At one point in time, MMORPGs were as rare as the legendary loot players desperately hope to receive at the end of a quest. The genre’s history is littered with total failures and ambitious games that never received the attention they deserved.
However, there appears to be a shift in 2020 with the ongoing success of popular MMORPGs like WoW Classic, Neverwinter, and Final Fantasy XIV proving the timeless nature of the subgenre. As live service games become increasingly common, we can look forward to exploring sprawling new worlds alongside other players for years to come.
Here, we’ll be highlighting the best upcoming MMORPGs releasing in 2020 and beyond, including a mix of newly announced games and ones still in alpha or beta periods. Make sure to check back as we continue to update this list with new games and while you’re here, consider reading through our other curated lists:
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Release Date: Aug 25, 2020 | Developer: Amazon Games
Although Crucible didn’t exactly manage to set the world on fire or really even create a spark, Amazon Games is looking for redemption with New World, the company’s first foray into MMOs. The game presents players with a fantasy-inspired open-world called Aeternum where you can wield swords, bows, guns, and magic using an active combat system based on that of Dark Souls.
Offering both PvP and PvE gameplay, New Worlds features an array of modes, including large-scale 50v50 siege battles for control over player-occupied territories. Amazon boasts that over 1,000 players will be able to share the same world, so we’ll have to see how true that is this summer. A closed beta is currently scheduled for July, and players can gain access by pre-ordering the game.
Release Date: Oct 1, 2020 | Developer: 2Dogs Games
Destiny’s Sword is an upcoming squad-based strategy MMO where winning a battle is about more than brute strength. This is because the game features unique social mechanics that task players with managing both the physical and mental wellbeing of their team as they command them through battles with enemy factions.
As the war progresses, your character will start to develop mental illnesses that can affect their performance in battle as well as team morale. Destiny’s Sword considers itself a “community-first MMO,” where personal victories take a backseat to elevating your teammates; communicating and cooperating with your squad will be an essential part of succeeding in battle.
Ashes of Creation
Release Date: TBA 2020 | Developer: Intrepid Studios
An early alpha preview of Ashes of Creation bodes well for Intrepid’s upcoming MMORPG, with in-engine footage highlighting one of the game’s raid bosses as well as a unique node system that lets players fill up the world map with their own housing and invest in multiple properties ranging from farms to luxurious mansions.
Another notable feature is the ability to raid castles with support for guilds and large-scale battles. While Ashes of Creation‘s high fantasy aesthetic may pull it a bit too close to a generic-looking territory, Intrepid appears to be on the brink of something great, evident by the game’s approach to a player-driven economy and property ownership.
Release Date: TBA 2020 | Developer: Frozenbyte
Starbase is an upcoming space MMO set in a fully-destructible, continually expanding universe that combines voxel and vertex-based technology to create highly-detailed environments capable of simulating real-world physics. This allows for in-game collisions that can either break off a few pieces of your ship or completely rip it apart, depending on what speed you’re traveling at.
The game is centered on building and designing a variety of spaceships and stations in addition to exploring meteors, intergalactic wreckage, and more. Players can interact with one another in a variety of ways, including trading, cooperative building, and engaging in combat. Lastly, developer/publisher Frozenbyte has included a sandbox mode where you can explore alone or with a group of chosen friends in your very personal universe.
Release Date: TBA 2020 | Developer: Novaquark
Dual Universe is another upcoming space MMO that shows a lot of promise. The game boasts having the first fully changeable universe where players are free to create vehicles, ships, buildings, and even full-sized cities. It doesn’t just end there, as player-driven economy, politics, trade, and warfare systems offer a truly immersive experience that allows for more intricate player interactions.
While a game of this scale could easily fall prey to many of the usual MMO trappings, such as long load times and overly crowded servers, developer Novaquark has come up with an ambitious solution. Dual Universe will feature one seamless universe that connects every player, referred to as the “continuous single shard.” If successful, this would allow for a much more populated game world with a stronger sense of community compared to other MMOs.
Release Date: TBA 2020 | Developer: ArtCraft Ent.
Crowfall is an upcoming fantasy MMORPG centered on forming political alliances and rivalries to divide and conquer. To this point, the game emphasizes interacting with other players via a host of political/economic systems such as territory ownership, alliance hierarchies, trading, and more. Players can leverage each of these systems to advance their position of power and seize the throne.
When it comes to character creation, Crowfall uses a point-based stat system that allows players to finely-tune different archetypes to match their preferred playstyle. This ensures no two builds are the same, as each avatar will have their own distinct advantages and disadvantages determined by the player. Currently, in beta, the game has recently been updated with a new Day/Night system as well as refinements to progression and crafting.
Release Date: TBA 2020 | Developer: City State Ent.
Having been in development for roughly six years, Arthurian fantasy MMO Camelot Unchained appears to be the latest victim of what’s been deemed “development hell.” So far, we know the game will let players join one of three factions—Arthurian, Tuatha De Danann, and Viking.
From there, players will be able to explore a variety of activities, including large-scale battles spanning multiple realms, base building, trading, and armor/weapon crafting. While far from release-ready, an upcoming Alpha build will hopefully provide a bit more context as to what players can expect from Camelot Unchained in the future.
City of Titans
Release Date: TBA | Developer: Missing Worlds Media
While many are still mourning the loss of the wildly popular superhero MMO City of Heroes, developer Missing Worlds Media has spent the last six years creating a spiritual successor, aptly named City of Titans. Similar to CoH, the game will allow players to create an original hero or villain and begin carving out their adventures through selectable storylines.
In-game powers cover just about every superhero trope you could imagine, including flight, teleportation, super strength, and laser vision, to name a few. Although CoT is still very far from being finished or even playable, the most recent developer update shows improvements to the game’s UI and character creation tools.
Release Date: TBA | Developer: Bluehole
Formerly called Ascent: Infinite Realm, Elyon is an upcoming MMO being developed by Bluehole, the company behind PUBG. The game sees players exploring a massive steampunk fantasy open-world in search of a new home. However, to traverse Elyon’s mostly vertical environments, they’ll have to take to the skies using a wide selection of highly customizable hover vehicles and flying mounts.
These are for more than just navigation, with many vehicles providing defensive/offensive options that make full use of the game’s unique air-based combat. Additionally, ground base weaponry such as mechs, anti-air artillery, and cannons make Elyon’s large-scale wars feel like epic battles pulled straight off a page of a fantasy novel.
Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen
Release Date: TBA | Developer: Visionary Realms
Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen is another upcoming MMO set in a high fantasy world filled with swords and sorcery. Taking on the role of a legendary hero who’s been stripped of their powers, players will have to rebuild their legacy by exploring Terminus, a world brimming with formidable foes and powerful relics waiting to be revealed.
The game places a heavy emphasis on group play and social interaction, with many high-reward quests requiring a full party. Most promising is Pantheon’s strategic combat system, which removes the option to rotate abilities and instead encourages players to carefully plan out every action before executing.