Some developers know that they have a huge success on their hands. They put time and energy into maintaining the game years after its release. Other developers believe that they have a timeless classic in their possession, and they believe that their game will be around for decades... like Wargaming and their MMO World of Tanks.
Gamespot is reporting that the MMO publisher's head of global competitive gaming, Mohamed Fadl, explained in a round table interview discussion that they have plans on supporting World of Tanks for many years to come... decades in fact. Fadl stated it was "easy" to predict that the game would be around 30 years from now.
That's a bold statement.
No one knows where the gaming industry will be five years from now, much less a decade from now. Talking up the sustained presence of World of Tanks three decades from as if it's a surefire thing is rather... confident.
I mean, 2047? That's basically the date most movies from back in the 1990s used as a barometer for flying cars, holographic media (coming soon), VR tourism (which is already a thing) and talking computers (which is also already a thing). Whose to even say that the infrastructure for playing a game like World of Tanks will even be around 30 years from now?
I mean, if Moore's Law stays in effect, and internet speeds and data connection rates continue to increase, cloud computing will become a standard for data transference. At that point we won't even use clients for MMOs anymore. Technically war games could reach the point of looking like real-life. Saying that World of Tanks will still be around as if no other competitors could come up and snatch away their marketshare is a bold stance to take.
They do have some clout in the business, though. Wargaming's World of Tanks is hailed as being one of the most realistic tank simulators on the market, and they take pride in continually updating and iterating the game with new content on a regular basis. The game has been in operation for seven years now. So it's fair to say that they'll definitely make it to the 10 year mark. However, will they last 30 years into the future from now?
I just have a hard time believing that.
30 years ago it was 1987 and the big games at the time were The Legend of Zelda II, Metal Gear, Rad Racer, Rastan Saga, Punch-Out, Double Dragon, Mega Man and Contra. The only series still going strong to this day out of that group is Metal Gear and The Legend of Zelda. That's not counting all the other popular arcade games that were out at the time as well, which have readily died off.
Times change; technology changes; the consumer market changes.
What's top of the line today will be old news tomorrow. While there's no doubt that World of Tanks can continue to iterate so long as the internet exists, it's a tall order to assume that 30 years from now they'll still have a stranglehold on the tank simulation genre. Then again, maybe they'll continue to stay at the cusp of every technological revolution happening between now and 2047, and we'll see World of Tanks sitting at the top of the tank simulation genre just like it sits at the top of the genre today.