Simple economics determins that MMORPG is a grindy genre: Layman's explanation is at the bottom, the above part is just formal micro-economic reasoning: The goal of the developer: 1. Minimize Costs, which is mainly developer time. 2. Maximize Revenue, which is the same as Time spend in subscription games. Now lets add in a set of assumptions: 3. Players are motivated by two different factors. One would be the fun and skill factor that has immediate effects, and the other is the "world" effect of status and such. The player would play when the sum of both factor exceed a threshold value. 4. Short term "fun" is related to developer time investment, and declines with additional player time spent in the game. ----------------------------------------------------------- With this in mind, one thing is certain: 1. For a game with finite developer investment, at some point the player would get bored, or the "fun" factor falls under the threshold value, and the player is motivated partly or completely by status/long term goal reasons. This is the grind stage of the game where there isn't much fun. 2. Assuming law of diminishing return applies for both the short term fun factor and long term "status" factor, there is a crossover point where the developer would spend equal marginal effort on both. This means that the developer would always have long term goals in mind. Layman's explanation MMORPG revenue is dependent on player time spend in game, where longer = better. To make the most money out of the system, the developer should actually dilute the fun parts of the game over long period of time. They also establish long term goals in experience points and items because it is a low cost way of making players play longer. Because the idea is to make people play the longest time possible, it is best to keep the player at the very margin of "not-quite-quitting" where there is just enough fun and long term goals to keep playing but not more. A developer that tries the "no grind" approach would run out of content much faster than a competitor (and lose players because of that) and lose money in competition. Most MMO games are played for far longer amounts of time than singular or pickup equivalents both in absolute terms and in terms of ratio of developer time investment to player time spent. ----------- This is completely a result of the payment plans in MMORPG games. In a single player game that is pay once for endless plays, there is no incentive to drag things out. It does result in some very well crafted experiences that is the result of a lot of work to make but last only 10~20 hours.