TwitchCon 2016 is underway in San Diego and, well, I don’t think anyone was really expecting TwitchCon to turn into a game announcement sort of venue. Yet, here we are: Amazon Game Studios has announced three new games, including a new MMO called New World. The announcement – or more specifically, the venue for the announcement – makes a little more sense when you recall that Twitch is now a subsidiary of Amazon, but it still was a bit out of the blue.
New World looks like a tantalizing new AAA attempt at an MMO. Other blogs have been quick to praise the announced title, or more specifically the fact that we might finally get a new MMO with significant financial backing. I, however, am slightly more hesitant to embrace the news.
First off, who knows where this project ends up. It’s early days when it comes to New World, with really just a few glimpses of concept art and some PR copy available to us – way too little to judge the final product.
Second, there is no guarantee this gets to market in anything resembling the state of an MMO. Blizzard’s Titan is now Overwatch and all we ever saw of SOE/Daybreak’s Everquest Next was Landmark. These are not exactly halcyon days when it comes to MMO development.
That’s not to say no one should attempt to be hopeful, of course. The artwork certainly looks cool, and the pedigree of the team working on New World is good (most of them being alumni of Arenanet’s Guild Wars). I’m certainly hopeful that we can have a new, AAA entrant into the MMO arena to help advance the genre. But then, everything is an MMO these days if you squint hard enough.