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How will virtual reality affect MMORPGs?

With virtual reality set to hit the mainstream this year, MMORPGs could be about to get a whole lot better.

Online casinos have already made the steps to bring the casino to player’s homes by providing links to a live casino. This is to try and give the player the feeling that they are in the casino. It is expected that in the near future the thriving online gambling world will use virtual reality to create a fully immersive experience. What can we expect to see from Massive multiplayer online role playing games (MMORPGs)?

MMORPGs are huge, and enjoying nearly as much success as online casinos, with games such as World of Warcraft and Guild Wars attracting hundreds of thousands of players each day. MMORPGs attempt to create a fully immersive experience in the virtual world. Players enjoy the social aspect of these games, and also the fact that they are able to explore these massive fantasy worlds as an escape from reality. There is so much to do, from designing your own characters, to completing quests in the epic virtual universe. Now just imagine what this would be like in virtual reality.

Hopefully sometime in the near future, MMORPG players will be able to slip on the virtual reality headset and actually enter the fantasy world in which their favourite game is based. For players to be able to explore and visualise the landscape in such vivid detail as if they were really there will be an amazing step-up in how these kinds of games are played. There is no doubt that being part of the playing environment will enhance the playing experience ten-fold, but what other implications could it have? 

MMORPGs are already a great way for people to make friends and socialise, but currently they are unable to meet face to face, and could feel worlds apart. With VR, players may be able to use this virtual landscape as a proper meeting place, and use it in the same way as a country club or pub. People will be able to put on the headset and go to see their friend from another country. This could open up things massively and totally change the way people use the internet.

With gamers potentially being able to become anyone they want in virtual reality, this is escapism at the highest level. But so far, no MMORPGs have announced any developments using the technology. It is still early days, and as it stands the Oculus Rift will go on to the market at around £400, and that’s just for the headset. It seems that it will be a little while longer before this technology becomes an essential household item. When it does, though, players can expect developers to up their game and start producing some of the most immersive universes ever.

As the advent of virtual reality draws ever closer, will MMORPGs be at the forefront of this revolutionary gaming experience? It seems reasonably to suggest that games like World of Warcraft, Final Fantasy, The Elder Scrolls, and Guild Wars will put this amazing piece of technology to good use.

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