We’ve certainly had our fair share of disappointing new MMO releases over the past few years — most notably WildStar (R.I.P.) and Revelation Online. But, there are quite a few promising upcoming MMORPGs coming in 2020 (and 2021) that we can’t wait to get our hands-on.
We’d hate for you have to spend hours and hours creating a character and wasting your life away on one of these games that don’t have a pay-off. All too often, these types of games can just be an endless time sink. That’s not what we’re looking for, though; we want something juicier, something meatier. Something that isn’t pay-to-win.
This list contains all of the best-looking upcoming video games in the MMO genre coming to North America in 2020 and beyond. We’ll note that we tried to include every upcoming MMORPG we could find in development, but we excluded browser-based and lower quality titles simply because, well, they’re not worth our time (nor are they worth yours).
So if you’re looking for new MMORPGs to play, here are all of the upcoming new MMOs of 2020, 2021, and beyond:
See Also: Best MMOS of All-Time
Release Date: Coming in 2020
Developer Frozenbyte has just announced Starbase, an upcoming sci-fi space MMO filled with robots, spaceships, and mega-sized space stations.
We don’t know much about it just yet, as the listing just dropped on Steam this morning. But there’s at least an announcement trailer on the listing page, as well as a link to their official site that contains more details.
On the official site, the devs note that Starbase will have destructible environments, with everything being fully destructible or disassembled, as long as players have the right tools and weaponry.
As far as the potential population is concerned, the site doesn’t say much more than a general “play and interact with thousands of players.”
Players will take part in a battle between two factions, the Empire and the Kingdom. Hopefully, players won’t be stuck choosing just between the two and there will be more options when the game launches.
What’s MOST interesting about Starbase is its building mechanics, as it looks to be pretty in-depth. According to the official site, players will be able to design ships and buildings right down to the literal bolts, with even the smallest of ships having thousands of parts. This could allow for a lot of creativity, so hopefully, it works as well in practice as it sounds on paper.
As expected with a space game, there appears to be a vast universe for players to discover and mine for resources.
What we don’t see in the announcement trailer is any variation in environments or gameplay; it all looks sort of, well, samey. Visual speaking, it also looks a little rough around the edges.
Although the game has secretly been in development for five years, things are still in a pre-alpha state, so there’s still plenty of time to get things up to par before a launch of any sort. We’ll definitely be looking to get our hands on it as soon as possible, so we’ll keep you all posted with more information as we learn it.
2 Last Oasis
Release Date: Early Access Spring 2020, Launches 2020
Developer: Donkey Crew
Publisher: Donkey Crew
Last Oasis is a woodpunk-themed MMO set in a future where the Earth doesn’t spin, leaving the planet with just two extreme environments, one scorching hot and one frozen wasteland. To stay alive, players are tasked with building nomadic machines, gathering resources to build those machines, and using those machines to defeat other nomads trying to also get those resources.
Last Oasis‘s economy will be player-driven and it’ll also have trade systems akin to other MMOs, as well as melee combat, a solo experience, and more. We’ll keep you posted here at Nerd Much?.
Check out the brand new Last Oasis E3 2019 gameplay trailer here.
3 Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen
Release Date: TBA
Developer: Visionary Realms
Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen is an MMORPG based on high fantasy, and it is, of course, set in a large open world. It will have a strong focus on group-oriented content and social interaction. It’ll take place on Terminus, a world populated by deities and heroes. The player takes on the role of a legendary hero, and you’re tasked with reclaiming long-lost relics. The combat will focus on preparation and awareness, allowing players to be challenged through scenarios that require understanding and skill to rise above their opponents.
The developers at Visionary Realms note that there will be activities in which players can do on their own, but the majority of the content will need to be conquered with others, with a strong focus on the importance of a player’s reputation.
The game remains in a pre-alpha state, which it has been in since December 2017. And that’s ok – Visionary Realms is keeping us all quite up-to-date with their monthly newsletter updates. Seriously – if you want to know more about Pantheon’s progress, just sign-up for the newsletter – it’s super detailed!
4 Phantasy Star Online 2
Release Date: Spring 2020
Platform(s): Xbox One
Phantasy Star Online 2 will make its way west in 2020 thanks to SEGA. It was officially announced at E3 2019 during the Xbox press conference. We’ll update this soon with more information as we get it.
5 Dual Universe
Release Date: TBD, Full Release Slated for Late 2020
Dual Universe is an upcoming sci-fi space simulation MMO, with every construction and ship built in-game by players. It’s essentially a sandbox where players are tasked with building all of the civilizations, economy, trade, and warfare. That means players will create their own enemies (or defend themselves against others).
That means players will form their own alliances, stake claim to their own civilizations, and could potentially block off rare resources from other players with a military force. The possibilities are endless.
Dual Universe is the first game with a fully editable universe that is going to be built by players. And, at this point, it’s hard to tell if that’s going to be a good thing or a bad thing. On one hand, we all love building stuff and crafting. On the other hand, though, you’ve got griefers, which has always been a problem with similar games before. How will Novaquark control griefers is the question.
Still, it’s a promising concept, and it uses a continuous single shard server – meaning you’ll essentially be able to play with millions of other players, instead of thousands. It’s said to have elements of Eve Online meets Minecraft and No Man’s Sky. So, you know, count us in.
The game is currently in the pre-alpha playtesting stage, so we’ve got a while yet before it ever sees the light of day. The dev team announced pre alpha access for those who took part in the Kickstarter campaign, but other than that, there’s no release date in sight. But we’ll keep you posted. For now, you can read more here.
See Also: Upcoming Zombie Games
Release Date: TBA (you can buy Early Access right now)
Publisher: ArtCraft, Travian Games
If you’re looking for a Game of Thrones simulator, with players battling for their right to the throne, check out Crowfall, a recently funded Kickstarter game that hit over $1.7 million. The throne war sandbox MMO will contain five systems of worlds, known as campaigns, and each world will have a different set of rules.
The economy will be player-driven, allowing users to build their own mercantile empire. And, the game will contain unique archetypes, according to the devs. It even features Game of Thrones-esque house banners right on the official site.
The last we heard about an official Crowfall release date was in June 2018 when we were told that we would get a soft launch in 2019. You can get your hands on the early access version right now.
*Update 5/20/18: There’s a growing concern that Crowfall’s developers are focused too much on raking in the money and not on being fair. We’ve just learned of a very strange VIP monthly access system that feels very much like pay to win. For a better explanation, check out the video from ItsZiz: Is Crowfall Making a Massive Mistake?
7 Trials of Ascension: Exile
Release Date: TBA (Available in Early Access)
Developer: Forged Chaos LLC
Publisher: Forged Chaos LLC
Trials of Ascension: Exile is being called a “host your own” MMO fantasy sandbox game by its developer, Forged Chaos. Players are able to create their own private islands, set the rules as they’d like, and invite up to 64 other players into their world to share the experience. Players are able to choose from several different biomes, pick what races are allowed in the world, and determine how scarce resources will be in the world. Players will be able to play by themselves, with friends, or the entire TOA: Exile community. Every item available in the game is crafted by human characters, with items being made from natural resources found throughout the islands. Wood from trees, hides from animals, fiber from plants, ores, etc will allow players to create tools, weapons, armor, clothing, equipment, food, building, and defenses. Players will even be able to play as a dragon. We’re not sure how it is all going to play out, but we’re sure as hell excited to find out.
Also, there are weekly development updates on their forum, so at least we know they’re hard at work on it. Read more…
Release Date: TBA (Currently in Alpha 2)
Developer: Dynamight Studios
Publisher: Dynamight Studios
Fractured is an upcoming open world sandbox MMORPG that boasts leaving old RPG cliches behind, with every item in the game being crafted by players. It’ll also allow you to adventure with your friends right from day one, without having to worry about stats or your level. Instead, you’ll focus on expanding knowledge and reputation.
On top of that, you’ll be able to switch your abilities and reassign talents by just resting in front of a fire. In fact, Dynamight Studios boasts that it’s a MOBA with the persistent world of an MMO.
There will be over 400 abilities and 40 unique status effects for players to play around with and master.
The last update is that the game is in Alpha 2 as of the month of November 2019.
9 Project TL
Release Date: TBA 2019
Project TL looks ridiculously great. We just got the reveal trailer from NCSOFT late last year, and it was one of the best game trailers of the year! There’s a lot of visually stimulating ideas to chew on here, including abilities with vibrant colors, some interesting-looking abilities we haven’t seen before, and a great top-down perspective you don’t see in the genre much. We also see a character scaling a big dilapidated structure of some sort, which implies scalability and verticality.
It’s the rebooted version of what was originally Lineage Eternal, and now, it will use the Unreal Engine 4. We certainly shouldn’t expect it to release in 2018, but maybe, just maybe, we’ll get some sort of beta at the end of the year. Please, NCSOFT, give us THAT!
The big concern here is that it’s NCSOFT as the publisher, and they’ve had so many problems in the past. Most recently, they let us down with how they handled WildStar, which is now going bye-bye. And, just recently, NCSOFT also shuttered ArenaNet, which will merge with NCSoft West – so things are looking pretty dire over there.
10 Lost Ark
Release Date: U.S. release TBA 2020
Lost Ark is an upcoming action MMO with a fantasy setting that’s pretty far along in development (in fact, most were expecting its release for 2017). Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, and they’re still in closed beta testing at this time.
We still don’t have a western release date of any kind, but we’re salivating over every bit of footage we see. It’s fast-paced, and it allegedly has a strong emphasis on exploration. Footage so far shows brilliant visual effects.
We also don’t have confirmation of a western release, although there is a petition for one and, in all likelihood, we will eventually see one.
11 Chronicles of Elyria
Release Date: TBA 2020
Developer: Soulbound Studios
Taking the massively multiplayer online genre to the next step is Chronicles of Elyria, a game that was recently funded on Kickstarter (check out the Kickstarter video above). There are a lot of interesting ideas contained in Elyria, and hopefully, we’ll be able to get a hands-on with an alpha sometime soon. The main idea behind Chronicles of Elyria is that your character actually ages and dies in the game.
It will also have a closed economy, FINITE RESOURCES, and quests that aren’t repeatable. What’s more, it has fully destructible environments that will allow the game to be experienced differently for every character.
Each time players login, there will be a dynamic world waiting. And, we certainly can’t wait to login. We’re hoping that we’ll hear some more details about this highly anticipated MMORPG.
12 Ascent: Infinite Realm
Release Date: TBA
Publisher: Kakao Games
The company behind PUBG, Bluehole, has an MMORPG in the works, and it looks quite promising. It definitely has an action-oriented feel to it, all with a steampunk fantasy aesthetic. Players will use airships as their primary mode of transport, and the game will have aerial combat. We also know that it will have an emphasis on Realm vs. Realm PvP combat. The game will use Unreal Engine 3.
Hopefully, Bluehole will optimize the game before releasing it into the wild.
Unfortunately, we haven’t received any news regarding Ascent: IR’s development in 2018 as far as a release date is concerned, which clearly isn’t a good sign. Hopefully, we’ll hear something in early 2019 regarding an early access release.
We did learn recently, however, that the game will have solo dungeons and that players will be able to deck out their own living space according to their personal taste AND invite friends to visit that space. In fact, you can find a slew of cool-looking screenshots on their official Twitter feed.
Release Date: TBA (Now available in Early Access)
Developer: Asylum Entertainment
Publisher: Asylum Entertainment
Platform(s): PC, Mac
This game has a lot of ambition — and in all honesty, it appears as though it might have too much ambition, trying to be an ultra-realistic simulation MMORPG. It’s touting itself as a “new breed of MMORPG”, and if it lives up to its claims, it just might very well be. Players will interact in the world with “absolute freedom”, where the actions of your player and the other players determining your fate in the world. You can live like a criminal, a police officer, a business person, or anyone else — the video above even touts that each level of police (Sargeant, chief, DEA, etc) is played by actual characters.
There’s also a formidable housing system, with every house in the game being for sale. Players can buy houses for themselves to live in, decorate, and customize to their own liking, or they can purchase a house with the full intent on renting/flipping. Playing the real estate market can be lucrative!
Identity will take place in a fictional land in the eastern United States, heavily inspired the Carolinas and Georgia. The land is massive, with the initial world size being a whopping 200 square km.
Asylum also states that the vast majority of items found in shops around the world are created by actual players, with everything from furniture to weapons and vehicles being crafted by peers.
In all likelihood, we probably won’t see Identity get a full release for years to come, but Asylum Entertainment is working on it right now and they now have an Early Access version live on Steam. However, buyer beware: the reviews are saying that there’s not a lot to do at the moment and the EA release was too early.
14 Ashes of Creation
Release Date: TBA
Developer: Intrepid Studios
Publisher: Intrepid Studios, My.com
Ashes of Creation is quickly becoming one of our most anticipated MMOs on the horizon, and with every bit of new in-engine footage we see, we get more and more excited. One of the key features of this high fantasy MMO is a player driven world with a unique node system that will allow players to build the world up around them. Will you build up your defenses or set out to destroy other player creations?
The server will have dynamic, ever-changing content because of the unique system, with each server having different ebbs and flows. Players will have their own housing, as players can build and own buildings around the world — from farms to mansions.
One of its other key features is the ability to siege castles. Build up a guild filled with allies to take down other castles and create your own dynasty.
Everything we’ve seen from Ashes of Creation so far points to it being a wildly unique experience where players shape the world around them. With player housing, a player-driven economy, and an apparent lawless land, it looks like we’re in for something incredible.
**Update 1/30/19: Things have undeniably gone south for AoC and Intrepid Studios, mostly thanks to their insistence on releasing the Battle Royale game that no one wanted in the first place. Those who have been following the development of Ashes of Creation for a while have taken to just about every forum (and social media account) they can to voice their dismay. Mum has been the word for AoC’s development since the team announced the battle royale version, but hopefully, we’ll hear something substantial regarding the MMO’s progress soon.
15 Magic: The Gathering MMORPG
Release Date: TBA
Developer: Cryptic Studios
While we don’t have much along the lines of details just yet, Cryptic Studios and Perfect World Entertainment announced a new Magic: The Gathering MMO this morning.
What we know so far is that it won’t be titled simply Magic: The Gathering, as its official title has yet to be revealed. We also know that it’s going to come to PC and consoles, although how far away its release has yet to be determined. What’s more, we exclusively learned that the ‘AAA RPG’ they were initially teasing in the press release is actually a free to play MMORPG.
Our most recent update came from Gamasutra, which pointed out Cryptic’s hiring blitz, clearly looking for more devs to get this baby rollin’.
We’ll keep you posted when we get more MTG MMORPG news, but for now, that’s all we have.
16 Camelot Unchained
Release Date: TBA 2020, Beta Access July 4, 2018
Developer: City State Entertainment
Publisher: Snail Games
If you’re looking for something with a more traditional fantasy style, check out the upcoming Camelot Unchained, a fantasy MMO running on the developer’s own Unchained Engine. The game was crowdfunded through a Kickstarter campaign — it raised over $2.2 million from over 14,000 backers — as well as backing from Mark Jacobs, the designer of Dark Age of Camelot. Camelot Unchained is said to be the spiritual successor for DAoC. It’ll have a significant focus on PvP, with large-scale battles set as the focus.
There are also some interesting and unique mechanics at play here. For one, you’ll be able to craft and build your own unique home, fort, or castle, instead of having to buy a premade one (which might be what we’re most excited about). You’ll have to defend your home against enemies as well. On top of that, the majority of the environment will have been built almost entirely by players. So, towns and cities will be crafted by players, and when they’re sacked by enemies, they’ll have to be rebuilt again.
Secondly, the proprietary engine will deliver massive, real-time battles between layers (up to 500 of them right now), with huge draw distances and a procedurally generated environment. Crazy.
The game has been in development for quite some time, and we have no idea when we should expect to get our hands on it. There was recently an update that noted that we can now expect the Camelot Unchained Beta 1 BY July 4, 2018 (the devs noted that if they can get it out sooner than that, they will, but July 4th is their buffer date).. However, hopefully, we’ll see a full release sooner rather than later. Read more..
17 New World MMO
Release Date: TBA 2020
Developer: Amazon Studios
Publisher: Amazon Studios
Newly formed Amazon Studios is creating its own fantasy massively multiplayer online game, and early concepts look absolutely incredible. It’s set in an alternate reality, set in 17th-century colonial America where magic is real. Devs tease nature things out in the wild and horrible things hiding in the shadows, so let’s go ahead and assume there will be fantastical monsters aplenty.
How you play and what you do, and what sort of player you are is entirely up to you. In the only brief teaser video we have for New World, the devs tease that you can be a farmer, a soldier who protects others, an explorer, or anything else you want to be in this world.
It’s intriguing, and the fact that it has a big Amazon budget behind it makes it even more interesting. Unfortunately, we haven’t heard anything new about New World since last year, so here’s to hoping we will get some new information soon.
18 City of Titans
Release Date: Still TBA
Developer: Missing Worlds Media
There are two big genres we’ll never get tired of here at Nerd Much?: zombies and superheroes. Of course, the latter is the reason that City of Titans is on our radar. The upcoming superhero MMO from Missing Worlds Media is being touted as a spiritual successor to City of Heroes. Of course, those are some big superhero boots to fill, but this Kickstarter-funded MMO brought in double its initial goal of $320K.
Finally, after a super long development period, City of Titans will be playable in Early 2019, although any sort of date hasn’t been penned just yet.
19 Project Gorgon
Developer: Elder Game, LLC
Publisher: Elder Game, LLC
Release Date: Now Available in Early Access, Full release TBA
Genre: Fantasy Survival
This is a fantasy RPG that’s now available via Steam’s Early Access, but we don’t have a lot of hope for it, given the terrible-looking graphics that would make the original Xbox cringe. If you can ignore its ugliness, there could be a gem of a game waiting for you, as it does have an ambitious skill based-leveling system that will allow you to shake the current trend of pre-determined class systems.
The devs also tout that they won’t be holding your hand through it, meaning you’ll have to discover everything on your own. One interesting mechanic that I don’t think we’ve seen in any other MMORPG is the fact that Shopkeepers keep inventory, so you can actually buy items that other players have sold to them.
The game is, surprisingly, rated ‘Very Positive’ on Steam from over 280 reviewers, so maybe there is hope for it. For now, it’s on our radar and we’ll be keeping an eye out for it.
20 Dark and Light (Xbox One)
Developer: NP Cube
Publisher: Snail Games
Release Date: Release Date TBA
Genre: Fantasy Survival
Platform(s): PC, **Coming to Xbox One (confirmed at E3 2017).
In Dark and Light, you’ll be tasked with harnessing and controlling the magical energy that courses through the planet Gaia. The game contains over 100 magical skills relating to survival, exploration, attack, defense, and more, and players will learn those skills as they progress through the game.
The game will feature dragons, griffins, unicorns, goblins, and many other mythical creatures. Players will be tasked with building their own bases as well, and because the game is an “endless sandbox”, they’ll be able to build anything from underground bases to their own island fortress. The game touts that if you can reach an area, you can build in that area. There are still so many questions surrounding D&L, but at least it’s now on our radar.
Now, we are a bit skeptical that this will even make it into 2018 for the Xbox One, as it currently runs quite poorly on PC. So, we can’t imagine it running smoothly on Xbox One just yet. We wouldn’t be surprised if this hit in 2019.
See Also: New Battle Royale Games
21 Life is Feudal: Sandbox MMORPG
Release Date: MMORPG is TBA, but ‘Your Own’ version available on Steam
Life is Feudal is one of the upcoming MMOs that we’re most excited about because it will apparently take a more hardcore nature. It’s set in a fictional medieval world, and players will be able to shape terrain in any way that they’d like.
Digging tunnels, shoveling moats, and building castles are just a few of the terrain-changing things you can do in the game. In fact, the game will be a sandbox MMO that will allow players to do whatever they want. It’ll contain full loot, open PvP, asset destruction during sieges and raids, and complex crafting system. It appears that the game will take a focus on building and defending your home from invaders. Read more…
22 Population Zero
Developer: Enplex Games
Release Date: TBA 2020
Population Zero is an upcoming sci-fi survival MMO set in the distant future that’s planned for release in 2019. It’s giving off strong Firefall vibes, at least as far as the world aesthetics and character design are concerned.
You’ll play on a multi-biome planet named Kepler, where you (a colonist) are tasked with investigating the planet’s flora and fauna while fighting for survival. You’ll play with “hundreds” of other players in a single world built by hand by the devs, without any procedural generation. The world is also multi-factional, and you’re set right in the middle.
Population Zero will be a full-loot PvP title, but the devs promise it won’t be a grief-fest, as they’re preparing systems that will ensure that veteran players will fight among themselves.
The game will also be faced with intense survival elements, as they’ll have to scrounge for food/water on an unfamiliar planet.
We also know that the game won’t use leveling/grinding for progression, but will, instead, use tech trees. And, there will be a strong emphasis on crafting.
We’ll be keeping a close eye on Population Zero here at Nerdmuch.com, so stay tuned for more news as we get it.
23 Destiny’s Sword
Developer: 2Dogs Games
Publisher: 2Dogs Games
Release Date: TBA, Open Beta April 2020
What is Destiny’s Sword? Destiny’s Sword is going to be a squad-based strategy MMORPG with a unique element to it that shifts focus away from things like “crunching numbers” and moves players towards focusing on the physical and mental wellbeing of your team.
In this social-focused MMO, you’ll manage your character’s psychology and mental health, as the game aims to highlight the “long term consequences of conflict.”
It’s a sci-fi set world in the midst of an ongoing PvP faction war (because, of course), and the focus will be on communication and cooperation between players in order to achieve success in combat.
2Dogs Games also promises to use an ethical monetization model that won’t allow for pay-to-win or lootboxes (although, we don’t know exactly what that monetization model will look like just yet).
We haven’t seen any gameplay from Destiny’s Sword just yet, but the screenshots on Steam are admittedly looking a little rough (and somewhat cheesy, to be honest). We’re hoping to see more regarding Destiny’s Sword soon, as its, if nothing else, an interesting concept for an MMO.
24 Untitled Alien MMO Shooter
Developer: Cold Iron Studios
Release Date: TBA
Along with this morning’s announcement of Alien: Blackout, a mobile game (yeck), comes the news that Cold Iron Studios is working on a ‘massively multiplayer online shooter’ set in the Alien universe. The title of the upcoming Alien MMO is still being kept under wraps.
There’s no information about it available just yet, though we’ve inquired to see if we can get any more details.
25 Lord of the Rings MMO from Athlon Games
Developer: Athlon Games
Publisher: Amazon Game Studios
Release Date: TBA
Amazon just announced that a Lord of the Rings MMO, separate from LOTRO, is in development from Athlon Games and the team behind New World (which just wrapped up its alpha test). The studio includes many veteran developers from some of the best MMOs, including Everquest, World of Warcraft, and Destiny.
More info to come as we get it.
Want to know what other games in other genres are on the way in 2020? We’ve got you covered with our list of the most anticipated games of 2020.
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