Dofus: After 18 years, why is Ankama's MMO still going strong? - DOFUS Temporis 7
Science and Technology

Dofus: After 18 years, why is Ankama’s MMO still going strong? – DOFUS Temporis 7

If there was a game whose future was uncertain at the time of its design, it was Dofus, the French-style MMO from Ankama. However, here we are 18 years after its release and the game continues to collect thousands of players on its servers. Recently, Dofus even launched Osatopia Temporis 7, its Pokémon-like temporary server. But then, what is Ankama’s recipe for continuing to make its MMO a classic of the genre?


  • Dofus, the MMO reference in France
  • Temporis, Retro… The New Products You Want Some Here
  • Duvos Cinema World
  • Dofus Osatopia Temporis 7: We evaluate Pokémon images that look like Pokémon in Ankama

Dofus, the MMO reference in France

Dofus: After 18 years, why is Ankama's MMO still going strong?  - DOFUS Temporis 7

If the MMORPG world knows World of Warcraft and RuneScape in particular, we admire Dofus along with the French-speaking audience. It must be said that it was in France, namely in Roubaix, that Ankama MMO was born. Unsurprisingly, in France and other French-speaking countries (from the players in 2011) this word of mouth has mainly had the effect of bringing Dofus to the rank of reference. An unlikely story definitely worth watching. But what concerns us today is the current and current state of the Dofus servers.

If the number of players surveying the world of the twelve today is no longer in the millions, they are still too many to find themselves there regularly. In September 2019, Ankama had between 600,000 and 700,000 active players in its game. For a game that has always struggled to break through the international level, the numbers are impressive. Admittedly, it’s not good enough to allow Ankama to maintain all of its servers (Heroic mode shut down last September in particular), but all of that allows the studio to continue to breathe life into its game and maintain a strong community that doesn’t. Doesn’t seem ready to wilt. But how is that done?

Dofus: After 18 years, why is Ankama's MMO still going strong?  - DOFUS Temporis 7
Dofus: After 18 years, why is Ankama's MMO still going strong?  - DOFUS Temporis 7

Like we said, Dofus is a classic MMO for many. If you have never taken the Zaap gateway to the asteroid plains and other places, then this phenomenon may seem incomprehensible to you. However, many French-speaking players have discovered MMO games through Dofus. If this is your case, you likely have a lot of game-related memories, from discussions on the field, tricks to avoid, encounters you had there, or tidbits from dungeons to share. Thanks to all these milestones in life, Dofus crafted an aura that prompts old players to immerse themselves in it like new players to succumb to curiosity.

Dofus: After 18 years, why is Ankama's MMO still going strong?  - DOFUS Temporis 7

Another important point: Dofus manages to stand out with an unusual MMORPG combat system. Unlike WoW, Everquest, EVE Online, Guild Wars, or even FF XIV Online, Dofus offers turn-based combat. Few of the successful and popular MMORPGs offer such a combat system. Of course, fans of this genre have quite a few games to turn to if they want to mix the two types of games. Therefore, Dofus faces a whole bunch of players with no real rivals to turn to.

But aura and originality are not enough criteria to revive an 18-year-old online game. While many are still exploring the lands created by Ankama, It’s also in terms of new content and features, the studio understood how to proceed.

Dofus: After 18 years, why is Ankama's MMO still going strong?  - DOFUS Temporis 7

Temporis, Retro… The New Products You Want Some Here

When developing such a game, it is important to introduce new content regularly so that you can keep players’ interest at the highest level. This is what Ankama understood. From the very beginning, the developers have sought to improve their game with updates and new releases. 2.0, released in December 2009, was also a huge hit, allowing the MMO to set a record of concurrent players., more than five years after its issuance. Regular updates (the latest version released at the time of writing on June 28) and version 3.0 (aka Dofus 2 Unity) are still in the works as well. Suffice it to say that Ankama has not finished developing its game.

Especially since the studio has had the intelligence to expand its offering over the years to meet the expectations of all kinds of players. Thus, when Dofus launches today, it is possible to choose the current version, but also another, more retro version. The goal is clear: Focus on nostalgia for old players. It seems to be working fine. In fact, what was to be a servant who was supposed to celebrate Dofus’ fifteenth anniversary quickly found himself a victim of his own success. Hence Ankama’s decision to make it a separate mode that offers multiple servers afterwards.

Dofus: After 18 years, why is Ankama's MMO still going strong?  - DOFUS Temporis 7

This nostalgia is also found among some players of Dofus Touch, the mobile version of Dofus. The latter allows you to take a small leap in time by seeing the various updates being published a few years late. But the real advantage of Dofus Touch is of course the free subscription that allows you to roam freely in the plains of the World of Twelve, without areas designated for subscribers (although in-game purchases are available). Enough to address the frustrations of the past and present for the most broken players and thus address a wider audience. Another point that allowed Dovos to expand the players: Temporis servers.

Dofus: After 18 years, why is Ankama's MMO still going strong?  - DOFUS Temporis 7

These servers started in 2018, and as the name suggests, they are only available for a limited time. At the end of the latter, the players who rush to the server get the rewards. In addition to the challenge aspect that speaks to a certain number of players, these servers are also an opportunity to discover a new way of playing. Thus, if the first Temporis give top spot to single-account servers, the fifth Ecaflip’s premium cards, while the latest, Dofus Osatopia Temporis 7, takes on the capture and breeding system that makes the DNA of licensing Pokémon. It is enough to maintain the interest of existing players and even spark the curiosity of those who have abandoned the Ankama MMO.

As you understand, Dofus is constantly evolving and addressing an ever larger audience. As a result, it is a lively MMO where it becomes difficult to get bored for a long time. With this strategy, Ankama ensures a strong player base that they can even hope to expand, or at least absorb losses. This management, while far from perfect, allows Dofus to sustain itself over the years and make it a game that is still appreciated more than 18 years later. To this, you can add one last point: the extended Dofus universe.

Dofus: After 18 years, why is Ankama's MMO still going strong?  - DOFUS Temporis 7

Duvos Cinema World

Like we said, Dofus is the true juggernaut, the central work of a studio founded in 2001, over twenty years ago. If today the studio is known for other projects (especially in publishing with Mutavocalight radiant), the bulk of his award list still revolves around the cherished MMO. Among the various Dofus manga, the series Duvos: Treasures of Kerubim and the movie Dufus, Book 1: Goliththe least we can say is that the MMORPG name comes up a lot. And if we look at the side of the universe, it will be even more impressive.

Dofus: After 18 years, why is Ankama's MMO still going strong?  - DOFUS Temporis 7

The whole franchise suffice (Games, Animated Series, etc.) is nothing but a derivative of Dofus, just like the upcoming tactical RPG Waven. Through these various projects, Ankama is fueling its own MMO universe, giving it greater legitimacy and, above all, a greater aura. The very good animated series Wakfu, for example (which quickly succeeded in getting fans to fund its much-anticipated fourth season), made Dofus’ name known to non-players who managed to let themselves be tempted by the experience. Admittedly, there is a game dedicated to Wakfu, which also bears the same name, but curious youngsters who crave a richer and more complete experience will likely turn to the initial MMO.

According to the Wakfu players themselves, the game is more of an alternative, or even a spin-off of Dofus, than a complete real experience in itself. If it has its own qualities, then the title released in 2012 makes you want to immerse yourself in the vast world of Dofus. That is why most Wakfu players on the forums call themselves Dofus: the first is difficult without the other.

Wakfu is a game in the case of the search for identity and not the development of this (identity) as in Dofus. It would be a lie to say that Wakfu would somehow not be a crash test site for Dofus, hence the impression of “following” his older brother more at times than out of it.


Add to that several derivative products and a community eager to breathe life into the game beyond its initial perspective (Fan fiction, PR, very active forums, dedicated content creators, etc.) And you get Dofus who has lost momentum despite the passage of time. Dofus has become a video game ecosystem in its own right that started with the release of MMO and has expanded over time. So much so that in France, there are few who have never heard of the game. And it is very difficult to disappear when you are an online multiplayer player with a great reputation.

Despite numbers that don’t equal her previous greatness, Dofus is still on the rise. While other reasons can certainly be added to those mentioned thus far, they undoubtedly played an important role in prolonging the life of the Ankama title. Its aura, atypical angle, and special value for nostalgic players, but also its expansive universe and perfect roadmap encourage players to continue paying attention to it more than 18 years after its release. A great performance that we hope will continue with the new features that Ankama has planned for the French MMO. Whatever the case, with the arrival of new titles (Waven, One More Gate A Wakfu Legend) and the series (Wakfu Season 4), the world of Dofus certainly isn’t ready to disappear into the depths of Krosmoz.

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