Wild West Online Devs Explain What MMO Means To Them

"What is an MMO?" is an increasingly prevalent and rather hotly debated question. Due to the nature of the debate, the question of whether a game is an MMO seems to come around every time a developer calls its game an MMO. Perhaps knowing this, Wild West Online's developers have issued a statement about what "MMO" means to them.

The statement is as follows.

Wild West Online potentially allows hundreds of thousands of players access to the game at the same time, wherein they can participate in game activities such as PVP, PVE, running the economy, hanging out in saloons, etc. We firmly believe that it’s a community and persistent world accessible to scores of players that makes an “MMO” an MMO. While making sure this happens, we’re also focusing on fun as the most important factor for what drives our design decisions – including how many players you interact with at the same time. It’s been a persistent topic throughout the years, discussed by players and the media alike. Everyone agrees that it’s cool to live in a huge world surrounded by tons of other players, and we all know it’s cool to participate in battles that involve thousands of players on both sides. But in some cases, these huge numbers kill the fun. While it sounds awesome on paper, in reality each individual player often feels insignificant to the outcomes of the battle or the world at large. On the other side of the spectrum, some top online games that have tens of millions of players are often much smaller in scope. Many of these games have only five vs five as the way players interact. What we are trying to do is find a balance between these two extremes. Providing players with just enough other players around them so that the world feels alive and vibrant, yet keeping a sense of an intimate, fun setting where players feel that they are a significant and an important part of the world they're interacting with.

Given that it is stated that the developers are trying to strike a balance between the "two extremes" that are having thousands of players on one map at a time and allowing only small groups to fight at any one time, many have already started to speculate that the game will allow less than 100 players per server. Some have even begun blaming the engine for the perceived limitations.

It is important to note that nothing has been confirmed as of yet. We simply know that they don't want there to be thousands of players roaming the same map at once due to the individual players feeling "insignificant." The official numbers will likely be confirmed following testing later this year.