There's a chill in the air, and it's not just the December weather. As we here at MMOBomb were putting together this year's list of most-anticipated free-to-play games – which we do every year – we thought this version of the list felt a little … thin.
Now, that's not to say that there aren't a fair number of F2P games still out there in development – and several long-running games still going strong – but only a few seem to be garnering the kind of interest that we've seen in years past. There probably are fewer in general, but it might also be that people are finally de-boarding most of the hype trains.
Also, since we're appending a poll to this year's version of the list, we thought it best not to clutter it with games you might have already played in some form of early access or another but aren't fully F2P-released. Sorry, Fortnite, Dauntless, and Total War: Arena. On the bright side, you'll all make great entries in next year's “Best new F2P games of 2018” list!
So don't think of our list as “underpopulated” – think of it as short but sweet! And also lacking Phantasy Star Online 2, but that doesn't mean I can't tweak Magicman one last time about it ...
Ascent: Infinite Realm
I'll try to keep the “next big Korean game” snark to a minimum, and A:IR does at least look plenty enticing. The mix of ground and air combat can't help but get your blood pumping and, as expected, the world looks glorious. The question is whether the game will match up with the expectations laid out in its trailers or whether it will be another frustrating grindfest with an exploitative cash shop. That's not snark – just somber experience.
Bless will finally be coming to America in 2018 via Stream – er, I mean, Steam – seven years after its initial announcement. Suffice it to say, the excitement surrounding the title has died down considerably since then, but it's still garnering interest. Bless and A:IR seem destined to clash throughout the year, and the winner could make a killing.
Magic: The Gathering Arena
Wizards of the Coast seems much more dedicated to this incarnation of Magic than it did Magic Duels, and that's a good thing. It's better optimized for digital while still retaining that classic M:TG feel and could be the first true competition for Hearthstone.
If you've forgotten about CCP Games' free-to-play shooter Project Nova – it wasn't even mentioned at Eve Fanfest in October – it's understandable. CCP insists the game is still being developed, but it's going to need some kind of presence in 2018 to make us believe that's the case – or that it won't be another “fire and forget” title like Dust 514.
The other “project” in the works is the revamped Lineage Eternal, and it's been in the works for nearly as long as Bless. Like that game, it's lost some of its luster over the years and will need a strong showing in 2018 to make us believe again.
Let us know what free-to-play game you're most looking forward to in 2018! One of these five games or something else? Let us know in the comments!
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About the Author
Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.
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