GCDC (the catchy abbreviation for the even more catchy Games Convention Developers' Conference) is under way, as people get their chatter on in preparation for Leipzig's Games Convention proper later this week. GI.biz report on a debate discussing the future of the MMO, called Life After World of Warcraft.
Despite their recognising that WoW's success is in a large part because Blizzard didn't spend their entire development pretending they'd found a new way to approach one aspect of the genre, but did everything really bloody well, they then go on to announce that this was just a fluke. Of course, the only right way to make an MMO is to waste your budget on a new way to, say, level up or fire a weapon, which you'll ditch during beta because everyone will point out it sucks.
Attempting to credit Blizzard's phenomenon to their having had an established franchise (try telling Dungeons & Dragons Online that, you twit), Westmoreland (a lovely place for a holiday this time of year) declared, "I think it's an anomaly, and you can't just focus on that because you'll get yourself into trouble." Or indeed, you might accidentally make an MMO more than seventeen people want to play.
MMOs come and go at a ridiculous rate because each and every one of them thinks it can be better than WoW, by being a derivative, stripped down version of WoW that focuses on one aspect at the cost of all others. (Meanwhile, I plan to be better than Vladimir Kramnik at chess by only learning how to move bishops, and not bothering with the other pieces). So it's good to know that everyone at the meeting agreed this was definitely the way to go, rather than that expensive and pesky route of being better than Blizzard at making MMOs.
I declare: sigh.