MMO's were released in 2012 versus all previous years, the MMO explosion can hardly be denied.
Though major titles like World of Warcraft™, may continue to dominate in terms of active subscribers, the ever expanding free-to-play games available coincided with the total number of MMO's 2012 unleashed, gives a rough idea of just how much more exposure this industry has seen. As 2013 treks through its first month, the exposure has only increased as more television commercials advertise not only the new MMO expansions released, but even some games such as World of Tanks™ have begun trying their hand at such measures of advertising too.
Needless to say as more exposure is had, more players will try out these games, and as the past has shown it doesn't take long for the addiction of such entertainment to root itself in those players; especially when the imagery and game-play of these MMO's steadily improves with each new title. Where once the imagination and enjoyment were the key captivators for the players, development of not only the software and hardware but the introduction of new generations of players only makes for new suggestions, input, and ideas that are bound to continue evolving these worlds. While World of Warcraft™ offered their quests in the form of text instructions with an 'accept' button, Star Wars The Old Republic™ introduced cinematic interaction with the quest givers of their game. Making for a means of picking up the refuse of players that felt under-immersed due to as much.
Another driving factor in this rise is 'means by which to play'; while more homes are seeing PC's and the internet all around the globe, just as many if not more 'smart-phones' are finding their way to potential gamers and developers as well. This increases not only the player-base but the inspiration, development, and ideas for such games and their platforms to grow as well.
Those truly familiar with the predictions made by the Mayans regarding 'dooms-day', know that what the masses interpreted to be the 'end of the world' was in fact a prediction of the end of the 'Man of Corn'. With the digital age readily upon us, and the 'big bang' of virtual worlds coursing itself across the internet, perhaps the end of the 'Man of Corn' marks the beginning of the age of 'Virtual Man'. The list below definitely makes a for a strong case.
MMO's released in 2012 (in no particular order):
Guild wars 2- August 2012
War Z- December 2012
Planetside 2- November 2012
Tera- May 2012
RaiderZ- November 2012
The Secret World- July 2012
Darkfall Unholy Wars- December 2012
Arcane Legends- November 2012
Microsoft Flight- February 2012
Drakensang Online- July 2012
Blade & Soul- June 2012
Stronghold Kingdoms- October 2012
Rift: Storm Legion- November 2012
Phantasy Star Online 2- July 2012
Navy Field 2: Conqueror of the Ocean- August 2012
Maestia: Rise of Keledus- February 2012
Jagged Alliance Online- September 2012
Sevencore- August 2012
Queens Blade- April 2012
Wakfu- February 2012
Ragnarok Online 2: Legend of the Second- March 2012
Pirate Storm: Death or Glory- February 2012
The Hunger Games Adventures- May 2012
Pirate101- October 2012
Knight Age- August 2012
NBA 2K Online- June 2012
WawaWars- March 2012
Riftforge- January 2012
Carte- March 2012
Dragon Crusade- June 2012
Pets vs. Monsters- February 2012