Pascal Luban at Gamasutra is now up to part three in his series on the multiplayer megatrend in the game industry. Part one explored how game creators use multiplayer modes, online distribution, and downloadable content to increase the life span of the game. Microtransactions are also used to increase the money-making potential and also increase the speed at which "fast games" can be consumed. Finally, he explored how more interactive, believable environments enhance the gaming experience and will continue to do so as rendering abilities increase over time.
The second article explored the accessibility of games and the need to play them in smaller bursts rather than long marathon sessions. This stems mainly from the types of players (meaning more casual and older players). The latest discussion is around cooperative games, quality control, mobile gaming. And then, buried on page 4 of the article, is the bit that hits us hard - asking once again if MMOs are a public health risk. There have been claims for years now that gaming addiction is a very real problem - and there have been many answers over that time. For us, we just know that we love the games and are going to continue playing them... and looking forward to the last part of this article series.