Biggest News Story of 2014: SOE 4 Game Shutdown
We’re starting off our look at the biggest and best of the year with some sad and, at the time unexpected news. In late January SOE announced they were shutting down an unprecedented four games! This was of course very sad news for fans of Free Realms, Clone Wars Adventures, Vanguard and Wizardry Online. Fans were treated to a few more months of gameplay but by the end of July the last of the games went offline. This was the biggest, and most shocking news story of 2014.
Most Innovative MMO of 2014: Trove
Though Trove is still only in Open Beta the incredibly polished state it’s in makes it feel more like a game that has been live for several years. Trove is one of the most unique MMOs on the market right now with a clever combination of voxels and dungeon crawling. Though many may argue that because it has many of the same elements that other MMOs already have it is the way they are presented that offers a fresh and innovative experience. We can’t wait to see what 2015 brings to Trove.
Gamer Anthem of the Year: Warriors by Imagine Dragons and Riot Games
This is a special award I suspect we will never again see on MMOGames, after all it isn’t often that a song comes out that speaks to the heart of gamers. This year for the 2014 League of Legends World Championship Riot Games teamed up with Imagine Dragons to release Warriors. This song was completely unexpected and a hit! It made it to number 10 on Billboard’s US Hot Rock Songs though its highest chart placement was in Sweden where it got up to 7 in the Sverigetopplistan, the national record chart for the country. Though the song was written for League of Legends it is something all gamers can relate to.
Best Shooter of 2014: Titanfall
There was certainly no shortage of shooters in 2014. Though none were more popular and more entertaining than Titanfall. With over 7 million players Titanfall may have fallen out of the news quickly but it is still very much growing in popularity. Titanfall revitalized the mech genre and gave us what is possibly the most iconic phrase from a game this year, Prepare for Titanfall.
Best MOBA of 2014: Smite
Though Dota 2 and League of Legends both had very good years it was Smite that truly stole the show. The MOBA enjoyed massive popularity during beta which has only continued to grow since it launched earlier this year. The upcoming World Championships are almost entirely sold out and the prize pool is over 2 million dollar and climbing! It really has been a fantastic year for Smite and looks to only keep getting better.
Reader’s Choice Award: EVE Online
We ask you dear readers to pick the winner of this award and you all awarded it to EVE Online. Eve had quite a year too! They erected a statue honoring the players, swapped from a twice a year update schedule they had been keeping to work on smaller updates instead, and even got a new Executive Producer. EVE fans helped make it an awesome year with a history book that raised $95,000 on Kickstarter and the hour long EVE documentary, A Tale of Internet Spaceships. With more than 10 years of life it doesn’t look like EVE will be slowing down anytime soon.
Most Anticipated MMO of 2015: The Division
Many of us have been eagerly waiting since that first glimpse of The Division during E3 2013. Since then every scrap of information on the upcoming title has been closely examined and re-examined while we wait for more to be released. During Comic Con Gamex in Stockholm we met up with Ubisoft Massive who gave some wonderful insight into the game, including letting us know that the release date for the game will be one of 365 days in 2015.
Honorable mentions go to both Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade and Star Citizen which are both highly anticipated but their full launch dates are either unknown or not expected until 2016.
Best Expansion of 2014: Warlords of Draenor
This year World of Warcraft celebrated ten years of being live! It has a feature film in the works and the hype even took hold in New York’s Times Square. Warlords of Draenor brought millions back to Azeroth and then took them to Draenor. Everything about the end of 2014 for WoW was looking back and honoring what had come before while still marching ever onwards.
Best MMO of 2014: Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn may have launched in 2013 but 2014 has been the year it shined. This year FFXIV got three expansions, and more have already been announced. There is no denying that right now is the best time to be a Final Fantasy XIV player. Things are going strong and look to only be getting better.
Game of the Year: Hearthstone
There has only been one game this year that the entire MMOGames office has been addicted to. Many hours have been wasted away playing Hearthstone. The popular trading card game launched this year and has more than 20 million registered players. This title has taken the online gaming world by storm and will be coming to mobile phones early next year. Hearthstone has helped the TGC genre explode and for that reason it deserves to be named Game of the Year.
2014 had a fair share of ups and downs. It was a fantastic year for new games outside the MMORPG genre while old favorite MMORPGs flourished. Though 2015 doesn’t have any major contenders on the horizon just yet we’re sure it is going to be a fantastic year. In the end the awards we’ve picked are based on our observations of the industry as well as the feelings of the entire MMOGames staff. Do you disagree with the ones we’ve selected? There’s still time to take part in the End of 2014 Reader’s Poll where you decide which games were the best. We’ll be announcing the winners of that on January 2nd, so be sure to come back every day until then to vote for your favorite.Related: Awards, EVE Online, Expansion, Final Fantasy XIV, Free Realms, Hearthstone, League of Legends, MMO, MMORPG, MOBA, SMITE, The Division, Titanfall, Trove, Vanguard, Wizardry Online, World of Warcraft