National Assoc. For The Advancement Of Young Entrepreneurs
Pretty much that. The era of long term mmos as we know it is ended already for a while, there is too much competition thanks to the lowering entry barrier to develop games nowadays (go back 10-15 years ago and tell devs that you can get stuff like Unity or UE for free), many years ago just to license middleware or create your own engine for a quality product it would take a big investment or lots of people. Today more choices means more fragmentation, and sandbox Albion Online Silver mmos thrive on large population that play for long time to create a stable living ecosystem of sandbox systems. Due to evolution of the genre, the expected monetisation and how gamers got manipulated over the years in term of gameplay you cannot really target the long term niche anymore, that's why sandbox have difficulty to survive the test of time, or they end up into the themepark area in a way or the other to survive or a very small niche playerbase.
In my opinion the next big thing will be a AAA VR Only MMO, in other words a realistic Second Life with the budget of Destiny and the graphic of witcher/skyrim on steroids, where everyone will be drawn to it for years and it will become the next WOW. Nowadays there are too many Albion Online Power Leveling standard screen third and first person mmo on the market, every one of them cutting a small piece of pie, the userbase could be better used for a real immersive big budget title if hopefully some big name would come up with. While it's all good for small companies like SI to bring us some interesting titles that big names do not want to tackle, yet still the over-saturation of the market thanks to them is ruining the genre.
I'm sort of bored, but not just Albion, but any gaming experience in recent years. I can't wait to see companies selling proper VR bundles with high production value titles and real next gen human/machine interactions.