End-of-Year Eleven: The MMOs with the most uncertain futures in 2024

Forever and ever.

As I say every single year and several people ignore every single year: This is not a column about the games that are most likely to shut down over the next year. In fact, if that what it were about, it wouldn’t even have the same title. That’s not an uncertain future; that’s a very certain future. It’s not a happy future, but it is a pretty understandable one. But what we’re talking about here are uncertain futures, situations where what happens next is kind of up in the air.

Some of the games in this list might be on the bubble, but for the most part, these are games where there are a few different things that could happen but it’s not at all clear which ones will happen. These are the games where the future feels most in flux and unsteady as we move into 2024. Will it be a good year or a bad one? There’s only one way to find out, although it involves making it through the year.

FIt Kisto

1. Star Wars: The Old Republic

The big question on the mind of every Star Wars: The Old Republic fan has to come down to whether moving to Broadsword means the game has a new lease on life… or just a protracted death spiral. I don’t know. Both sound plausible to me at this point, but I don’t know which is going to be true over the course of 2024, even if I’m hoping it’s the former. We’ll have to find out this year.

Dive! DIVE!

2. Ship of Heroes

I don’t think Ship of Heroes had a terrible 2023, but neither do I think that it was exactly a banner year. That’s already probably not quite what the team behind the game wanted, but then it no doubt got blindsided like the rest of us by finding out that 2024 is the year when City of Heroes came back, again, this time legally. It’s a much harder road to convince people to play your CoH-alike when the original now has official license, and that means that what the developers do this year is going to be interesting to say the least.


3. Wayfinder

It seems as if Wayfinder kind of got stuck with a perfect storm of things just not going quite right through 2023, and now we’re into 2024 and it has not substantially gotten better yet. We certainly would like for the outcome with this game to be a bright one, but it also has to work against some pretty strong headwinds moving through the year. Will it be able to pull itself together and rise up to prominence, or will it sputter out?

zoop badoop

4. Star Trek Online

Stuff going on with Cryptic and Embracer is kinda not looking great to begin with right now, what with the layoffs and studio shuffle, but that has to weigh heavily alongside the fact that Cryptic’s two big games are both licensed. Considering that Star Trek is having something of a big boost in cultural relevance at the moment with a whole lot of projects in the wild, you have to wonder what’s going to happen with the title that was for a long time keeping the original timeline alive. It’s never really been running while things are happening there.

Looking back.

5. Neverwinter

You also kind of have to remember that Neverwinter was at one point a big deal. It was an MMO with player-generated content using the newest edition of the rules and its success helped convince the Hasbro-owned Wizards of the Coast to license out another one of its major IPs to Cryptic. But that game flopped, and Neverwinter is now two editions behind (using perhaps the least popular edition of the game ever) right after a standard-bearer for D&D-based video games won huge praise throughout 2023. This next year is going to be weird, in other words.



At this point, the fact is that RIFT has been getting inexplicable stays of executions for ages now despite the obvious reality that the people who own it have no intention of ever developing more content for it at any point. That is not great, but it also shows that the appeal is still there for this title. There’s potential here. But it just keeps coasting by based on that potential, and eventually we kind of need to see if that potential ever morphs into actual or not.


7. Throne & Liberty

When your brand-new in-development-for-ages game is merging servers super fast after it launches in your home country, that is not a great sign. You can argue all you want how this game should be a big deal, but it seems patently obvious at this point that it just isn’t, and I have to imagine that NCsoft is partly waiting to see how it does once it releases over here at some point this year. Will the audience manifest for it when that happens? I don’t know. I’m somewhat skeptical.


8. Final Fantasy XIV

There’s a whole lot riding on Dawntrail this year. Last year was the first time that two full calendar years passed without a new Final Fantasy XIV expansion, but here we are with a release date that’s still no more certain than “summer 2024,” and that could mean an unusually long time before players get actually new content. Add to that the long-awaited port to Xbox and it’s really hard to predict how this game is going to play out over this year. I don’t doubt that the next expansion will be good, but it has some big shoes to fill all the same.

Be the first on your block to GIVE ME MONEY

9. Final Fantasy XI

Yeah, this is an uncertain year for both of Square-Enix’s big MMORPGs. Final Fantasy XI has not just lived but managed to thrive through its maintenance mode by still having remarkably stable and quality updates on a monthly basis, but the changing of the guard has resulted in a change in policy. Development on the game has slowed, and there’s no real hint or reason to believe that the Voracious Resurgence wasn’t more of a last hurrah than a start of a new tradition. Can the game keep player interest when it finally moves into a more maintenance-esque maintenance mode?

Hope springs something.

10. Destiny 2

The plural of “anecdote” is not “data,” but I have found myself seeing a lot of Destiny 2 players grousing about the game over the past year – not in a bitter sense, but in a very matter-of-fact defeatist sense, as if the game just can’t sustain what made it great any more. That in and of itself would be more sad than anything, but then you remember that the game is six years old now, twice as old as its predecessor at the time the sequel came out. It starts to feel like “so… Bungie, do you have a plan for the next step,” and the answer has only been muddied with layoffs and delays.

I'm on a... you know.

11. Skull and Bones

This game seemed like a great idea to someone at one point, obviously, but that was about four dozen delays ago. At this point I find it really hard to understand what motivation there is to keep pushing for this game to get over the finish line beyond Ye Olde Sunke Coste Fallacie, and I’m not really sure that’s going to translate into any sort of long-term success or impact. Of course, sometimes games surprise us…

Everyone likes a good list, and we are no different! Perfect Ten usually takes an MMO topic and divides it up into 10 delicious, entertaining, and often informative segments for your snacking pleasure. And per tradition, we’re cranking this column up to eleven with our annual special features in the End-of-Year Eleven!
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