With the market for MMO games bigger than ever - and World of Warcraft
ensconced firmly as the market's current leader, challengers have begun lurking in the fringes in the hopes of getting a piece of that share. But is the MMO market actually an all-or-nothing game
? And if not, what's the impetus that leads a player base to change horses?
Neils Clark addresses this question in his feature, "The Academics Speak: Is There Life After World Of Warcraft
?" Those "academics" include Metaversatility's Aaron Delwiche, who weighs in on the major factors which might prompt a move from one game to another:
"I think that the whole concept of player types [Richard] Bartle came up with is crucial to finding out who is likely to migrate and how. Socializers are definitely likely to go. Achievers might be inclined to move with their group, if they’re in a guild that’s good and highly organized. They stand a better chance of achieving if they stay with that kind of a guild. I would imagine explorers would be more likely to go off and explore different worlds on their own. And I guess the killers just go wherever the killing is."
MIT's Henry Jenkins opines on how much attention WoW
"WoW deserves attention because it has so captured the imagination of gamers over the past few years. That said, I don't think it is healthy for the field of games studies, which is still emerging, to be so fixated on a single game franchise -- no matter what the franchise. A few years ago, it might have been The Sims or GTA, now it's WoW. But we need to spread out a bit more to encompass the full range of game genres and we need to be attentive to new, experimental, independent, and emerging work in the game space."
You can now read the full feature
, which includes extensive input on the MMO issue from these academics as well as Ludium's Edward Castronova and PhD candidates Jeff McNeill and Florence Chee -- who also each share what game they would bring to a desert island, if they could choose only one.