Massively is running an article discussing the trend in recent MMOs to enable and encourage solo play
. Where the genre's early offerings, like Everquest
and Ultima Online
, were heavily dependent on finding other people to interact with, it's common for today's games to allow players to experience most of the content by themselves. Quoting:
"It is human nature to want to be the center of attention or at least feel like the hero on some level. It's also not too far of a stretch to call members of our species generally selfish. How can you really deliver this experience if you force your players to ask for help all the time? I think this was simply a natural progression of the genre in trying to appeal to our natural traits. ... Finally, I believe it all comes down to the mighty dollar. Audiences grew and so followed the market and competition. Suddenly, you couldn't make MMOs on the cheap anymore (though a stalwart few still try). Not only are game studios focused on appealing to the solo casual gamer to maximize earnings, they also want to build in artificial time sinks to make players stick around."