The MMORPG genre appears to be fairly dead at this point. It's looking more and more like ESO is either going to have to redefine the genre if the goal is to be a Skyrim-esque success. The alternative is Diablo III level failure.
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I dont really agree with that assumption. As those millions of customers havent just stopped playing MMO's in the past few years countless mmo's have been sprouting (Rift, TOR, Eve, etc etc) taking away from blizzards customers. I dont believe the industry is dying, far from it actually. I believe the industry is just diversifying and its just awaiting the next big game that can steal everyone away, but so far no company has created it yet.
I'd say its more due to WoW "jumping the shark" since Cataclysm - when your world is saturated with more and more pop culture references, silly jokes, and the game slowly becomes less and less serious people begin to take it less seriously. Tack onto the that the open world having no meaning and the endgame consisting of instances queued from major cities the game really loses a sense of polish. The game was at its peak in Burning Crusade + Wrath leveling experience. Once Wrath endgame PvP/raiding started I feel it went downhill pretty drastically.
Anywho. That leads me to ESO- the game's aesthetics are going to be darker and the open world (especially cyrodiil and open world dungeons) will truly matter.
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