When it comes to popularity, image and reputation go a long way. The world of video games is no different. A good character can open the door to a variety of new possibilities when it comes to a game franchise. At some point you would think that a company would use characters with such popularity to get involved with all forms of gaming. But you would be wrong, as many of these companies struggle to breach the MMO wall. Many don’t even try, which is where I get confused.
There are at least ten popular games with main characters that have enough star power to draw the MMORPG crowd. Nintendo leads the list with six possibilities. Of course, no business ever wants to lose money, but there is a plethora of good ideas in each of these franchises just waiting to be used in a mass multiplayer setting.
10. Devil May Cry
Dante has easily become one of the more popular video game characters over the years, propelling the Devil May Cry series and appearing as a playable character in a number of other games (Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Viewtiful Joe, etc). With such a successful fan base already it’s a shame there isn’t a giant virtual world out there littered with Demons to hack and slash up. It could be similar to the game play in the Diablo series while retaining the chain-style attacks on bosses in Devil May Cry. Not only does Dante bring a passionate story to the game, but giving his fans the ability to create their own demon hunters who share prideful human quality will keep fans dedicated to emulating their favorite character.
9. Donkey Kong
Starting out as an enemy to Mario, this primate has evolved to become a friendly fan favorite ever since. Bringing excitement and the usual joy one gets from watching an ape, the Donkey Kong franchise has spawned characters and stories galore. This endeavor would be difficult to envision, probably needing a unique structure with game interaction that differs from the usual MMORPG. By getting Donkey Kong into the N64’s 3D world though, Nintendo gave the franchise the green light to experiment. Whether it’s playing bongos or teaming up with Diddy Kong in Super Smash Brothers Brawl, the fan base is always there. And for those who think the idea of simian filled world won’t work, I only say “Planet of the Apes.” Donkey Kong is a character that has proven to drag out the best in fans. Couple that with the ability to build a one of a kind atmosphere for players, and fans will get the improved vibrant jungle they have always wanted to be part of.
This old school hero hasn’t had much attention in recent years. The blue bomber is still alive and well in the minds of many gamers though, taking second place only to Skull Kid in Smash Poll 2012. The poll was used to reach out to gamers to decide who is most desired to be in the new Super Smash Brothers game. Clearly Megaman has a following, one possibly big enough to support an MMO setting. Megaman has a long list of simple-named, unique enemies. With ten years of utilizing boss powers and ten more of new characters and physics, the Megaman franchise presents a wonderful array of ideas, powers, and characters to work with. Another thing this protagonist has going for him was a once popular animated series, giving fans an idea of what a modernized hero with a blaster may look like. Basically, with the success of games like DC Universe or City of Heroes, it’s hard to argue that a popular superhero MMORPG won’t work.
7. Lemmings (Minecraft)
They don’t have ambitions of their own. Without their tiny tools they are merely rodents. They are so incapable alone that they follow each other off cliffs. Yet, with everything negative you say about these little guys they still manage to turn their indistinguishable nature into unique fandom. It may be hard to picture them with a MMORPG of their own, but two words might change your mind. Team Minecraft. Tons of individuals have already delved themselves into the sandbox world, building virtual masterpieces. With Lemmings you can use more than one tool, for more than one purpose. The game would be heavily based on teamwork needing other gamers to overcome obstacles and expand. Similar to that of Final Fantasy XI, forming teams to fulfill their specific duties would be required to build new things and achieve new areas. They may not fit as well as others on the list, but if Lemmings have proven anything it’s that they have potential to be great, they just need the right guidance.
Remember how it felt in each Kirby level to finally eat an enemy’s power after spitting out countless useless ones? Now picture how it would feel to stumble upon an enemy with a sword in a massive location full of enemies without one. Kirby gets his own MMORPG look because of the way his game-style gets amplified by the very transition. Surely, using basic Kirby in the beginning will be a bit tasking for non Kirby diehards. But like other games, the feeling of repetition sure to fade once a power is acquired. Imagine building a Kirby, filling up power slots from defeating enemies that not everyone in the game can defeat right away. It presents the perfect level of competition that all MMORPGs have and gives Nintendo a lot of new ideas it can implement that were previously restricted by a side-scrolling system. Lastly, keep in mind the ability to once again improve the look of Dreamland. Kirby’s famous homeland will now get the full detail it deserves, possibly delivering one of the best views of a night sky any gaming universe could offer.