If game designers keep this up, we're going to watch the market dwindle as new gamers become jaded with new games just repeating the same content they've already been through over and over again. What we're looking for is an MMO that can break open the market like World of Warcraft did when it launched.
According to Earnest Cavalli at Wired, the Wii is the holy grail that MMO developers should chase after; a veritable icon of how to bring the market to a wider audience than just testosterone pumped adolescents. Cavalli asserts that developers need to look for a way to radically re-approach the MMO space in order to have it expand. While Age of Conan might be a step in that direction with a new style of combat, the game eventually boils down to the same things MMO fans already know about -- kill, loot, repeat.
What we in the MMO genre tend to forget is that no matter how we tweak the recipe and make it different for the MMO gamer, the average gamer may not see the difference. Age of Conan boils down to World of Warcraft, and the average gamer may fail to distinguish between the two.
If you're interested, check out the rest of Cavalli's article over at Wired.com. It's worth the read.