Wccftech’s most anticipated multiplayer game of 2023
This calendar year already includes a veritable wealth of brand new multiplayer games being developed across all sorts of genres, from survival to MMO, from brawler to co-op shooter and much more.
The list below only includes titles that have had their developers explicitly confirm a 2023 release window. While there’s a chance that at least some of these multiplayer games could be delayed until 2024, we can’t rule out potential surprise releases, such as the highly anticipated multiplayer game The Last of Us by Naughty Dog or the survival MMO Dune: Awakening by Funcom.
Also in Wccftech’s Most Anticipated Games in 2023 Lists: Fighting, RPG
Sheet 2 (TBA – PC/Xbox Series S/Xbox Series X)
Studio Wildcard delivered one of the biggest debuts in gaming with Ark: Survival Evolved, a hugely successful dinosaur-themed survival game that had sold 16 million units between PC and consoles by August 2019, with another 10 million installs on mobile devices.
Ark: Survival Evolved remained popular with multiplayer fans for years, earning enough revenue to warrant spin-off games such as the VR title ARK Park and the Minecraft-like PixARK, not to mention an animated series starring big-name actors like Vin Diesel , Gerard Butler, Russell Crowe, Michelle Yeoh, Elliot Page, Jeffrey Wright, Karl Urban, Malcolm McDowell, Monica Bellucci, David Tennant and Alan Tudyk. Most importantly, the sequel game will be released in 2023, starring Vin Diesel.
Using Unreal Engine 5, Studio Wildcard aims to deliver major changes and improvements to Ark 2, such as cross-platform modding, third-person Souls-like melee combat, dynamic world events, sensory-based creature AI, deeper progression/skill systems, localized weather and much more.
Throne and Liberty (1H – PC/consoles)
These days, MMORPG fans aren’t exactly spoiled for choice when it comes to new triple-A games. In 2023, NCSoft will release the first new AAA MMORPG in many years: Throne and Liberty. Originally intended to be the next-gen version of the company’s most prized IP (Lineage), Throne and Liberty eventually morphed into their own thing.
Unlike most Korean MMOs, it will place much more emphasis on PvE activities such as raids and boss fights in an attempt to win over the Western PC and console audience. Of course, that doesn’t mean PvP won’t be available; Guild and occupation wars are confirmed. However, most of the zones in Throne and Liberty will be safe, so players won’t find themselves attacked by other players if they don’t want to.
NCSoft also promises a vibrant, dynamic world where the day/night cycle and weather have a major influence on the monster population and even how certain class abilities work. The entire world is said to be seamless, dungeons included.
Diablo IV (June 4 – PC/PS4/PS5/XB1/XSS/XSX)
The next iteration of the premiere hack-and-slash franchise should be much more appealing to fans of multiplayer games. First, Diablo IV adds a feature sorely lacking in its predecessor: PvP. According to the game’s lore, the Lord of Hatred Mephisto has cursed specific zones in Sanctuary to be so-called Fields of Hatred. Here, players will have the chance to flag themselves for PvP and fight each other for glory and loot.
Blizzard has also improved cooperation between players, who will be able to create clans, trade with each other and group together regardless of character levels. Giant world bosses roam the Sanctuary zones, encouraging Diablo IV players to team up and defeat them in the newly implemented seamless open world maps. It might not be a full blown MMOARPG like Diablo Immortal or Lost Ark, but it’s close.
Blue Protocol (2H – PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series S|X)
We first got to see Blue Protocol in the summer of 2019. Even then, the online action RPG developed by Bandai Namco’s online division looked very interesting, and the early Alpha tests conducted in 2020 gave very positive feedback from participants. However, the game suddenly went dark for a couple of years, leaving fans to wonder if it would ever come out.
Fortunately, Blue Protocol resurfaced in late 2022 thanks to publisher Amazon Games, with a planned release date in the second half of 2023 for PC (Steam) and next-gen consoles. After choosing one of five classes (which can be switched at any time), players can face the game’s PvE content alone or with the help of fellow players. If you don’t have any friends playing, Blue Protocol lets you join others through matchmaking or simply by browsing the recruiting parties.
But the game’s biggest challenge will be the Raid activity, where up to 30 players battle against a massive boss. To manage such large in-game groups, Bandai Namco Online added the Teams feature, Blue Protocol’s equivalent to Guilds or Clans.
Street Fighter 6 (June 2 – PC/PS4/PS5/XB1/XSS/XSX)
CAPCOM’s premiere fighting game is gearing up for a return to form after the somewhat underwhelming Street Fighter V. So far, all signs point to Street Fighter 6 being very good, including the online network tests conducted a short time ago. Francesco explained:
Online matches are a world apart from their predecessor. Street Fighter 6’s experience was almost flawless, even though the game is still far from release. When I was in Italy, I played regular matches against players from the rest of Europe with no return, as well as matches against players from regions further afield such as the United Arab Emirates and even the United States; although these matches had a slight regression, but nothing that made the experience unplayable. I even played against a Japanese player and the experience was not smooth, although I expected much worse. There are also some options that players have been asking for for years, such as canceling the match if the system detects that it is laggy or being awarded league points if the opponent rages.
CAPCOM may have added a World Tour single-player story mode, but the heart of Street Fighter 6 will be the highly competitive multiplayer games and tournaments.
The five most anticipated multiplayer games were just a small taste of what’s to come in 2023. We found ten more promising multiplayer titles to be released this year (subject to delays, of course).