The indelible Michael Zenke, who you might recognize as one of our more frequent writers and the winner of a Gnomey for his work on his personal site -- MMOG Nation, recently wrote a piece recounting the top 5 most significant moments in MMOs for this year over at Gamasutra. Among the things that Michael focuses on are the overwhelming success of free, simply coded games like Maple Story, the spectacular failure of a number of larger budget titles like Auto Assault, the way that World of Warcraft has blitzkrieged mainstream culture with the Mr. T commercial spots and South Park episode, the shift in the marketplace that is poised to see EA and Activision Blizzard take broadside shots at each other, and the battle over RMT price models.
It's about the right time for this sort of macro-analysis of the year that, unbelievably, has already passed us by. The editorial piece is a great overview of the industry as it's developed this past year, and Michael approaches the subject with the appropriate mix of skepticism and cautious optimism. He also posted a few follow-up notes over at MMOG Nation that are certainly worth looking at if the Gama article strikes your fancy. Definitely give it a look.